Ceiling fans have been keeping homes and businesses cool for over a century. That kind of track record is the sign of a good idea. Ceiling fans are an energy efficient way to cool a room and a great way to augment air conditioning and heating. Match a fan to the size and décor of your room and you’ll be on your way to comfort and savings.
A ceiling fan must be properly sized to fit the room in order to work effectively. Measure the square footage of your room and be sure to match the rating of your fan to the room size.
Since many ceiling fans replace existing light fixtures, many fans either come with light fixtures or the mounting and wiring to support one. Remember to consider the ceiling height when selecting a ceiling fan light—make sure there’s plenty of headroom.
Traditional ceiling fan controls are mounted on the body of the fan itself. If you have a high ceiling (or just like to lounge around) consider a fan with wall mounted or remote controls.
Inexpensive ceiling fans may skip important components like sound and vibration dampening gaskets. You’ll pay more for quiet technology, but it will be money well spent.
Ceiling fans are making their way outside, under awnings and covered porches. If you’re considering this type of installation, choose a ceiling fan that is weather rated. Weather rated fans are designed to deal with moisture and humidity.
Ceiling fan light kits tend to support dimmer bulbs that stand-alone fixtures. You may need a light kit with several bulbs to match the wattage of the fixture you’re replacing.
Inexpensive blades are typically made of plastic, which can warp over time. Veneer or pressed board blades may not fare much better. Solid wood blades are the most durable, but also the most expensive.
Ceiling fans intended for outdoor use should be rated for that use. Damp-rated fans are intended for covered areas that are subject to damp or humid conditions. Waterproof fans are designed for open outdoor use.
ENERGY STAR listed ceiling fans can result in even bigger savings on your energy bill. While you pay a bit more for these fans, your energy savings may more than offset the cost.
For high fan owners and coach potatoes, a ceiling fan remote control is a must. Remotes can be hand held or wall mounted. Already own a fan with manual controls? After market remotes are available for many models.
Although the breeze they create feels nice, the primary purpose of a ceiling fan is to even out the air temperature in a room. By lifting cool air from near the floor in the summer, a ceiling fan can help lighten the load on your air conditioner. By the same token, when a ceiling fan pushes warm air down from the ceiling in winter, it allows you to run your home heater for shorter periods.
To work effectively, a ceiling fan must be big enough to move the volume of air in the room where it is installed. Start by calculating the square footage of the room. Once you have this number in hand, you can look for specific fans that support your room size. For example, a 150 square foot room requires a ceiling fan that is at least 45 inches in diameter.
The other size consideration is the overall height of the fan. For safety and efficiency, a ceiling fan should be mounted about 7 to 8 feet above the floor. If you have a normal to shallow ceiling, consider a low-profile fan. For vaulted or raised ceilings, you may need a down rod extension to achieve the proper height.
Most ceiling fan installations replace an existing light fixture. Unless you’re replacing this lost light with another source, you’ll need to consider a ceiling fan that has lights or supports an additional light kit. Fan lights generally run at a lower wattage than other lights, so you may need a multi-light addition to equal the fixture you are replacing.
Also, keep in mind that light kits will add to the overall height of your fan. Rooms with lower ceilings will require a low-profile light kit.
Many ceiling fans come with simple On/Off, speed and directional controls mounted directly to the fan. For most installations, this may be all that’s required. But, if your fan will hang out of arms reach or you like the idea of controlling your fan from a distance, there are other options. Several manufacturers offer remote controls that are either hand held or wall mounted. These remotes handle basic functionality, but can also add features like light dimmers and thermostats.
If you’d like to cool off a screened-in porch or covered deck, an outdoor-rated ceiling fan is the perfect solution. Outdoor rated ceiling fans come in “damp” models—suitable for use in outdoor, but covered areas—and “waterproof” models that can be used in areas not protected from the rain.