How to choose a ceiling fan

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ceiling fan
Choose a ceiling fan that can be used in both the summer and winter
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A ceiling fan is a beautiful complement to your home AND will save you $$$!

It may come as a big surprise to you, but ceiling fans can save you as much as 15 percent off of your energy bill each year. Now we are talking!

Ceiling fans can cool down on your house to a reasonable and bearable temperature during the dog days of summer and help keep your abode warmer during the winter months. Furthermore, ceiling fans are great looking accessories that come in every conceivable style so you can easily find one that complements the style of your house. If you are considering adding one to your decor, you should know how to choose a ceiling fan.

Ceiling fans not only look good but save space. They are installed overhead and not in the way as are box fans, floor fans or free-standing fans. A ceiling fan produces air movement, which helps ventilate a room. A ceiling fan will lower the temperature in a room by approximately four degrees in the summer. In the winter, a ceiling fan helps circulate air, which distributes warmth that is emanating from a furnace or heating stove.

When purchasing a ceiling fan, consider where you live and the type of weather you experience. If you live in an area that has three or four seasons, a reversible fan is what you will want to buy because it offers year-round benefits. When it is hot, the ceiling fan should turn in a counterclockwise fashion. This will cool your house. In the winter, set the fan so that it turns in the opposite direction. This will help keep your house warm.
Keeping cooler, saving $$ with your fan

If you simply must leave your AC turned on in the summer, you can turn the temperature up to 78 degrees from 74 degrees and utilize a ceiling fan. You will save approximately four- to eight-percent of your cooling costs for every degree that you have raised the thermostat. 

Raising the thermostat by four degrees will save you between 16- and 32-percent, which is a significant savings. A ceiling fan can lower the temperature in a room by eight degrees, which lowers your cooling costs by up to 40 percent. This makes a ceiling fan a smart home improvement.

Cutting winter heating costs

In the winter, you will save up to two percent of your heating costs every time you turn your thermostat down a degree. If you use a ceiling fan, you can keep your house warm and cozy while lowering the thermostat because the clockwise motion of the fan pushes the warm air that wafts up to the ceiling back down. 

There are layers of air in your home and each layer is a different temperature. Warm air is lighter than cool air so it drifts upwards. When you run your fan in a clockwise fashion during the cold months, the air is pushed up against the ceiling and then down the walls, which re-circulates the warm air in the room but does not cause a cold breeze.

Some fans even have a specific winter setting, which prompts intermittent blasts of speed, which blends cool and warm air. This is the kind of fan you want if you have a very high ceiling that attracts heat. Remember, not every fan has a reversible switch. If you want to use the fan in the winter for warming purposes make sure that the fan comes equipped with the reversible switch.

Another consideration in how to choose a ceiling fan, besides selecting one that is the right style, of course, but selecting the right size for the room that the ceiling fan is going to be located in. Decide if you would like remote controls, which are available and quite handy, or wall controls, which are equally handy, and whether you want a fan that comes equipped with light fixtures.

Choosing the right sized fan

The size of a ceiling fan is determined by the length of its paddle. Most paddle spans on fans that are designed to be used in homes, rather than in commercial locations, run from 29 to 54 inches in length. A die-cast construction will provide stability to your fan, particularly if it is big and has large blades, and will quiet the motor. A die-cast aluminum fan lasts the longest and is the quietest.

Most fans will have three-, four- or five blades. Larger blades move air better than small blades. Common fan blade sizes range from 30 inches to 60 inches. The greater the angle of the blade pitch, the more air that is produced. Typical pitches are from 12 to 16 degrees. The motor in the fan should be made so that it can operate the pitch and size of the fan blades. If the motor is too small for the blades the fan will vibrate and will not run efficiently.

Some fans come with blades that are different colors or finishes on each side. One side may be white and the other side may be a wood finish so it is like getting two fans in one. You can choose the look of your fan depending on the season or your whim.

Optimal fan usage

Ideally, buy more than one ceiling fan for your home and place them in the rooms that are used the most. The blades should be about seven to nine feet from your floor and about 10 to 12 inches from the ceiling for optimal performance. If the fan blades are too close to the ceiling you will not derive the winter warming benefits and the fan may actually be up to 40 percent less efficient in the summer time. The blades of the fan should be no closer to the wall than 18 inches.

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