For decades, ceiling fans have been the ideal choice for comfort and energy savings in lighting fixtures. Ceiling fans are beautiful and practical and make a great addition to any room. The fact that ceiling fans can help lower the temperature of a warm room explains how ceiling fans work to actually lower energy bills. Plus, the fact that ceiling fans come with the option of a light makes them a popular and prime choice as a lighting fixture.
The ceiling fan market is huge, with ceiling fans being manufactured in seemingly endless styles, colors, configurations, motors, finishes and more. So how does one make the choice? There are important qualities that every ceiling fan must have, the most important of which are quiet performance and steady operation (which means that it is safe and hasbeen installed properly).
There are several other important factors that you should consider before purchasing a ceiling fan:
Brand reputation matters with ceiling fans, and it's worth going with a reputable company that stands behind its fans and even offers warranties on the fan's motor (a good warranty will be for 10 years). Ceiling fans cost anywhere from $24 to hundreds of dollars for high-end, top-quality fans. Cheaper fans tend to have weaker, noisier motors and that's exactly what you don't want. Some good ceiling fan manufacturers include Hunter, Casablanca and Emerson. Visit any of their Websites to view hundreds of different types of ceiling fan. The motor of ceiling fans should have sealed bearings that require no lubrication and should run quietly, without any major problems, for up to 12 years. Also be sure the fan you buy is listed by Underwriters Laboratories or an equivalenttesting agency.
What type of controls do you want for your fan? Ceiling fans come with several control options, such as a pull chain or remote control. Do you want a fan with multiple settings and speeds? Do you want the light to have a dimmer? All of these will determine not only the price of the fan but how it is installed, as well. Make sure you find a reliable electrician to install your new ceiling fan. Many of the higher-end fans come with some really advanced features like the ability to automatically adjust the fan speed to suit changes in roomtemperature and to turn the fan light off when you are not home.
Blades play an important role in determining how well a ceiling fan will perform. There are several blade characteristics that are important, including the number of blades, their size and length. Usually, the more blades, the higher the price of the fan. The most common number of blades is four, though three and even five blades are not unheard of. The number of blades depends on your preference and is not always tied to the strength and performance of the fan. The strength and performance of the fan is also related to the length of the blades. Blades come in several lengths, measured by the full blade sweep they produce: 30, 42, 44, 46, 50, 52 and 60 inches. Blade color and material are another consideration to make. Blades come in natural wood, or in painted blades made from solid wood, cross-laminated veneer (plywood) and less-expensive veneered constant-density board. Popular finishes include natural, appliance white, cherry wood, oak, walnut, bleached oak, white, faux granite, rosewood and black.
The Bottom Line:
Movement of air is a factor of the pitch, length and number of blades; their distance from the ceiling; and their revolutions per minute (rpm). A weak motor can spin short blades quickly if the blades are at a minimum pitch of about 10 degrees, though this type of fan is likely to be noisier than a fan that swirls 14-degree, longer blades more slowly. The best advice is to choose a fan wisely to meet the specific needs of the room it will be installed in. And make sure you get your ceiling fan installed properly by a professional electrician.