Ceiling Fans: An Element That Can Enhance or Wreck Your Home Design

Ceiling fans are wonderful household accessories that come with many benefits. Aside from accenting a room, a ceiling fan creates airflow that can help keep a room cooler in the summer and warmer during the winter months. You needn’t spend much money to reap the benefits of a ceiling fan. Sure, there are some expensive ones out there, but there are also many cheap ceiling fans that are just as effective. In fact, there are countless makes and models available which might be a little intimidating for first-time buyers. Worry not. You need only follow a few basic tips to ensure you choose a ceiling fan that enhances your home design.

How Big is the Room?

To understand which ceiling fan will best lend itself to the design of your room, you must first understand the room itself. For starters, the size of the room should dictate the size of the fan. Typically, a 42-inch fan is suitable for a room that measures up to 100 square feet while a 225 square-foot room is best served by a 52-inch fan. A 56-inch ceiling fan is a perfect fit in a 400 square-foot room such as a large dining room or recreational room. You can always install a pair of smaller fans in larger or oddly shaped rooms.

Consider the Ceiling

Once you know how big your fan should be, you need to look at the ceiling on which you want to mount it. Most ceiling fans adapt to a small angle, but you will need to install an angle mount if your ceiling has a steep slope. Secondly, you need to find out how high your ceiling is. A ceiling fan should hang no closer than seven feet from the floor and it should have at least two feet of clearance on all sides. Also, it should have at least one foot of clearance from the ceiling. More space between the ceiling and the fan blades means better and more efficient air circulation.

Those who have low ceilings should consider a flush mount fan. On top of being dangerous, a fan that hangs too low is sure to wreck the design of your room. Those with higher ceilings need to suspend their ceiling fan from down rod. As a rule of thumb, choose a 6-inch down rod for a nine-foot ceiling and add an additional 6-inches to the down rod for every extra foot of ceiling height.

Key Elements of a Ceiling Fan

Now that you know which type of ceiling fan best suits your room’s design, it’s time to think about a few other things. Do you want a unit that also provides lighting? If so, how much and what kind of lighting would best complement your room’s design? How about the controls? You can operate a ceiling fan with a remote, by pull chains, or by using a wall-mounted control. You can even control your ceiling fan using your smartphone.

As for choosing a fan that fits your room’s décor? Well, this really boils down to personal taste. Where one person would prefer to match the blade color to their hardwood floor, another might choose a metal blade to compliment cabinet hardware. Then there are those who want their fan to blend in with the ceiling. Consider how the ceiling fan’s accessories such as the canopy, down rods, and brackets fit in with your motif.

CFM and Efficiency: What Does It Mean?

A good ceiling fan should efficiently generate plenty of airflow.You can find out how much airflow a fan provides by checking the energy information on the packaging. Airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM. This is how many cubic feet of air the fan moves every minute when it is operating on its highest setting. You then divide that figure by the number of watts used to give an airflow efficiency rating. Knowing what these numbers mean makes it easier to compare similar ceiling fans.

Proper Installation

You can’t simply mount your fan to the drywall on your ceiling even if it’s the perfect spot from a design standpoint. You need to anchor your fan to joists so it gets the proper support and doesn’t come crashing down. If you’ve set your heart on mounting your fan in an unsupported spot, you’ll have to do a bit of work in order to accommodate it.

Then there is the issue of power. It’s pretty straightforward in cases where the wiring and mounts are already in place. However, you might not be so lucky. Unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing, it is highly recommended that you have a professional do the installation. It might cost a few more dollars, but it is well worth it. Once properly installed, your ceiling fan will enhance the look of your room and provide all the benefits you expect for years to come.

Kathy McDonough