How to choose the right one for your space.
Though ceiling fans do not actually lower room temperature, they’re great for pushing heat down in the winter and circulating fresh air in the summer. Homes with cathedral ceilings especially benefit from fans, as they push heat trapped near the ceiling back down so the temperature in the house is more constant, adding to a home’s energy efficiency.
Step 1: Don’t buy the cheapest fan
Typically, the least expensive models will not be as effective as ones with better motors and quality blades. Cheap motors tend to wobble and rattle, and lesser quality blades will not be as efficient at moving air, and may have a shorter life span.
Tip: Fans with long ceiling adapters tend to be more effective than hugger fans (with as little space as possible between the blades and the ceiling) because the size of the hugger’s body impedes airflow.
Step 2: Consider the size of your room
For standard 8- to 9-foot ceilings, a flush mount or low-profile fan is a good choice. Look for extension down rods that will lower a fan to the desired height for higher ceiling applications. The fan should be located anywhere from 12” to 6 feet below the ceiling for proper circulation, depending on the height and size of the space.
Usually fan companies recommend a down rod of 3 to 4 feet in length, and absolutely no longer than 7 feet from the ceiling. The longer the drop from the ceiling, the more apt the fan is to wobble or shimmy. Also, if the fan is installed too low, it won’t efficiently push the heat down, which is useful for cooler months. If your ceiling is sloped, make sure there is at least 18” of space between the blades and the sloped ceiling. A sloped ceiling kit is available for most fans, which allows the fan canopy to be installed on a slope.
Step 3: Get the right size fan
The most popular fan sizes range from 36” to 52” diameters. A good rule of thumb: most rooms larger than 12’ x 12’ should be outfitted with a 52” fan, 10’ x 10’ rooms with a 42” fan and rooms 8’ x 10’ or smaller with a 36” fan.
Step 4: Choose the blades
All fan blades have a pitch or angle at which they are positioned. The larger the pitch, the more efficient the blades will be at pushing air. Blades which have a pitch of 13°-18° are good, and those with a pitch of 25° are ideal – again, depending on the size of the intended room. Fans usually come with a 4- or 5-blade configuration. In a large room, a 4-blade configuration will actually be more effective as it has one less blade pulling through the air, and a bigger space between blades actually means more room for the fan to grab more air.
Step 5: Use the fan properly
The direction the fan turns actually makes a difference, depending on what you want to achieve. For summertime circulation and cool-air relief, the fan should be rotating clockwise. Counter clockwise rotation will push heat down into the room, perfect for warm air circulation in the winter.
Step 6: Decide if you need a light
Most fans come with a lighting kit and the choices of light fixtures available are almost limitless. Choose a fixture that suits your style, and think about installing a dimmer switch for more versatility. For high-ceiling applications, especially cathedral ceilings, it’s best not to choose a fan with a light fixture as the light will be too high up to be of use.
Finally, if your fan will be installed on a high ceiling, make sure to find a model that has a remote switch, the ultimate convenience.
Step 7: Shop Great Fan Sources
Hunter (a more affordable version of the Casablanca fan)