Lighting Solutions: All About Ceiling Fans

Published By: Shades Of Light

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Last Updated: May 23, 2017

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Which way (direction) should a ceiling fan turn?

Ceiling fans can reduce your energy bills up to 40% in the summer and 10% in the winter. Reversible motors allow you to put your ceiling fan in forward (higher edge of blade is leading edge) to blow air down and pull hot air up in the summer and in reverse (clockwise) in the wintertime to push air up to the ceiling and then warm air down into the room.

What kind of controls do you need for a ceiling fan?

Typically, a ceiling fan has a pull chain that operates both the light and fan. An option is to purchase a remote control, which provides you with the convenience of being able to turn the fan on and off, up or down from any place in the room. You can choose from a wall-mounted or a handheld remote control.

How do you install a ceiling fan?

Safety is crucial when hanging a ceiling fan. Due to the weight and movement of a ceiling fan, you need to attach the hanging brackets directly to the ceiling joist. If you are not able to gain access to the attic, you can use a brace bar from below the attic. Just be sure it is a heavy duty, adjustable metal bridge that has spiked ends. To make this work, you would cut a hole in the ceiling (if one does not already exist), making it large enough to slip the bar through to the frame. Now you want to position the bar so the legs are completely flush to the bottom of the joists. Finally, rotate the outer shaft so the spikes are set firmly into the wood. Then attach the bracket that holds the motor. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the motor installation. If you plan to use a downrod, attach it above the motor. Next, attach the brackets that hold the blades, then the blades. Often the blades are different finishes on different sides so select the side you want to see and place that side down. Lastly, attach the light kit.

How do you balance a ceiling fan?

Over time a ceiling fan can get out of balance. To rebalance the fan, turn the fan off, identify the wobbling blade(s), and attach the balancing clip that came with the fan, placing it firmly on the leading edge of the blade. Make sure the clip is just halfway between the blades outer edge and the blade bracket. Then turn the fan on to see if this corrected the wobbling problem. Use the other clips as necessary, on each blade, checking the wobble after each placement.

How do you select a style for a ceiling fan?

Although most ceiling fans selected are white, you can make a real style or whimsical statement with your selection! From rustic lodge to belt driven tropical bamboo fans, you can add loads of interest to a room. Nursery and child themes including airplane ceiling fans and baseball light kits can make a children’s room more fun.

What is the best choice for fan blades?

Wood blades are still a popular choice today so if you decide to go that route, just make sure they are properly sealed to avoid warping. This would be especially important if you plan to install the fan in a room such as a bathroom or kitchen, or outdoors. Our exclusive raw oak blades allow you to finish the wood to match or contrast (try a colored stain) your ceiling. In addition to wood blades, you will find some that are a paddle design, tropical palm leaf design, white wicker or beadboard, just about every design you can think of.

How to size a ceiling fan?

The first thing to consider when buying a ceiling fan is the size for the room in which you plan to hang it. Ceiling fan size is measured by the diameter of the span of the fan in inches. A space smaller than 75 square feet should have a 29” or 30” fan, a 75-149 square foot room needs a 42” span, a 150-249 square foot room needs a 52” fan, a 250-400 square foot room needs a 54” to 60” fan and rooms greater than 400 square feet need 2 ceiling fans.

What makes a ceiling fan best?

Obviously, you want your fan to have forward, reverse and at least 3 speeds. The blade pitch, along with the blade span, is what determines the degree the fan will cool the room. The steeper the pitch, the more effective the fan will be in moving the air. Therefore, you should look for blade pitches that are 12 degrees or greater. Motors that are higher powered will move more air and not overheat like fans that have lower powered motors. The size of the motor generally reflects its overall strength. There are three main motor sizes: small (153mm), medium (172mm), and large (188mm). As the motor increases in strength, it is able to push a blade with a greater pitch or angle. Look for a motor that has sealed bearings, which never need to be oiled. Another good option is a rubber flywheel, which helps keep torque under control. This helps to stabilize the fan while keeping the level of noise down. Most ceiling fan housings are made from stamped steel, whereas the highest quality fan housings are made from die cast zinc. . The larger motors are often the quietest because they use what is called a triple capacitor system. The triple capacitor system ensures that the fan is quiet throughout all of its speeds.

How far should the fan hang from the ceiling?

There is no set rule but you should avoid fans that are extremely close to the ceiling and fans that are closer than 7' from the floor. For ceilings taller than 8' it is important to balance the down rod length with the ceiling height. The following is a general guideline:
  • 9' ceiling – 6" down rod
  • 10' ceiling – 12" down rod
  • 12' ceiling – 24" down rod
  • 14' ceiling – 36" down rod
  • 16' ceiling – 48" down rod
  • 18' ceiling – 60" down rod
  • 20' ceiling – 72" down rod


Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Outdoor ceiling fans have sealed motors and plastic blades to prevent warping from moisture. Due to the wear from weather, pay attention to the manufacturer’s guarantee. This is an indicator of quality and expected life for the fan. Luckily, today’s outdoor ceiling fans offer may looks and styles including tropical, whimsical, modern, industrial, and colorful! Outdoor fans are also a good choice for the bathroom!

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