The right ceiling fan will help cool the hot July afternoons and add a nice touch to any room. Ceiling fans are a happy meeting between the economic and the aesthetic. They’re one of the few appliances that can save you money, up to 15 percent off your energy bills, and they look good enough to enhance the decor of almost any room.
Over the years, the choice of fan Styles has expanded beyond the traditional Tiffany model with its dark wood blades and elaborate glass screen. Now you can find designs that complement your clean-lined kitchen or contemporary living room as well as the traditional bedroom or dining room.
How to choose a ceiling fan
When you buy a fan, you’ll need to know what size and style are right for your room and if any of the optional features, like lamps or remotes, make sense for that environment.
Fans are sized by the length of their Vanes, which must match the size of the room. The vane span on residential fans ranges from 29 to 54 inches. Select the size of the palette based on the room you want to cool; see ” correct size.”
If you live in a three-or four-season location, a reversible fan can provide year-round benefits. During the summer, the forward (counterclockwise) movement of the fan cools the room. With a fan, you’ll save energy without compromising comfort. You can generally save 4 to 8 percent of your cooling expenses for each degree you raise the thermostat in summer.
Ceiling fans can also help reduce heating bills-up to 2 percent in heating costs for every degree the thermostat goes down in winter. For savings, change the fan to work slowly in reverse: clockwise movement breaks up the hot air that accumulates on the ceiling and pushes it down into the room. (Some fans have a special winter configuration, in which intermittent speed bursts mix warm and cold air.)
This can be especially effective in rooms with a very high ceiling, angled or cathedral ceiling that collects a lot of heat. However, some authorities argue that the benefits cannot be felt in rooms with standard 8-foot ceilings. If you are buying a fan for its cooling capacity, experiment during the heating season. But not all fans have reverse switches, so check twice before buying a unit.
What to look for: Blades and Motor
If you choose a fan with wooden blades, make sure they are sealed to prevent deformation. Fans classified for use in wet places, such as a porch or bathroom, usually have plastic pallets. Because they are produced as factory matched sets, blades from different fans cannot be exchanged; it throws them out of balance.
But many manufacturers offer a variety of Blade styles for a given fan, allowing you to customize the look. Many blades are also reversible, with different finishes on each side of the pallet.
Take note of the inclination of the blades because, along with the blade span, it determines how well the fan cools. The more inclined the blade pitch,the more effectively the fan will move the air. Look for angles between 11 and 16 degrees; this information appears in the manufacturer’s catalog or on the packaging.
Smaller fans that are designed for tight spaces, such as bathrooms, where air circulates and exhausts it help prevent mold and mildew from forming in the often smoking enclosed space, have blades tilted up to 22 degrees. Fans that are to be used in wet or damp places, such as the bathroom or a covered porch, must be certified by Underwriters Laboratories for wet environments.
Ceiling fan motors range from 1/60 to 1/3 hp. A higher power motor helps to meet the demands placed on the fan by the resistance of the Blades. In other words, the greater the range and tone,the more powerful the engine will be. Heavy duty motors are also more resistant to overheating.
A motor with sealed bearings that never need to be greased is one of the elements that denote quality in a fan. Another is a rubber flywheel, which helps keep torque under control, stabilizing the fan while preventing noise from channeling into the ceiling, where it is amplified. Cheap fans often lack these noise-dampening components.
Ceiling fan lighting, Hardware and warranty
Ceiling fan lights
Most fans are designed to accommodate optional light fixtures. These can range from simple incandescent bulbs to halogen downlights or elaborate hand-carved glass uplight shades. To connect a multi-light fixture to the fan, you may need to choose an assembler, which connects to the lower part of the fan body. Uplights, which bounce light off the ceiling, provide more ambient lighting than downlights.
One manufacturer manufactures a fan that comes with lights and a small but powerful built-in heating unit. Thermostatically controlled, it is intended to extend the stations for a comfortable use of porch and glazed terrace.
Choose a finish
The best painted finishes are powder coatings applied electrostatically. Look for a multilayer lacquered finish in brass fans.
Ceiling fan Hardware assembly
Most fans come with a standard 6-inch down rod. The longest downrods, up to 72 inches, are available for high ceilings. You will need a hugger bracket that minimizes the distance between the fan and the ceiling for low spaces.
Look for fans with a rotating ball and socket system for hanging. Allows hanging a fan from a flat or sloping ceiling, and helps maintain fan level when in use.
Compare the fine print in warranties. Some cover the entire fan, others just the motor. The duration can also vary from five years to lifetime coverage.
Standard controls for the fan motor and lights include a housing drive chain. Consider plugging the fan into a wall switch (which may already be in place if you are replacing a ceiling light) for convenience and to minimize wear on the power Chain Switch and its housing. (These switches are often the first thing to wear out or come loose on fans.)
For the ultimate in comfort, look for a remote. Whether wall mounted or a wireless handheld unit, the device must control the lights and fan speed. Some have a night mode for use in dormitories, in which the speed is automatically reduced over time. Others include a security setting that triggers the lights using random patterns that simulate a busy house.
How to measure a ceiling fan
Although manufacturers ‘ packaging generally lists formulas that relate the specific room size to a fan’s Blade scope, there are some general guidelines.
Up to 50 square meters.- ft.- room: 30 inches. include
51-to 100-sq.- ft. room: 36 inches. include
101-to 200-sq.- ft. Room: 42 inches. include
201-to 400-sq.- ft. room: 52 inches. include
More than 400-sq.- ft. room: 54-in. include
Remember, in long, narrow spaces or in very large rooms, you can install more than one fan.
Keeping a fan safe
When possible, place hanging brackets for a fan directly on the ceiling joist. But when the fan must go between joists, use one of the methods described here.
If you can only work from below and the roof is finished, use a grab bar, a heavy-duty adjustable metal bridge with pointed ends (about $ 15 with box). Cut a hole in the ceiling large enough to slide the bar through the structure. Place the bar so that its legs are flush with the bottom of the joists. Turn the outer shaft to place the picks on the wood, then proceed with the installation.
If the area is accessible from above or open from below, screw the 2 X 6 lock between the beams.
Place fans as close to the center of the room as possible. Blade tips should be at least 18 inches from any wall or cabinet. Standard installation packages, designed for the typical 8-foot ceiling, place the fan 7 feet from the floor, where it can deliver maximum circulation performance.
For low spaces less than 8 feet tall, flush or huggable, mounts provide 8-inch headroom from the ceiling. Down rod or pole mounts make optimal installation possible in rooms with ceilings that are higher than 8 feet or that have a slope of up to 45 degrees.
Available in lengths up to 72 inches, the downrods bring the fan to the optimum level of function. The higher the fan is hung, the less air circulates near the ground where it is best appreciated.
If there is a ceiling fixture where you plan to place your fan, you can often use the existing wiring. Otherwise, you will have to run a new power line. Remember that the fans weigh 25 pounds. or more and they vibrate while in use, putting additional stress on the overhead connection. Plastic electrical boxes can’t handle that stress. Make sure you are working with a UL approved metal case for ceiling fan installation.
The way the box is mounted is also vital to keeping the fan on the ceiling. If possible, it should be anchored directly to a ceiling joist, but that doesn’t always Center the fan in the room.
However you mount the box, disconnect the power before screwing the box from the suspension bracket.
The fan is typically connected to the stand in one of two ways: with J-hooks or with a rotating ball and socket. One advantage of the ball and socket design is that it helps maintain fan level.
Run the rod through the canopy, and run the wires through it.
Next, connect the down rod to the motor assembly and secure it. Lift and hang the fan in position. Then carefully hold the blades on their holders and place them on the fan body.
Connect the wires according to the manufacturer’s instructions (or consult an electrician) and reconnect the power supply. The final step: turn down the air conditioner!
How to fix a wobbly ceiling fan
There are a number of arrangements in place for a wobbly ceiling fan. To check the alignment of the blades, hold a rod vertically against the outer leading edge of a trowel with the end of the rod against the roof. Write down this measurement and compare it to the other blades.
Gently fold any capricious sheet in line. If the fan is still shaking, try changing the adjacent paddles. If that doesn’t solve the problem, a blade balancing kit, available from the fan manufacturer, could do the trick. Some companies, such as Casablanca, will send these kits to fan owners for free or may refer you to a supply source in your area.
To use a blade balancing kit, place the balancing clip at the midpoint of the leading edge of each blade, one at a time, then run the fan and observe the oscillation.
On the blade with the least amount of play, attach the clip to the front edge again, this time near the blade holder.
Turn the fan again, checking for improved stability. Continue moving the clip towards the end of the blade and testing the rotation.
Do I need a remote control for my ceiling fan?
In some cases, such as when a ceiling fan is mounted on a high or vaulted ceiling, a remote control is the only realistic means of control. In that case, the answer to getting a remote control would be a resounding ” yes.”
When the location of the fan is not an issue, the main advantage of a remote control is convenience. You can control the speed, direction and lighting of a ceiling fan without having to stand up and manually pull strings or flip wall switches.
There are 4 Basic control types available for ceiling fans, each with different benefits:
Handheld remote: with a handheld remote, a ceiling fan can be controlled from any location within the range of the remote.
Wall controller: with a wall controller, you’ll still have to get up and go to the controller. However, it does not have the potential to get lost and can be installed as easily as a light switch.
Handheld / Wall Combo: combines the convenience of both Wall and handheld controls, with a supplied wall-mounted stand to hold a handheld portable unit.
Fansync by Fanimation: a smartphone app that lets you control the speed and lighting of your fan from the comfort of your mobile device.
Pro Tip: some smart ceiling fans are equipped with technology to work with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and mobile devices, allowing you to be free of remotes and other controls.
Unfortunately, adding a remote control to an already installed fan is usually not as simple as putting batteries in the remote control. The receiver for handheld remotes and some wall-mounted controls often need to be installed inside the fan. This process may require part of the fan to be disassembled and then reassembled after the receiver has been added. Most receivers can be added to existing electrical wiring and will sit inside the canopy of the ceiling fan. From there, you sync the remote with its receiver.
For available remotes and Wall controls, check out our selection of ceiling fan parts. Otherwise, check the product details of a fan you are interested in to check if it already includes a remote control.
Should I buy a ceiling fan with a light kit?
Start by determining how much light is already in the room. Is it a relatively open space with lots of Windows, or does its sliding glass doors allow natural sunlight? How many lamps are already in place? Do they provide adequate lighting? These are important considerations to keep in mind when deciding whether your fan needs a light kit.
If you want to have more control over the amount of light in a room without worrying about turning on five individual lamps, a ceiling fan with a light or a light kit may be the best option. Ceiling fan light kits provide wide and even light that is beneficial for all types of spaces. And many light kits are compatible with a wall dimmer or remote control, so adjusting the light intensity is as easy as pressing a button.
Also consider combining ENERGY STAR fans with ENERGY STAR light kits. They have been shown to be 50% more efficient than conventional fan/light units, saving you more than $170 in energy costs over the life of the fan. The lighting is also efficient and durable, so you won’t have to make bulb changes as often.
QUIET FANS WITH LOW NOISE
If you’re replacing an outdated, wobbly fan, or looking for a new accessory for quieter areas like bedrooms, there are a few features you can look for to make sure you find a low-noise fan. To find a silent fan, you must first check the dimensions of your room. If your room doesn’t have particularly high ceilings, choose an accessory with a hugger mounting option. Mounting the fixture flush with the ceiling decreases the possibility of noisy oscillation that occurs with some fixtures hung at the bottom. If your ceilings are not suitable for a hugger mounting option, be sure to use a down rod of the proper length; using a down rod that is too long for space can create additional noise.
Then check the engine of your potential accessory. DC motors are not only more energy efficient, they are also quieter! Ensuring that you select an accessory with this type of motor, makes the possibility of finding a silent fan greater than with other types of motors.
In the event that your new accessory looks louder than it should, there are also a number of mechanical factors that can contribute to the decibel level of your accessory. Improper installation, unbalanced blades, defective attenuators, and lack of proper voltage can create an unpleasant buzz when you operate your fan. If you suspect an electrical problem is increasing the noise level of your fan, consult an electrician to help correct the problem.