Tips for Selecting the Perfect Indoor Ceiling Fan
You may have already chosen an outdoor ceiling fan to keep your porch cooler, but if you live in an area with lengthy warm weather seasons, ceiling fans inside the home help keep the sweltering heat at bay without having to use the air conditioning - or at least to supplement it.
Indoor ceiling fans have evolved from the old-school noisy, pull-chain operated fans. Today, there are plenty of silent, stylish, and wobble-free, easy-to-control models that offer aesthetic appeal and temperature control. Here are some tips for selecting the best ceiling fans.
How to Choose an Indoor Ceiling Fan
With dizzying ceiling fan choices, you will want to settle on the ideal one for your indoor space. Here are a few factors to help you determine what you need:
Type of Fan Motor
Fans usually have AC motors or DC motors. DC means direct current and AC means alternating current. AC motors usually are less expensive than DC motors, have good energy efficiency and 3-4 speeds, but DC motors are more efficient than AC motors and commonly have 6 speeds.
Different fan sizes determine where they fit best. Experts divide ceiling fan sizes according to room size, or square footage, and provide these categories:
- Up to 75 square feet. Choose a ceiling fan measuring 36 inches or smaller
- 75 to 144 square feet. Choose a 36 to 42 inches
- 144 to 225 square feet. Go for large fans –measuring 44 to 50 inches
- 225 to 400 square feet. Choose 50 to 54-inch fans
Alternatively, use the traditional guide: the larger the room, the larger the ceiling fan. Or, think about typical room sizes according to use. Small rooms like laundry rooms, walk-in closets, hallways, or home offices need the smallest fans.
Large rooms like living rooms, dining rooms, master bedrooms, and kitchens need a large ceiling fan –between 36 and 50-inch fans. Lastly, an extra-large or great room –like you'd find in an open-concept home- works with fans at least 50 inches in size.
The size of a fan is also determined by its blades. The diameter of the circle their spinning blades create is called their sweep or the blade span.
Here's a formula for measuring your ceiling fan size: If a fan has an even number of blades, measure its diameter to determine its sweep. For a ceiling fan with an odd number of blades, measure from the center of the fan to the end of a blade, and multiply by two.
It's easy to think the more blades you have, the better the air circulation. But that's not always the case. Blade count is more of an aesthetic factor than a measure of a fan's ability to move air. In fact, more blades can even contribute to drag, but the difference in airflow is minimal.
Air movement is determined by how steep the fan's pitch - the angle of the fan's blades - is. The American Lighting Association recommends a 12- to 15-degree blade pitch for optimum air movement. The steeper the pitch, the more air the fan can move.
Air volume movement is measured in cubic meters per minute or cubic feet per minute (cfm). The air volume flow produced relative to the watts consumed gives a ratio expressed as cubic meters per hour per watt that also measures its energy efficiency.
Ceiling Height and Type
As a rule, when it comes to fan installation, a fan shouldn't be lower than 7 feet above the floor for safety and to create comfortable headroom. Also, fans work best when hanging 8 to 9 feet above the ground and at least 12 to 18 inches from the nearest wall. Additionally, choose these fan features for the following ceilings:
- Low Ceilings. If your ceiling is less than 8 feet tall, use a flush-mount (or hugger) ceiling fan. Flush mounts have a low profile and hug the ceiling or dangle just a few inches from it.
- Standard-height ceilings. For ceilings located 8 to 9 feet tall, choose the standard 3- to 5-inch long downrod. A downrod is the pipe that connects the ceiling fan to the ceiling mounting and comes with the fan.
- High Ceilings. If you have lots of headroom, choose ceiling fans with longer downrods. Remember that down rods increase the chances of a fan wobbling.
- Vaulted Ceilings. Most ceiling fans can hang from sloped ceilings or vaulted ceilings, less than 21 degrees. An electrician can help you choose a good fan, and you can buy an attachment kit to help hang it.
Ceiling Fan Style
Another major consideration in getting the right ceiling fan is your home's interior design style décor. For a minimalist home décor choose a modern fan with straight lines. If your home has a coastal feel with curved lines, choose a fan with curved blades.
You also need to consider the different types of ceiling fans and finishes. Industrial-style homes will benefit from metal finish fans, while wooden finish fans pair well with Scandi-style interiors. For traditional décor style homes, rustic finishes help to tie up the décor beautifully.
Consider ceiling fan accessories, too, to get the style right. Ideally:
- Ceiling Fan Lights. Ceiling fans are available with or without lights, depending on your needs. You can find one with an LED light or dimmable bulbs to reduce energy use. You could also get a light kit to install lights on a fan that doesn't have lights.
- Controls. Wall-mounted or remote-controlled ceiling fans have become popular. Many modern wall controls work via radio frequency and function like a remote control on your wall. The latest ceiling fans use Bluetooth technology, so you can control the fan through an app.
You could also go for a statement ceiling fan if the rest of the home is toned down. A statement fan should be an elaborate attention grabber yet meet your temperature control needs.
The Benefits of Having an Indoor Ceiling Fan
The most profound benefit of ceiling fans is how they control temperature. They move air around, making people feel cooler because moving air helps to evaporate sweat, cooling the skin. They are also used in the colder months to move warm air, making rooms feel warm.
Because they move air around instead of cooling it, they are energy efficient, saving homeowners heating and cooling costs from using HVAC systems.
Fans with a winter mode fight heat stratification –the natural rising of heat. When the fan changes direction from anticlockwise to clockwise, it creates an updraft and recirculates heat, warming the room.
They are great décor pieces, too, and you can find a ceiling style for just about any interior décor style. A ceiling fan can work as an additional lighting fixture operated from a wall switch, or remote control, providing more light without requiring additional installations.
One Last Word
Modern ceiling fans are a cross between great aesthetics, top functionality, and stellar experiences. If you're searching for a new ceiling fan, use the ceiling fan buying guide tips above. Better yet, start your search by looking in the right place - Urban Ambiance! We have a knack for creating comfort in homes with a wide range of stylish, high-end ceiling fans.