Any ol’ ceiling fan might work to circulate some air, but to truly keep cool and comfortable when not using air conditioning there are important ceiling fan considerations.
Any ol’ ceiling fan might work to circulate some air, but to truly keep cool and comfortable when not using air conditioning there are important ceiling fan considerations. Most lighting professionals and hardware retail specialists offer tips and guides. American Lighting Association’s suggestions include:
— Size: It may seem obvious, but smaller rooms, up to 75 square feet, require 36-inch fans or smaller, while larger bedrooms and living rooms need 50- to 54-inch fans. A mid-sized room, up to around 144 square feet, should be outfitted with a fan that is between 36 and 42 inches.
— Height: The general rule is for the blades to be 8 to 11 feet from the floor. Height will depend on whether the fan will be flush-mounted to the ceiling or secured to a hanging or extension rod. The latter is for especially high ceilings, such as vaulted ceilings.
— Blades: “The fan blade brackets should be positioned to hold the blade at a 12- to 15-degree angle for optimal circulation and be weighed and matched as a balanced set to avoid causing the fan to wobble,” according to ALA.
— Motor: Read reviews on different makes and models to learn which are made with a high-quality motor for quiet operation. Often, ceiling fans are installed in a showroom, so ask to listen to several fans before purchasing one.
For outdoor porch fans, apply the same general principles. However, if residing in an especially damp climate, choose a ceiling fan that is UL-tested for safe use in wetter areas. A wide variety of fan styles exist; choose high quality so that blistering, tarnishing, fading and corrosion do not occur.
For optimum cooling during warm-weather months, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise so cool air is pushed downward. Most fans either have remote controls or wall controls to change direction; or, there may be a button located somewhere under the blades.
When in doubt about choice and installation, hire a lighting professional or contractor.
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