Ceiling Fan Frequently Asked Questions

I. What is the purpose of a ceiling fan?

II. How do ceiling fans lower the temperature?

IIa. How do ceiling fans help heat in the winter?

IIb. How can the same fan help both in the winter AND summer?

III. What rooms should have ceiling fans installed?

IV. What size fan is needed for a particular room?

V. My ceiling is lower, do I need a 'hugger' fan?

VI. My ceiling is higher, how long of a downrod do I need?

VII. What sort of control options are available?

VIII. How many blades is best?

IX. What are the quality differences between fans on the market?

IXa. What about American Made fans? Are they still available, and are they significantly better than imports?

IXb. What makes a ceiling fan Energy Efficient? How do I consider this when choosing a fan?

X. Fan Operation: What speed and direction settings should be used?

Xa. Is there any purpose to running the fan constantly even when people are not present, or is this a waste of energy?

XI. How effective are ceiling fans with heaters built in?

XII. What is the use for a fan mounted outside, such as on a porch? What sort of fan is recommended?

XIII. Ceiling fan lights-- what options are available?

XIIIa. I am replacing a large light fixture, and most fan lights aren't bright enough. What fan or fan light kit do I buy?

I. What is the purpose of a ceiling fan?

A ceiling fan serves two purposes

1. To provide a breeze thereby creating the "wind chill factor"
2. To circulate the air throughout a room or area

Most people who purchase a ceiling fan do so to utilize the first option. You expect to turn on the fan and feel a breeze, or at least some moving air. This is most effective with the fan in downdraft mode on a medium or high speed. While you will feel the strongest breeze directly under the fan, if the fan is good quality, and the proper size and installation for the room, you should be able to feel air circulating no matter where you are in the room.

Circulation is perhaps the most effective (as well as underrated) use of a ceiling fan. Regardless of the room temperature, the warmer air rises to the ceiling, and the cold air sinks to the floor. Depending on where your heat (and/or cooling) source is located, there are also hot and cold spots both in a room and building. By evenly circulating the air throughout a room, a series of rooms, or even an entire building, ceiling fans can eliminate these hot and cold spots and provide a much more comfortable climate. More on this in the sections below.


II. How do ceiling fans lower the temperature?

They don't, at least not literally. Unlike an air conditioner, ceiling fans do not directly affect the air temperature. That does not mean, however, that ceiling fans are not effective in cooling.

As pertaining to the two purposes listed in question (I):

1. The moving air from a ceiling fan will help you feel cooler regardless of the temperature of a room. It is much the same as being outside in the summer-- it can be 80-90 degrees, and if there is a breeze, it is very pleasant. But on a day with no wind it may be painful to be outside. Standing under a ceiling fan you may feel a strong breeze, and receive the direct benefit of the fan operating. The moving air throughout the room allows you to feel cooler even if you are not directly in the path of the fan.

2. Also, the circulation from a ceiling fan can disperse the cool air from lower areas (and air conditioning) into the central, inhabited areas of a room. Cool air sinking to the floor isn't useful in the summer unless you're laying down on the floor, and often times the air conditioning vent in a room will be off to one side. Split level rooms or houses will often have temperature discrepancies. Ceiling fans circulate the air, evening out these cold spots. In the summer this can often make the useable parts of a room much cooler, in conjunction with air conditioning or alone.


IIa. How do ceiling fans help heat in the winter?

Much the same as they help with cooling in section 2. Running your heat in the winter, hot air rises to the ceiling, and so much of the heat is wasted. Especially if you heat with a wood stove or similar and the heat is not evenly dispersed by vents near the floor. Vaulted ceilings are particularly troublesome. Running a ceiling fan during the winter, to push down warm air from the ceiling and eliminate cold spots, can save a great deal of heating energy. Additional note: there are some designs of fans with heaters included, we have a section on these.


IIb. How can the same fan help both in the winter AND summer?

If it can make it feel warmer in the winter, why does it not do so in the summer? And how does it not make it feel colder in the winter?

Well, for starters, you are likely running your heat in the winter and not in the summer. The primary source of heat that the fan circulates in the winter is that produced by your furnace. And, in the summer, if you use an air conditioner, that provides the cool air source.

Secondly, it depends on the setting on which you use your fan. High and sometimes medium speeds will create a detectable breeze that will make those in the area feel cooler. It will also, in most cases, create a strong circulation force that will reach the cool air closest to the ground. Lower speeds often do not create a noticeable draft, and often the circulation only reaches between the higher, heat-trapped areas and living areas, not entirely encompassing the cooler air lowest to the ground. The reverse feature is also used to create different circulation patterns for winter, see the section on that below.


III. What rooms should have ceiling fans installed?

The short answer: EVERY room. Depending on your personal preferences, any and every room can benefit from a ceiling fan installed.

Recall the two purposes:

1. Any room in which people are present can benefit from the cooling breeze of a ceiling fan
2. Any room large enough to fit a fan can benefit from the circulation, particularly if it is in a central location.

Let us examine some rooms:

Living room: One of the most common locations. Often a room in which people relax, the breeze from a ceiling fan can be very much enjoyed. Also living rooms are usually large, centrally located, and sometimes have high or vaulted ceilings, all of which are important factors benefiting from the added circulation.

Bedrooms: Many people enjoy the cooling breeze as they sleep, particularly in the warm summer months. The white noise from air moving can also be relaxing. It is uncomfortable for some to sleep in a still, stuffy room, and use a ceiling fan year round on various speeds.

Kitchen: The kitchen is often the hottest, stuffiest room in the house, especially while cooking. A ceiling fan can disperse the hot air and cooking smells and provide a breeze for the comfort of those cooking. During the winter, distribute the heat generated by cooking throughout surrounding areas to save energy.

Dining room: Use low speeds to gently circulate the warm air from set food without cooling it, adding to the comfort of diners. Also most fans offer elegant chandelier options which are very fitting over a dining room table.

Porch: Surprisingly, fans are very effective when used on covered porches. This allows a breeze to be felt even on days with no wind. Also, the air current from a fan can be effective in driving away bugs. See section XII for information on what sort of fan to use.

Foyer/Entry: Prevent cooled/heated air from escaping outside when the front door is opening by positioning a fan over the door and running it on high or medium. The current from the fan creates an "air curtain" that can help alleviate drafts. Prior to modern HVAC, many grocery stores and similar businesses positioned ceiling fans over doors, to prevent heat from escaping, bugs from getting in, and also to blanket customers with a cool breeze as they entered. If you feel a breeze as you enter you may feel instantly cooler regardless of the inside temperature. Lastly, many foyers also have a stairwell, which brings us to

Open Stairways (and balconies): One of the most effective places to use a ceiling fan for circulation. Many 2 (or more) story or split-level homes often suffer from upper floors being much warmer than lower floors. This is predicable, as heat rises. By placing ceiling fans in areas where floors connect and running them consistently you can create circulation between the floors that will more evenly distribute heat and cooling.

Garage/Workshop: Help circulate heat in colder months. Disperse fumes and sawdust. And, of course, a cool breeze while you are working.

Bathroom: Prevent moisture and condensation from settling. Increase comfort for those more prolonged stays. See the outdoor fans section section for what sort of fan to use, as showers create moisture it is recommended to use the same sort of fan as an outdoor setting.

In summarization . . . the more time people spend in a given room, the greater the benefit of a ceiling fan. For circulation, especially large rooms, and/or those with high and/or vaulted ceilings. People will have their preferences on where they most prefer the benefits, but ultimately any room is a good idea.


IV. What size fan is needed for a particular room?

Ceiling fans commonly come in two sizes: 52" for larger rooms and 42" for smaller rooms. Many companies offer 30-36" fans for exceptionally small rooms, and 56-60" fans for larger and/or commercial settings. The most common size by far is the 52" fan, which is typically appropriate for most rooms.

There are plenty of charts and diagrams out there that address this, usually by square footage, and we will get to that in a minute. But there are a few important points to consider:

1. Install the largest fan that you can fit that does not look out of place aesthetically. A smaller fan will have to work harder to cover larger areas and therefore be less efficient, whereas installing a large fan it can be run on lower speeds more effectively. Smaller fans also run faster and therefore are more prone to noise. As they are less common, companies often inflate the price. Use a 52" fan wherever reasonable.

2. Fan blades should be ~2ft or greater from any wall, and clear the path of any doors, cabinets, etc. Generally speaking the fan will be in the center of the room and this will not be an issue, but for smaller areas especially hallways and such it can be difficult. In some cases the blades may need to be closer than 2ft to a wall or other surface, this is not recommended, but be sure there is enough clearance for the fan blades to move or the fan to sway.

3. In rectangular rooms, where the length is significantly greater than the width, consider installing two or more fans evenly spaced. Circulation is most effective when each fan covers a square area. Extremely large areas will also require multiple fans, this is usually only applicable in commercial applications.

As for the charts: the generally accepted figures are:

For rooms 12x12, or 150 square feet and under: 42" fan

For rooms 20x20, or 400 square feet and under: 52" fan

For rooms larger than 400 square feet: 56-60" fan

For rooms smaller than 100 square feet: 30-36" fan

Based on the shape of the room, ceiling height, etc, your preference may vary. Also some fans are better quality and therefore more powerful than others. A poor quality fan will cover less area than a better fan of the same size. This is mainly to compel you to buy quality, however, sometimes the fan desired is not the most effective-- for decorative reasons, cost limitations, etc. In which case you will want to assume the fan will cover a smaller area.


V. My ceiling is lower, do I need a 'hugger' fan?

Hugger fans are designed to provide the minimum distance between the ceiling and the fan blades. This is ideal for lower ceilings as it provides the maximum clearance between the blades (and other lower parts of the fan such as lights) and the floor. The downside is that the shorter distance between the blades and the ceiling impedes circulation to a degree. Hugger ceiling fans are less effective than regular ceiling fans regardless of ceiling height.

So when is a Hugger Fan necessary?

For safety reasons it is generally accepted that fan blades should be no less than 7' from the floor. Most downrod fans, with the typically included short downrod, position the blades approximately 12" from the ceiling. Therefore, downrod fans are normally used on ceilings 8' and higher. On ceilings lower than 8' one would typically use a hugger fan, in which the blades are generally 5-7" from the ceiling.

Another factor is the fan's location. A fan positioned over a bed or table will require less floor-blades clearance than one positioned where people will be walking under it. Keep in mind also if a light will be mounted on the fan. A light kit can add 6-10" or more to the fan's total height.

Lastly, many downrod fans are available with "low profile" kits and/or with a "dual mount" option. This allows the fan to be mounted with the canopy directly attached to the motor, and no downrod. In most cases this allows almost as much clearance as a hugger fan, with the blades positioned 6-10" from the ceiling.


VI. My ceiling is higher, how long of a downrod do I need?

This is another one of those issues out there where there are many similar charts to answer, and yet there are a few important points to consider first. Ideally speaking, for maximum circulation, the blades should be positioned 8-10' from the floor. However having the blades too far away from the ceiling can sometimes lessen the effectiveness of heat destratification. Not to mention that there is also an aesthetic factor, having the blades 9' from the ceiling on a 15' ceiling may look a little imposing. This can also be affected by where the fan is positioned-- a fan hanging over a table will likely be positioned lower, like a chandelier, compared to one over a traffic area.

Generally speaking, the 8-10' rule works until you exceed a 2' downrod. From that point on you need to balance the above factors.

Here is a generally accepted chart for downrod length:

9' ceiling: 6-12"
10' ceiling: 12-18"
11' ceiling: 18-24"
12' ceiling: 24-30"
13' ceiling: 30-36"
14' ceiling: 36-48"
15' ceiling: 48-60"


VII. What sort of control options are available?

Most ceiling fans made in recent years have a built in three-speed pullchain control. Regardless of whether or not the fan is wired to a separate switch, you have full control of the fan from the chain. Off-high-medium-low. Most fans are also reversible and have a reverse switch built into the fan body. If the fan has a light, the light will have it's own on-off pullchain. The entire fan assembly can be controlled without the benefit of a remote switch.

In most cases the power source to the fan is switched, such as for a light fixture. In this case both the fan and light are operated from the wall switch, and controlled independently from their pullchains. If the fan does not have a light then it is switched on and off from the wall switch, with the speeds controlled at the pullchain. The addition of an unswitched power source to this setup can result in the options: fan controlled by pullchain, light by wall switch, and vice versa. In many cases where the room is wired for a fan with a light, there will be a 3 wire setup with two separate switches: one for the fan, one for the light. The fan speeds are still controlled by the pullchain.

In any situation where there is no light, or the fan motor is wired and controlled independently from the light, you can wire a speed control wall switch. It is wired in series with the fan motor just like a standard on-off wall switch. Most control options are capacitor-based and offer 3 or 4 speed selections with an off position. There are also infinitely variable switch options, these are usually a solid state control and not meant to be used with most ceiling fan motors. Do not use a solid-state speed control on a fan not designed for it. When using a wall control of any type, set the fan pullchain to the highest speed setting.

Many companies now offer fans with remote speed control options that allow for independent fan and light control without additional wall switches and wiring. These can include wireless remote controls, replacement wall switches, and computerized options that involve one, the other, or both. This allows a fan to be installed in a conventional two-wire hookup and benefit from the control options of a 3 wire (two switch) hookup without installing a third wire. The mobility of a wireless remote and the features of the computerized controls are additional benefits.

Ceiling fans with conventional pullchain controls can be retrofitted with remote speed control options such as those mentioned above. The retrofit kits include the wall or wireless remote control, and a receiver that is attached inside the ceiling fan canopy and wires between the fan and the power source. The receiver requires only a two-wire power source, switched or unswitched.

Some older ceiling fans, as well as industrial models both current and older, do not include a built in pullchain speed control. These fans are one speed only and operate on high whenever power is applied. These are designed to be used with a wall control and many are acceptable for use with solid state (infinitely variable) speed controls. These fans are usually not light kit adaptable or not reversible.

American made ceiling fans in the early 80s had a speed control option that was considered luxurious at the time: a variable speed (solid state) control built in to the fan body. This was a rotary knob attached to the "switch housing" of the fan below the blades. Sometimes the knob would click to an off position, in other examples there was a separate on-off pullchain. In the most complicated examples the pullchain also had a 'high' speed option that bypassed the variable speed control, and so the control selected the low speed. Many of these fans are reversible with a separate switch on the fan body, or a reverse option on the pullchain control. The disadvantage of this variable speed option: one had to reach near the moving fan blades to adjust the speed, and sometimes it was also noisy. Some companies designed silent variable speed control systems for higher end fans, these were effective but often unreliable.

Additionally, some older fans had the conventional pullchain control, but with a different number of speeds: 2, 4, or even 1. These days 3 speeds is considered standard whether it is by pullchain, wall control or remote control operation.


VIII. How many blades is best?

These days ceiling fans are available with any number of blades from one to eight, although any number below 3 and above 6 is for novelty or decorative purposes only. Most fans have 4 or 5 blades, some are adaptable to take either.

Most people assume that more blades move more air, i.e. a fan with five blades moves more air than a fan with four blades. This, in fact, is incorrect. More blades results in a greater load on the motor, and a greater load on the motor causes it to operate at a slower speed. A fan with less blades operating at a faster speed will more more air than a fan with more blades operating at a slower speed. This is why most commercial fans have three blades and a high speed motor, to provide the greatest amount of airflow efficiently.

However, one thing about commercial fans is, noise is less of a factor than in residential situations. A 3 blade fan operating at a high speed is often quite noisy-- not a buzz or hum, but the helicopter noise of air moving. The greater number of blades and the slower the speed, the less noisy a fan will be. This is why residential fans (especially smaller models that operate at higher speeds overall) offer as many as 6 blades. Usually the additional noise of a four blade fan versus a five blade fan is not noticeable, but it can depend on the fan size and the motor speed.

This comparison assumes similar fans with similar motors. Obviously a 4 blade fan with a small, inexpensive motor will move less air than a 5 blade fan with a larger, more powerful motor, and probably be noisier as well.


IX. What are the quality differences between fans on the market?

Many different fans are available these days, with a great degree of different options, styles, designs, and prices. Often times people buy a fan for appearance-based reasons. But most consumers, about to spend a significant amount of money on a ceiling fan (or fans) are concerned about getting the best quality product, or at the very least the best quality product within their price range.

It is a commonly held theory that you get what you pay for: the more something costs, the better quality it is. As with many products, that is generally true with ceiling fans, but there are other factors. When you buy a ceiling fan you are paying for three things:

1. Quality and features
2. Design/style
3. Name recognition

The most expensive fan may be the best quality, or it may be the most expensive design, or it may be the best known brand name.

Fortunately there are other published factors used in determining quality.

a. CFM. CFM stands for "cubic feet per minute" and directly measures the amount of air moved. The higher the CFM rating, the more air the fan moves. Unfortunately many companies do not publish CFM ratings.

b. Motor type and size. The best motors still made are 18 pole stack-type motors such as the Emerson K55 and the Casablanca XLP. These motors are based on American-made designs and are powerful, efficient, and quiet. These motors generally use a rubber flywheel to mount the blades. These are the best motor option still offered by a wide margin. Fans that do not use a stack-type motor customarily use an imported 16 pole spinner motor often euphemized as a 'direct drive' motor. These motors can be very good quality or they can be extremely cheap. Many fan companies publish the size of the stator, from 153mm x 10mm (and smaller) to 212mm x 25mm. The larger stator, the more powerful motor. Also, the majority of these motors use ball bearings, but any that do not are significantly less in quality. The bottom line in choosing a motor: there are many fans with spinner motors, but there has NEVER been a bad fan with a K55 type motor. The motor is the most important component of a fan. The best motors will not only move the most air, but also be the quietest and most reliable.

c. Blade pitch and RPM. RPM stands for "revolutions per minute" and measures the maximum speed of the fan. This alone does not determine how much air is moved, however combined with the degree at which the blades are pitched one can make a fairly good comparison. The fan with the greater combination of RPM and blade pitch is the fan that will move more air. This is only for consideration when CFM is not published. Also, a motor that is able to drive a blade set with a steeper pitch at a faster speed is typically a stronger motor.

d. Materials. A fan that moves a lot of air isn't much use if it isn't going to last. The best fans use die cast motor housings, with durable finishes, solid wood or multi-ply furniture grade blades. You want finishes that will not rust or pit, blades that will not warp or wobble, brackets and other parts that will not break.

e. Weight. It is a common theory that the heavier the fan, the better quality, and in many cases this is correct. Larger motors, solidly constructed housings and blades will weigh significantly more than lesser fans. Dealing especially with the motor-- the more iron in the core of a motor, the more heat it is able to dissipate, and the more iron, the heavier it is. However some fans can be deceiving. There have been some examples of manufactures adding weights inside the housing of fans to make them seem heavier. More commonly, a fan might also be heavier because of certain added decorative accessories, 10lbs of scrollwork, etc. Glass and other decorative motor housings and attachments can add significant weight. Comparing fan weights can be useful but be sure you are aware of the source of the weight.

f. Warranty. Another common theory is that the fan with the longest, most inclusive warranty is the best quality fan. This is not always correct. Most companies assume that the consumer will either move, or replace the fan for decorative reasons prior to problems occurring. And when problems do occur, most people do not realize if their fan is still under warranty. Therefore most companies claim a substantial warranty regardless of the quality and expected life span of the fan. However when buying a fan it is often useful to compare warranties, not because it speaks to the quality of the fan, but because you may have problems with your fan and wish to use it. Most warranties are for the motor only, and all other parts to the fan are only covered for a year or less. The most important factor to look for is a warranty that not only covers the motor but also the switches, other electronics, and any other parts that could likely go bad.


IXa. What about American Made fans? Are they still available, and are they significantly better than imports?

The first ceiling fans (of the late 1800s) were American made and were a very simple, solid design: huge cast housings with solid wood blades attaching directly to the rotor. The earliest examples had intricate ornate casting and may have been brass, copper, etc. Ceiling fans were consistently American made, even as designs changed, for almost a century. And as designed changed, the American-made quality was also consistent with few and rare exceptions. In 1981 imported ceiling fans became popular. The imported fans introduced the "spinner" type motor, which has the rotor outside the stator unlike the American made designs.

These days the majority of fans are made overseas regardless of motor type. The highest quality models still use the American made designs and motors such as the K55. As stated above in the motor section, there are certainly some quality imported fans with spinner motors. However the best models use the K55 type motors, and these are the fans that are either made in America or according to American-made designs and standards.

IXb. What makes a ceiling fan Energy Efficient? How do I consider this when choosing a fan?

There are three factors:

1. How much air is moved
2. How much current is drawn
3. The quality and construction of the fan

Obviously the most efficient ceiling fan would be that which has the best #1/#2 ratio. However #3 is also a very important factor in buying a ceiling fan, and just because a fan has the best ratio does not mean it moves the most air. A fan that draws very little power but moves very little air may be considered very efficient.

All ceiling fans draw roughly the same amount of current. The difference is not nearly as drastic compared to, say, the difference between an incandescent bulb and a compact fluorescent. The efficiency ratings deal with minute differences and don't deal with the actual quality and performance of the fan. So, in my opinion, it's better to buy a fan based on #1 and #3.

An increasing number of ceiling fans are being tested and qualified for Energy Star energy efficiency ratings. Energy Star claims that any ceiling fan that has earned their rating is 10-20% more efficient than the majority of fans sold. In order to qualify for the Energy Star rating a fan must have a minimum airflow of 5,000 CFM and have an "efficiency rating" of 75 CFM/watt on high speed. This rating is the abovementioned ratio of airflow to power consumption. This means a fan moving the minimum required amount of airflow (5,000 CFM) would draw 67 watts or less. A ceiling fan rated by Energy Star may or may not be the best quality option, but it is usually more efficient.

An additional note: if the fan has a light kit, the light kit is much more crucial to energy consumption than the fan motor. Ceiling fans typically draw ~100 watts or less on the highest speed setting, however the typical four socket light kit draws 240 watts consistently. Much more important than finding the most efficient motor, in this case, is maximizing the efficiency of the light kit. Compact Fluorescent light bulbs are ideal for this purpose-- the same light kit will then draw 60 watts or less.


X. Fan Operation: What speed and direction settings should be used?

This is a very subjective topic, and for most it was probably answered by parts I & II above. There are a number of factors that vary by setting and situation-- fan location, ceiling height, fan model, and most importantly, what purpose is intended. A few suggestions that may or may not apply:

1. It is unlikely that a fan would be used on high except to create a significant breeze. When you wish to do so the fan would be used in the downdraft setting. Depending on how much of a breeze is wanted medium speed may also be acceptable.

2. For a gentle breeze and circulation, in most cases the fan would be used on low in the downdraft setting. This would only be applicable in a low ceiling situation such as a bedroom. On a higher ceiling the fan would have to be set to a slightly higher speed to feel any sort of breeze.

3. To destratify heat (and for circulation) on a lower ceiling, the fan would be generally set to updraft mode in low or medium speed. Heat can also be recirculated with low speed in the downdraft mode, depending on which produces more of a notable breeze.

4. To destratify heat (and for circulation) on a higher ceiling, the fan can be used on high or medium in updraft mode, or medium to low in downdraft mode.

The most consistently effective setting for circulation is low in downdraft mode. It is quite common to set the fan this way unless more of a breeze is required.


Xa. Is there any purpose to running the fan constantly even when people are not present, or is this a waste of energy?

This is a hotly contested topic. On the one hand, the primary purpose of a ceiling fan is to provide a breeze. There is certainly no purpose for an indoor breeze if there is no one there to feel it.

On the other hand, in most cases the heat or air conditioning is still functioning even when people leave, so that the home remains a habitable temperature for return. Ceiling fans do aid in the effectiveness of heating and air conditioning when operating for the purpose of circulation. Increasing the effectiveness of the HVAC system can in turn save a significant amount of energy.


XI. How effective are ceiling fans with heaters built in?

Ceiling fans with built in heaters are not a new concept, however a long defunct company held the patent of them until recently, so they were uncommon for many years and have recently seen a reoccurrence.

The most important thing to remember about any electric heater is that they use a great amount of electricity. This includes ceiling fan heaters as well as space heaters, etc. They are available with a variety of different sizes and settings, but the average uses ~1000 watts. It is not wise to use an electric heater unless it is absolutely necessary, using a heater ceiling fan (for example) in conjunction with an effective furnace etc will NOT save energy. So it would be a fair assumption that you should only consider a heater ceiling fan in a situation where you would also consider an electric space heater or the like.

But here's the thing: fan or not, why would you want a heater mounted in the ceiling? Heat rises. Much more efficient to be mounted near the floor. Then when it rises, as it ultimately will, you have the fan to circulate it back down. I suppose if the room is well circulated it wouldn't matter where the heater was mounted, but even with a fan that's hard. It would be hard to have a ceiling fan heater effectively heat to cover an entire area.

The primary advantage of a ceiling fan heater is, the heat is directly in the path of the fan's airflow, and so if you have both the heater and the fan operating, when standing near it you will feel a warm breeze. This could be very useful in a cold working environment such as a garage.

Whether or not one has a setting that would benefit from a heater ceiling fan is specific and subjective.


XII. What is the use for a fan mounted outside, such as on a porch? What sort of fan is recommended?

Outdoor fans are very common in the south. The purpose seems to be this:

Say you're sitting outside on your porch in the summer, what feels better than the breeze? But some days have no wind. So that's when you turn on the fans. They also drive bugs away.

If a fan is going to be exposed to rain and snow and such, you'll want to make sure it is sealed so water cannot get into electrical parts. If it's not actually going to be getting wet, just somewhere exposed to changes in climate (a covered porch, etc) you generally look for a fan with a finish that wont rust and blades that wont warp. You don't necessarily need a special "outdoor fan" for this. Especially common in the south, people have been using Hunter Originals outside for decades.

Many companies offer fans that are specifically rated for these situations. These fans will have Underwriters Laboratories certification for damp or wet locations. If a fan is going to be subjected to these conditions it is important that it is able to do so safely.


XIII. Ceiling fan lights-- what options are available?

Ceiling fans being used with light attachments have become more and more common as years progress. It is significantly easier to install a ceiling fan where there is an existing light fixture than where there is nothing, but if you are removing a light source you will need to replace it. As a result, the majority of ceiling fans sold include light kits already attached.

All but the least expensive fans that include lights also include an option that allows the fan to be used without the light if necessary. This consists of a blank cap that covers the bottom of the fan where the light kit would attach. In most cases this cap also allows a separately sold light kit to be attached to the fan in place of the included option.

All ceiling fans sold without light kits are adaptable for light kits, with rare exception. The exception is usually industrial models and fans that have decorative attachments on the bottom where the light would mount. Most places that sell fans offer a variety of light kits so that a consumer has many different choices.


XIIIa. I am replacing a large light fixture, and most fan lights arent bright enough. What fan or fan light kit do I buy?

Get a small good quality fan WITHOUT A LIGHT and buy the light kit separate. Get one of the light kits that accepts five bulbs, four on the sides and one in the center (the pull chain on the light should be able to select all five lights, just the outer four, or just the center light). In each of the sockets put some 15-20 watt Compact Fluorescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs may be tempting as they are cheaper, however you will not be nearly as pleased with the light, and Compact Fluorescent bulbs pay for themselves VERY quickly. I also suggest putting a small, 50 watt halogen floodlight in the center socket. This is to add a direct downlight as well as a warmer tone.

Ceiling Fan Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions (Faqs)

  • How do I clean my Ceiling Fan?

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  • Ceiling Fans Frequently Asked Questions
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