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About Ceiling Fans

We hope this page will answer all of your questions about ceiling fans, light kits and other accessories. If you have any others that we have not covered here, please call our toll free line or e-mail us with your questions.

The Principles of Air Movement


Air Movement

Air movement is essentially determined by a delicate balance between two primary factors: motor size and blade pitch. The size of the motor generally reflects its overall strength. There are three sizes that have proven to be effective and they are basically small (153mm), medium (172mm), and large (188mm or k55/xlp2000). The strength of the motor and the degree of the blade pitch determines how efficiently the fan will move air. The blade pitch refers to the angle of the blade relative to the fan. As the motor increases in strength, it is able to push a blade with a greater pitch or angle. Generally, the greater the pitch, the greater the air movement. But be careful! These two factors must increase in proportion to one another or else there could be adverse effects on the fan motor.

Blade size and fan diameter

The sweep or span of a fan's blade is critical to overall performance. As the blade increases in length, the fan will push air over a larger surface area. Conversely, smaller bladed fans tend to move a larger volume of air over a smaller surface area. Most 52" fans move air out and away from the fan, which makes them efficient at circulating air in larger areas. But be careful- not all 52 " ceiling fans are created equally. Check the motor size and blade pitch to ensure that the fan is strong enough to cool your rooms.

Number of blades

As the amount of blades decrease, the amount of air moved increases. This sounds counter intuitive but it is the truth - check your physics books! Five bladed fans are the norm and so we are all accustomed to seeing them in most applications, but the truth is that four blades move more air than five, three blades move more air than four, etc....

Quality starts with the motors. Most ceiling fan motors come from one of a handful of manufacturing plants in Taiwan. Our experience has shown that the Taiwanese motors perform better than those produced on the mainland of China.

Emerson boasts of manufacturing the last American made motor in the industry, the K55 Premium motor and it is one of the finest motors money can buy. Casablanca offers the XLP 2000 motor and Fanimation uses the FK 2100 motor, which is also among the best made. The quality of the motor housing will determine how well the fan finish maintains its luster and shine. Most ceiling fan housings are made from stamped steel, whereas the highest quality fan housings are made from die cast zinc. Some outdoor fans are now being made with high grade plastic housing to replace metal, but they have not been out long enough to truly gauge whether they will stand the test of time.

Quality

Quality starts with the motors. Most ceiling fan motors come from one of a handful of manufacturing plants in Taiwan. Our experience has shown that the Taiwanese motors perform better than those produce on the mainland of China. Emerson boasts of manufacturing the last American made motor in the industry, the K55 Premium motor and it is one of the finest motors money can buy. Casablanca offers the XLP 2000 motor and Fanimation uses the FK 2100 motor, which is also among the best made. The quality of the motor housing will determine how well the fan finish maintains its luster and shine. Most ceiling fan housings are made from stamped steel, whereas the highest quality fan housings are made from die cast zinc. Some outdoor fans are now being made with high grade plastic housing to replace metal, but they have not been out long enough to truly gauge whether they will stand the test of time.

Blades

The highest quality blades are seven ply, furniture quality. Most, however, are multi-ply wooden blades with photo finishes. These blades have come a long way and some will make it difficult for most to determine whether they are real wood or not.

Quiet Performance

The most important determinant of quiet operation is the motor. Some motors are guaranteed silent but most are not. The larger motors are often the quietest because they use what is called a triple capacitor system. The triple capacitor system ensures that the fan is quiet throughout all of its speeds.

Energy Savings

A ceiling fan can offer energy savings all year round. In warm weather, a fan can make a room 7 to 10 degrees cooler allowing you to set your thermostat higher and save up to 40% on air conditioning bills. In the winter, you can run your fans in reverse to reclaim the hot air trapped near the ceiling. You can set your thermostats lower and save on heating costs as the fan provides even, comfortable temperatures throughout the room. Either way, you conserve valuable energy making a ceiling fan a wise investment for you and the environment. On high speed, most fans use less than a 100-watt bulb.

Clockwise vs. Counterclockwise

During the warm months, the fans should be moving counterclockwise. In other words, for the cooling function, the higher edge of the blade should be the leading edge as the fan spins. For heat reclamation purposes, the fan should run clockwise with the low edge of the blade being the leading edge

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