Archive for February, 2010

How to Buy a Ceiling Fan: Part One

Friday, February 19th, 2010

When buying a ceiling fan for your home there are several things that you need to determine before buying the right ceiling fan for each room in your home.

What is the Ceiling Height of the Room?

Knowing the ceiling height of the room a ceiling fan will be installed in will help you determine if you need a low profile ceiling fan (also known as hugger fan) or a ceiling fan with a downrod. According to American Lighting Association a ceiling fan should be placed higher than 7 feet from the floor. If your ceiling is under 8 feet from the floor you will probably need a hugger ceiling fan or you can use a low ceiling adapter on a regular ceiling fan.

With higher ceilings you will want to lower your fan with a downrod to make air circulation more effective in Summer and Winter. The chart below from Casablanca Fan Company FAQs shows the length of the downrod that you need for the height of your ceiling.

ceiling height downrod length chart

Is the Ceiling Fan going to be Installed Indoors or Outdoors?

Probably the most important factor when buying a ceiling fan is determining where the fan is going to be installed. If the fan is going to be installed in a room where there will be moisture, like a kitchen or bathroom, then it is best if you buy a UL Damp rated ceiling fan. If you install an indoor ceiling fan in a room that gets a lot of moisture the the wood blades will warp over a period of time and then the ceiling fan would start to wobble.

If the Ceiling Fan is going to be installed outside then look for an Outdoor Fan that has the proper UL rating. There are two Outdoor Ceiling Fan Ratings, UL Wet and UL Damp. Outdoor Fans can also be installed indoors but it is not wise to install an indoor ceiling fan outside. Check out How to Choose an Outdoor Ceiling Fan for other factors when shopping for an outside fan.

What is the Size of the Room?

The blade span of a fan should be proportional to the size of the room to receive the maximum air movement. The blade span should be determined by what size room it will be installed in. Below is a suggested estimated size chart.

  • 16-40 sq. feet = 24″ to 32″ Blade Span
  • 40-70 sq. feet = 34″ to 40″ Blade Span
  • 75-100 sq. feet = 40″ to 42″ Blade Span
  • 100-140 sq. feet = 42″ to 48″ Blade Span
  • 140-200 sq. feet = 48″ to 52″ Blade Span
  • 200-260 sq. feet = 52″ to 54″ Blade Span
  • 260-300 sq. feet = 54″ to 58″ Blade Span
  • 300-380 sq. feet = 58″ to 62″ Blade Span
  • 380-450 sq. feet = 62″ to 72″ Blade Span

If you have a larger room that is over 300 sq. feet and more long than wide, having two smaller ceilings fans can distribute the air circulation more evenly than a large ceiling fan in the middle.

Check out Del Mar Designs Ceiling Fan Size Guide for more helpful information when determining the right ceiling fan for your room size.

Do you have a Sloped or Pitched Ceiling?

If you have a sloped or pitched ceiling you need to determine the degree of the angle to know if you need a sloped ceiling adapter kit when buying a ceiling fan. Most ceiling fans come with the ability to hang up to 29 degrees with the standard ball joint mounting system. Hugger fans can’t be installed on a sloped or pitched ceiling.

To figure the slope of your ceiling use a Rise over Run Calculator.

How to buy a Ceiling Fan: Part 2

How to buy a Ceiling Fan: Part 3

What do you look for when choosing a ceiling fan for your home?

How to Choose an Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

On a hot Summer day an outdoor ceiling fan can create a lovely breeze to help you cool off so you can enjoy being outside. When shopping for an outdoor ceiling fan there are a few things that you need to keep in mind to help you find the perfect fan for your outdoor living areas.

What’s makes an outdoor ceiling fan so durable?

Outdoor ceiling fans are built to withstand the outdoor elements. The motor casing on an outdoor ceiling fan has a waterproof seal protecting the motor from moisture and the fan blades are made with ABS plastic.ABS stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene and is also known in the ceiling fan industry as All-weather Blade system. ABS plastic fan blades are designed to endure rain, snow, humidity, etc. Wood blades are not an option on outdoor ceiling fans due to the fact that they would retain water and become weak then warp which would cause the fan to wobble.

Where is the outdoor ceiling fan going to be installed?

This is a very important thing to keep in mind when choosing an outdoor ceiling fan. All outdoor ceiling fans should have an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Damp rating or an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Wet rating. Depending on where the outdoor ceiling fan is going to be installed depends on what rating you need.

UL damp rated outdoor ceiling fans should only be installed in covered locations so there is no direct contact with the elements.

UL wet rated outdoor ceiling fans can be installed in open outdoor areas that are exposed to the rain and other outdoor elements. Outdoor ceiling fans that are UL Wet rated can be directly exposed to a heavy down poor and still work just fine. This makes them a breeze to clean also. Just take your water hose and rinse the blades clean without worrying if your going to hurt the motor. I don’t know about you but I dread having to clean my ceiling fans, so with an UL Wet outdoor ceiling fan on my patio cleaning the fan is a so easy and doesn’t take a lot of time.

Do you live near the Ocean?

If you live close to the ocean you should only buy UL Wet rated outdoor ceiling fans. When you live near the ocean everything outside is affected by the salt water. Even if you are going to install the outdoor fan in a covered patio you still need a UL wet rated fan due to the corrosion caused by the salt water. UL wet rated outdoor ceiling fans last longer due to their durability to outdoor elements. You should also wash off your outdoor ceiling fan more often when you live close to the ocean to prevent salt water corrosion.

Other things to think about..

The higher quality outdoor ceiling fans have larger motors that will help you cool off a lot more in the Summer and can also keep bugs away. That’s a big plus for me since misquitoes are all over in Florida in the Summer.

Outdoor ceiling fans can also be placed Indoors. That is why outdoor ceiling fans are also known as indoor outdoor ceiling fans. However an indoor ceiling fan should never be installed outside. If you install an indoor fan outside it can result in warped blades, a fire, shock, rust and will shorten the life of the product. UL damp rated outdoor ceiling fans are great for kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms also.

Outdoor fans come in very decorative styles now so you can compliment your current outdoor décor or transform your outdoor space into a tropical paradise. Outdoor ceiling fan blades come in many styles from sail cloth material to carved leafed blades.

What has been your experience with outdoor ceiling fans?

What’s your favorite outdoor ceiling fan?

I found this video from Ask the Decorator that covers how to pick an outdoor ceiling fan. Enjoy!



Also Check out our post of The Top 10 Outdoor Ceiling Fans + 1 Bonus!

Ceiling Fan Direction

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Ceiling fans are an inexpensive way to add comfort to your home throughout the year. By operating ceiling fans properly you can cool off or warm up your home and save money at the same time by cutting down the use of air conditioning and heating units.

Ceiling Fan Direction in Summer – Foward / Counter Clockwise

ceiling fan direction for summer

image via Emerson

On hot sticky summer days nothing can beat the breeze you feel from a ceiling fan. (Trust me I should know I live in Florida) A ceiling fan’s direction in the summer should be rotating counter clockwise or forward to produce a Wind Chill effect by the downward airflow. The thermostat won’t actually change but the room will seem several degrees cooler due to the wind chill factor. You can save on air conditioning bills by placing ceiling fans throughout your home.  According to Casablanca Fan Company when you are using a ceiling fan you can then “raise the thermostat setting, resulting in reduced air conditioning energy consumption of 40% or more” while still keeping your room cool.

Ceiling Fan Direction in Winter – Reverse / Clockwise

ceiling fan direction for Winter

image via Emerson

Ceiling fans are commonly linked with warm weather therefore many people don’t realize that ceiling fans can also help warm up a room in the winter months. The ceiling fan direction in winter should be rotating clockwise or reverse. Warm air rises and gets trapped near the ceiling so when the ceiling fan direction is in reverse mode it circulates the warm air from the ceiling to the floor helping take the chill out of the air. Without a ceiling Fan the warm air would continue to be trapped near the ceiling and the floor level would continue to stay cold. The reverse mode only works if the fan is on low. If you have the fan on a higher speed you will create a wind chill effect that you don’t want since it is already cold. Some ceiling fans now come with a wall or remote control that has a forward/reverse option so you can change the direction of the Fan with a push of a button.

Exceptions for Ceiling Fan Directions

There are some exceptions that you should keep in mind when it comes to ceiling fan direction.  If your ceiling fan is installed in a room with a high ceiling you still put the ceiling fan direction on clockwise or reverse motion in the winter although you should put the speed on medium or high. With higher ceilings it takes more than low speed to help re-circulate the warm air down to floor level.

Also if you have a ceiling fan directly over a dining room table or a desk you should have the ceiling fan direction rotating clockwise/reverse on a higher speed. By having the ceiling fan direction in reverse on a higher speed you will still get the wind chill effect that helps cool you off but will save you from a cold dinner or papers flying all over the place.

I hope this information helps you add comfort to you home year round. Don’t forget ceiling fans are a great way to help save money on utility bills without suffering in the Summer & Winter months.  Check out Energy Star’s Ceiling Fan Usage Tips on how to help save energy with ceiling fans.