Ceiling Fan Basics

If you aren’t familiar with ceiling fans, choosing one can be a bit overwhelming. In addition to style and color, you also want to consider motors, blade pitch, fan diameter, room size and ceiling height. Ceiling fans can be controlled by a wall switch, pull chain or a remote control.

Motors – Most fan motors have sealed bearings that require no lubrication. Company reputation and type of warranty are the best measure of motor quality. Make sure the fan you buy is listed by UL, or an equivalent testing agency.

Blade Pitch – Typically, blade pitch ranges from 10 to 14 degrees. The steeper the blade pitch, the more air the fan will move. However, steeper pitched blades also make more noise when spinning at higher speeds.

Fan Diameter – Fan blades come in many lengths, measured by the full blade sweep (diameter) they produce: 30, 42, 44, 46, 50, 52 and 60 inches.

Room Size – Before choosing a fan, you should measure the square footage of the room in which the fan will be used. A 42” diameter fan is ideal for rooms up to 150 square feet, 44 inches for 225 square feet, and 52 inches for 400 square feet.

Ceiling Height – Make sure blade tips are at least 24 inches from walls or the slope of the ceiling. For ceilings higher than 8 feet, it’s best to hang the fan from a drop rod. The suggested length of drop rod for a 10 foot ceiling is 18 inches, and for 12 foot ceilings, 36 inches.

Energy Savings – In hot weather, operate the fan in the NORMAL direction, counter clockwise. This creates a cooling effect, which results in reduced AC energy consumption. In cold weather, reverse the direction to clockwise. This creates a gentle updraft which circulates the warm air trapped at the ceiling throughout the room.

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