How to choose a ceiling fan
So, you’ve decided you want a ceiling fan. We might not live on a tropical island with daily intense heat, but even here in the UK we get our share of sunshine. A nice bit of heat can be lovely, but too much can be very uncomfortable. Buying a ceiling fan isn’t an arduous task and a good quality electrician can fit it for you with minimal fuss, but how do you know if you’ve made the right choice? The marketplace is flooded with ceiling fans, from big to small. Shrugging your shoulders and buying anything is one approach, but why not take your time and get it right. There is a lot to consider when choosing, so hopefully this blogpost will offer a little bit of advice.
The location of your ceiling fan matters
The first thing to consider is where you are installing your ceiling fan? This may sound silly but where your fan goes can have a bearing on the size and type of fan you will need. There are 2 areas in your home where making the right choice is vital.
The first is your bedroom. If you’ve decided you want a bedroom fan then clearly you want to be cooler when you’re in bed. Keeping cool during a hot evening is one way to help you sleep but not at the expense of creating noise. A silent ceiling fan is vital and what you need to appreciate is noise comes from 2 areas on a ceiling fan. The first is the actual motor itself. Here’s where I need to be completely plain with you. If you buy cheap, the motor will make a noise. That fan at your local DIY store that you’ve had your eye on is that cheap for a reason. Quality ceiling fan motors make minimal noise.
The other area where noise is created is the fans blades. It’s a natural fact that as the blades spin and cut through the air, they will create noise (think aeroplane propellers). The way to solve this is to buy as big a diameter ceiling fan as you can. It’s quite simple really, a large fan can spin on a lower speed setting and create the same air movement as a smaller fan on a high-speed setting. What would you prefer to see on your ceiling as you try to sleep? A large fan gently ticking around and creating a cooling silent breeze, or a small fan whipping around at top speed making noise?
So, in a bedroom, consider choosing a quality fan by a proper ceiling fan manufacturer & not a cheap generic model. Don’t be put off by a large size. We hear people worried that a large fan might dominate their ceiling, but when you measure up remember you’re measuring from blade tip to blade tip and not a large chunky item.
A remote-control ceiling fan can make all the difference
In a bedroom you will probably need a remote control as well. The last thing you will want to do at 3am is get out of bed to turn the fan on or off or to change the speed settings. A remote handset that you can just press is a godsend in that circumstance.
Consider if the fan will need a light & if so how bright?
Will you need a light on your bedroom fan? If so will it be the only light in the room? If that’s the case you will want it to be bright enough to light the whole room, so a token cheap fan light won’t be suitable. Consider LED if the light will be used a lot to save you money in the long run.
Conservatory ceiling fans need to be chosen carefully!
The other area of your home where the right fan is vital is a conservatory. This will easily be the hottest area in your home and getting the wrong fan here could render your purchase worthless. The golden rule here is go for as big a fan as you possibly can. You won’t regret it.
The points I have previously made on bedroom fans all still apply with conservatory fans. A remote control isn’t as necessary here and a wall control may be a better option, but certainly a large fan is going to be needed because anything smaller than 42” diameter will have little or no effect. Again, consider if the fan will need a light and if so will it be the only light in the room? If so you will need a quality fanlight.
Will your fan need to be lowered? Do you want an LED ceiling fan?
Other areas in your home, such as living & dining rooms, are not as vital to follow the above guidelines, unless a silent fan is a must. If you like the idea of a remote-control fan, will the handset constantly be lost by the kids? Are your ceilings very high? If so, then you might want to consider adding a drop rod, which will mean you will need to buy a quality fan where accessories are available. If you want to be able to dim the light on your fan, then you will need to make sure that the type of light is dimmable! Remember that some LEDs are not dimmable and don’t assume that you will be able to dim the light on your fan. Check with the retailer first.
What colour ceiling fan are you going to choose?
What colour of fan should you choose? A white ceiling fan will probably blend in to most ceilings and conservatories so maybe this is a good choice if you’ve purchased a cheaper fan that you don’t want to stand out? My opinion has always been that if you have spent good money on a quality ceiling fan then why would you want to hide it? Ceiling fans come in contemporary colours such as pewter and nickel, but this is just my opinion and there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Plenty of people spend big money on a ceiling fan and go for a white model.
Do you need a decent fan or a cheap ceiling fan?
You might want to ask yourself how often will you use your fan and will it be used as the main light in a room (should you purchase a fan with a light)? If your fan is going to get a lot of use then I would suggest you purchase a good quality unit from a reputable retailer such as Lightahome. If you do opt for a good quality fan then you should be covered for things such as spare parts, accessories and advice. A cheaper fan from a DIY or catalogue store almost certainly won’t have spares available or accessories such as drop rods. Remote control failures are usually easily rectified when you buy a quality ceiling fan but practically unheard of if you buy cheaper. That’s not to say that cheaper fans don’t have their place. If you need a stop gap solution or are fitting in a place where it would be rarely used, then maybe a cheaper fan would be better.
If you’re buying a ceiling fan for a bedroom or a conservatory I would recommend you purchase a quality fan and make it as big a diameter as possible. A lot of modern fans come complete with a remote control, but fan specialists do models without remote so decide if you really need one. You could save money without it. Have a measure and see if you think a fan would need to hang lower in your room, should you have high ceilings, in which case a fan that you can buy accessories for would be required. Will you need a light? If so will it need to be bright enough to light your whole room (a good knowledgeable retailer will be able to tell you this). Are you happy with LED yet or do you want to stick to halogen? What colour would best suit your décor?
Ask yourself these questions and maybe take notes. Having a think about these subjects should ultimately help you select the best fan for your home that should last for years and years. If you are unsure and would like some extra advice, then please feel free to call and speak to us. We would be happy to advise.