CEILING FANS & QUALITY
These days, ceiling fans have become ideal because they offer added comfort, vast style options and energy conservation which means dollar savings. Ceiling fans can be purchased from a variety of sellers from online, to big box stores (think Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.) and even specialty stores. Fan Diego is a specialty ceiling fan store that also offers an online shopping option. There are a lot of options to consider before settling on a fan and it's not something that should be taken lightly.
Anything that moves a lot needs to be manufactured in such a way as to stand up to that amount of movement. There are a lot of ceiling fans for sale in the big box stores that seem affordable, until you realize they have to be replaced almost annually! Here we'll explain what makes a ceiling fan of high quality.
Identifying Quality in Ceiling Fans
Although life often proves that "you get what you pay for", price should not be the only factor considered when selecting a ceiling fan. Whether a fan costs $60 or $700, it can last up to 18 years if its key components are high quality (average would be 13 years). First, consider the fan's motor. Does it look/feel heavy-duty? Is it energy efficient and maintenance-free? Does it carry a lifetime warranty?
When thinking about those first two questions, you'll want to consider them in relationship to the "ceiling fan blades":http://www.fandiego.com/category.aspx?uid=9-13. Fan motors will perform at different efficiency levels depending on the blades they are matched with. Also look for multiple capacitors (better starting and running control), self-oiling, heavy-duty bearings, die-cast aluminum rotors and a die-cast zinc housing.
Casablanca Fans are known for their high-quality, long-lasting motors. They are going to be more expensive than say a Hampton Bay that you would find at Home Depot, but the investment translates to years of savings.
Ceiling Fan Construction
Solid construction is key to quality ceiling fans, giving them smooth, quiet operation. When fans are made with cheap blade materials, rotors or poor seals they are very likely to wobble. As we mentioned blades and motors need to be considered together. They have a special relationship and must be carefully balanced and precisely measured between blades. Specialty stores like Fan Diego sell brands that have been building ceiling fans for years and the manufacturers have strict standards. Big box stores sell brands that can be pumped out the fastest at the lowest price point, but these fans do not perform nearly as well.
High quality ceiling fan manufacturers like Minka Aire and Emerson perform rigorous tests to ensure the the motor size and blade pitch have been perfectly matched. Inadequate testing leads to faster wear and tear due to incorrect sizing, faulty wiring and unsecured accessories (like lighting).
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CEILING FAN FOR YOUR SPACE
Today, ceiling fans are practical, stylish and affordable. The days of settling for a standard ceiling fans with a tri-bulb light fixture are over. Homeowners can rejoice! There are hundreds of designs,dozens of styles categories and specialty shops that can help you mix-and-match to your heart's content.
Ceiling Fan Types: Quick Reference
- Flush-mount fans provide gentle cooling for low-ceiling interiors
- For common areas or large rooms, choose fans with large-sized motors and longer blades
- For all-season homes, select a 3-speed, reversible switching fan so the space can be kept cool in the summers and warm it the winters (energy savings!)
- Look for outdoor ceiling fans with cast-iron housings and lots of power (Typically available in two speeds)
If you have any questions about energy efficient, high quality ceiling fans, call our energy saving experts a t 800-240-6267 or visit our online ceiling fan store.
WHAT DO YOU NEED FROM YOUR CEILING FAN?
Ceiling Fan Location- Indoor or Outdoor
Is the ceiling fan going to be indoor or outdoor? What room will it be in? Installing indoor ceiling fans outdoors is never a good idea. You will likely have to replace it within a few month or at most within a year. Outdoor fans are specially made to withstand the elements. They often have different bearings, are made of different materials and have special finishes to prevent rusting or pitting.
Outdoor ceiling fans also have blades that are made to withstand warping. One of the biggest problems with using an indoor ceiling fan outdoors is that the blades will usually warp very quickly.
For indoor ceiling fans, the size of the room and ceiling height are important factors, some fans work best for large rooms and others are more efficient and visually appealing for smaller rooms, such as children's bedrooms.
Ceiling Fan Mounting Height
Federal building code requires that ceiling fan blades must be no lower than 7 feet from the floor. With this in mind, most fans are made to be installed on a standard eight foot ceiling and will come with a small down rod (usually between 2 1/2 to 4 inches long) so the fan can be mounted with the blades at or above the 7 foot requirement.
Keep in mind that adding a lighting kit will add hanging depth. If this is a concern, you may want to look for fans with integrated light kits or consider a flush mount fan as another option. Fans with integrated light kits usually shave off about 4 to 6 inches from length and flush mount fans have no down rod; they are installed flush against the ceiling.
Ceiling height is also a significant factor in the cost of ceiling fan installation. We'll cover in more depth later in this blog.
Types of Ceiling Fan Motors
Newer DC motors for ceiling fans are more energy efficient that standard ceiling fan motors. DC motors are especially well-suited for over-sized ceiling fans. Check out our video blog about the benefits of DC motors in ceiling fans for more detail on how they work.
Ceiling Fans with Lights
Think about whether your space has a source of lighting or if it needs additional lighting. You may want a ceiling fan with integrated lighting or you can choose a fan that is lighting kit adaptable.
Some people like fluorescent lights because they are energy-efficient. There are some fans with integrated fluorescent lighting kits and there are some fluorescent light kits that can be retro–fitted to most fans. However, most of our customers shopping for ceiling fans with lights want a dimming function, and as a general rule, fluorescent lights do not dim. They are either on or off and this can cause issues with electronic controls.
If you want to use remote control or a wall control that works with a receiving unit in the ceiling fan, the use of fluorescent bulbs may cause the light to flicker when the lights are off and can cause your electronics to burn out. Although some consumers inquire about fluorescent lighting kits, most do not end up purchasing them.
Fan Remote Controls
A lot of consumers might choose a fan that does not have a remote control because it fits their budget, they like the style, and they assume they can always add a remote later. This isn’t always possible. If you think you may want a remote at some point but not at the time you purchase your fan, be sure to ask if you can add one later.
Almost every ceiling fan can be operated by remote control. Some fans do come with built in remotes and others are remote control adaptable. Every fan maker has a “universal” remote kit that can be used with their fans. These usually range from $40 to $100. Retro-fit fan remote control kits usually mount in the canopy (the part of the fan that connects to the ceiling), so it's best to add the remote when you initially install the ceiling fan.
It is also important to find the remote that offers the functionality you are looking for. Consider all of the following:
- How many speed settings would you like?
- Do you want to be able to dim your lights or simply turn them on or off?
- Do you want the ability to reverse your fan direction from the remote control?
Air Flow and Ceiling Fan Blades
The CFM rating tells you how much air a ceiling fan moves. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute, or how much air the fan moves over a predetermined standard of cubic feet per minute. The higher the CFM rating, the more air the fan moves.
Some ceiling fan shoppers believe that more blades leads to better air flow. Not true. More blades _will_ make a fan perform more quietly at higher speeds, and statistics show that consumers prefer 5-bladed ceiling fans over any other blade arrangement. The truth is that, (with all other factors being equal) as the number of blades decreases, the amount of air moved actually increases!
There are two reasons for this: 1. The 3-bladed fan has less weight on the motor so it can spin the blades faster, and 2. Fewer blades enable the air to circulate more effectively through the blades as the fan spins.
Larger ceiling fan blades can move more air, but the virtue of larger blades lies in their ability to move air _farther_ (over a larger surface area). You will often feel more air movement from a strongly motored 44” fan that you would from a 60” fan with the same motor.
Example: If you have a 44” fan with a 188 millimeter motor (which is a nice, strong motor) and 14 degree blade pitch and compare it in terms of air movement to a 52” fan with a 188 mm motor and a 14 degree blade pitch, the smaller fan is pushing less surface area and the motor can spin faster and generate more air movement.
*A DC motor will calibrate itself to accommodate the weight of the blades and tend to offer the best performance for large fans category.
If style is important to you, your best bet is to go straight to a ceiling fan specialty shop. Big box stores like Lowe's or Home Depot will provide you with few options and no customization. Our ceiling fan stores provide you with more options that you could ever imagine. You can mix and match blade colors, lighting kits, fan medallions and more from quality fan manufacturers. Best of all, you'll have specialists ready to help make sure your style will function properly in your space!
FAN INSTALLATION, COSTS & WARRANTY
The cost of ceiling fan installation depends upon a few factors:
- ceiling height
- attic access
- current wiring
- fan controls
The more that has to be done, obviously, the higher the price. If your ceiling is pre-wired and standard height, you will pay less.
There are 4 Fan Diego showrooms throughout southern California and the cost of installation can be different in each market.
Example: If your ceiling is pre-wired for a ceiling fan, meaning it has a fan-rated junction box and is wired for a ceiling fan, the basic range for fan installation is between $75 and $120. In North San Diego County, the Palm Springs area and Temecula Valley, a licensed and bonded electrician will charge around $85 dollars per fan. In San Diego County, however, a licensed and bonded electrician will generally charge between a $100 and $120.
CEILING FAN PARTS & SERVICE
Countless customers come into our stores infuriated because they can't get parts for the fans they purchased at Home Depot, Lowes, Lamps Plus or even from lighting showrooms. Finding parts for the private label Hampton Bay and Harbor Breeze fans can be very challenging because the big box stores and chain stores are in the business of selling price point driven fans. Providing parts is expensive and time consuming for their employees.
Ceiling fans are like any other appliance with moving parts. Eventually, something may fail. To avoid having to dispose of your fan completely, make sure you are buying a product for which parts are available and from a source that can provide parts.
Fans from trusted manufacturers like Casablaca, Minka Aire and Hunter will give you years of consistent, carefree performance. You should still ask these 3 important questions when buying a ceiling fan:
1. What happens if something goes wrong with my fan? 2. Do I bring the fan to you? If I cannot bring the fan to you, can you help me get someone to our home? 3. What is your service charge?
Ready to shop? Call our ceiling fan specialists at 800-240-6267 or visit one of our ceiling fan showrooms to find out more about ceiling fans with lights.
At Fan Diego, we love these Indian summers. Here we are in Southern California, in mid-October, and it is not only still hot during the days but the nights are uncomfortably warm as well. What can we say? We’re fan people, we love it!
CEILING FANS WITH LIGHTS: A TRIPLE THREAT
One of the most important questions to ask yourself when considering a ceiling fan is your need for lighting.This may be counter-intuitive, but fans not only have a cooling or warming effect on your environment, they can illuminate it too. As you research your options, you will find ceiling fans with integrated light kits, ceiling fans without light kits and some that are light kit adaptable. Ceiling fans with integrated light kits often have the lowest profile and have the shortest hanging distance, which makes them perfect for a standard eight foot ceiling. Some of the best selling ceiling fans with integrated light kits are the Casablanca Stealth, Casablanca Stealth DC, Minka Aire Concept II and Traditional Concept series, Emerson Midway Eco, Emerson Curva Sky and the Fanimation Inlet. If you are in the market for a larger ceiling fan with an integrated light kit, for great rooms and similar large spaces, check out the Chloe by Monte Carlo.
Convert Your Ceiling Fan to a Fan with Lights
Most ceiling fans are light kit adaptable and often times you will find scores of lighting kit options to coordinate with your fans. Quite a few of our showroom shoppers prefer to purchase a fan that is light kit adaptable, specifically because they can compliment the style of the fan with a custom light kit. If you purchased a fan and did not purchase a light kit, but wish you had, don’t worry. Chances are that you can add one to your fan. If you have grown tired of the same old light kit, or are looking to spruce up your existing fan, a new light kit can do the trick. Whether online or in our showrooms, our ceiling fan specialists will help you determine which light kits are compatible and ensure you make the perfect choice for your needs. Call our specialists at 800-240-6267 or visit one our ceiling fan showrooms to find out more about ceiling fans with lights.
Some interior decorators smile as they recount stories of homeowners timidly expressing their desire to install ceiling fans in their homes. They expect the suggestion to get shot down immediately because there has long been the assumption that interior decorators hate ceiling fans. Not true! Most interior decorators recognize that, just like there is good lighting and bad lighting, there are bad ceiling fans and today, some pretty amazing ceiling fans!
Ceiling fan options available these days seem virtually endless.
There are models with DC motors (energy-savers), outdoor, wet-rated, flush mount, standard mount, Victorian, modern, themed, shiny metals, brushed metals, fans with an array of lighting fixtures, fans in just about any style or color you can imagine.
SPECIALTY STORE V. "BIG BOX" FOR BUYING A CEILING FAN
When you are looking to find a ceiling fan that will add style to a room,
the first thing you should do is look for a store that specializes in ceiling fans. Sure, Lowe's, Home Depot and other "big box" stores carry ceiling fans, but the variety of styles is severely limited. In a ceiling fan store like Fan Diego, not only are you presented with any array of options to customize your perfect fan, but our energy-saving experts can consult with you to determine what type of fan and parts will be the most efficient for your space, thus saving you money on utility bills.
One important detail that ceiling fan shoppers are rarely aware of is that you can't buy replacement parts for the big box brands like Hampton Bay. With a quality fan like Casablanca or Minka Aire, not only are you less likely to have any issues, but if you do, parts are readily available and our experts can help you determine exactly what you need. In many cases, they can identify a quick fix and save you from buying unnecessary parts.
TIME TO UPDATE YOUR CEILING FAN
Do your ceiling fans with lights sport a not-so-swanky shiny brass or have plastic globes?
It's definitely time to shop for something more suitable for the 21st century! Whether your style is contemporary, minimalist, kitschy or traditional, there is a fan for you. With all of the options for finishes, blades, rods and light kits, you can be picky. Just find one that works with your furniture.
CEILING FANS FOR SPECIFIC PLACES
The photo above is referred to as a dual rotational ceiling fan.
This type of fan is a great way to get vintage-industrial style and keep yourself cool. Dual rotational fans make an impact and stir up nostalgia, and they are perfect for mixing with other design aesthetics.
Often the issue that designers have with ceiling fans is that they're installed in rooms with low ceilings and small dimensions.
In these circumstances, a ceiling fan tends to swallow the space. Generally, the key has been to use them in open, airy spaces. But now, manufacturers are making smaller models for more intimate spaces, even bathroom fans. For a room with a lower ceiling, you should consider using a flush mount fan.
Ceiling fans can function as accessories or art.
In tropical spaces, consider islander-style fans or palm fans. With a banana leaf look, these fans bring natural elements of the outdoors inside. Patios and sun rooms showcase this style the best. With islander or palm leaf fans you may want to go without a light kit, to retain a more authentic feel.
Consider painted ceiling fan blades.
They can mesh well in classic and sophisticated rooms. If your ceiling has a decorative, architectural treatment, a contrasting fan will stand out and make a statement. If you don't want to steal attention from the ceiling, stick with a model that has a similar finish to your ceiling.
Contemporary fans can be game changers.
For example, putting a stainless or pewter ceiling fan in a white or gray room can tie the space together without taking over.
Still not sure where to start? Fan Diego can customize ceiling fans to match any decor. We are unique in that Fan Diego offers fans that can be customized with unique blade styles and motor finishes. Check out our website, visit our showrooms or call one of our experts at 800-240-6267 for help.
At Fan Diego, we only recommend and refer licensed, insured and bonded contractors and tradesmen. Homeowners often underestimate the level of technical know-how that is needed to install a ceiling fan properly. If a fan is not installed properly, it will likely have balance issues in the near future, causing a multitude of annoying noises. In some cases, improper installation will result in less than efficient performance, causing the homeowner to spend more on utility bills or even incur additional charges to have it properly installed. We have dealt with handymen that are competent, honest and hard working; and we have met some that are not. The biggest reason we do not recommend them is because they are typically not licensed in a trade (if so, they would call themselves an electrician, contractor, plumber, etc.). The customer has no way of knowing if they are insured and a handyman is definitely not bonded.
USE A LICENSED, INSURED & BONDED CONTRACTORS FOR CEILING FAN INSTALLATION
A tradesperson that Fan Diego would recommend or refer is going to be licensed, insured and bonded. A tradesman or contractor that is licensed has shown that he has the necessary skills and expertise and has followed through with the process to earn his license. By earning his license, he has shown himself to be competent in his craft, as determined by the standards establish in your state.
It is also important that the tradesman you hire is insured and bonded. Any contractor Fan Diego recommends must have both. Period. Most tradespeople or contractors will advertise that they are licensed, bonded and insured. Insured means that the contractor maintains, at minimum, general liability insurance. Bonded means that they have a surety bond registered with the state or jurisdiction that holds their license. This bond guarantees that if they sign a contract and accept a deposit from a homeowner, but fail to complete the work, the homeowner can then apply to the state or jurisdiction for reimbursement. The bonding company pays out up to the amount of the bond and then collects its reimbursement from the contractor.
CROSSING BORDERS FOR CEILING FAN INSTALLATION
Our name, Fan Diego makes our physical location pretty obvious. Our ceiling fan stores are located in southern California, especially around San Diego County. We are close to the Mexico border, where oftentimes consumers try to save a few bucks and hire a handyman from across the border. We’ve pointed out the importance of working with someone that is licensed, insured and bonded in your home’s jurisdiction, which are requirements not met in this scenario. However, there is another obstacle that homeowners often fail to consider. Handymen hired in this manner often don’t speak English. As mentioned, there is a lot that goes in to installing a ceiling fan, especially one with lighting or other unique features. Instructions are often in English only and additional support is often needed regardless of the instruction language.
At Fan Diego, we are always happy to help and provide post-purchase support. Although we do have Spanish speakers on staff, they may not be as readily available. If your installer calls for support and he doesn’t speak English, there may be an additional, unnecessary obstacle.
YOUR CEILING FAN – AFTER YOU’VE PURCHASED
Fan Diego takes much pride in our service after the sale. We start by recommending only the best licensed, insured and bonded professionals to handle your install when needed.
For more information on the types of contractors that may be needed for your ceiling fan installation, email us at info @ fandiego.com or give us a call 858-292-9244.