Ceiling Fans Home
Ceiling Fan Questions and Answers
This is where you'll find answers to the most common questions regarding ceiling fans as well as a bit of history and some buying tips. Can't find an answer? Ask the Expert Here!
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What size ceiling fan should I use for my room?
NEW for 2012 - Ceiling Fan Size Recommendation Calculator
Choosing the right size ceiling fan for any room is important for both looks and performance. Because there is no definitive rule of thumb or building code standard for determining what size fan you will need for a specific area, you will find numerous charts online with recommendations that differ widely. So after over 35 years of dealing with ceiling fans, we have devised the one and only Ceiling Fan Size Recommendation Calculator, which will give you as close an approximation as you can hope for to help you determine the best size ceiling fan for any square or rectangular area. Of course, there are exceptions to the results of these calculations and further information you may wish to consider before you make your final purchase...Read more below!
Ceiling Fan Size Recommendation Calculator
Select the dimensions of your room!X
Our most important recommendation: Choose the largest fan that will fit into the space without overwhelming it visually.
The vast majority of the cooling effect you feel from a ceiling fan is in the column of air directly beneath the fan blades. The further you get away from the fan, the less airflow you will feel. There is a significant drop off in airflow just outside of 2 feet from the tip of the fan blades. This is a real surprise to many consumers who install a fan in the center of a room when their seating area is 4 or 5 feet away. Our calculator will give you a range of sizes that may be appropriate for your room, but the largest is the size we recommend most.
Ultimately, the right size fan for a room is not determined by the size of the room alone. You must also consider the layout of the room, where the fan will be positioned in relation to the area where the airflow is most needed as well as how high the ceiling is. Because we are not aware of any limiting factors you may have in your situation, we cannot say for sure that the largest fan we recommend will actually be appropriate for your room. Just keep in mind that the larger the fan blades are, the more area the fan will cover and the closer you are to the fan, the cooler you will feel.
Here's a scenario to consider: Let's say you have a small room that has a normal height ceiling. If you have walnut furniture and choose a bronze colored fan with walnut blades that matches the decor in your room, the fan will look and feel like it is barely missing your head as you walk under it, so you better purchase a smaller fan to help alleviate this feeling. However, the smaller size fan may not move enough air if it gets really hot in that room. So a good alternative would be to purchase a normal size fan that blends in with the ceiling. So if your ceiling is white, purchase a white fan. If your ceiling is acoustic, purchase a textured white fan. The fan will feel like it is higher up over your head, so you can purchase a slightly larger fan that has better performance features.
Some people might say..."Just put a hugger fan in so it doesn't hang down so low". Our response to that is that most hugger fans don't move much air, and really don't save but 2 or 3 inches in head room. There are some exceptions to this, but you really need to know the fan business to know what they are.
So each room has its own considerations when it comes to choosing the right size and style of ceiling fan that fits best. If you have any questions that we have not answered here, just give us a call and one of our ceiling fan experts will be happy to help you choose the right size fan.
For Live Expert Help Call: 1-800-201-1193
How to Install a Ceiling Fan and How to Balance a Ceiling Fan
One of the most commonly asked questions people have when they visit this page is how to install a ceiling fan, or how to balance a wobbly ceiling fan. Although there is more information regarding this lower on this page, we have posted some do-it-yourselfer videos that have been very popular that show how to install a ceiling fan and how to balance a ceiling fan. Here are the links:
Ceiling Fan Direction during Summer and Winter?
This answer has been moved to a separate page located here: Ceiling Fan Direction!
Ceiling Fans 101 - What you need to know
Throughout history, no other appliance can match a ceiling fan's combination of outward beauty, functional effectiveness, and dependability. A quality ceiling fan increases the beauty of any home or apartment while making a significant energy savings contribution . When selecting a ceiling fan several frequently asked questions emerge concerning how to make an intelligent selection while enhancing the surrounding beauty and controlling air movement for room dimensions and comfort. Hansen Wholesale invites you to explore the world of ceiling fans while learning how to ensure your next purchase of ceiling fans are investments that will return many rewards.
What to look for in a ceiling fan!
For some great info on which ceiling fans are best, visit our Which fans are best page.
The primary function of ceiling fans is to move air so you feel more comfortable, cooler in summer and warmer in winter, while utilizing minimal energy to achieve this. But not all ceiling fans are created equal. All fans move "some" air. How much air is circulated, how efficiently, with how much annoying wobble or noise, as well as how long a fan will last are questions wise consumers should ask before selecting a ceiling fan. Higher quality is measured in more than just dollars and cents. At first glance all fans may appear to look alike...but they're not! There are some major internal differences that have a huge impact on the performance and longevity of various ceiling fans. Here are some things to look for and compare before purchasing a ceiling fan:
Why inexpensive ceiling fans may be noisy
Inexpensive fans generally lack proper noise-reducing components such as isolation rings and rubber cushions between metal parts. These special noise silencers help stop the transference of noise through the fan to the ceiling where it is magnified. Inexpensive fans usually do not have these components because they add extra costs to manufacturing. Noise is generated because the fan in general is poorly engineered and manufactured using short-cuts.
Why pooly made ceiling fans break down
A common cause of breakdown in inferior fans is the on/off pull chain switch. The generic switches used in low end fans are proned to failure because they use less expensive materials that cannot handle every day use. The internal mechanism can simply break or the switch chain may be pulled out of the housing. Often times, when a pull chain switch breaks in an inexpensive fan, the entire fan becomes useless because a replacement switch is most likely not available. We do not carry fans that do not have replacement parts available.
The motor is important
For a fan to operate efficiently and effectively, the motor size must be engineered to match the blade pitch and blade length. Inexpensive fans may have inadequate size motors which can cause over-heating and motor burn-out. In many instances, lower quality fans may not have enough blade pitch to effectively move air. The greater the blade pitch, the more movement of air... but remember, the greater the pitch, the greater the need for a larger motor!
What size downrod extension pole should I use for a high ceiling?
For general reference purposes, we have included the downrod recommendation chart published by Casablanca Fan Company. However, we suggest that you give us a call before you purchase any ceiling fan for a high ceiling so that we can discuss your individual needs and make sure you end up with the correct combination of ceiling fan, hanging system and downrod for your application. Selecting the appropriate downrod length for a ceiling fan is not a cut and dry decision, so we do not like to go by charts. There are many things to consider other than the height of the ceiling.
The following are just a few considerations that are not taken into account with any downrod size chart, which is why we suggest that you give us a call. Our experts know how to handle these questions and more...
Can I use CFL bulbs in my ceiling fan to save energy?
If you purchase an Energy Star Qualified Ceiling Fan that has a light fixture, odds are...it already comes with CFL bulbs because one of the main concerns the EPA has regarding the specifications for Energy Star ceiling fans is that the light fixture does not waste energy. However, as of now, there are very few Energy Star qualified ceiling fans that come with a light fixture, and there are even fewer add on ceiling fan lights that are Energy Star qualified. So, a great alternative is to use CFL bulbs in a standard ceiling fan light kit.
However, before you go and buy just any ceiling fan light fixture, you need to make sure that you can use CFL bulbs in it. There are some limiting factors that you need to be aware of. Ths size of the fixture is ususally the biggest limitation. So you will need to know if you can actually fit a CFL bulb into the fixture. Most 4 light fixtures will accept CFL bulbs, but you must be careful with single light globes that use more than 1 bulb, or very low profile globes that simply do not have room for a CFL. Also, you cannot use a CFL bulb to replace a Halogen bulb since halogens use a special type of socket.
Also, many ceiling fans now come with hand held or wall operated remote controls. These will require specialized CFLs that can handle a light dimmer
We suggest that you give us a call before you make your purchase so that we can help you find the right light fixture and fan combination and help you determine if CFL bulbs are an option.
The following information is provided by the EPA and is taken from the Energy Star website. You can read more information about Energy Star qualified CFL bulbs here.
To choose the ENERGY STAR qualified CFL with the right amount of light, find a qualified CFL that is labeled as equivalent to the incandescent bulb you are replacing. Light bulb manufacturers include this information right on the product packaging to make it easy for consumers to choose the equivalent bulb. Common terms include "Soft White 60" or "60 Watt Replacement."
You should also check the lumen rating to find the right CFL. The higher the lumen rating, the greater the light output. Consult the following chart to determine what CFL wattage is best to replace your incandescent light bulb:
Why Ceiling Fans?
Aesthetic appearance of quality workmanship, the silent, rhythm of motion, and the economic benefits in heating make the ceiling fan one of the world's most useful appliances. It may seem odd to call a ceiling fan an appliance. It doesn't make coffee, sew a dress, or cook. But by definition an appliance is an instrument, apparatus, or device developed for a particular use. The fan fits. The ceiling fan enhances our environment and adds comfort. It meets a need.
Very few items found in the home can match a ceiling fan's combination of outward beauty, functional effectiveness, and dependability. A quality ceiling fan increases the beauty of any home or apartment. It can also lower heating and cooling bills which makes a ceiling fan an investment that pays for itself. Ceiling fans make air behave, and a properly directed and main air flow can have either a cooling or warming effect. Everyone experienced the cooling effects of a light breeze. As air moves across, it evaporates body moisture, making one feel cooler and more comfortable. With a ceiling fan generating cooling breezes in your home, you can set your air conditioning thermostat at a higher, more economical level. You save money without sacrificing comfort.
Ceiling fans are more than a cooling device. It can also more effectively distribute heat throughout your home. Warm air rises, cool air can become trapped near floor level. This accumulation of air layers can be a problem during colder months, in rooms with high or domed ceilings. A ceiling fan breaks up the cool and warm layers, making the overall room temperature uniform. By simply flipping a switch to reverse the fan's normal, warm air is moved across the ceiling and down the walls. This distributes room heat without creating a cooling draft. The result is that warm air is where you need it - at the level you live in, not on the ceiling. So, in winter you can lower your furnace thermostat by several degrees, again saving energy dollars. Ceiling fans can also guarantee proper airflow in solar and other alternative fuel heating environments. The noiseless operation and variable running speeds make ceiling fans an unobtrusive, efficient and beautiful appliance.
Why do consumers purchase ceiling fans?
Ceiling fans are purchased for three main reasons:
The idea of "Wind Chill".
A ceiling fan moves counter-clockwise to cool and provides a breeze that makes the air feel cooler, even through they don't actually lower the temperature. With a ceiling fan working, 78 or 80 degrees can be as comfortable as 72 degrees--leading to big energy savings.
This savings could add up to as much as 40% during the summer. Even at high speed, a ceiling fan typically uses less energy than a 100 watt light bulb .. and less than a 25 watt bulb at low speed.
Warm air rises, so the warmest air is trapped near the ceiling and wasted. Set on its lowest speed IN REVERSE-- so there will be no wind chill effect-the ceiling fan pushes warm air down from the ceiling. In effect, homeowners reclaim lost heat--and lost heating dollars. You can turn the thermostat down and save up to 10% on heating bills while keeping the home warm and comfortable.
Fans move clockwise to move warm air down from ceiling.
Ceiling Fans also enhance the character of any room or home. With the variety of styles and models available today, finding one to fit your decor is easy. Ceiling fans add that extra "finished" decorative touch that helps make a beautiful statement in any room.
What to do if your ceiling fan wobbles
There are several things that can cause a ceiling fan to wobble
Better quality fans don't normally wobble.
For a fan to perform efficiently it is very important that the blades be flat throughout and that each blade weighs the same. Better quality ceiling fan manufacturers use various techniques to keep warpage to a minimum. "Balanced" blades; that is, blades that are electronically matched at the factory (usually by hand); are sold as balanced sets of four or five blades, depending on the design of the fan. This, combined with the use of precision made components such as the blade holders and motor rotars, help insure that more expensive fans will not wobble when they are newly installed. Cheaper brands do not go through this process, so it is likely that the blades are either warped or do not weigh the same as each other, so lesser quality fans will almost always need to be balanced even when they are newly installed.
Most people simply try to balance their fan with a blade balancing kit if their fan wobbles. This can be a frustrating challenge because often times, a combination of the above problems is what causes a fan to wobble. So we recommend going through the following dyagnostics before you actually use a blade balancing kit. This will make your life much easier when it comes to balancing your fan. You might even find that your problem has been eliminated before you ever balance your fan. Ultimately, your fan will operate safer, perform better and be much easier to balance if all of these things are first checked.
Make sure your junction box is secure
Remove the canopy from the top of the fan at the ceiling and try to wiggle the junction box to see if it is not loose. If it is secured properly, you should not be able to move it. If the junction box is loose, you will need to reinforce it. If you have an attic above the ceiling fan, you can reinforce the junction box simply by nailing a 2x4 between the joists above the junction box and then screw the junction box into the 2x4. There are special expandable fan brackets available for applications where there is no attic space. To install one of these, you will need to remove the existing junction box from the ceiling. Slip the expandable fan brace up through the hole in the ceiling, then twist it so that it expands until it is wedged between the joists. There is hardware supplied that will enable you to attach the j-box to the fan brace.
Make sure all screws are tight
Your ceiling fan may be wobbling simply because there are some lose screws somewhere. Be sure all screws attaching your fan to the ceiling are tight. For fans other than hugger fans, there is usually a ball at the top of the downrod that fits into a bracket that is mounted to the ceiling. This ball will normally have some type of set screw that keeps it tight. Make sure that the set screw is tight and that the ball does not wiggle on the end of the downrod. If it does, this could be your problem. If the fan does not come with a set screw, then it was poorly designed and you may not be able to solve your wobbling problem. However, you should continue through all of these steps anyway.
Be sure that the screws holding the blade holders to the fan motor are tight, as well as the screws that hold the blades to the blade holders. These screws are the most common to get loose. Although this is not a problem with most better quality fans, some of the cheaper fans seem to have a chronic problem with blade screws, so if yours are loose, you should check them regularly just to be safe (so you don't end up with a blade flying off).
Check for bent blade irons
Hold a yard stick near the end of a blade and measure the distance from the bottom edge of the blade to the ceiling. Rotate the fan one blade at a time checking them at the same point. You might notice that one or two of the blades hang lower than the rest. This indicates that you either have warped blades or a bent blade iron. You can visually inspect the blades by standing on a ladder and looking at them down the length. Warped blades or bent blade holders are a common cause for wobbling ceiling fans.
If you suspect that you have warped blades or bent blade irons, we suggest that you remove the blades from the fan by loosening the screws that hold the blade holders to the motor. This way you can remove the blade holders from the blades once you take them down and then perform the next two checks.
First, stack all of the blades on top of each other. You will easily notice if one or more are warped. If they are warped more than 1/4", then you may want to consider trying to replace them, although you will need to find the correct blades to fit your blade holders (you can call us for help).
Next, stack all of the blade holders on top of each other to see if any of them are bent. Be sure to line up the base of the blade holders so you can check the angle that each blade holder (blade iron) is bent to. They all should be the same. If one or more are obviously different, you can attempt to bend them back, but you must be careful since some of the cheaper fans use pot metal for these parts and they can break easily. Finding replacement blade holders is difficult or impossible for cheaper fans, but not so much for the more the higher quality fans. Give us a call to see if replacement blade holders are available for your fan if need be.
Once you have checked the blades and blade holders, put them back on your fan and tighting the screws. If you discovered warped blades or bent blade irons and were not able to fix them, at least now you know if you cannot balance your fan with a balancing kit, there is a reason why.
This ends the diagnostic portion of fixing a wobbly ceiling fan. If your fan still wobbles after performing the above maintainence, then the next step is to use a ceiling fan balancing kit.
To Balance your Fan Using a Balancing Kit
View our How To Balance a Ceiling Fan Video
You can pick up a ceiling fan balancing kit at most home centers and some hardware stores. If you cannot find one locally, give us a call and we should be able to get you one. The ceiling fan blade balancing kit should consist of a plactic weighted clip and some lead weights that have double stick tape on them. The clip is the same weight as the lead weights and is simply used to locate the blades that are out of balance. Once the out of balance blade (or blades) is found, you will need to stick a lead weight on the top middle of the blade in the same position you had the clip. Here is a more detailed description of how to balance a ceiling fan.
1. To balance the blades, run the fan on high speed, down draft.
2. Before using balance kit, switch positions of 2 adjacent blades ( replace blade 'a' where blade 'b' was and put blade 'b' where blade 'a' was. ) If this improves the balance of fan, leave as is and proceed to step 3. If this makes balance worse, change blades back and proceed to step 3.
3. With the fan stationary, attach the balancing clip firmly on the leading edge of one blade halfway between at&127 the outer edge of the blade and the blade bracket.
4. Run the fan and observe the wobble. Stop the fan and move the clip to the next blade. Again run the fan and observe the wobble. Repeat this for all blades.
5. Move the clip back to the blade where you noticed the least wobble. This time attach the clip to the leading edge of the blade near the blade bracket, run the fan and observe the wobble. Stop the fan and move the clip outward toward the end of the blade in small increments until you find the position where the fan runs best.
6. Peel the protective paper off of one of the self adhesive weight strips, and stick it firmly on the top of the blade along the center line, opposite the clip. Remove the clip and start the fan. If the fan wobble was not completely stopped, you may be able to further improve it by repeating all of the above steps. Adding another weight to whichever blade is indicated by your second test, in addition to the one you put on the first time, may solve the wobbling problem.
Maintaining your ceiling fans
An anti-static agent can be used, but no cleaning agents which can damage the finish.
An occasional coat of furniture polish may be applied to the wood protection. Polish will also enhance the wood.
Never saturate a cloth with water to clean your ceiling fan. Water introduces the possibility of electrical shock and blade warpage. Always be certain the fan control is in the off position before attempting to clean.
Can a ceiling fan improve comfort in almost every room in the home? ...YES!
Bedrooms - There are many nights when the air conditioning can simply be turned off providing greater energy savings with no loss of comfort.
Bathrooms - Eliminates mildew by drying towels and showers quickly. This is a perfect application for a ceiling fan, even though bathrooms are often quite small.
Kitchens - Quickly disperses heat, smoke, and short span blades for these rooms. cooking odors making the kitchen more pleasant for the cook.
Recreation Rooms - Keeps active people comfortable without adjusting the air conditioning and thereby upsetting temperatures else where in the home.
Living Rooms - Maintains even temperatures by dispersing heat from windows. Also disperses cigarette smoke and heat from large gatherings.
Sunrooms and Atriums - Circulates and distributes solar heated air throughout the home and-reduces the risk of overheating sensitive plants.
Dining Room - By using medium speed upward airflow, diners can be kept comfortable in the typically smaller area without cooling the meal.
Rooms with Fireplaces - Circulates and distributes heated air through other parts of the home reducing furnace usage.
Vaulted Ceiling Rooms - Eliminates heat stratification for improved winter comfort and reduced energy bills.
Energy Saving Tips
For Energy Efficient Ceiling Fans, check out "Energy Star Ceiling Fans"
Conservation has become a way of life in America. Since the gas crunch in the mid-1970s, Americans have learned that wasting energy is wasting money. Yet not all suggested methods are practical, and some just do not work. True conservation is not found in a series of quick cure tips, such as occasionally turning off a light switch or making sure the refrigerator door is sealed. Often, these practices save so little money they seem to waste the effort it takes to perform them. If you are interested in saving substantial amounts of energy, you should consider energy conservation investments. Investments that result in no loss of personal comfort yet add to the value of a home.
Ceiling fans are a solid energy saving investment for the added beauty and elegance to any setting that no other method can match, and will be a valuable part of any home energy conservation.
Ceiling fans make air behave. A properly directed fan that directs the main air flow can have either a cooling or warming effect. Everyone has experienced the cooling effects of a light breeze. As air moves across, it evaporates body moisture, making one feel cooler and more comfortable. With a ceiling fan generating cooling breezes in your home, you can set your air conditioning thermostat at a higher, more economical level. You save money without sacrificing comfort.
Ceiling fans are more than a cooling device. It can also more effectively distribute heat throughout your home. When warm air rises, cool air can become trapped near floor level. This accumulation of air layers can be a problem during colder months, especially in rooms with high or domed ceilings. A ceiling fan breaks up the cool and warm layers, making the overall room temperature uniform. By simply flipping a switch to reverse the fan's normal operating direction, warm air is moved across the ceiling and down the walls. This distributes room heat without creating a cooling draft. The result is that warm air is where you need it - at the level you live in, not on the ceiling. So, in winter you can lower your furnace thermostat degrees, again saving energy dollars. Ceiling fans can also guarantee proper airflow in solar and other alternative fuel heat.
Remember, ceiling fans conserve energy only if you help them.
It is important to
remember that a ceiling fan can be an energy saving device only if a home is
properly weatherized. The following list of energy saving tips is provided so
you may weatherize your home and increase the effectiveness of a fan. In other
words, using these tips in conjunction with your ceiling fan(s) will help you
conserve energy and reduce heating and cooling bills.
Weather Stripping/Caulking. Proper weather stripping and caulking are essential for treating cracks around windows and other openings where heat and air conditioning can escape.
Thermostat. In the winter your thermostat should be should be set at least 5 degrees lower when you are sleeping or away from your home. In summer, set your thermostat at 78 degrees (for air conditioning). For homes with sick or elderly persons alternate your thermostat by ten degrees of the above recommended mark. The easiest way to do this is with a programmable thermostat.
Heat-Producing Items. During the months when air conditioning is in operation, keep lamps, candles, away from thermostats. The heat they create will make the air conditioner work harder, cooling more air than is necessary.
Cooling System. Filters for these systems should be replaced as needed. Keep the outdoor portion of your air conditioner pump clear of leaves, grass, or dirt accumulations. Disconnect electricity at circuit breaker or fuse box before cleaning. Doors should be closed in unused rooms, but be sure to also close the air conditioning vents in order to avoid unnecessary build-up of pressure, which can have a negative effect on your cooling system. Consider alternate devices such as ceiling fans to increase the efficiency of your present cooling unit. Use energy efficient models when replacing existing systems.
Area Maintenance. Keep the space all around your home clean. Dust, lint, and litter can cause operating problems and hazards.
Heating. If there are several thermostats in your home, close doors between heating zones as energy can be saved by keeping the temperatures low in the rooms frequently not used. Also, there is no need to heat a space that is not used, so close the air vents and doorways in rooms that do not need to be heated. Use only enough heat in these areas to avoid freezing in the winter. Water vapor present in the air helps to make life more comfortable at lower temperatures. There is a definite advantage to using ceiling fans because the air holds heat longer, allowing the fan to circulate it. Freestanding fan units can be obtained to add to the arrangement and efficiency of the heating system. Set the operating level according to the manufacturer's recommendations. For more efficiency, place a sheet of aluminum between the wall and any radiators. It will reflect the heat back into the room where it can be circulated more evenly by your fan. If you use radiator covers, make sure they are not trapping and losing heat.
Drying Clothes Outdoors. Even if you own a dryer, hanging clothes outdoors to dry in warm seasons should be done.
Closing Appliance Doors. Family members should not leave refrigerator or freezer doors open for long, extra seconds the door is left open increases the power the interior needs to maintain it's proper temperature.
Entertainment Equipment. TV's, radios, records, cassette decks, etc., should be turned off when not in use.
Better Lighting Sources. When replacing home lights, remember that fluorescent tubes produce more light for less energy consumed. The U.S. Department of Commerce a extended service or "long life" light bulbs are actually better than the ordinary variety.
Attic Insulation. The attic should be checked, and a recommended amount of insulation should be present.
Floors and Foundation Walls. These areas checked. Adequate insulation must be present under floor basement, in crawl spaces, and along foundation walls. installation ceiling fan operation by reducing unwanted drafts.
Windows and Doors. Storm windows, doors, or glass helps to keep the heat and air conditioning in where it belongs.
Exterior Walls. Added insulation should be considered when remodeling or re-siding your house.
Seal up Cracks. Stone, stucco, and brick exterior develop energy wasting cracks. Repairs can be made with caulking compound.
Teach Children to Save. A child is never too young, a few simple steps of energy conservation. Teach all family members to enter and leave the house quickly, in both winter and summer lingering in the doorway valuable heating and cooling are lost every time- the door is opened.
Wear a sweater and save. Wear warm , loose clothing and sweaters to save energy and money. They point out that when you regularly wear a sweater, the thermostat can be lowered by 3 degrees, thereby saving as much as 10 % on energy coupled with the air purification capabilities can add up to real energy savings.
Clothes dryers, washers, and dishwasher should be fully loaded when they are operated.
Personal cooling devices have been around ever since some heated anthropoid discovered that waving a palm leaf in the face produced the agreeable sensation of a refreshing breeze. This historical first "wind chill" was duplicated by the royalty and wealthy persons of early Assyria and Egypt who employed a small army of slaves and servants waving huge leaves to make them feel cool on hot days.
Hand fans, still seen today, came into being around the birth of Christ. The Akomeogi, the Japanese folding fan, dates back to sixth century, A.D. A century or so later, the popular Chinese dancing fan, Mai Ogi, appeared with its ten sticks and a thick paper mount depicting the family crest. In India, a large fan of peacock feathers symbolized eternal vigilance of the ruler.
The hand fan was introduced to Europeans in the Middle Ages and soon became popular. By the mid 1750s in Paris alone, there were 150 master fan makers. At about this time, the world's greatest inventors started to grapple with the problem of designing mechanically powered, personal wind-generating machines. Some of the more successful of these machines have appeared in the Smithsonian - the official magazine of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Successful use of mechanical fans was developed in the factories of the Industrial Revolution. Workers sweating at working got the idea of attaching wooden or metal blades to the whirl shafts overhead that were used to drive the machinery. The cooling breeze was evidently so satisfying that within a few years factories on a hot summer day were in danger of having their work blown away as long rows of line-shaft fans howled over the workers.
Thomas Edison introduced the first viable large scale use of electrical power. The ceiling fan had come of age. Electricity had been considered as a fan power source. But electricity was little more than a parlor game.
Diehl is generally considered the father of the modern electric fan. One of the giants of the electrical industry, Diehl was the genius head of Messrs. Diehl and Company. One of Diehl's greatest projects, and one which eventually led to the development of the ceiling fan, was the engineering of a motor suitable for use in Singer sewing machines.
In 1882, with great fanfare, Diehl introduced his "invention of the electric ceiling fan." His device was a bubble-blade adaptation of the well known belt driven fan with self-contained electric motor; the latter, a modification of his machine motor. By the end of the 1880s, "The Diehl Electric" was sweeping the country. At the same time the introduction of electric lights, electric street cars, and dozens of home electrical appliances were bringing the use of electricity to cities and towns across the country. The hundreds of generators and transmission stations made power inexpensive and readily available. Inventors scrambled to make their fortunes.
Philip Diehl continued to make major improvements, innovations, such as reducing motor size and adding lights the Diehl "Electrolier," or electrified combination chandelier ceiling fan, the ultimate development in ceiling fan usefulness and soon the idea also became common property, and by the turn of century the ceiling fan was everywhere. It wasn't long before it and sales, had traveled around the world.
By the late 1920s, no self-respecting restaurant, drug store, ice cream shop, elegant dining room, or even "speakeasy" was without a ceiling fan as part of their decor and ventilating system.
Quality fans allow their use in virtually any room of the home, day or night. And all this is possible with a fan that draws less electricity than 100-watt light bulb.
An Investment with a Big Return
What's more, a ceiling fan, unlike other decorative efforts, is a moveable investment. Those who live in apartments can still enjoy the comfort, elegance, and energy saving benefits that a ceiling fan provides without the worry of losing their investment should they decide to move. Unlike wallpaper and most floor coverings, which must be left behind and are big investments with little return, the ceiling fan is a decorating touch that can be packed right along with the boxes and furniture when the next moving day comes.
Ceiling fans can solve other problems, too. For instance, while searching for unique gift ideas, every so often we all get lucky and find just the right item for that special person. Available in a wide range of styles and colors, ceiling fans can be a most unique idea that is also practical, an important consideration in today's world. A ceiling fan would be a great gift for the kids on their way to college for their dorm rooms where temperatures are frequently uneven and uncontrollable.
Have a Question About? Ask an Expert!
Answers to Recent Ceiling Fans Questions Posted To This Page
Top Selling Flushmount Fan
Hugger Ceiling Fan:
Minka Aire Concept II
The Minka Aire Concept II was the very first remote controlled unibody style flushmount ceiling fan with a built-in light fixture. This unique 3-bladed fan moves lots of air, runs very quiet and is one of the best selling ceiling fans of all time. Although shown in Polished Chrome, this great fan is also available in White, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Brushed Nickel and Mahogany. It comes in 44" and 52" versions as well as a similar style standard mount model for higher ceilings.
Top Selling Summer/Winter Ceiling Fan
Summer/Winter Ceiling Fan:
Emerson Carrera Grande Eco
The Emerson Carrera Grande Eco is a large 60" remote controlled ceiling fan has 6 speeds in both forward and reverse. When operating in the forward direction (counter-clockwise) on higher speeds, the super efficient DC motor generates lots of airflow for maximum summer cooling. In reverse direction (clockwise) for winter, the lower speed ranges will draw warm air off the ceiling without cooling you off. The 6 speed remote gives you ultimate control over your comfort level during all seasons (smaller versions are also available).