How to Choose the Right Ceiling Fan
Ask these questions before choosing a ceiling fan for your home
The size of the room would determine how big your ceiling fan should be. Fan size is measured by its diameter (blade span), which should be proportional to the space. A fan that’s too small for a room might not stir up enough air and one that’s too big could create a mini hurricane of sorts.
A general rule is that for a room with an area of up to 7 square metres (75 square feet), the fan size should be a maximum of 91 centimetres; 107 centimetres for rooms up to 9.3 square metres(100 square feet), 132 centimetres for rooms up to 21 square metres (225 square feet).
Tip: Keep in mind that if the room is very large, you might want to consider using two fans instead of one. Ensure a clearance of 46 to 60 centimetres of space on all sides.
Pro Tip: The smaller the fan, the more forceful the airflow you feel below; the bigger the fan, the more it will feel like a gentle breeze.
A fan needs to be suspended 2.4 to 2.7 metres off the ground for optimum air circulation. Do consider the size of the room before deciding on the type of fan – either a hugger fan or a fan with a downrod. Hugger fans, true to their name, hug the ceiling and are meant for low ceilings. Ideal for rooms with ceilings at least 2.4 metres high, they are mounted flush to the ceiling with no extra attachments. A space of 30 centimetres is the minimum required between ceiling and fan.
Tip: Choosing the right height is important. Remember, the job of a ceiling fan is not to cool but to create a pleasant breeze. So, if it’s positioned too high, you won’t feel the airflow.
More is not merrier in this case. The number of blades a fan has is more an element of design than functionality. There is little difference between the performance of a three-, four- or five-bladed fan, so choose one based on preference and style.
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Tip: Remember, the number of blades does not affect performance, but it does affect cost. The more the blades, the higher the cost.
Blades can be metal (stainless steel or aluminium), wood (timber, plywood or MDF) or PVC or plastic. There’s no difference in performance, so feel free to choose one that complements your sense of style, but ensure it’s of good quality. A high-quality finish will resist corrosion, blistering and fading. A good metal finish will not need polishing for several years and good-quality plastic finishes will stay thick and durable for many years.
The motor is the key component and the one that propels the fan, so yes, it’s an important factor to consider. Low-quality motors might provide reduced air circulation over time, produce heat and operate noisily.
The newest addition to the ceiling fan industry, DC motors are powerful yet energy-saving. They are up to 70 per cent more efficient than the regular motors. In addition, they are virtually soundless and their small size results in lighter fans.
Yes, you absolutely can. Apart from hugger fans, most fan canopies (the part that attaches to the ceiling) can be fixed on a slope of up to 30 degrees. If the slope is more than 30 degrees, an angled mounting kit will be required. In either case, use an additional downrod if required, to ensure enough blade clearance from the ceiling.
Many modern styles of fans come with built-in lights or offer a compatible solution. Fans with lights are a great option for overhead ambient illumination, albeit ones that may need to be supplemented with other light fixtures.
Tip: Use LED bulbs for maximum energy saving and long life, especially on fans installed on high ceilings – you won’t have to get up on a ladder to change your bulb for a long, long time.
In tropical climates such as ours, we need fans as much outside in patios and verandahs as inside. For the outdoors, choose fans that are damp- or wet-location approved. When installed outside, their use is two-fold: they serve as much to cool as to keep insects away.
Tip: Outdoor ceiling fans can be used inside but not vice-versa. They come with protective coverings to prevent corrosion from moisture, which the indoor ones do not possess.
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The same as the ones you use for the outdoors in the covered patio; that is, they should be listed for damp locations. Bathroom ceiling fans start at 74-centimetre blade spans, since smaller spaces require less air circulation.
Do you have other tips to share with us? We would love to hear from you in the Comments section below.