Whether you need them for cooling during the summer or as an aid for heating your home during the winter, ceiling fans are very useful devices that can have a significant impact on your electricity bills.
Ceiling fans can’t really make the mercury on your room thermometer go up or down but, they can make it feel cooler in summer and hotter in winter.
During the hot summer days, a ceiling fan can make you feel cooler by up to 10 degrees even when there is no any additional cooling device in the room. They produce a breeze that interacts with the moisture on your skin and makes you feel cooler as the moisture evaporates when exposed to the airflow from the fan. And if you combine it with an air conditioner, you can reduce your air conditioning energy consumption drastically.
It is similar during the wintertime – you can turn on the ceiling fan to spin in opposite direction so it can slowly send the hot air that collects on the ceiling level back down to the floor level where you need it the most. Note that this kind of fan won’t make your room hotter on its own, you need to use a heater as you would regularly do to make it possible for the fan to do its part of the job.
Ceiling fan is a device that is meant to be a part of your interior design and also to last for years. This is a kind of device that you probably buy once in a decade and you want to make sure that the one you choose will be able to meet all of your expectations regarding the quality and efficiency.
In this article we prepared an in-detail guide regarding what to look for when buying ceiling fans, how to use them and we also curated a list of our top picks in order to help you decide which fan could be a good fit for your home. Also, we added some tips on how to install a ceiling fan and how to turn them smart and connect with your smartphone.
First, let’s see the reviews of the fans that we choose as our best picks:
OUR TOP PICK: Hyperikon 56-Inch Sleek Contemporary Ceiling Fan
We decided to choose this fan as our top pick because of several factors that make it stand out from the competition. First, this is a very powerful fan with lots of features and it costs way less than the other fans of similar size and features.
The blade span is 46 inches long and the airflow capacity rating is 2060 CFM.
Although if you look at the airflow capacity rating, it might look like this is a less powerful fan that can’t do much however, you will be pleasantly surprised with its performance.
There are six fan speeds and you will rarely need to go above the third or fourth speed. And this is how most of the previous buyers described it – an extremely powerful fan that feels like a tornado.
Note that this fan has a DC motor inside that consumes only 38 watts of energy when set on highest speed.
This is a five-blade fan with the blades made of ABS.
Unlike the other ceiling fans, this one comes with a light kit that has a 12 watt LED inside which can output 1020 lumens of natural white light.
Although this might be an awesome feature for some, for others it might be a huge drawback. You can’t replace the LED with a light bulb and in case you don’t like the LED light color or intensity you will need to do some custom LED replacement which can be pretty time consuming.
You can operate this fan from distance by using a remote controller that comes as included in the package. The direction of the fan blades is reversible so you can use it during the winter as well.
Given that this is a DC-motor fan, you can reverse the blades spinning direction directly from the handheld remote controller.
Unlike the most of the other fans, this one also has a built-in timer. You can set it up to work for one, two, four and eight hours and then to turn off automatically.
The fan looks great from the outside. If you are looking for a modern design this glossy dark-grey might fit your room perfectly.
Besides all the features we mentioned above, this fan also has a great 5-year unlimited warranty.
- Very powerful 6-speed ceiling fan
- Plenty of features that you wouldn’t find in even way more expensive fans
- Great for use even in larger rooms
- Full control remote from which you can control the fan speed, the spin direction, turn the fan on and off, switch the lights and set up the timer
- Has a built-in timer
- Low operational noise-level
- This fan comes with a light kit that uses a LED as a source of light which might be a drawback for those who are used to the regular light bulbs
- There aren’t any advanced controls over the LED light intensity, you can only turn them on or off via the remote controller,
OVERALL IMPRESSION: This fan simply has everything that you might wish from a ceiling fan – it is a quiet and powerful 6-speed fan that has a nice and stylish look. It features a remote controller from where you can control everything including the spinning direction and it even has a built-in timer that will let you set it up when to turn on or off. And besides all the great features, it comes with a 5-year unlimited warranty. If you aren’t too much concerned regarding the LED source of light, this should be a great buy even for use in larger rooms.
BEST FOR BUDGET: Westinghouse Lighting 7203200 Cassidy Indoor Ceiling Fan 36″
This 36 inch ceiling fan is ideal for use in smaller rooms. We decided to choose it as our best for budget pick because, with all the features it offers, it should be a great buy for the given price.
The airflow capacity of this fan is 3,096 CFM and it is recommended to be used in up to 80 square feet rooms.
This is a 5-blade fan with reversible blades. The primary blade finish is wengue and the secondary finish is silver.
It comes with the lighting option and with two indascestent light bulbs. Note that you can’t use a bulb whose wattage is higher than 40 watts which might be a drawback if you want to use the indascestent lights that are provided with the fan. However, you can use brighter LED light bulbs that can give a brighter light while consuming less watts of energy.
The glass light fixture is made from opal frosted glass. The lightning feature is not removable but you can use the fan with the lights turned off.
The fan itself is a low energy consuming fan and takes only 40 watts of electricity.
It is powered by a silicon steel motor that also has a dual capacitor which makes it quieter during the operation. It has three fan speeds and the direction of the fan blades can be reversed for winter time use.
The installation kits contains a 4-inch downrod, pull chains and two candelabra-base 40-watt G16-1/2 light bulbs.
This ceiling fan doesn’t come with a remote control but it is compatible with Westinghouse 7787000 or 7787100 remote controllers which you can buy separately.
It comes with a limited lifetime warranty on motor and a two-year warranty on other parts.
Note that this is a lightweight fan which should be easier to install, it weighs only 11.97 pounds.
- Relatively cheap, for the given features it should be a great buy for the offered price
- Small and efficient ceiling fan that has all the standard features
- Can work in reverse mode during the winter
- The light kit is not removable but you still can use the fan with the lights turned off
- The lighting option supports only up to 40 watt light bulbs (two light bulbs can fit in)
- The user manual might not be the best written one
OVERALL IMPRESSION: If you are on a budget and looking to buy a nice stylish fan that is still reliable and efficient, this Westinghouse model should be a great solution for use within smaller rooms.
BEST FOR SMALL ROOMS: Hunter 52090 Watson 34″ Ceiling Fan, New Bronze
If you are looking for a smaller but still powerful ceiling fan, this nice and stylish model from Hunter is probably one of the best models that you can get for your money.
This is a 34 inch fan which is intended for use in smaller rooms, up to 75 square feet. However, no matter the fact that the blades are pretty short, this fan will probably surprise you in a positive way once you turn it on.
Its nicely designed petal-shaped blades combined with a steady and powerful motor can move plenty of air quickly. The blades are made so you get two different finishes (Cabin Home / Walnut) i.e. they are reversible.
This is a 5-blade fan with the specified airflow capacity of this model is 3516 CFM.
This kind of a fan that also comes with the lights might be a good choice for your bedroom, laundry room or a walk-in closet. Although you can consider using it in a bathroom, note that this fan is rated for indoor use only which means that it is neither wet rated nor damp rated so you might be careful in case you are planning to use it in your bathroom.
This fan is controlled by pull chains which will let you adjust the fan speed and turn the lights on or off. It also can work in reversible mode for use during the winter.
The lighting part consists of two 60 Watt incandescent light bulbs. The light globe style is cased white glass and a three inch light bulb fits nicely inside. The light kit is optional during the installation – you can decide to remove it if you don’t want to use it.
This is a surface mounted protruding ceiling fan which is intended for use on low or standard height ceilings. The three-position mounting system will allow standard, angled or low ceiling mounting. The installation kit comes with a three inch and two inch downrod.
Note that you might need to purchase an optional longer downrod if you plan to install this on angled ceiling.
The built-in WishperWindmotor makes sure that this device operates extremely quiet at the highest speeds. Limited lifetime warranty is offered for the motor.
Note that this device is compatible with Hunter universal remote controllers as well as with the Hunter wall controllers.
- Small but powerful fan that can produce a strong airflow
- Great for use within smaller rooms
- Lightweight and easy to install
- Reasonably cheap
- Can be connected to a remote control
- Comes from a reliable brand, a company that has been producing ceiling fans for more than a century
- The blades might seem pretty small, even smaller from what you might be expecting to get
- It might not be that easy to find a replacement for some parts like the light globe for example
OVERALL IMPRESSION: This is a small powerful and very quiet fan that should be a great buy for use in smaller rooms. Note that despite the blades might look like too small, you will be surprised with what this fan can do.
BEST FOR MID-SIZED ROOMS: 44″ Plaza Brushed Nickel Damp Rated Ceiling Fan
This three-blade ceiling fan from Casa Vieja is great for those who are looking for a modern minimalistic fan design.
The blades aren’t made from metal though, as it might look like, these are silver finish molded ABS blades.
This is a 44 inch fan that has the airflow capacity of 4339 CFM and is recommended to be used in up to 170 square feet rooms.
Note that this is a damp rated fan so you can consider using it in bathrooms or in covered outdoor areas. However, it is not suitable for outdoor use in areas where the humidity is high or anywhere where it could be exposed to a salt water. It should be a great fit for use on a covered porch or patio.
The installation kit contains a 6 inch downrod. Note that if you have low ceiling you might want to look for a shorter downrod. The original one can be shortened but you will probably need to have a professional support while doing this.
While this is a really good ceiling fan, a huge drawback from buying it can be the fact that you can’t purchase the different length downrod nor a ceiling adapter straight off, all together with the fan. So, if you need a longer downrod, you will have actually to call the customer support to arrange with them to send you these extra parts that fit this particular fan.
Note that, once the fan is installed, the distance between the ceiling and fan blades is 11 inches.
The basic package doesn’t contain a light kit but you can purchase one as an extra option.
This model comes with a full control hand-held remote controller. There are three fan speeds to choose from (low, medium, high) and you can also use it in reverse mode. When switching to reverse mode you need to do it from the switch at the hub, this is not something that you can do from the hand-held remote.
There is also an optional wall control unit for this fan that can be purchased separately.
Note that this fan does not have the pull chain to control the fan speeds so you might want to be careful not to lose your remote if you decided not to purchase the additional wall control unit.
Most of this kind of fans do not come with the manufacturer provided noise-level rating because they are generally considered as very quiet. For this particular model, we found some great reviews from the previous buyers who described it as totally quiet even when operating on high setting. The only noise that you might hear is the sound of air moving over the blades.
- A powerful and efficient fan that is great for use in mid-sized rooms
- Modern and stylish minimalistic design
- It is damp rated and can be used outdoors in covered areas
- Very quiet even when used on the highest setting
- An in-detail user manual provided
- The basic package doesn’t contain a light kit – can be used without the lights
- Comes with a remote control
- You can purchase a light kit and a wall control device as an extra option
- The installation kit only contains a 6 inch downrod, if you need it to be shorter or longer you either have to find a DIY way to make it fit or you have to call the customer support to send you the extra parts
OVERALL IMPRESSION: This is a quiet and reliable fan that has very good ratings from previous buyers. It is meant for use in mid sized rooms and given that it is a damp rated unit you can also consider using it in bathrooms or in covered outdoor areas.
BEST FOR LARGE ROOMS: Kensgrove YG493OD-EB 72″ Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan
If you are looking a solution for larger rooms, this Kensgrove 8-blade fan might be a great buy for the offered price. However, you need to be aware that it comes with a few drawbacks as well.
First, this is a really powerful fan with the airflow capacity rating of 9330 CFM. It can be used in 400 square feet rooms and larger. The 72 inch blade span and the 8 blades will make it look really large once when installed.
However, this is still a lightweight fan that weighs around 26 pounds. Given that it is powered by a lightweight 33 Watt DC motor, this could be a drawback when used outdoors because it can be unstable during the strong wind and can start moving sideways and the blades can start hitting the ceiling as well.
So, although it is a wet-rated fan which should be perfect for outdoor use, you should know that it can be unstable during the strong wind.
The fan blades could be made of a higher quality material for a fan of this price – they are made from ABS plastic and might look cheap.
While you might have issues with the stability if used outdoors, this fan should be a great buy for indoor use.
It comes with a light kit that includes a 14-Watt 3000K LED light.
The built-in 9-speed DC motor is Energy Star rated so, while this might look like a large fan, it won’t consume more energy than a regular light bulb (even with the light turned on).
This fan comes with a remote control and while the remote itself should usually be a great aid to operate fans of this size, in this case there might be some drawbacks regarding this.
The remote controller, as described by many previous buyers, can start acting weird and might be harder to understand how it works. The problem is that this fan doesn’t come with a wall control unit so you need to rely on your remote if you want to use advanced settings.
The good news regarding the remote controller is that this fan will memorize the latest setting and once you turn it off from the wall switch and turn it on again, it will continue working on the latest setting set up through remote controller.
Note that the remote controller might act like not working at all upon receival (and this can happen with the other fans that have a remote as well) – in this case you shouldn’t rush declaring it non-functional. Replacing the provided batteries with the new ones should fix that issue.
Despite the possible glitches with the remote, fan is still described by many previous owners as a very powerful fan that feels like higher capacity than it is rated for and it can move some air.
- A large and powerful fan that is meant for use in larger rooms
- Good for use indoors and outdoors (wet rated)
- Can also act as a really nice decorative element if your large room looks empty
- Comes with a full control remote controller
- While great for indoor use, might not be the best for outdoor use if there are strong winds outside
- The remote controller can be glitchy and you might find it hard to understand how it works
- The fan blades might look cheap as they are made from ABS plastic
OVERALL IMPRESSION: This is a large powerful fan that should be a great buy both for indoor and outdoor use. Despite all the possible issues regarding the remote control functions, this is still a good fan for use in larger rooms that looks nice and can move some air.
Ceiling Fans Buying Guide – Everything That You Should Know Before And After Buying One
Did you know that a simple device as a ceiling fan can reduce your air conditioning costs by up to 40%? And this is not only during the summer but it can also work in winter.
Although this might sound as hard to believe, there is some logic behind this.
When you use a ceiling fan during the summer it won’t actually lower the room temperature by itself, simply because this is impossible. It is hard to expect from a regular ceiling fan with wooden blades to be able to do something like that.
However, what this fan can do is to produce a circulating breeze. And believe it or not, this can make you feel like the temperature in the room is cooler by up to eight degrees.
So, how this actually happens?
If you read our article about evaporative coolers, you might already have an idea.
During the summer, when turned on a summer mode (we will explain this later in-detail) ceiling fan will send the air from above directly on your skin. The airflow that comes from above will produce a breeze that will evaporate the moisture that is on your skin (you might be sweating even when you think that you aren’t).
This process of evaporation will create a thin layer of cold air over your skin as the hot air gets cooled during the evaporation process. So, regardless of the fact that the air that comes from the ceiling level might be hotter than the air down on the floor level, this will still help you feel the cooling effect.
Now, if you already have an air conditioner, you might think that buying one of these ceiling fans might be pretty absurd.
Why would anyone who already owns an air conditioner buy a ceiling fan except for aesthetic purposes?
Well, by using a ceiling fan combined with an AC, you can reduce your energy bills by up to 40%. Based on the same principle explained above you will feel comfortable even if you set a higher temperature on your AC’s thermostat plus the ceiling fan will balance the cooled air across the room equally.
And what about winter?
If you ever had to climb to reach something close to the ceiling level during the winter when your heater is on, you might feel what is going on there – as you go higher, you feel how it gets warmer and warmer.
All the hot air goes upwards and stays there on the ceiling level for a long time (this is why you can benefit a lot from your downstairs condo neighbors during the winter).
So, during the winter, if you use a ceiling fan, you want to point the wind direction to go towards the ceiling. This way the fan will spread gently the hot air that collects on the ceiling level back down to the floor level without exposing yourself to the direct airflow from the fan.
This will increase efficiency of your heater and should make your room warmer by up to 10 degrees.
Should my ceiling fan spin clockwise or counter-clockwise?
This has become a kind of an eternal dilemma and a subject of many arguments – whether your ceiling fan should be spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise during the summer or winter.
The answer is – it doesn’t matter.
Because of the fact that not all fans are made the same way and some manufacturers will position the fan blades so they will send the airflow opposite to the direction that you might be expecting to get if it spins clockwise.
So, the spinning direction is not important at all, what you really need to pay attention is the direction of the airflow that the fan produces.
Simply, during the summer you want the fan to blow the air downwards so it can produce a breeze and make you feel cooler. And, during the winter, you want the fan to blow the air upwards to the ceiling so it gently spreads the hot air from above downwards to the lower parts of your room.
Lately, manufacturers have become aware of this issue of misconception regarding the ceiling fan spinning direction so they made it simpler for users to set up their fan to work on the winter or summer mode simply by pressing a switch button.
What to look for when buying a ceiling fan
Ceiling fans, if you never paid an extra attention to them before, might all look the same and it might feel like there’s not much to decide about when buying one of these except the design.
Yes, these devices tend not to be that expensive and seem like simple devices that you just click on and buy without plenty of thinking or research.
However, you might be surprised with all the variety of the shapes, sizes and features that are available on the market.
Therefore, we prepared here a list of things that you might want to take in account before rushing yourself into buying one of these devices.
Note that, while you might be choosing from plenty of various options available like the size of the blade span, number and shape of the fan blades, high speed fan motors etc., there are actually only couple of things that really matter when buying one of these fans – so, if you choose the one that looks nice, seems reliable and is quiet enough, you can hardly go wrong with it.
Choosing the proper design that fits your room
Ceiling fans can be an important part of your interior design. And truth to be told, they often serve more as decorative items than for what they were built for.
People seem to forget about them after a while and they just stand there on the ceiling doing nothing, waiting for the next summer to come. This is probably because most of the owners of these fans aren’t aware that they can benefit from using these fans also during the winter.
But regardless of how much you plan to use them or not, they still can look really nice on the ceiling and, given that they often come with the globe light attached, they might be a great replacement for a hanging lamp or ceiling lighting that is usually placed near the center of the room.
There are all kinds of designs and this is something that you have to choose on your own. However, while choosing, if you really plan to use them for their purpose, you need to make sure that you choose the design that will also be good fit for your place by its other features, as well.
What you might want to look for when doing this are the fans with the blades that come in two colors i.e. when you flip them you get a different color set. This can be great if you want to change the colors of the blades from time to time.
Fan blades are probably the most important part of your ceiling fan, when it comes to the design so, don’t forget that you can achieve a lot by choosing the desired shape and size. For example, you can have it designed to look like a flower or a wind mill etc.
Which ceiling fan blade span would fit your room the best?
Ceiling fans do not come with a capacity rating like air conditioners. There is neither a specific rule regarding which size of fan blades to choose for a specific surface of your room.
When choosing the size of the fan blades you can rely either on a rule of thumb or your own estimation.
Here we came up with a table based on recommendations of other buyers that could help you determine which size of the blade span you might need for your room.
|Up to 36″||For up to 75 square feet rooms|
|36″ to 48″||For up to 175 square feet rooms|
|48″ to 56″||For up to 350 square feet rooms|
|56″ and larger||For rooms larger than 350 square feet|
Note that the needed bladespan size might also depend on the actual dimensions of the room despite its surface. For example, if you have a room that is long and narrow, you might want to consider rather buying two fans with a smaller blade span than buying a larger one.
Another thing that you might want to consider when deciding about the size of the fan blades is their width and thickness. Thicker and wider fan blades (usually made of wood) should be better for standard domestic use if you are looking for a quiet model that can move air even while operating on lower speed settings.
Understanding the airflow capacity rating
If you are concerned regarding the efficiency of the fan that you are planning to buy, you might also look for the manufacturer provided airflow rating.
The airflow rating of the fans is expressed in CFM (cubic feet per minute). So, this rating will reveal how much of air (in cubic feets) your fan can move efficiently per minute.
Basically, this rating will tell you which is the highest possible airflow capacity of your fan when used on max setting (which you will rarely do).
For example, if your fan comes with the 2900 CFM rating it means that it can blow 2900 cubic feet of air per minute.
So, if you need to make sure that you get a fan that can really move some air, you should look for a fan with the higher CFM rating but, you should also know that this is not the single specification to rely on when determining the power of the fan.
Number of fan blades
Ceiling-mounted fans usually come with three to five blades however, you should be aware that the number of fan blades doesn’t affect their performance significantly at all.
So, basically, the number of fan blades should be primarily considered as a matter of aesthetics. For example, if you like the one with more blades, you probably shouldn’t be concerned if it would be any worse than the one with four blades.
It could be that fans with more blades might not be able to produce as strong airflow as the ones with two or three blades but as the number of blades increase, these fans should be quieter.
And given the fact that there are plenty of different motors on the market today, if you are concerned about the performance, you should probably look for what kind of features the fan motor does have rather than thinking too much about the fan blades.
Do you need a remote control for a ceiling fan?
While you might not need that much a remote control if you have a tower or wall-mounted fan, with ceiling fans owning a remote control has almost become a kind of a must-have feature.
If your space has a regular height of the ceilings where you can mount the fan so you can reach it when you want to change its settings, then it would probably be fine for you to buy a fan that has a regular control features like a pull-chain or simple switch control.
However if you have high ceilings, cathedral or vaulted ceilings, reaching the fan to adjust the settings might be way impractical and hard to do so, you probably want to look for the ones that have a remote controller.
Note that you can control your fan remotely even when there is no actual remote controller. There are couple of ways that you can get the “remote control” feature besides the usual handheld infrared remote.
For example, you can get the wall control option which is basically a board with switches that will let you control the fan from the location where you mount the switches. This is similar to the light switches and you could probably mount your control unit close to them.
There are also fans that can be installed to feature both the wall switches and handheld remote. There’s not any significant advantage of having this kind of setup except if you just want to have the both of the options available or you are concerned that you could lose your remote control.
If your fan has already built in the handheld remote control feature, there’s also an option to make it wi-fi connectible and control the unit from your smartphone by installing a specific device. We will explain this in-detail later on.
Do you need a fan with the lights?
Whether you might need the lighting feature or not, depends on how your existing lighting setup is arranged.
Ceiling fans are usually mounted at the very center of your room and this is where you usually might have a light fixture installed already.
So, if you are going to remove your ceiling lights and replace it with the fan, you will most likely want to look for one that comes with the lights or with a light kit that can be unmounted if you don’t need it.
Since most of the fans already come with this feature, you might want to have it even if you don’t need it that much just because of the aesthetics – fans with the lights usually look nicer and you never know when you might need an extra source of light anyways.
Note that you should pay extra attention to this if you have multiple ceiling lights that might be blocked by the fan blades. This is highly advised to avoid since once you turn on the fan you would get a weird effect that would make your room look like a house music club with a special light show.
If you decided that you need the lights with your fan, make sure that it supports the light bulb sizes that you need to use within your room since it can happen that the light cover will allow you to use only a smaller light bulb.
Does the provided installation kit fits your ceiling type?
When buying a ceiling fan, you should check what’s exactly provided in the installation kit. Usually the installation kit will contain a couple of different lengths of downrods.
However, some ceiling fans will come with only one downrod size provided and it might make it harder to install your fan if you need the different downrod length.
If you have a lower or higher ceiling you need to make sure to get the proper downrod length. Also, you need to pay extra attention to this if you will be installing the fan on a sloped ceiling.
AC vs DC motors – which one to choose for your ceiling fan?
The motor is actually the most important part of your fan since the fan basically consists of the motor and blades. So, when buying one, you might want to pay your attention regarding which type of motor is inside.
Here are some basic things that you should know about the ceiling fan motor types.
While ceiling fan motors might have plenty various features they all can be sorted in two distinctive categories – by the kind of electrical current they use as a source of power.
So, there are the AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) motors.
How this specific rating can relate to your decision regarding which type of motor to choose?
Each of these two types of motors has their own advantages and disadvantages – although these might be minor differences, for someone who is looking for specific fan features, knowing more about this might be very important.
So, for example, DC motors have better energy efficiency ratio than AC motors. They can be by up to 70% more energy efficient than the AC motors.
Note that ceiling fans don’t consume that much of energy anyways so, if you are buying a fan for a regular domestic use then, you will probably care less about this. However, when you are using these fans for commercial use in larger facilities, the difference can be way more visible.
Another advantage of DC motors over the AC ones is their noise level. This kind of motors is way quieter than the AC motors and they have better control options regarding the fan speeds, reverse mode etc.
Besides that, DC motors usually weigh less and are smaller in size which might be an important factor if you have concerns regarding the installation and will your ceiling be able to hold the fan tightly.
Most of the fans with a DC motor will come with a remote controller and you will usually be able to use all the control options by using the remote controller. Some of the DC fans will come also with the wall-mounted control panel but usually you will be forced to do all the control work exclusively via the remote.
Now, some see this as a drawback for the DC fans since the AC fans will usually have the wall switches and pull chain switches and besides that they can feature a remote controller as well but, if you can trust yourself that you can keep the remote from being broken or lost, you will probably love the fact that you can control your fan from anywhere.
Outdoor vs indoor ceiling fans
If you are planning to have a ceiling fan installed on a porch, patio or gazebo, you might want to check if your fan is specified for that kind of use.
A ceiling fan can be a really useful addition to a porch or patio where you spend plenty of your time during the summer. Despite the fact that they are used outdoors, this kind of fans would produce the same effect as when used indoors – they will create a breeze that will cool you down, no matter how hot it is outside.
Now, if you plan to use a ceiling fan for this purpose you need to check if it comes with the outdoor rating.
Note that there are fans which are suitable for outdoor use and there are those which aren’t.
Outdoor fans differ from the indoor units by several features. For example, outdoor fans are made of specific materials that can handle different weather conditions that may occur outside and they often come with a more powerful motor.
One of the main concerns when using this kind of fans outdoors is moisture. Since these are fans that require a permanent installation i.e. they can’t be moved around when you don’t need them, they need to be damp proof and moisture proof.
So, there are damp rated and wet rated fans that might be suitable for the outdoor use.
Both of these types of ceiling-mounted fans should be good for use in covered areas outdoors however, depending on weather conditions in your areas, you might want to look for a fully wet proof ceiling fan for this kind of use.
If you are concerned that the fan, despite the fact that it is installed in a covered area, might get wet when it rains outside, you should rather choose a wet proof unit. Wet proof means that it will fully resist water and there are even fans that you can freely wash with water.
NOTE: If you ever decide to wash your fan you should make sure that your fan can handle this and never expose yourself to a direct contact with the wiring while doing this (no matter the fact that the wires are wet proof as well). And always use a water supply hose to wash the fan.
Damp proof ceiling fans might not be the best solution for outdoor use but they should be great for bathrooms and kitchens.
If you plan to install a ceiling-mounted fan within a kitchen or bathroom, knowing that there might be plenty of damp and moisture within these places, you should make sure that the fan is damp proof.
Do you need an energy efficient ceiling fan?
Ceiling fans, especially the ones that have built-in DC motors, are pretty cheap to run. An average ceiling fan will consume around 100 watts of electrical power which is equal to the amount of energy that a regular light bulb consumes.
So, when buying this kind of a fan, you shouldn’t be too much concerned with how much of energy it would consume.
You can freely let the fan run during the whole year and you will barely feel any change on your electricity bills.
However if you plan to use multiple ceiling fans within your house, you might want to pay more attention to this. So, if this is your concern you can always look for Energy Star rated fans and if you plan to use the lighting option as well, you could find ones that have an Energy Star rating for that part as well.
What warranty options are offered?
Ceiling fans are type of devices that are meant to last. Because of the fact that there aren’t any complicated parts inside and that the motor is the main part, they last longer and usually come with good warranty options.
So, when buying one, you might want to check what kind of warranty do you get for the fan. Usually, you will get warranty for this kind of devices for 5 to 10 years period of time. If you are buying a large and more expensive model then you should certainly expect to get at least 10 years warranty on it.
Check if it can work in the reversible rotation mode
Although most of the fans should have this feature, you should check if you will get this option from the fan that you might be considering to buy.
The reversible option is very handy during the winter when you don’t want it to produce the breeze while blowing the air downwards but still need it to spread the warm air from the top of your room to the floor level.
DC fans will usually have this feature and most of them will also allow you to use all the fan speed options in reverse mode as well.
However, if you aren’t able to find the one that can work reverse mode but all the other features seem like a great fit for your place, you could consider buying it if there is an option to set it in a very slow working mode in order to avoid the breeze when used during the winter.
Which is the best material for the fan blades?
This is again something that has to do a lot with the interior design and your personal taste.
The blades can be built from all kind of different materials like wood, plastic, stainless steel or aluminum.
Which kind of fan blades should you prefer is primarily a matter of aesthetics however, there is a slight difference in performance for each material.
For example, wooden and plastic fan blades are usually quieter than metal blades.
If you are planning to use your fan outdoors, you might check if the fan blades are damp and wet proof.
How To Install A Ceiling Fan + Maintenance Tips
Ceiling fan installation might not be that easy for everyone. Note that ceiling fan needs to be connected to the electrical circuit of your home and you will have to do some wiring while installing it. If you don’t have any experience with the electrical work, you might want to look for help of a professional.
However, if you feel like capable enough to try to do it on your own, there is a good reason to try it. Note that hiring an electrician to install the fan can be as expensive as the fan itself if not even more. The installation process itself is still simple and even if you don’t know anything about electricity, you could give it a try.
Anyways, in this quick tutorial regarding how to install a ceiling fan, we will let you know the basics. Note that we won’t provide you with any advice regarding the wiring since the colors of the wires might vary and we don’t want to give you a wrong advice that could cause your fan to fail even before turning on.
Choosing the proper location
Ceiling fans are usually installed in the middle of a room or above the area where you spend the most of the time.
Unless you don’t like being exposed to the direct airflow from the ceiling fan, you need to have them as close to you as possible so they can do their best to make you feel cooler during the summer. This is especially the case with the fans that have a shorter bladespan and smaller airflow capacity.
More powerful fans with larger airflow capacity can still be efficient even if you aren’t standing directly below them.
When choosing where to install your ceiling fan an existing ceiling light fixture can be an important factor.
Since you don’t want the fan blades to block any ceiling-mounted light source, you will most likely want to install it in place of existing light fixture on the ceiling. This is why the most of the fans come also with a light kit (it is actually pretty hard to find a decent one without the lights).
Another reason to choose the existing light fixture as a point where to install the fan is the fact that you don’t have to provide extra wiring for the fan – all the wiring job is already done and you can simply connect it to the existing wires.
If you are planning to install it on your own, installing it onto an existing light fixture will make it way easier.
Installing the mounting bracket
After you decided where to install the fan, you will need to mount the mounting bracket before you put the fan on it.
If you decided to install your fan in place of an existing light fixture, then you can simply remove the light fixture and attach the mounting bracket on the existing ceiling box.
NOTE:Before you do any work regarding this step make sure that you turn off the circuit breaker that is connected with the light fixture where you need to install the fan. Additionally use a wire tester to make sure that there is no power within the wires. If you still aren’t sure whether the electricity is turned off, you can turn off the power for the whole house.
Also, a very important thing to know when you are installing a fan in place of a standard light fixture is that ceiling fans can be a lot heavier than the standard light fixture so, the standard ceiling box might not be strong enough to support the weight of the fan.
If you are planning to install the fan onto a location where there’s no a light fixture, then you will need to cut a hole into the ceiling and mount an adjustable hanger bar and ceiling box.
Although it might look like a very complicated process, installing the adjustable hanger bar is pretty easy. You need to put it through the hole in the ceiling and position it properly so it can reach ceiling joists from the both sides when expanded.
In this case, the harder part would be to do the wiring properly as there won’t be an existing ceiling box nor the wires that you can use to connect the fan. And if you also want to have a wall mounted switch to control the fan as well, this can get pretty complicated for someone who is not an electrician. So, if you need to do it this way, maybe it would be way easier for you to hire someone to do this part of the job.
So, after you have a proper ceiling box in place, you need to attach to it a mounting bracket.
Usually there will be at least two screws that are used to hold the bracket attached tightly to the ceiling box. Before attaching the bracket make sure that you put the wires through the hole in the center of the bracket.
Hanging the ceiling fan
The next step to do is to hang the ceiling fan i.e. to connect it with the bracket that you attached to the ceiling box.
You can do this either having the fan completely assembled before mounting or you can first attach the motor and then add the baldes and the other parts.
Since it might be hard to hold a fully assembled fan while doing this, and given that it can be pretty heavy, you might want to attach the motor first and then add the other parts.
So, what you should do is to attach the motor to the hook that connects with the bracket. Once you did this, you need to make sure that you connect all the wires as needed.
As we said earlier, we won’t provide you with the tips regarding wiring here and you will need to figure this out either on your own or to find someone who can connect the fan properly.
After you connected all the wires and made sure that all the connections are well insulated, you can screw the hook to the mounting bracket. The next thing to do is to add the motor housing that usually connects to the side screws on the mounting bracket.
After you make sure than the motor is tightly screwed to the ceiling box, you can start adding the blade arms one by one. This should be easy to do but, make sure that you attach all the screws tightly.
If your fan comes with a separated light fixture, you might want to install it before mounting the blades.
So, as soon as you add the blade arms you could also add the light fixture and the light bulbs.
Finally you can attach the fan blades to the blade arms – while doing this make sure to screw the screws tightly (but don’t overdo it neither).
NOTE: It is very important to add the gaskets to the screws that will be holding the fan blades. You will usually have the gaskets provided as a part of the installation kit all together with the screws but, if for some reason they aren’t there make sure that you find the ones that fit the screws. You can use cardboard gaskets as well. These gasket can look like a less important part of the fan installation but they can actually prevent your fan from producing a weird wobbling noise.
If you did everything correctly, you should have a fully functioning fan installed.
Note that the installation steps might vary for different types of fans. You should be able to find all the necessary installation instructions also within the user manual so make sure you check it before doing anything.
Balancing a wobbling fan
It can happen that your fan starts wobbling after some time. This can also happen even to a brand new fan and this is why they usually come with a balancing kit included in the package.
First thing that you want to do when you notice that your fan started to wobble is to check if there are some loose screws on it. This is one of the most common reasons that fans start to wobble in first place. You can take a screwdriver and check the screws that connect blade arms with the motor housing and the blades with the blade arms.
If your fan is still wobbling after you made sure that all the screws are tight, you might want to try to use the balancing kit to add some weight to one of the blades that might be causing the problem.
If you don’t have the proper balancing kit, you can use some regular coins and a duct tape (although the duct tape might not be the best solution since the coins can fly from the fan easily at high speeds).
So, the first thing to do is to measure the height between the ceiling and each of the fan blades. Usually, you will be able to quickly identify the problematic one by doing this. If you still are not sure that you found the right one, you can also measure the distances between the tips of the fan blades as well.
Once you have identified the possibly problematic fan blade, you can attach a couple of coins with a duct tape and turn on the fan to see if there’s any improvement.
You can repeat this with each of the blades until you are sure that you have found a problematic one (sometimes it can be two of them as well).
After doing couple of trials, you should be able to come up with the ideal weight (i.e. amount of the coins to attach to the problematic blade). Once you managed to balance the fan, you might want to super-glue the coins to the blade in order to avoid them falling off because duct tape might not be able to hold them for long.
How to fix a noisy ceiling fan
If your fan is producing some weird noise, first you might want to check if this is caused by it being of balance – the step that we explained above.
If your fan is not wobbling and it seems well balanced but still produces a weird noises there are couple of things to check before you call a serviceman and probably pay for the fix as much as it would cost to buy a new fan.
First, you need to check the screws. Loose screws are the most common cause of noisy and wobbling fan. Simply, they get loose over time because they are exposed to the strong rotational forces of the fan. So, you need to check them once in a while and screw the loose ones.
Another thing that you might want to check when fixing a noisy ceiling fan is if someone who installed the fan forgot to add the gaskets to the screws that connect the blades with the blade arms. This can also be a very common reason that a fan starts to make noise over time. These gaskets might seem like something that isn’t really that important so it happens often that people either forget to add them or think they don’t make any difference.
If you notice that the screws on the blades don’t have the gaskets, even if they have the wider heads that look like the gaskets, you need to apply the real ones (usually made of cardboard) and you will be surprised with the difference. This simple fix can make your fan go from extremely noisy to super quiet.
Note that you need to make sure that the gaskets you are planning to apply correspond with the measures of the screws.
If loose screws or balancing issues aren’t the source of the noise produced by your fan, you might also want to try to oil the bearings that are placed on each sides of the fan motor.
Note that for this step you might need to disassemble some parts of the fan if not the whole fan and get it to the bare motor level.
Anyways, if you are able to reach the bearings without disassembling the fan, you can simply oil them while mounted.
You can use any lubricating oil that is meant for this kind of use but, you might want to avoid using the standard “3 in One” kind of lubricating oil. The best solution for lubricating the bearings should be the grease that is often used for lubricating cars.
Note that some fans don’t need to be lubricated at all so, you might want to double check if the noise is coming out of the motor or from somewhere else.
Bonus Section: How To Turn Your Ceiling Fan Into A Smart One
If your ceiling fan came with a regular handheld remote controller, you might want to consider turning it into a smart one.
This can be done with a special device called Bond.
Bond is a simple but pretty powerful device that can control up to 6 ceiling fans at once. It also can be set to control remote controlled fireplaces as well. And there are some clues that soon they might be adding also air conditioners to this list of the compatible devices which would be awesome.
Anyways, we will for now focus on their primary functionality i.e. controlling ceiling fans.
So, after you purchase this tiny device, all you have to do is to get the remote controller, install the app on your smartphone and point your fan remote at the Bond device.
Bond should be able to quickly detect the type of your fan and all of the available controls.
Note that Bond will still be able to send only the commands that your fan already supports. So, if your fan, for example, contains only the basic light kit without any special controls over the light intensity, Bond can’t make it dimmable – it will be only able to send the same commands that you can do with your regular handheld remote.
Bond will support both RF (radio frequency) and IR (infra red) remote controlled fans. Another great advantage of owning this device is the fact that it can reach all the fans within the 2500 square feet range and it doesn’t require to have the visual contact with the device.
This means that you can really use this device to control multiple fans in different rooms. So, if you live in a large home and have multiple ceiling fans already installed, this device could be a real savior.
Not only that it will replace all the remote controllers for different fans, but will also let you control them all from your smartphone, without the need to go into every room when you want to turn on or off the fan.
Note that still there might be some rare fans that require line of sight control so, you might want to double check if it will work as described with your fans.
There might be one single drawback when buying this device – the compatibility with less known brands.
While it will work perfectly with better known brands like Hunter, you might find it hard to connect with some some models of ceiling fans from the other less popular manufacturers. Although Bond is claimed to be compatible with most of the fans that are remotely controlled, we found some complaints from previous buyers regarding the compatibility.
Therefore, you might want to check first if this device will be compatible with your fan. If it is, you will probably be really pleased with the way it works.
We need to mention that this device is fully compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant which will let you set up your fans so you can control them using voice commands.
Also, this fan can be connected via the IFTTT platform and there are plenty of available applets ready to be used to fully automate the way your fans work.
- Awesome device that can help you control up to 6 fans from a single smartphone app
- No need to have a line of sight control for most of the fans
- Easy to install
- Can be also used for controlling fireplaces
- There are still some compatibility issues with the less know fan brands
- The way of selecting the fan firmware should be better designed – currently you can’t choose manually the model of your fan while installing it – this doesn’t works as good as expected for some fans
OVERALL IMPRESSION: Bond is an awesome device that will let you do amazing stuff with your ceiling fans. The only drawback to owning might be the compatibility issues. It is proven to work well with well known fan brands however, you still might need to make sure that it will work well with you particular model of the fan.
Wrapping It Up
Although some might depict them as a technology that belongs to the past, ceiling fans are certainly still there and used by plenty of happy buyers. While it might look pointless to buy a fan if you already own an air conditioner, these fans can be a surprisingly good aid to your ACs in cooling your home.
And not only that they can help the existing AC to do its job better and more efficiently but, they can also provide you with a cooling effect on their own. The way they cool your body is similar to the way the evaporative coolers work. The process involves evaporation of the moisture that is already present on your body and as a result of this you get to feel cooler no matter the fact that the fan is literally blowing the hot air at you from above.
Ceiling fans can also be very useful even during the winter when they can be used to send back down the heat that collects at the ceiling level of your room.
Given that they usually consume up to 50 Watts of energy (which is only a half of amount that a regular light bulb consumes) and given the facts regarding how they can be a truly helpful factor in cooling your home, ceiling fans should probably be a part of every home.
In this article we worked hard on providing you with a complete guide on what to look for when buying one of these fans, how to use and maintain them and we also introduced you with some new technologies that can turn your fan into a smart WiFi connectible device as well. Of course, we also prepared a list of our best picks that can help you in deciding which model could fit your place the best.
We hope that you found something useful here and that we helped you bring a better decision regarding buying one of these useful devices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are ceiling fans quiet?
Ceiling fans are made only of a motor and blades so, there aren’t many of the parts inside that could produce any significant noise. While most of the fans available on the market will be extremely quiet, some of them might be noisier if you use them on max setting.
Note that fan blades themselves can produce some decent amount of the total noise that is coming out of the fan. When blades hit the air at high speed you might be able to clearly hear that noise. Note that metal blades can be noisier than wooden blades.
Should I use a ceiling fan during winter?
Yes, using a ceiling fan during the winter can help you make your room feel warmer by up to 10 degrees. However, note that the ceiling fan itself wont produce any heat. It can only help spread the warm air that collects at the ceiling level to the lower parts of the room. Therefore, you will still have to use a heater to heat your place and ceiling-mounted fan can help you spend less on heating bills.
Do ceiling fans really help?
Yes, ceiling fans really can help in cooling (and also heating your room). While they don’t really produce any of cool air – that’s simply impossible – they do provide you with a breeze that cools the moisture on your skin and makes you feel cooler. Even when there is no any additional cooling device in the room.
It is similar during the winter. You can reverse the direction of the fan during the winter so, it will spread gradually all the heat that collects near the ceiling back down to the floor level. This can make your room feel warmer and reduce your heating bills.
Should ceiling fans be left on all the time?
Ceiling fans are built to last for decades. So, if you need them to run all the time, you are free to do that. Given that they consume less of energy than a regular light bulb, there aren’t any energywise concerns that could prevent you from keeping your fan turned on all the time.
If you are concerned with the fan parts getting loose and posing a security threat, you could check the screws from time to time if they are tight enough. But, in case there are any loose parts on your fan, you should be able to note that by the increased noise level of the fan.
You might, however, want to turn them off when you are not in home for a longer time.
Do ceiling fans use a lot of electricity?
No, ceiling fans, although they might look like large energy consuming devices, they actually consume almost half of the electricity that a regular light bulb uses. This is especially the case with the fans that are powered by DC (direct current) motors. Usually, this kind of fans will come with Energy Star rating, as well.
Can I control my ceiling fan with phone?
Yes, even if your ceiling fan doesn’t have a smart WiFi technology already built-in, there are the ways to get your fan connected with your smartphone. Note that you will be eligible for this kind of setup only if your fan already has its own remote controller. You can then use a device such as Bond which is an universal smart WiFi controller for ceiling fans.
Make sure that you read more about this in the section above where we explained this device in-detail.
Do outdoor ceiling fans work?
Yes, an outdoor ceiling fan should be as good as an indoor one. Given that they work by generating a breeze that cools your skin based on the evaporation process, they are equally good for use indoors and outdoors. Although, they could be more helpful indoors if combined with ACs during the summer or heaters during the winter.
Can i use an indoor ceiling fan on a covered porch?
It is not recommended to use outdoors indoor fans that aren’t rated for outdoor use. Even if you are planning to use it on a covered porch, you need to make sure that it is at least damp rated. Because of the fact that these fans require a permanent install, you need to make sure that they can withstand the impact of various weather elements.
In some areas where there is a risk of increased humidity or strong winds, even damp rated fans aren’t advised for outdoor use. So, if you want to make sure that your fan will work fine on your porch, you should go for a fully wet-rated unit.
Can an outdoor ceiling fan be used indoors?
There is no any drawback regarding using the fans that are rated for outdoor use indoors. Whether it be a fully wet rated or a damp rated fan, you can still use it indoors. And, for example, the wet or damp rated fans should be actually a good choice for use in kitchens and bathrooms.
Can ceiling fan blades be painted?
Yes, you can freely paint the blades of the ceiling fans but you need to make sure that you apply the color to the blades equally so it doesn’t cause any disbalance and wobbling.
Despite that there is not much weight in the color that you will be using, if applied unequally it can affect the balance of your fan while working on high speeds.