THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX:
Ceiling Fans – 5 Things to Know Before You Buy
A ceiling fan is more than an appliance – it’s a design statement. Most ceiling fans are located front and center in the home – dominating the scene in the living room, kitchen, bedroom or patio – so style and function are equally important. Think twice before you go online or down to the big box store and purchase a ceiling fan that may not be the perfect match for your home’s air circulation needs and your personal taste.
Here are five things you should look for when shopping for ceiling fans –
- Design Options – The simple paddle fan is a thing of the past. Today’s ceiling fans come in an amazing variety of styles, finishes and colors – ranging from island style (with palm frond blades), to sleek contemporary, and the incredibly ornate. Check out your local lighting store for the largest selection.
- Ceiling Fans Can Save Energy All Year Round – Look for full featured fans with remote or wall mounted controls. Circulating air creates the sensation that room temperatures are about seven degrees cooler. This allows you to set your thermostat at a higher temp in the summer. In winter, reverse the fan blade direction to bring warm air down from ceilings, lowering your heating bills. Fans with new energy efficient DC motors use 1/3 the energy of a typical fan motor and usually move much more air. New LED light kits use a fraction of the electricity. Ask a ceiling fan expert about full featured fans, energy efficient DC motors, and LED light kits that can help you save electricity.
- Try It before you buy It! Manufacturers now are required to report CFM (airflow measured in cubic feet per minute) and energy efficiency data making it easier to compare fan performance. More CFMs are needed for a large or high-ceiling room than a 12×12 bedroom, for example. Your local lighting store has a large range of working ceiling fans designed for a wide variety of functions so you can actually feel the air movement and check for silent operation. Ask your local lighting store for a ceiling fan demonstration.
- Special Fan Options – Damp and wet-rated fans for outdoor use. There are specially designed ceiling fans with UL ratings for use in high humidity (damp-rated) or outdoor (wet-rated) areas. Installing a non-rated ceiling fan in a damp or wet location will shorten the life of your fan. Blades will warp and sag and extreme moisture and temperatures will take their toll. Ask your local lighting store about ceiling fans with UL Ratings for Damp and Wet-Rated ceiling fans.
- Lifetime Guarantees – Buy from a dealer who stands behind their product. Most reputable ceiling fans come with a limited lifetime warranty on the motor. Blades, controls, and light kits are typically guaranteed only for 1 or 2 years. Most fan manufacturers market a range of fans hitting several price points. A $400 fan has a higher performance motor than a $100 fan. An inexpensive fan may have particleboard blades and thinner housing materials where a middle- to high-end fan will have cast motor housings, solid wood blades and more advanced control systems. Before you buy, ask about return policies and warranties.
Remember that a ceiling fan is both a style statement and an appliance. Make sure that quality, style and performance are all factored in as part of your decision making process. Choose wisely and you will have a good working ceiling fan for years to come.