Everything You Need To Know Before You Buy A Ceiling Fan
Confused about ceiling fans? We have the answers!
If you're replacing an existing ceiling fan you probably already have a few ideas in mind, but you're still going to be boggled by the selection you'll find these days.
Long gone are the bland, boring monstrosities that all those home makeover reality show hosts liked to tear down as soon as they entered your home. Now you'll find elegant ceiling fans to compliment any decor.
If this is your first ceiling fan purchase then you're going to be even more amazed at the dazzling array of styles and options. You'll find natural materials like premium woods and palm fronds, and housings in every conceivable finish.
But aside from the eye-appeal you're going to have questions like how to determine the size you need, do you need a downrod, can you install a ceiling fan in the bathroom, and what about the nursery.
We'll address all your questions - and probably some you didn't even think of. Here's everything you need to know before you buy your new ceiling fan.
What Size Ceiling Fan Do You Need?
Many people are tempted to buy a larger ceiling fan than they actually need. But when it comes to ceiling fans - size definitely matters.
If you install a fan that's too large for your room it's counterproductive. A larger fan moves a larger capacity of air. If it's too much air for the room it just bounces off the walls and back onto itself. The air literally stops moving if you're using a fan that's too large.
For more information on how ceiling fans work and how they can help you save money, read our article about how to reduce your energy bills with a ceiling fan.
That said, how do you know what size fan to buy?
Ideally, the fan blades should be no closer than 2 feet to any wall. This will allow plenty of room for the air to circulate. Here's a few guidelines to help:
To get optimum results the blades of your fan should be 7 to 8 feet from the floor and at least 2 feet from the ceiling.
For rooms with extremely high or vaulted ceilings, purchase a ceiling fan downrod which allow you to bring the fan closer to the floor.
For rooms with low ceilings look for ceiling fans with a flush mount. These fit close to the ceiling but they do have one drawback. The fact that the blades are so close to the ceiling means you'll have less airflow. Imagine the effect you'll get if you place a box fan up next to the wall. That's what happens with a flush mount ceiling fan. There's still some air movement, but it not as effective.
Caution: If you're going to add a light fixture to your fan remember to include its height in your calculations.
What features should you look for?
Ceiling fans aren't complicated. There's a motor and some fan blades and that's about it. But there are some features you should look for to ensure a long, trouble free fan-life.
Bearings: Look for a fan that has large bearings for quieter operation. Also, look for bearings that have already been oiled and they're permanently sealed in the housing. This means they won't gather dust and grime and you'll never have to take the fan apart to oil squeaky bearings.
Blade pitch: The ideal fan pitch is 14 degrees. Look for a range of 12 to 16 degrees.
Number of blades: You'll find fans for smaller rooms with only 2 blades and you'll find fans for larger rooms with 7 or 8. Four to five blades is all you really need, but be careful. If you switch out your blades make sure they're not too large for your motor. Larger blades create more wind resistance. If the motor has to work harder it won't last as long and it may cost you more to operate the fan.
Natural materials: You'll find many beautiful, high-quality fans with blades made of natural materials, like real palm fronds, unfinished woods, cork, bamboo, and canvas. These materials are not water resistant and they'll absorb moisture from the air. Don't use in high-humidity conditions because they'll warp quickly and you'll have a squeaky, wobbly fan on your hands.
Remote controls: There are fans with built-in remote controls and then there are remote control units you can buy individually and install in any fan. We recommend the stand-alone unit. If you purchase a fan with a built-in remote control and something goes wrong with it, you either have to do without or you have to replace the entire fan.
Blades: Before you begin installing your fan, check all the blades to make sure none are warped or bent, and they're all the same size and weight. Wobbling and squeaky are most often caused by warped or out-of-balance blades.
Blade holders: Check the blade holders to make sure they're made of a sturdy metal, and they should be balanced, too.
Lifetime warranty: Most quality manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on the motor.
All hardware included: There are so many high-quality fans on the market. Don't buy one that doesn't provide installation instructions and all the hardware you'll need.
Where can you use a ceiling fan? Anywhere!
Bathrooms: A ceiling fan will help circulate air in the bathroom just like it does any other room in your home. Use your ventilation fan to remove humidity, moisture and odors, and use a ceiling fan to cool or warm the air. Choose a fan that has a "Damp" rating. It'll be resistant to humidity so you won't have a warping problem.
Kids' rooms and nurseries: Some experts suggest that using a ceiling fan above the crib in the nursery can help prevent SIDS. Other experts suggest that the white noise they create can help children sleep better. Don't install a ceiling fan directly above furniture that a child can climb on to reach the fan.
Kitchen: Ceiling fans are ideal for kitchen use. Your ventilation fan will remove odors, heat and humidity and the ceiling fan will help circulate the air. Look for blades and finishes that are easy to clean. Depending on how steamy your kitchen gets you may also want to look for a "Damp" rating.
Covered decks and patios: Want to extend you summer? Install a "Damp" rated ceiling fan on covered decks and patios.
Uncovered decks and patios: If your patio and deck are completely exposed you can use a fan with a "Wet" rating. Everything is completely sealed and weather-proof.
Great rooms: For very large rooms don't try to find one single fan that can do the job. Instead, install several fans over high-traffic areas.
For more great ideas about using ceiling fans throughout your home, visit our website, www.freshenupyourhome.com