A Fan for All Seasons

For more than 125 years, the ceiling fan has been one of the most energy efficient methods of air conditioning. It can enhance both cooling and heating operations. Modern ceiling fans can be quiet, stable and energy-efficient. Best of all–they are versatile. You can tailor them to any style or design. They can have multiple speeds, reverse operation, and reversible blades. Controls are simple to operate, especially those with remote control. Coordinating light kits offer many more options.

Why are ceiling fans considered methods of air conditioning?
Because they circulate the air. Running a ceiling fan on a warm day creates a wind chill effect that can make a room feel cooler than it actually is. The thermostat may be set higher while still maintaining the comfort level. To heat in the winter, the fan is run in reverse, and the warm air is pushed down from the ceiling. The thermostat may be set lower, which helps save money on the heating bills.

Does the number of blades matter?
Ceiling fans usually have 4 or 5 blades, although some have either 3 or 6. The number of blades does not effectively increase or decrease the amount of air flow.

Does fan size make a difference?
Yes, it does. The size of the fan should be fitted to the size of the room for maximum efficiency. The American Lighting Association offers the following recommendations:
54″ Fan – For rooms up to 400 sq. ft.
44″ Fan – For rooms up to 225 sq. ft.
42″ Fan – For rooms up to 144 sq. ft.
36″ Fan – For rooms up to 75 sq. ft.

What’s the difference between standard, flush and vaulted mounting?
In standard mounting, fan blades are approximately 12″ from the ceiling; with flush mounting, they are 8″ below; and with vaulted mounting, the blades are dropped low enough to clear any angular walls. The ideal position for the fan blades (for cooling) is 8 to 9 feet above the floor. High ceilings may require extensions.

Which type of ceiling fan is most energy-efficient?
Look for an Energy Star compliant, high-efficiency ceiling fan that employs a direct current (DC) motor. Fans with direct current motors use up to 75% less electricity than typical ceiling fans, since they utilize a built-in magnetic drive to keep the fan circulating. Since ceiling fans use very little energy to begin with (approx. a penny per hour), a high-efficiency model brings the operating costs down to practically nothing. (The fans shown here feature DC motors and are Energy Star rated.)

Are there special requirements for outdoor use?
Yes, if a fan will be exposed to weather, it should have a sealed/moisture resistant motor, rust resistant housing, stainless steel hardware, and all weather blades. Be sure to purchase a fan with a UL “wet” rating, if it will be installed outside, such as on a front porch.

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