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A ceiling fan is an appliance made to circulate air. It uses an electric motor to
turn fan blades in order to move air. It is used to equalize the temperature at
floor and ceiling levels to reclaim hot air trapped at the ceiling level. Fans also
create a breeze, which makes the air feel cooler. It can blow or draw air, depending
on which way the fan is set to operate. A Ceiling Fan is very energy efficient can
cause substantial reductions in heating and cooling costs. The average ceiling fan
costs 4.5 to 10 cents per hour.
Style, quality workmanship, the silent rhythm of motion, and the economic benefits
in heating and cooling make the ceiling fan one of the world's most useful appliances.
The ceiling fan enhances our environment and adds comfort. It meets a need.
Very few items found in the home can match a ceiling fan's combination of outward
beauty, functional effectiveness, and dependability. A quality ceiling fan
increases the beauty of any home or apartment. It can also lower heating and cooling
bills, which makes a
ceiling fan an investment that pays for itself. As air moves across our
skin, it evaporates body moisture, making one feel cooler and more comfortable.
With a ceiling fan generating cooling breezes in your home, you can set your air
conditioning thermostat at a higher, more economical level. With a ceiling fan working,
78 or 80 degrees can be as comfortable as 72 degrees--leading to big energy savings.
This savings could add up to as much as 40% during the summer. Even at high speed,
a ceiling fan typically uses less energy than a 100 watt light bulb and less than
a 25 watt bulb at low speed.
Ceiling fans are more than a cooling device. It can also more effectively distribute
heat throughout your home. Warm air rises; cool air can become trapped near floor
level. This accumulation of air layers can be a problem during colder months, especially
in rooms with high or domed ceilings. A ceiling fan breaks up the cool and warm
layers, making the overall room temperature uniform. By simply flipping a switch
to reverse the fan's direction, warm air is moved across the ceiling and down the
walls to evenly distribute the warm air that was once trapped at the ceiling. Thus,
in the reverse setting, ceiling fans distribute the heat throughout the room without
creating a cooling draft. The result is that warm air is where you need it, not
up at the ceiling. So, in winter you can lower your furnace thermostat by several
degrees, which can help to reduce heating costs.
Some will argue that fans can be as effective at reclaiming heat when blowing in
the down function when the room has exceptionally high ceilings. Note: the ceiling
fan should be within two or three feet of the ceiling to be most efficient in this
situation and expect to run the fan at the higher speeds for this type of application.
Outdoor ceiling fans not only make outdoor living more comfortable, the
air movement from a ceiling fan keeps air borne pests away
Fans are controlled three basic ways: pull chain, wall control, and remote control. All fans have at least
three speeds. There are wall controls and remote kits that will enable the fan to
have from 4 to 6 speeds. Fan must never be controlled by infinite speed, or dimmer
wall controls because they will make most fans HUMM and can cause component parts
to break down prematurely. Some fans come with remote or wall controls and you can
add additional controls. For most pull chain fans, there are usually at least a
couple remote or wall control option available.
Largest blade pitch + greatest RPMs = best airflow. The amount of energy a fan consumes
plus the volume of air the fan moves determines the fan’s overall efficiency. See
cost per hour figures:
The highest quality
ceiling fan blades are seven ply, which are furniture quality. Although
most are multi-ply wooden ceiling fan blades with photo finishes. These ceiling
fan blades have come a long way and some will make it difficult for most to determine
whether they are real wood or not. Hunter Ceiling Fans use a variety of ceiling
fan blades including plywood, veneer, molded plastic and hard wood. The molded plastic
are ideal for outdoor use as they do not warp.
The sweep or span of a ceiling fans blade is critical to overall performance. As
the blade increases in length, the ceiling fan will push air over a larger surface
area. Conversely, smaller bladed ceiling fans tend to move a larger volume of air
over a smaller surface area. Most 52" ceiling fans move air out and away from the
ceiling fan, which makes them efficient at circulating air in larger areas. Normal
blade lengths range from 16” to 30” (not fan diameter). Normal blade span diameters
42”/44”, 50”/52”, 56”, 60” and 72”. There are also specialty small fans that range
from 24” to 38” in diameter.
As the number of ceiling fan blades decrease, the amount of air moved increases.
Five bladed ceiling fans are the norm, so we are all accustomed to seeing them in
most applications. The counter-intuitive truth is, however, that four blades move
more air than five, three blades move more air than four, etc. Three bladed fans
with large motors and a 14 to 16 degree blade pitch are the most efficient fans
on the market. That is why industrial or commercial grade fans always have three
blades. Also, as the blade increases in size (width), the fan moves less air (think
wide palm leaf) because the motor is working harder to move the blades and there
is less room in between the blades for the air to circulate. In other words, the
fan begins to simply push air instead of efficiently circulating it.
Blade pitches range from 8 to 16 degrees. The larger the pitch, the stronger the
motor needs to be for the fan to move air effectively. Large motor + good blade
pitch = more air movement - especially in the lower speeds. Most larger motor fans
have a 14 to 16 degree blade pitch
In the cheaper fans, the outer covering or case over the motor, the switch housing
and the canopy will be made of very thin material. In the more expensive fans, these
parts are castings and approximately 1/8” thick. The thin components will tend to
vibrate and rattle more. Also the plating will not look as good as the years pass.
Some of the highest quality fans will be constructed of die cast zinc.
ceiling fan manufacturers offer 3 different mounting systems either included
with each fan or sold separately and or 3 different styles of fans. The first, most
common style is the standard downrod style which comes with anywhere from 2.5" to
12" downrods depending on the model. Longer or extension downrods are also available
for higher ceilings and are sold separately by the foot. Some of these standard
mount fans can also be flush mounted depending on the particular style and model.
Almost all standard Hunter Fans, for example, include a unique Installer’s Choice
© 3-Position Mounting System that allows for flush mount or standard hanging
options. The second style of mounting systems is the actual Low Profile or Flush mount fan. This fan does not include a downrod
and mounts directly to your ceiling, maximizing ceiling height. The third type of
mounting system is an angled mounting system for installation on vaulted ceilings
or ceilings that are not flat. Most ceiling fan models come with a standard pivot
ball that allow for mounting on vaulted ceilings with pitches as steep as 32 degrees.
For steeper vaulted ceilings, most manufacturers offer vaulted mounting systems
When you hear “Lifetime”, be careful to read the warranty papers. Normally it will
be a “Limited Lifetime” warranty and the only part of the ceiling fan that exceeds
one year, will be the motor. All the component parts will normally be one year.
The ceiling fan motor will almost always outlast the component parts. So how important
is the warranty anyway?
The following is a general guide for selecting the proper fan for your room/area.