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Ceiling Fan Buying Guide

From minimalist to modern to classy extravagant looking ones, ceiling fans come in a wide variety of designs, types, and sizes. One would even think why ceiling fans are still extremely popular despite having more types and kinds of air-conditioners and air coolers nowadays.

The answer would be quite simple – ceiling fans provide the much-needed coolness and warmth regardless of the season by simply directing which way the fan should go and are way more energy efficient than everything else.

In addition, ceiling fans have long been favored by interior designers as they are one of the selected few appliances and/or furniture that serve double duties. They work efficiently as a ceiling fan in itself bringing utmost convenience yet the chosen design also doubles as a focal point of interest in the room.

To top all these great features of ceiling fans, most of the recent models today are much more energy efficient, therefore, helping users even save more energy while adding comfort and beauty to the home.

Various Brands, Categories and Types of Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are enormously popular in America and not without a reason! They function great as slow moving cooling fans, are energy efficient and don’t make a lot of noise like air conditioning units. There are many manufacturers that fabricate ceiling fans. Some of the most sold fans are from Westinghouse, Hunter, Harbor Breeze, Minka Aire, Kichler, Hampton Bay, Craftmade, Monte Carlo. Find the overview of brands of ceiling fans here.

Basically, ceiling fans are categorized into two – indoor and outdoor ceiling fans. This is for the basic reason that some fans are meant to be used inside the home far from many environmental and outdoor factors while some are created to be able to withstand such factors and be freely used outdoors without any problems or concerns. Generally, indoor fans cost less. Let us discuss more about these two categories and the types of ceiling fans under each category.

Indoor Ceiling Fan Types

  1. Bluetooth Ceiling Fans

Yes, there now are ceiling fans that can be operated through the Bluetooth capability of your smartphone. As some of the brands who have introduced this say, “Smartphones meet smart fans”. There are several fans that come with this feature but they are also now offering the ceiling fan control separately.

This type is said to work great with any three-speed pull chain fan with an AC motor and manual reverse switch. Some of the brands that are known to have these features or at least compatible with Bluetooth additional devices are Casablanca, Emerson, Hunter, Harbor Breeze, Hampton Bay, Westinghouse, GE, Minka Aire, and Craftmade.

A single smartphone can even handle more than one ceiling fan for as long as there is a Bluetooth receiver installed on every ceiling fan in the home.

  1. Flushmount Ceiling Fans

Also known as hugger and low profile, flushmount ceiling fans are those that directly attached to the ceiling instead of some rod hanging it from the ceiling. These are the ones specifically recommended for those who have ceilings with a height of 7 1/2 and 8 feet height.

Usually, the fan blades of flushmount ceiling fans are between 6-10 inches from the ceiling compared to the normal measurement of 12-14 inches. This type is especially for those who live in buildings with low ceiling building codes.

Flushmount ceiling fans are notorious for lack of airflow because of the shorter distance of the blades from the ceiling. The recommendation here is to find one that has the best design and quality than the traditional flush-mounted ceiling fans in order to better move the air.

Best examples are Modern Fan Velo Hugger, Matthews Fan Co. Atlas Irene Hugger 5 Blade 52”, Modern Fan Cirrus Hugger, Modern Fan Gusto Hugger, and Fanimation Celano.

  1. Transitional Ceiling Fans

This type is a crossover from between the traditional and the contemporary ceiling fan styles, hence, its name. These feature smooth lines that are less geometric than contemporary but more up-to-date compared to the traditional ones. As a result, this type can be used on both traditional and contemporary designed rooms.

The most popular one among the many designs of transitional ceiling fans remains to be the one with built-in uplight. Great examples of this type are Emerson Carrera Grande that comes in various beautiful colors and the Montecarlo St. Ives 54.

  1. Contemporary Ceiling Fans

Contemporary ceiling fans totally complement modern interior designs of homes today as it features neutral colors with quite modern finishing styles. Thus, this usually is a first-rate choice for those who want a functional conversation piece that is not over the top and at the same time offer the comfort of moving air better.

Experts usually choose this for rooms that have low vertical clearances. Examples of which are Montecarlo Turbine, Quorum Daystar, Modern Fan Pensi, Modern Fan Velo, Kichler 42” Rivetta II, and Montecarlo Minimalist.

  1. Traditional Ceiling Fans

These are famous for their traditional and elegant designs. Formerly regarded as boring, this type now comes with a variety of classical accents. However, they remain an economical way to move air and regulate temperature of rooms.

This is best used for spaces with limited ceiling clearance. Best designs of traditional ceiling fans are Montecarlo Maxima 54, Savoy House Indra 55”, Hunter Outdoor Original Individual Elements, Hunter Original, and Emerson Premium Select.

  1. Large, Oversized Ceiling Fans

This includes the large diameter ceiling fans with 60, 72, and 80-inch blade spans making them absolutely perfect for extremely large rooms with high ceilings. More than providing comfort, they can also act as a design or fashion statement in the room given its large size and style.

However, what you have to remember with large, oversized ceiling fans are that the larger the span of the blade is, the slower the blades are bound to spin mainly because of the heavier weight and larger size.

Experts normally recommend just the 52-inch ceiling fans for large rooms but again, this would depend on the actual size of the room. Examples of beautiful but functional large, oversized ceiling fans are the Montecarlo Turbine, Emerson Premium Select, Emerson Crown Select, Montecarlo Minimalist, Emerson Carrera Grande 60, Montecarlo Lily, and Emerson Avant ECO 60.

  1. Dual Head Ceiling Fans

These ceiling fans are those that veer totally away from being traditional as they come with a dual head. As a result, this type is famous for providing bursts of air in the direction it is pointing at. These usually rotate on their axis.

Because of the dual head and rotation on the axis, dual head ceiling fans are thought to actually create a better cooling effect because of the more intense airflow from the higher velocity of air which the fan head is able to create.

Gorgeous examples of dual head ceiling fans are Matthews Fan Co. Vent in Bettina Wood and Ruthiane Wood and Matthews Fan Co. Duplo-Dinamico Metal.

  1. Single Head Ceiling Fans

These look quite similar to a floor or a desk fan except that they are designed to be hanged from the ceiling. They are also referred to as directional and rotational ceiling fans with rotational heads. They rotate or oscillate and can also be directional and famous for moving air excellently especially when on a directional position.

Examples of which are Matthews Fan Co. Bianca Directional Wood and Metal, Matthews Fan Co. Jarold Directional Wood, and Fanimation The Extraordinaire.

  1. Chandelier Ceiling Fans

Better known as “fandeliers”, chandelier ceiling fans combines the attributes of a ceiling fan and a chandelier. Basically, this works double as it moves air as efficient as any other type of ceiling fan out there and at the same time, acts as a decorative lighting as well just like a chandelier.

Dazzling examples are the Savoy House Alsace Fan d’Lier, Savoy House Fire Island Fan d’Lier, Savoy House Seaside Fan d’Lier, Savoy House Bay St. Louis Fan d’Lier, Casablanca Candelier, Savoy House Levantaria Air-Ionizing Fan d’Lier, Savoy House Brisa Air-Ionizing Fan d’Lier, and Montecarlo Brighton Court.

  1. Tropical Ceiling Fans

Tropical ceiling fans are those that you might have commonly seen at various 5-star beach resorts. You might think that they are all the same because of their somewhat similar design but truth is they are not.

Most tropical ceiling fans vary in the sense that different materials are used and this is what must be taken into consideration before making a purchase. Try to select the materials that are known to be durable and will last longer than the others and of course, which is easier to clean and maintain.

Best examples of tropical ceiling fans in the market today are Tommy Bahama Bahama Breezes, Fanimation Cancun 52 Wet, Fanimation Belleria, and Fanimation 220 Volt Belleria.

  1. Rustic Ceiling Fans

Designed to perfectly match log cabins and lodges and complete the total rustic feel would be rustic ceiling fans. They feature rugged details that are not hard to fall in love with. With most of them incorporating something to give a natural feel, some even have pine cones, log cabins, antlers, and cowboy designs.

Great examples of rustic ceiling fans are Casablanca Atria, Kichler 54” Wilton, Casablanca Heritage 2014, Kichler 52” Harbour Walk Patio, Fanimation Hubbardton Forge Leaf, Kichler 44” Hatteras Bay Patio, Ellington Austonia, Casablanca Heathridge, Kichler Rochelle II, Kichler 56” High Country, and Kichler 52” Kittery Point.

  1. Mission & Craftsman Style Ceiling Fans

Since ceiling fans started working as decorative figures in rooms, arts and crafts have picked up pace which later led to the production of mission and craftsman style ceiling fans.

Mission style ceiling fans feature some sort of geometric detail or tiffany light fixtures while the craftsman type ceiling fans are those that instantly give an impression of a handcraftsmanship with common features such as rivets or mica.

Unique examples of mission and craftsman style ceiling fans are Kichler 52” Cortez, Fanimation Bayhill 250 and 270, Fanimation Hubbardton Forge Presidio Tryne, Modern Fan Period Arts Bodega, Montecarlo Tuscany, Hunter Whitten, and Minka Aire Craftsman.

  1. Victorian Ceiling Fans and Fancy Ceiling Fans

These are famous for being fancy and always the choice among the upper class to match their mansions. Victorian ceiling fans of course feature fancy ornate details either on the motor casing or blade holders. However, more than just being fancy and pretty, this type of ceiling fans is known to be lightweight but durable as it is made from cast zinc.

The great thing about cast zinc is that manufacturers can add various details and antique finishes on it. Thus, this paves way for more intricate details that Victorian ceiling fans always end up with a more elegant appearance.

Exquisite examples of Victorian ceiling fans are the Emerson Crown Select, Casablanca DC Fellini, Montecarlo Royal Danube 60, Montecarlo Edwardian, Casablanca Victorian Casablanca Alessandria, Casablanca 19th Century, Quorum Cimarron, Hunter 1886 Limited Edition, Kichler 60” Kimberley, and Emerson Cornerstone.

  1. Small Ceiling Fans

This type has a blade that ranges from 15 to 44 inches only and best used in rooms measuring 8 x 10 or smaller rooms or home offices. The smaller ceiling fans are also perfect for hallways, walk-in closets, and even small kitchens. The cheap ceiling fans are usually the smaller fans but of course there are some great, high quality and therefore more expensive small ceiling fans on the market as well.

The thing to remember the most when shopping for small ceiling fans is to always check the CFM since these tend to have lower than normal CFMs. To achieve best air circulation, it would be safe to choose small ceiling fans that have 4,000 up to 5,500 CFM.

  1. Industrial Ceiling Fans

Best used in big warehouses, industrial buildings, and other commercial properties, industrial ceiling fans are heavy duty and extremely durable given that they are mostly made from metal or hard plastic blades. They have the great capability to spin at very high RPMs.

However, these must be installed at least 10 feet from the ground to keep everyone safe due to its high velocity. This is the same reason why these are not recommended safe for residential use.

Industrial fans are also called heat fans because they are especially designed to draw the heat down from the ceiling. Experts all agree that the best industrial ceiling fans today are the Emerson industrial ceiling fan models and that those with the K55 motor gives the best performance and last the longest.

  1. Belt-Driven Ceiling Fans

This type is actually one of the first ceiling fans ever created and yes they stayed as famous up until now. Most luxurious hotels around the world still prefer to use this type for the timeless elegance it exudes. The traditional types serve more for show than for function since they move air quite slowly.

This unique type operates from a single motor from which a pully drives the belt which goes from one fan to another. The belt-drive motor is normally attached to the wall or ceiling. The brand that still manufactures the belt-driven type of ceiling fan is Woolen Mill.

  1. Wall mounted Fans

Wall mounted fans aren’t ceiling fans but many people prefer to have a good fan attached to the wall. This can be the case when the ceiling isn’t high enough or for other reasons.

  1. Special Designs

There are ceiling fans with designs especially for certain groups. For instance you can find ceiling fans for kids with colourful blades, with prints of Disney figures for boys and girls or in the shape of a plane. There are also fans with sport themes like basketball or soccer.

Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Outdoor ceiling fans are the ones carefully designed and engineered to withstand all weather conditions including heat, rain, snow, high winds, and even ocean air. There are basically two types of outdoor ceiling fans – damp rated and wet rated.

  1. Wet Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fans

This type of outdoor fan is specifically for uncovered locations or areas that are directly exposed to rain such as lanais, gazebos, lattice covers, and cabanas. They are tested to successfully handle excess moisture and so they can also be used at bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other rooms where moisture may be high.

Examples of wet rated outdoor fans are Fanimation EdgeWood 60 Deluxe Wet Location, Quorum Pinnacle Patio, Emerson Sea Breeze Wet Location, Minka Aire Gyro Outdoor, Quorum Estate Patio 30, Minka Aire Traditional Concept 52, and Kichler 52” Crystal Bay Climates.

  1. Damp Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fans

This one is best suited for covered locations that are not directly exposed to rain but with an open setting such as covered patios, screen porches, and sunrooms. This type is also designed to handle excess moisture but cannot handle being directly exposed to the rain or water. They would also be perfect for bathrooms and laundry rooms.

Best examples of damp rated outdoor ceiling fans are Hunter Outdoor Original Individual Elements, Modern Fan Pensi, Hunter Original, Modern Fan Velo and Velo Hugger, Matthews Fan Co. Ar Ruthiane Wood Damp, and Matthews Fan Co. Dagny with Metal Blades.

  1. Rust Resistant Ceiling Fans

Rust is a common problem for appliances in areas near the ocean. This is because of the ocean air carries a bit of salt water. For this, you need high-quality fans that can withstand ocean air and resist rust.

Examples of rust resistant ceiling fans are Minka Aire Slipstream, Casablanca Charthouse, Montecarlo Cyclone, Kichler 54” Seaside, Casablanca Heritage, 2014, Montecarlo Edwardian, Kichler 52” Harbour Walk Patio, and Quorum Baltic Patio.

The Best Ceiling Fans According to Function

Now that we have already discussed and explained the difference types of indoor and outdoor ceiling fans, it is time to simplify some ceiling fan shopping tips by giving you exactly what features to look from the fans and which brand excels the most for the specific feature.

  1. Energy Star Ceiling Fans

Given the fact that electricity does not come cheap and the environment does not at all benefit from using and wasting electricity, you should always look for appliances that are Energy Star certified. This will ensure that quality and performance guidelines established by EPA are met by the specific ceiling fan model you are interested in.

As a result, you are bound to save at least 20% electricity from Energy Star certified ceiling fans, therefore, helping you keep that energy bill at minimum as much as possible.

Energy Star ceiling fans are energy efficient because they basically use less electricity and thereby reduce greenhouse gases. In addition, if you have an Energy Star ceiling fan, you can increase your thermostat by 10 degrees without really putting great pressure on your electric consumption.

The famous Energy Star certified ceiling fans today are Hunter Original that uses only 85 watts, Hunter Classic Original 87 watts, Emerson Carrera Grande 60 with 85 watts, Emerson Avant ECO 60 at 31 watts, and Casablanca Panama 4 Speed 84 watts, but the winner goes to Emerson Carrera Grande Eco 60 at 29 watts and has actually been awarded the most efficient for 2014.

  1. Ceiling Fan with Lights

Are you aware that ceiling fans with lights have been recently mandated by a legislation that the lighting fixture must not use more than 190 watts of electricity? For this, most manufacturers now use candelabra base bulbs, fluorescent bulbs, halogen bulbs, and LED lights which do not exactly provide enough light especially if you are to put it in a large room.

Experts say that the ones with LED lights still are the most efficient. Best ones considered in the market today are Montecarlo Minimalist, Montecarlo Lily, Montecarlo Empire, Matthews Fan Co. Atlas Bubble, Casablanca LED Stealth, Quorum Daystar, Casablanca Academy Gallery, Casablanca Antion, Emerson Carrera Grande 60, Modern Fan Halo, and Fanimation Belleria.

  1. Highest Quality with High Customer Satisfaction Rating

Whenever you are out to buy any appliance, never forget to check the actual customer reviews. You are bound to learn a lot from them as they have first-hand experience with the product that you are interested in. Same principle goes for ceiling fans.

Topping the list are the Hunter Classic Original, Emerson Carrera Grande 60 and the Eco, Casablanca Panama 6 Speed and 4 Speed, Emerson Avant ECO 60, Casablanca Holliston, Montecarlo Cyclone, Emerson Midway ECO, Casablanca Stealth, AireRyder and Minka Aire Artemis.

  1. Remote Control Ceiling Fans

Of course we all want a bit of convenience in addition to the comfort that ceiling fans give. A remote control ceiling fan will certainly give you some extra comfort in your home! The most common practice today is to turn on the air-conditioner and the ceiling fan at the same time and let the ceiling fan on for several minutes until the room has completely cooled up before turning it off.

However, doing so becomes a burden when you are comfortably lying in your bed far from the switch and terribly sleepy. You would then wish you would have bought a remote-controlled ceiling fan.

Best remote-controlled fans are Montecarlo Turbine, Savoy House Indra 55”, Matthews Fan Co. Atlas Dagny with Lights, Kichler 42” Rivetta II, Savoy House Alsace Fan d’Lier, Montecarlo Minimalist, and Savoy House Ariel 55”.