Jonathan Z. Kremer
During the past 10 years ceiling fans have become more technologically advanced,
providing cooling in the summer months, and help move the heat around in the
cold winter months. While using the amount of energy equal to a 100 watt light
bulb, ceiling fans can reduce your electrical bill by about 40% in the summer.
The Right Fan For The
There are a few things you should take notice of even before going out to pick a
The size of the room and ceiling height are important factors to take into
consideration for maximum efficiency. In a room up to 9 square meters, you'll
need a 30-36" fan. Medium sized rooms up to about 13 square meters can fit
ceiling fans requires 42" fans. The larger bedrooms and family rooms around
20-34 square meters require 54" fans.
Optimal height for the ceiling fan is around 250 cm. from the floor. If your
ceiling is low (220 cm or less), you'll need a low-profile or ceiling hugger
fan. These models provide
a little less air movement when compared to the regular "rod" or "stem" type
fans, but are still very helpful with circulation. On very high ceilings,
downrods can be used to bring the cooling action into the living space of
the room. Sloped ceilings require a special angled mount. For safety, all
blades must be at least 213 cm above the floor.
"Ceiling Hugger" Type Fan
It is extremely important that the ceiling where your fan will be
installed is strong enough to hold the fan. Ceiling fans can be quite heavy,
and the moving fan blades add even more strain to the mount.
"Rod" or "Stem" Type Fan
Not Just A Matter Of
Fans come in many styles, from antique to modern chic. Motor housings come in
brass, steel, nickel, iron, and many other materials and colors. Blades are made
from metal, wood, plastic, palm and bamboo. Reversible blades offer a choice
between two different looks. But looks aren't everything.
Inexpensive fans will look good when they are new, but in time they will start
to warp, become off-balance, make lots of noise, and wear out quickly.
The blades of a ceiling fan should be sealed and treated to resist humidity. The
number of blades will make a difference in air flow. More blades will provide
more air movement at lower speeds, which means less noise. Normal blade pitch
(angle) is 8 to 15 degrees. The larger the pitch, the more air it will move. As
the pitch or blade surface increases, the motor size must be increased or the
RPMs of the motor will drop. A fan with less than a 12 degree pitch will not
circulate air as well and be less efficient.
The motor is responsible for producing quiet operation while driving the blades
for air movement. Cheaper fans will most likely have an outer covering over the
motor 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 go by.
Look for high-quality motors with heavy-duty windings and sealed bearings that
are permanently lubricated. Smaller, less powerful motors found on lower quality
fans are usually noisy, deliver lower air circulation, and operate at a higher
temperature. Quality motors are designed to work flawlessly for long periods of
time and have a longer life span.
Other Things To
Of course there are a few other things to consider when buying a ceiling fan.
What sort of lighting will be used in the room with the ceiling fan? Ceiling
fans usually replace existing light fixtures, therefore many will look for fans
with built-in lighting. Many fans come with built-in lights, while others have
add-ons or special customized and decorative light kits.
Dimmers are another option. A dimmer switch adjusts the amount of lighting to
fit the mood of the moment.
One can choose to have programmable controls which can automatically adjust fan
speed to compensate for cooler night air, or can turn off lights and the fan
after a certain number of hours.
There are also remote controls that can control both the fan and the lighting
from the comfort of your bed or couch.
One must be very careful when reading the warranties on ceiling fans. Warranties
can range anywhere from one year to a lifetime. It's very important to read
exactly what the warranty covers. Many will give a lifetime warranty on the
motor alone, while the rest of the fan will have only a one year warranty. Make
sure you know what you are getting.
Unless you have experience in installing ceiling fans, it's best to have a
licensed electrician do the installation. He will be able to determine if the
ceiling is strong enough to support the fan, and make any electrical changes
that may be needed for the fan to work the way you want it.
By paying attention to quality, performance, and design, your ceiling fan can
provide you with many years of comfort, beauty, and enjoyment.
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