Ceiling fans are significantly less expensive to run than air conditioners, and they can even help your AC to run more efficiently because they help to move the cool air around. However, if you want to make the most of your ceiling fan, you need to choose it carefully. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind.
1. Choose the Right Blade Size for Your Space
The diameter of your blades is important. Basically, the bigger the blades, the more the air gets moved around, and the cooler your room gets. Ideally, you should let the size of your room dictate the size of fan you need.
To figure out the square footage of your room, measure the length and width, and multiple them together. For instance, if your room is 20 feet long and 15 feet wide, it has a square footage of 300. For this size of room, you need a fan with blades measuring 50 to 72 inches.
This measurement refers to the length of two blades plus the fan part in the middle. If you are dealing with a used fan or one that doesn't have the blade width marked on the box, you simply need to measure from the outside tip of one blade to the very center of the fan. Then, double that number.
2. Consider the Height of Your Room
In addition to considering the size of your room, you also need to consider the height of the room. For instance, if you put a ceiling fan right next to the ceiling when your room is 14 feet high, you won't get the cooling benefit of the fan. Instead, when your ceiling is that high, you need to add a downrod to your fan.
That is basically just a rod that connects the fan to the ceiling so the fan doesn't need to be mounted flush to the ceiling. First, you need to ensure the fan you are buying can accommodate a downrod. Then, you need to decide the length of downrod you need.
As a general rule of thumb, regardless of how high the ceiling is, the fan needs to be about 7 to 9 feet from the ground.
3. Don't Forget to Think About the Lighting
In addition to cooling a room, ceiling fans also tend to work as overhead lights. If you want to save energy, you should look for a ceiling fan that takes light emitting diodes (LED) or compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs rather than standard incandescent bulbs.
With LED's in particular, you can drop your energy usage by a 1/3rd to 1/30th of what you use on a incandescent bulb. In addition, LED bulbs also help you save money because they last 10 times longer than compact fluorescents and significantly longer than incandescents.
4. Think About Style
Of course, ceiling fans aren't just about function. They are also about style. For instance, if you like the look of airplane propellers, you may want that style emulated in your ceiling fan so you may choose something like a 60 inch aviation LED ceiling fan by Minka Aire.
Similarly, if you like wood accents, you may want blades with their natural wood grain on display. If you prefer a crisp, clean look, you may want a fan with painted white blades. Similarly, you have to make decisions about the material of the hardware. Some people like brass, while others like metal that's been coated in black. On top of that, you need to think about how the ceiling mount looks, whether or not you like the shades on the bulbs, and a range of other small details.