How to keep your cool this summer: Install a ceiling fan
Ceiling fans bring the breeze to you simply and efficiently.
© Jean Allsopp
It's no easy task to stay cool in the summer. And if last year's blistering heat in some places is any indication, staying comfortable this summer will prove costly, as well.
So it's ceiling fans to the rescue: They produce a "wind chill" effect, allowing you to feel cooler regardless of the temperature. They're also efficient, consuming less energy on average than a 100-watt light bulb.
Keep in mind
Materials: In coastal climates, look for fans with rust-free finishes and blades that won't warp. (Bing: Are there energy-efficient air conditioners?)
Seasonality: In warm weather, you'll want the fan in "down-draft" mode, with the blades running counterclockwise, to circulate cooler air. But in winter, remember to reverse the motor so that the blades run clockwise, forcing warm air down. Reverse switches usually are located inside or on top of the motor housing.
Size: Choose the largest possible fan for your room. Sizes generally run from 36 to 60 inches, representing the distance from the tip of one blade to the tip of the opposite. The 42- and 52-inch fans are most popular. For a 12-by-12-foot room (150 square feet or less), the 42-inch fan is best. For a 20-by-20 room (400 square feet), choose a 52-inch fan. Optimal circulation occurs in square areas. If you're cooling a large, rectangular room, consider two fans, evenly spaced, to distribute air.
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Ceiling height: Most companies recommend a 9-foot fan-to-floor distance. To accommodate taller ceilings, you'll need an extension, or downrod. For example, if you have an 11-foot ceiling, your downrod should be around 2 feet, bringing the fan to just the right distance above the floor. In rooms with low ceilings, fans can be flush-mounted without a downrod.
Positioning: If your ceiling is sloped, suspend the fan from an angled mount. Versatile "tri-mount" models can be installed in any application (downrod, flush-mount or angled).
Blades: Fans with fewer than three or more than six blades generally are considered decorative. Most fans have four or five blades. Balance is more important than number of blades or style; uneven blades can cause fans to wobble.
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Controls: Decide early what kind of power, speed and lighting controls you need. Some companies have moved away from the pull chain entirely, while others include it but also give an option for a wall-mounted control. Brand-new models often have handheld remotes.
Lights: If you're replacing an overhead light with a fan, you'll probably want a fan/light combination. Most quality fans come equipped with built-in lighting or light kits.
How to speak fluent fan
The “blade pitch,” or angle of the blade relative to the fan, should be 12 to 15 degrees. Revolutions per minute, or rpm, indicates a fan's speed. Cubic feet per minute, or cfm, measures the amount of air moved: The higher the number, the more air is dispersed by the fan. “Fan efficiency” describes the relationship between the amount of air moved and the energy consumed.
- Coastal Living: Easy, modern updates
- Fanimation: This fan company offers a range of styles, from classic to tropical; fanimation.com.
- Hunter: In addition to the Classic series, Hunter has introduced fans with hand-carved blades and innovative curved wooden blades; hunterfan.com.
- Restoration Hardware: Mostly modern, these ceiling fans are fun, funky and functional; restorationhardware.com.
- The Modern Fan Co.: Designer and founder Ron Rezek develops fans with simple geometric lines and contemporary finishes in 17 designs; modernfan.com.
ceiling fans are a blessing in the winter time, they take the heated ambient air and push it down where it will do some good. this is the opposite in the summer. the fan will send the heated air down to the living area where it's not needed, causing the central air to cool air that does not need to conditioned. areas below 7 feet are the areas that need cooling, unless you are over 7' tall. all these experts never use common sense. also in the winter if you run the fan so that the air is blowing toward the ceiling, you will wipe the hot air from the ceiling and push it around the outsides of the room, making it draft free.
just a few tips from a hvac tech of 55 years.
Uh, where are your install tips and instructions?
You know, you're going to have to "lift the thing up and hold it there while you install it."
Who put this page together?
Obviously not someone who knows anything about installing anything, much less a ceiling fan.
What happened to the instructions to install.I'm still looking for them.
If you try to install a ceiling fan by yourself, you have marbles for brains. It requires using a screwdriver to screw in screws while you use both hands to hold up the fan. OK, so you have 3 hands on your 2 arms, go for it. Otherwise get another person to help--even a wife or GF could be of some help. Also, the best choice for location is where a ceiling light is located because that light generally has a wall switch to turn it on. Just remove the ceiling light and connect the fan electrically in its place and then use the chain and/or switches on the fan for direction and speed.
And, the next time an article headline promises to tell you something, the article should tell you something--(hint, hint to the author of this article).
Coastal Living forgot one important point, most fans are attached to the ceiling electrical box. If the box is just nailed to a ceiling rafter it will loosen after time with the movement of the fan. Also needed is a support bracket that is installed in the ceiling box opening after the original box is removed. It's an easy install and the the "Fan Support Bracket/Electrical
Box is a kit found in the same department as the fans. I have installed 4 ceiling fans in my
house and needed a support bracket for each one.
Another hint if you use multiple remote fan controls make sure the codes on the remote and
fan are different in each room, or you will find the bedroom fan going on when you turn the
living room on. I didn't and had to remove the fan to get to the remote receiving unit located in the fan housing. UGH