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A Ceiling Fan Guide from

Last modified: 2021-05-27 | Approximate reading time 3 mins

Ceiling fans can be a great addition to many rooms, helping to disperse the air and keeping the space cooler during the warmer months. While the ceiling fan hasn’t evolved all that much in terms of mechanics, there are now several different types available which offer unique visual benefits.

How do ceiling fans work?

Essentially, a ceiling fan is a mechanical fan, powered by a small motor and suspended from the ceiling of a room by a rod (down rod). When it is powered on, several blades rotate on a base, slowly moving and circulating air throughout a hot place where the air is otherwise still. A ceiling fan can also improve the efficiency of controlling the room's climate as it forces the warmer air down so the room feels generally less hot. Remember, fans are not like air conditioning units because they don’t actually change the temperature of the air.

Ceiling fans offer you a nice alternative to air conditioning if you’re concerned about your energy bill since they are very low consumption devices. Employing a ceiling fan during the hot summer rather than an air conditioner can save you up to 40% annually which will also help reduce your reliance on air conditioning units. A great feature of most ceiling fans is that they can be used during the winter months.

Thanks to the option to change the fan’s rotation to spin in a clockwise motion, warm air can be moved up creating an updraft. This simple switch can help you save up to 15% on your heating bill!

As a general rule for mounting your fan, you should take into direct consideration the height of your ceiling. For instance, a ceiling that is 9 feet high should have a down rod of no more than 6 inches. For every foot of ceiling height over 9 feet, you should increase the down rod length by 6 inches.

This will allow for maximum height clearance while ensuring that your fan creates the right downdraft. It is important to remember that the minimum recommended distance from fan to floor is seven feet (depending on the design), anything less and you can easily risk injury by coming into contact with the blades.


Photo: Pixabay

Types of ceiling fans

The standard fan

This is the model you will typically find in most residential homes since they are quite adaptable, coming in styles to match nearly any room design. Standard ceiling fans usually have a built-in light fixture surrounded by four or five blades. They can be powered by a standard pull chain attached to the unit, through a remote control or through mounted wall controls that allow you to adjust the speed of rotation accordingly.

Low-profile fans

Low-profile ceiling fans are the same basic design as the standard ones, with the exception of using a down rod to suspend from the ceiling. Rather, this type of fan, sometimes referred to as “hugger”, stays close and hugs the ceiling. This results in more clearance room, making this model ideal for vaulted ceilings or rooms with ceilings less than 8 feet high.

Low profile models are considered to be compact and as a result have smaller blades that are closer to the ceiling, which translates into poorer air movement than its larger counterparts. For those seeking to make their space cooler, a low-profile fan works well for moving already conditioned air throughout the room.

Dual-motor ceiling fans

This model is by far the most unique ceiling fan design. This fan makes use of two motors to power two separate fan heads, each suspended by their own rod. They also tend to come in very elaborate, ornamental forms. What makes dual motor ceiling fans so special beyond their different look is that each fan head can be set to a different speed which can create a nice cool atmosphere. Lastly, this type of fan design works great for larger open spaces such as great rooms or open-concept kitchen and dining room areas.

As with any home upgrade, it is important to measure the space you wish to work in as this will help to determine what your options are. When it comes to fans, the bigger the better, meaning that larger fans will affect a greater area but should be installed in a space with appropriate proportions.

For testing purposes, assume that a 42-inch fan can cool a space that is up to 144 square feet. One of the first steps in taking on a home project should be the consultation of a professional so you can be guaranteed your new ceiling fan is properly installed and will last.  

Author: David Ben-Zaken

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