Ceiling fans are an effective and cost efficient way to cool your space. There are an overwhelming number of products on the market and options to consider when purchasing a ceiling fan. It is important to do your research and work out what will work best for you and your space.
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What size ceiling fan do I need?
Most important factor to consider when installing a ceiling fan is the size of the room. A room’s size and the way you use it will be best guide of what size fan will work best for your space. The fan size measurement refers to the length from tip of one blade to the tip of the opposite blade. There are other factors to consider when choosing a fan but the table below is a great starting point.
29” (73cm) or less
Less than 5 sqm
Hallway, laundry room or walk-in-robe
Up to 7 sqm
Breakfast nook, large bathroom
Up to 9 sqm
Bedroom, office, kitchen
Up to 21 sqm
Master bedroom, dining room, patio
Up to 37 sqm
Large living room, open plan area.
Table adapted from: https://www.ylighting.com/blog/choose-ceiling-fan/
Options for mounting ceiling fans
There are many different ways to mount your ceiling fan to get the most out of your space.
Flush Mount ceiling fans
Flush mount or hugger ceiling fans are ideal for spaces with low ceilings. This option retains the usability of your room whilst providing cooling. As the name would suggest, the motor housing sits flush against the ceiling allowing for a few extra centimeters of head height. The base of your ceiling fan should be no less than 2.1 metres from floor level.
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Close to ceiling fans
These ceiling fans are suspended on a small rod approximately 10 – 15 centimeters from the ceiling and are very common. The slightly lowered fan allows for better air circulation and efficiency without interfering with the use of the rooms.
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Suspended ceiling fans
When selecting a ceiling fan for a room with a 3 metre ceiling or higher, you should consider opting to install your fan on a suspended rod. A lot of ceiling fans come with the option mount it on a downrod. By suspending the ceiling fan you will feel more air movement and make the room feel cooler. Try to keep the fan height around 2.1 – 2.5 metres from floor level to give optimum effect.
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You may want to install a ceiling fan on a inclined or sloped ceiling. It is possible to do this, however not all fans are capable of being mounted in this way. Generally you will need to suspend the fan on a downrod. Some suspended ceiling fans have downrod kits that can be rotated to certain angles for inclined ceilings. It is important to do your research and check with the manufacturer to see if this type of mounting is suitable for your chosen fan.
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How do you install a ceiling fan?
As with all electrical work, it is suggested that you seek out a professionally certified electrician to install your ceiling fans. Having said that it is possible to install ceiling fans yourself. Most ceiling fans come with installation instructions for the specific model. Always remember to turn off your power at the mains before embarking on this type of project.
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Why are there different numbers of ceiling fan blades?
You may have noticed that the number of blades differs between ceiling fan models. This is predominantly for aesthetic reasons, but physics does also play a part. Generally the more blades on a fan the quieter it is and less air is circulated. Additional blades require more strain on the fan motor and slow it down. In a residential setting it is unlikely that you will notice the difference in noise between fans with four to five blades. You may have seen that three blade fans have become popular recently. Do not be concerned it will make extra noise. In these contemporary fans the extra noise associated with the number of blades is counteracted by the design and pitch of the blades.
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What is blade pitch?
Blade pitch refers to the angle that the blade is positioned in. A completely horizontal fan blade is not going to create much air movement and is therefore not going to cool you down. Alternatively if the blades were to be vertical, the fan would create a wind tunnel effect and not be pleasant to sit under. Striking a comfortable balance is key. Most fans have a blade pitch of around 12-15 degrees but other designs may vary depending on the design and number of blades.
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Should I install a ceiling fan with a light?
There is a large range of ceiling fans that have central lighting fixture in them. This is a fantastic way to incorporate both a light and fan in a small space or when implementing a fan into a balanced lighting design. If your space has adequate natural light and lighting fixtures it may not be necessary to add a ceiling fan with a light but it is worth considering this as an option.
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