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CEILING FAN QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Over the years, we have answered thousands of questions from customers. Here are some of the most common ones. If you cannot find an answer to your satisfaction, we love talking about ceiling fans, so just give us a call.

FAQ ABOUT CEILING FANS 

Updated: 3/15/2021

How Do I Choose The Right Ceiling Fan?

Although how a fan looks and how much it costs may be your #1 concerns, there are a variety of equally important factors to consider when choosing one, including energy-efficiency, air circulation capabilities, and life span. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Wind Speed (Breeze): A beautiful looking fan is useless if it doesn’t move enough air to cool you off. Read this article to learn more: Ceiling Fan Wind Speed.

  • Noise: Many inexpensive fans are noisy because they are made from inferior parts and lack proper noise-reducing components, such as isolation rings and rubber cushions between metal parts. The Most Quiet Ceiling Fans are precision made with a high level of quality control.

  • Durability: A fan that is built to last will have a high-quality motor that is properly matched with the blade pitch and RPM. Fans with inadequately sized motors constantly overheat and will eventually burnout. Ceiling Fans with DC Motors are not only extremely efficient, but they also operate at a much cooler temperature and last longer.
     
  • Efficiency: How much air a fan moves divided by how much energy it uses is how efficiency is calculated. The formula is CFM/Watts. A fan with very high efficiency can cost less than $20/year to operate even if it’s left running 24 hours a day.
     
  • Size: Of course, getting the right size ceiling fan for your room is a foremost consideration, as mentioned below.

For insightful info on which ceiling fans are best, visit Best Ceiling Fans. This page runs through the ideal fans for different style preferences and areas in your home, including outdoor spaces and bedrooms.   

What Size Ceiling Fan Do I Need?

There’s no definitive rule of thumb for sizing, leading to numerous charts with recommendations that differ widely. After 35 years in business, we’ve devised a Ceiling Fan Size Recommendation Calculator, giving you a close approximation determine the best size for any square or rectangular area. In general, use the largest fan you can live with visually that produces the highest wind speed. 

What's The Difference Between Indoor & Outdoor Ceiling Fans?

Indoor ceiling fans, also referred to as dry-rated, are designed for indoor areas that aren’t exposed to moisture, such as bedrooms, dining rooms, foyers, workshops, and dens. Outdoor Ceiling Fans are broken up into two categories: wet-rated and damp-rated. The former can handle rain exposure and be installed anywhere, whether outside or indoors. The latter can be used in covered, damp areas—such as a bathroom, sunroom, or patio—but isn’t meant to be exposed to rain or washed with a hose.

Ceiling Fan Pull Chain Switch Breakdown

The quality of the ceiling fan parts matters. Inferior fans often have low-quality on/off pull chain switches that are prone to failure, as they use less expensive materials that can’t handle everyday use. An internal mechanism may break, or the switch chain can be pulled out of the housing. In many cases, the entire fan becomes useless, as a replacement switch is most likely unavailable.

Ceiling Fans & Energy Savings

A ceiling fan with a DC motor has internal magnets of opposing polarity, creating the torque that’s needed to rotate the blades. As a result, these models are 75% more efficient than traditional options. Additionally, DC Motor Ceiling Fans weigh less, increasing effectiveness.

DC motor fans only use about 5 watts on low speed. If you were to leave one of these fans running 24 hours a day, it would cost just over $5.00 in electricity for the entire year. You can try our ceiling fan Operational Cost Calculator for different wattages and hours of use to see how much any fan will cost to run.

Consider the size carefully. Use the largest fan in your room that you can handle visually. This gives you better control over the airflow, allowing you to operate the fan at a lower speed and save energy.

To learn more about how a ceiling fan can save you energy, read this article or check out the video below:


 

Why Is My Ceiling Fan Making Noise?

Cheaper fans often make noise due to inferior components. Additionally, if your motor is connected to a dimmer control, this will wear out the fan, leading to humming. To repair this problem, put in a solid-state fan speed control in place of the dimmer

 

You’ll notice clicking or ticking if there are loose screws or unbalanced blades. To fix the former issue, tighten the screws in the mounting hardware, as well as the blade holders. For the latter problem, check to see if the blades are equally distant to the ceiling. If they aren’t, follow the steps outlined in this post

Benefits Of Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans make you feel cooler by creating a breeze when they’re spinning counter-clockwise. Although they don’t actually lower the temperature, a fan with a high wind speed can cause a room that’s 80 degrees to feel more like 72 degrees.

 

Additionally, fans can be used to improve your home’s heating. When set in reverse, they will push warm air that has risen to the ceiling down to the lower parts of the room, reclaiming the heat and saving you up to 30% on winter energy bills. Finally, ceiling fans enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home, providing a beautiful statement piece and decorative touch in every room.

Downrod Length For Ceiling Fans & High Ceilings

A fan can be installed on most residential ceilings, regardless of how high they are. However, you need to determine the correct downrod size. Start by consulting our recommendation chart.

To ensure you end up with the correct combination of ceiling fan, hanging system, and downrod for your application, you’ll also need to keep your individual needs in mind. For example, consider the room size, whether the ceiling is angled or vaulted, the overall open area, the position of the overhead fan relative to the furniture, the room’s function, the local climate, and the fixture’s aesthetics.

Can I Use CFL Bulbs In My Fan?

Many ceiling fans come with compact fluorescents (CFL bulbs). However, if you purchase one that didn’t, you can use CFL bulbs in a standard ceiling fan light kit.

Even better, however, is to choose a model that comes with LED Bulbs (light-emitting diodes), which are cost-effective, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly. 

Ceiling Fan Motors

For a fan to operate efficiently, the motor size must match the blade pitch and length. Inexpensive options may have inadequately sized motors, leading to overheating and motor burnout. Also, lower-quality fans may not have enough blade pitch to move air effectively.

DC motors are particularly effective, as they come with a 6-speed remote, so you’ll have a wide range of airflow capabilities.

How Much Is A Ceiling Fan?

Ceiling fans can cost anywhere from $57 to $2,600. However, the vast majority go for $100 to $700. 

The models on the pricier side ($500+) tend to be the best investments. They come with extensive features, including a 6-speed remote, wall control, an LED downlight, and high-quality parts. Plus, the extra money you spend will mean getting a more efficient motor, saving you on your energy bills down the line. 

Can You Buy Replacement Blades For Ceiling Fans?

If you suspect that you have warped blades or bent blade irons, you’ll need to replace them. Remove the blades from the fan by loosening the screws that hold the blade holders to the motor. 

Next, stack the blades on top of each other. You will easily notice if one or more are warped. If they are warped more than 1/4", replace them; keep in mind that you’ll need to find the correct blades to fit your blade holders (which we can help with).

Which Ceiling Fans Move The Most Air?

When picking a fan for optimal airflow, consider the quality of the motor. If it’s too weak, it won’t produce the flow of air needed to warm or cool a room appropriately. Any fan on our site that has a quality rating of 4 or 5 will have a well-designed and efficient motor. Our Best Ceiling Fans page also has plenty of suggestions for quality models.  

Additionally, pay attention to the CFM rating, which stands for cubic feet per minute. This measures the effectiveness of a fan’s airflow capabilities. Finally, consider the wind speed, which will help you decide where to install the fixture. Don’t put a high-wind-speed fan directly above a workstation or dining room table. 

What's The Quietest Ceiling Fan?

For a ceiling fan to run smoothly and make minimal noise, it needs to contain high-quality parts, thick and sturdy materials, and durable mounting hardware. It should also be installed and balanced properly. High-end fans with brushless DC motors tend to be the quietest on the market. AC motor fans, on the other hand, are often loud, as they use electromagnets, creating humming sounds. 

Finding a Smooth-Running Ceiling Fan is especially important in rooms where you need quiet, such as a bedroom, library, or nursery.

Which Direction Should A Ceiling Fan Turn in The Summer Or Winter?

In the summer, run your fan in the forward direction (counter-clockwise). This forces the air down, creating a wind-chill effect and cooling you down. In the winter, run the ceiling fan in reverse (clockwise) at a relatively low speed. This will draw cool air up and force the warm air down, preventing the wind-chill effect. To learn more, see this article.  

How Do I Balance A Ceiling Fan?

When a ceiling fan shakes or wobbles, the issue is often weight discrepancies between the different blades. To fix the problem, balance the fan using a balancing kit:

  1. Run the fan at different speeds to see which setting leads to the most wobbling.
  2. Switch the positions of two blades that are adjacent to each other to see if that solves the issue.
  3. If it doesn’t, attach a weighted clip to the top of one blade, centering it along the leading edge. Next, turn the fan on and see if the wobble is still noticeable. If it is, move the clip to the next blade, continuing the process until you determine which one can benefit from additional weight.
  4. Attach the clip to the blade that leads to the least wobble, and move it around until the fan runs optimally.
  5. Peel the protective paper off the adhesive, and stick the lead weight to the blade’s top, making sure it’s adjacent to the clip.
  6. Finally, take the weighted clip off and turn the fan on, repeating this process until the fixture doesn’t wobble at all. 

For a more in-depth overview, see our guide: How to Balance a Ceiling Fan.

How Do I Install A Ceiling Fan?

Each ceiling fan we sell comes with easy, step-by-step instructions to guide you through the installation process. However, you may be more comfortable hiring an installer. To make sure you choose the right one, ask them questions about their experience, licensing, and service contracts.

How To Clean A Ceiling Fan

Make sure the fan is off before beginning the cleaning and maintenance process. Next, use a step-ladder to reach the blades, and dust them using a dry microfiber cloth. If you notice grime, utilize a damp cloth and detergent, making sure to dry the blades immediately.

To clean the light fixtures, remove the bulbs and glass shades, carefully unscrewing the mounting screws. Wash the glass with warm soapy water, and then clean the motor housing with a lightly dampened cloth, adding dish soap if there’s grime; dry the fan right away to prevent corrosion.

How To Replace A Ceiling Fan

If your ceiling fan is aging, off-balance, wobbly, noisy, or not turning on, it may be time to replace it. Here are several steps to follow: 

  1. Shut Off the Power: This will keep you safe from the electrical wires.  
  2. Get Rid of the Old Fan: Using a screwdriver, remove the light fixture, blades, and base. 
  3. Put in the Ceiling Bracket: Utilize screws to secure the bracket into the electrical box. Next, take the wires from the ceiling, and bring them through the center hole. 
  4. Assemble the Fan: Follow the instructions for your model. For example, install the canopy and download assembly.
  5. Attach the Wires & Canopy: Hook the assembled fan base into the bracket. Next, connect all the wires. 
  6. Install the Blades: Screw the fan blades into the canopy.
  7. Screw In the Switch Housing: Make sure the connection between the upper and lower switch housing is secure. 
  8. Put in the Cover Plate: Attach the glass cover to the housing kit, and then turn on the power. 

If you have questions that were not answered in this FAQ, reach out to one of our experts at (800) 201-1193.