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Ceiling Fan Buyers Guide

Ceiling Fan Buyers Guide

Welcome to Part 3 of our Guide to ceiling fans.  While Part 1 and Part 2 covered the technical aspects of ceiling fans, here we’ll cover the reason you buy a ceiling fan in the first place: function and style!  How do you effectively use a ceiling fan, and what’s available to make sure you don’t wind up with an eyesore hanging from your beautiful ceiling?  Manufacturers have given a wealth of ratings and specifications to help guide your choices, but they also offer many features and styles.

Fan Speed

Image used courtesy of BeckyF
Image used courtesy of BeckyF

Fans spin and circulate air, which can be a major relief or a major pain depending on the setting and time of year.  For this reason, it’s smart to install fan speed controls if your fan is capable of supporting different speeds.  While many newer fans have functional remotes and wall controls that can interface with your lighting, a simple pull-chain, 3-speed fan will accomplish this task just as effectively.  Speed controls are also important for the sake of energy efficiency.  Fans only circulate air, which means they cool down people, not rooms.  Running a fan at a lower speed and turning it off while not in the room will save money on utility bills and improve the life of your ceiling fans.

To maximize the utility of your fans, it’s also a good idea to make sure the fan direction can be reversed.  In colder months, reversing the direction of your ceiling fan can help keep you warm.  A reversed fan pulls colder air to the ceiling and forces warm air down the sides of the room to the floor.  As an added bonus, a reversed ceiling fan circulates air indirectly around the room.  This means that lightweight objects directly under the fan won’t be scattered by the breeze.

Fan Options

Image used courtesy of Greeblie
Image used courtesy of Greeblie

First, consider the application.  Is the room lit well enough, or do you need a light kit?  Lighted ceiling fans usually require extra clearance to account for the lights, this isn’t always the case but it’s wise to account for it initially.  Fans come with a wide array of light kits, which you can adjust to match your room.  If you want a soft appearance, then mix warm white lights with a shaded or frosted cover to give a soft glow to the room.  If you simply want a strong light in the room, then use a simple light shade that doesn’t completely cover the bulb.

Second, is the room going to be used often for different events and tasks?  If your answer is yes, it’s not a bad idea to add customizability to your fan.  Install fan speed controls and dimmer switches to give you extra options in climate control and room ambience.

The next thing you’ll want to check is the aesthetics of your fan.  While the fixture itself may look nice, how does the finish match the room?  Earth tones (think bronze or brass) and darker woods give a very rustic feel to a room.  When mixed with a warm white light they can create a very cozy atmosphere that’s warm and inviting.  At the same time, you’ll find that more contemporary finishes such as silver or black can give a more austere look, keeping the fixture out of view to emphasize the room.  This kind of look fits well with brighter colors or shades of white, to give an open and airy feel to a room.

And there you have it.  Ceiling fans have a variety of options for matching your room for form, function, or appearance.  A little careful planning can give you a room that’s customizable and stylish.  It’s also worth noting that if you can’t fit a ceiling fan into a room (for some reason), these options still apply to floor and desk fans as well.  If you have any other questions, or some suggestions of your own, feel free to comment below.  We’d also love to see any installations you’ve made, just send us a picture through FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusLinkedInPinterest, or Instagram!  And don’t forget to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this guide, if you haven’t already!

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