Home Home Improvement The Ultimate Ceiling Fan Buying Guide
Home Improvement

The Ultimate Ceiling Fan Buying Guide

ceiling fan buying guide

When the weather is warmer, the last thing you want is a malfunctioning fan. Not only is this an inconvenience it also makes your home an uncomfortable environment to live in. If you turn on your fan and you realize it’s not working, you might be in the market for a new fan. But how do you choose the best ceiling fan for your home?  Below is a comprehensive ceiling fan buying guide to help you:

The Type of Ceiling Fan Control

Most ceiling fans are mounted on a ceiling box where there was a light fixture before. The light fixture’s switch is replaced with the ceiling fan control to help you manage the fan’s rotational speed. The control can also help you switch the lights on and off if the fan also comes with lights.

When choosing a ceiling fan for your home, ensure that the control has a capacitor design. It should also come from the same manufacturer as the ceiling fan to avoid the hum and buzz sounds created by fans.

On the other hand, some fans aren’t regulated by a box control or a wall switch. They may have a pull chain or remote control to turn it on and off. The type of control you choose depends on the brand you prefer.

Some ceiling fan remote controllers are often sophisticated, featuring programmable fan and light settings. Such remote controls may also automatically adjust the fan’s speed and level of lighting depending on your room’s temperature. Likewise, they may also turn off the lighting if your fan runs in an irregular sequence, especially when you are not home.

The Size of the Blade

All fans aren’t created the same. Some have three blades, while others have four or five. However, the traditional number of blades on a fan is four. This number will not impact your fan’s cooling power and performance in most cases.

Some people believe that the more the blades, the less effective the fan is because there is less space between the blades for air to circulate. However, this is yet to be proven.

The number of blades will affect the cost of the fan. Typically, fans with the most blades tend to be more costly than those with lesser blades.

Blades often come in different lengths. They are measured based on the sweep they produce. Fans come in 60, 52, 20, 46, 44, 42, and 30 inches blades, and most fan manufacturers only make two or three different blade lengths.

The longer the blade, the more air it will move. Therefore, short-blade fans may not perform as well as those with longer blades. Keep this in mind when looking for a new ceiling fan for your house.

The Fan Blade’s Material

Ceiling fan blades are created from different materials and come in various finishes to fit your home’s aesthetics. For example, painted and natural wood blades are made from cross-laminated veneers such as plywood, solid wood, or constant-density wood. Ceiling fans material finishes include:

  • High luster
  • Different colors
  • Rosewood
  • Faux granite
  • Natural wood
  • White
  • Oak
  • Cherry
  • Walnut
  • Bleached oak
  • Blurred camphor
  • White or black paint

Different ceiling fans may also come with a reversible finish. For instance, you may get a fan with a painted white finish on one side, and blurred camphor looks on the other. All you need to do is turn the blades on the other side to transform the fan’s look.

This is an excellent choice as it helps you marry the current seasonal décor of your home with the fan’s appearance. Some fan blades are also made from smoked or clear acrylic.

Locating and Sizing a Ceiling Fan

There are numerous rules for sizing and locating your new ceiling fan. For instance, if your room is 400-square feet, you can use a 52-inch fan. On the other hand, a 255 square-foot room should have a 44-inch fan, and a 144 square-foot room should have a 42-inch blade fan.

If a room is larger than 18-feet, it’s advisable to install two medium-sized fans. If possible, you can place the fan at the center of the room where your family and friends gather. Remember to keep the blade tips 24 inches away from sloping ceilings or walls.

If you mount your fan too close to the wall, it will likely produce a ‘cavitational effect.’ This means it will move less air, failing to cool the room effectively. However, you can opt for low-profile, surface-mounted walls designed to circulate more air if you must place the fan near a wall.

The ceiling height is also another primary consideration when installing a fan. Even the best ceiling fans will not effectively cool your home if installed very high up. If your ceiling’s height is more than 8 feet, ensure you use a drop rod to hold the fan so that it’s lower and more effective.

The distance your fan should hang from your home’s ceiling depends on the height of the ceiling. A thumb rule to remember is that your fan should never hang lower than 7 feet from your floors.

When installing your fan, remember to check its support. A fan’s centrifugal motion and heavyweight will strain weak mounts and hangers.

For this reason, you should mount your fan to a conventional ceiling light fixture box that’s securely placed on the home’s frame. You can also use hooks, special fan hangers, and metal crossbars to attach the fan and secure it.

The Quality of the Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans vary in price based on the quality and the material. You can find a fan for as little as $39 up to hundreds of dollars. Unfortunately, most high-quality fans are costly but come with several traits you’re less likely to find in cheaper fans.

One such trait is that they move air more effectively and are very quiet when circulating. High-quality fans are also made from good quality materials, have well-designed parts, and come in different attractive finishes to fit your aesthetics. The fan’s motor also runs at different speeds and is backed by a long-term warranty- usually ten years.

Today, most manufacturers and retailers rate fans based on how much air they move. The ratings are measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). However, such ratings aren’t relevant to buyers because they aren’t universal.

Likewise, it’s very rare for buyers to use the fans at full speed. The amount of air a fan can move is attributed to factors such as the blades’ length, number, and pitch. Another major factor is the fan’s distance from the floor and their revolutions per minute (RPMs).

Quality of the Motor

Weaker fan motors often spin short blades more quickly when the blades are at a minimum pitch of ten degrees. However, a fan with a weak motor is more likely to be noisier and less effective than one with a strong motor and longer blades about 14-degree pitch.

Most inexpensive fans are often sold through mass merchandisers, and their motors are made in china. Such fans have proven to be ineffective and unreliable. They also lack essential factors in their design and construction.

If you purchase a low-end fan, you may notice that they hum and wobble even when operating at lower speeds. Ensure you buy a ceiling fan with a motor with sealed bearings that requires no lubrication. Such high-quality fans will give you great functionality and run silently for more than ten years.

When in the market for a new fan, keep in mind that the only way to measure the quality of a motor is the manufacturer’s warranty and reputation. Ensure that the motor is listed by Underwriters Laboratories or a similar testing agency.

Fan Mounting Options

Are you handling a home renovation project, and you’re looking for the right fan (such as a tropical option) for your home vacation? If so, you should consider the mounting options available.  The two most common fan mounting options include flush mounting and down-rod mounting.

Flush mounting is great for rooms with a low-hanging ceiling. It’s also a great option if you want a low-profile fan. These fans are mounted flush to your ceiling with little to no additional attachment.

On the other hand, down-rod mounting is best for rooms with high ceilings, often 8 feet and taller. Fans mounted using the down-rod option feature a slender but strong pole that helps lower the fan to optimal height. Before buying any fan, ensure you check whether it also comes with a down rod and note its size.

If your ceiling is too high, you may require a taller down rod provided by the fan manufacturer. Ensure you measure your ceiling height and find the appropriate down-rod for your fan.

Are You Satisfied With the Above Ceiling Fan Buying Guide?

The primary purpose of any ceiling fan is to circulate air in your home. For this reason, it’s essential to purchase the right fan for your home. Thankfully, our ceiling fan buying guide above will help make the buying process easier.

For more information on other home improvement projects, check out other posts on our site for guidance.

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