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Ceiling Fans Home / Ceiling Fan Quality and Motor Ratings

Ceiling Fan Quality Ratings

No one likes a noisy wobbly ceiling fan that does not move any air. What you want is to feel a nice cool breeze from a fan that looks great in your room and runs perfectly smooth and quiet...for years to come...without breaking down...right?

Our Rating System combined with our CFM Performance information will help you find that fan.

We have given each of our fans an overall rating between 1 to 5 where 5 is the very best when considering quality, design and overall performance. In most cases, the rating we give a fan is directly related to the motor it uses. Aside from the motor, we equally consider the quality of the additional components used to make up the fan as well as the outward appearance in both style and finish. The highest rated fans will have precision made components that make them run smooth and quiet and last a lifetime. The outward appearance will be of superb quality that is both stylish and substantial.

We suggest you use this information in conjunction with the CFM and Efficiency data published on our site to help you decide which fans are right for your needs. It is our opinion that you should first look for fans that have the highest CFM rating, then consider our Overall Quality Rating as the deciding factor between models of similar CFM. The ultimate best fans would be those that move the most air (say over 6,300 CFM) and an Overall Quality Rating of 5.

For a more complete discussion of the differences between ceiling fans, read "Which Ceiling Fans are Best".

Fan Motor Rating Chart
(ratings updated 4/30/2011 - added DC motors)
RATING TYPE Details Price Range

DC Motors

Super Efficient DC Motors (the Green choice!): DC motors are the latest technology for ceiling fans. Unlike all other ceiling fan motors, DC Motors have their own built-in electromagnets so they do not use Electricity to create a magnetic field. This allows them to operate using up to 75% less electricity! They also generate more power than other motors with no wobble or noise. What's more, they operate at a cooler temperature boosting their efficiency even more while introducing less heat into the room. We consider all ceiling fans with DC motors to be the Best of the Best and our highest recommendation!

More about DC Ceiling Fans | Shop for Ceiling Fans with DC Motors

$400 to $1000 +

Some 212mm

Hi-Performance Motors: No wobble or noise. Fans with these motors are precision crafted throughout including the balancing of blades and careful engineering all components so they run perfectly smooth and quiet. Fans with these motors are built to last a lifetime with an unsurpassed proven track record of longevity. You can leave fans like these running 24 hours a day for years on end without every worrying about the motor burning out. You will find them to be the most attractive as well since they are designed to appeal to those who can afford the very best. This is our Top Recommendation!

$300 to $1000 +
4 212mm - 188mm Very Good Performance: Great air movement. Very little wobble or noise. Will last many years. Good for small to medium size rooms. 2nd most recommended! $200 to $500
3 172mm Above Average: Acceptable air movement. Very slight noise. Very affordable. Recommended for smaller rooms if a higher quality fan is not affordable. $150 to $350
2 53mm Average: Less air movement. Some noise or wobble over years of use. Recommended for contractors where projects require inexpensive fans. $95 to $200
1 *Typical Import Below Average: Very little airflow. Annoying wobble and noise when new or within 1 or 2 years of use. Not recommended for any application. Under $95

(motors from Emerson ceiling fans)

*Fans with smaller motors are typically found at home centers and mass merchants. We do not supply this type of fan at Home of Decor.

Important Note: Fans with extra wide palm leaf, wicker, or canvas type blades will only provide a gentle breeze and are considered to be more decorative than functional. Because this type of blade will tend to overwork an average fan motor we recommend that you choose only brands that offer these styles with Hi-Performance motors. Otherwise, your fan will overheat and start to make annoying noises and eventually burn out.

For a more complete discussion of the differences between ceiling fans, read "Which Ceiling Fans are Best".

DETAILS: What makes some fans better than others?

The motor inside your fan is the most important component!

The most important consideration when purchasing a fan (aside from the way it looks) is the size, power, and durability of the motor. Larger more powerful motors are more expensive than smaller more generic mass produced motors...but they will move substantially more air without wobbling or making noise and can be left running for days, weeks, even years on end without burning out.

There are 5 major factors that work together to determine how much air a fan will move as well as it's overall performance and durability. The most important factor is the motor. A strong precision made motor will move the most air without noise or wobble if the other 4 factors are present.

The 5 basic factors are:

  • Blade Pitch

  • Blade Shape and Size

  • RPM

  • Height from Ceiling

  • Motor

Looking more closely at each of these factors will show how they affect each other and why a fan with the most powerful motor can produce the most air movement.

  1. Blade Pitch:
    The angle at which the blade sweeps through the air is called the "Pitch" of the blade. The easiest way to understand how blade pitch effects air movement is to equate the blades of a fan to the oars of a rowboat. If you have ever tried to row a  boat, you know that if you put the oars in the water virtually flat, it takes very little effort to row...but even if you row very fast, the boat moves very slow. If, on the other hand, you tilt the oars at a steep angle in the water, it becomes very difficult to row the boat...but each stroke makes substantial progress. You will need to be much stronger and in better shape to sustain a high rate of speed for any period of time in this case.

    The same is true with ceiling fans. Believe it or not, a fan spinning at a high RPM encounters substantial wind resistance if the blades are set at a steeper pitch. A fan that has blades with a very flat pitch (between 10 and 12 degrees), does not require a very powerful motor to make the blades spin fast. However, even at full speed, the fan will move very little air and may have a tendency to wobble or make noise.

    On the other hand, a good blade pitch (between 14 and 15 degrees) requires a well engineered finely tuned powerful motor to move the blades through the air at a high rate of speed for extended periods of time without overheating and burning out.

    Just as well, a good blade pitch with an average or lower grade motor will not be able to reach as high an RPM and may in fact be overworked resulting in a fan that overheats and eventually burns out.

    Therefore, the pitch of the blade and the power of the motor must be well engineered to work together to create air movement without going beyond the motors capability in order for a fan to operate efficiently and last a lifetime.

  2. Blade Shape and Size
    Imagine rowing a boat with short narrow oars compared to wider longer oars. The wider and longer the oar is, the more effort it takes to pull it through the water. But once again, more effort means more progress. With ceiling fans, when you combine a wider longer blade with a steeper pitch, you get even more air movement...at least to a certain point.

    There is a limit to the shape and size that the oars or fan blades can and should be. If the oars or blades are too wide or too long, you will not be able to move maneuver them fast enough no matter how strong you are. As with ceiling fans, blades that are too wide or long cannot be moved fast enough to be effective with even the most powerful fan motor. So...larger does not always mean better...but too small or narrow is not good.

  3. RPM
    RPM is simply how fast your fan blades spin at a given speed setting. Faster means more air...but only if the blades are pitched properly. Also, some fans have a lower RPM at low speed and a higher RPM at high speed, which means they give you more flexibility in the cooling effect required. The best fans will give you 6 speeds from very low to very high.

  4. Height from Ceiling
    In order for a fan to operate efficiently, there needs to be about 10 to 12 inches between the blades and the ceiling so that the air can flow freely around the blades without bouncing up and down between the blades and the ceiling. For this reason, you will find that ceiling hugger fans (fans that mount flush to the ceiling) don't move very much air. This type of fan will always have a small motor with relatively flat blades so that it does not create enough turbulence to cause it to wobble or shudder. You just won't find a "Hi-Performance" hugger fan.

    The blades on a typical hugger fan will be 7 or 8 inches from the ceiling as opposed to 10 to 12" for a good quality performance fan. The additional 2 or 3 inches makes all the difference in the world...kind of like having a tire on a car that is just a little out of balance. It may only take a small .5oz weight to balance the tire, but without the weight, the tire will bounce up and down like crazy at certain speeds. You should only use hugger fans if your ceilings are lower than 8' high or there is some other restriction (such as a bunk bed) that prevents you from installing a Hi-Performance fan that drops down a few more inches. 

    For higher ceilings, a longer downrod is recommended in order to bring the fan blades to about 8 or 9 feet from the floor so that you will feel the air movement.

  5. Motor  - Size, Power, and Quality
    The motor is the most important component of a ceiling fan. The most powerful motors will move the most air, providing the above factors are present. High power fan motors are only available in the top of the line models from each of the major name brands. You will find these fans to be more expensive...but the difference in the amount of air you will feel is quite remarkable and the performance, durability, and efficiency is well worth the extra money.

A well engineered ceiling fan takes all of the factors on this page into account, and with precision testing, a "Sweet Spot" is determined with the most efficient combination of blade pitch, shape and size of the blades, RPM, height from the ceiling, and most importantly, the capacity or capability of the motor.

The fans on our site that are rated 4 or 5, or are referred to as "Hi-Performance" are fans that are well engineered to the "Sweet Spot" and will give you the best performance for many years. We are sure you will be satisfied if you purchase one of these fans. We believe any other rating to be a compromise that manufacturers make in order to design fans to meet lower price points.




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Answers to Recent Ceiling Fans Questions Posted To This Page
  1. Question #9482 - Posted: 4/15/2014 9:07:09 AM

    Ceiling Fans Question - Casablanca Model CA-55061

    View  model CA-55061
    CA-55061 - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/casablanca/model.asp?ProdNo=CA-55061

    QUESTION: The add shows a 4 speed wall control with a lite control. Is that included in the price of the 55061 Casablanca fan?

    ANSWER: The Panama Gallery fan does include the 4 speed wall control at the price published on our site. The optional 99020 hand held remote control is also included FREE for a limited time. (That offer may have expired by the time other visitors read this posting).

  2. Question #9481 - Posted: 4/11/2014 8:28:36 AM

    Ceiling Fans Question


    QUESTION: what is best company of fans

    ANSWER: Here is a link to an article that talks about "Who Makes The Best Ceiling Fans".

  3. Question #9480 - Posted: 4/8/2014 1:41:59 AM

    Ceiling Fans Question


    QUESTION: how big of a fan will I need for a room this big 20 feet wide 30 feet long and 26feet hith

    ANSWER: Your room is too large for any single ceiling fan. I would recommend 2 60" to 72" fans and you will most likely need to purchase two 6 foot long downrods and a downrod coupler for each fan so you can join the downrods together to create 12 foot long downrods. If you can only install a single ceiling fan, I would suggest using an 80" fan. Please call us so we can go over your options and help you select the best fan(s) for your application. Call: 1-800-201-1193. You can also email pictures of your room to gregt@hansenwholesale.com.

  4. Question #9477 - Posted: 4/8/2014 1:33:05 AM

    Ceiling Fans Question - Casablanca Model CA-55021

    View  model CA-55021
    CA-55021 - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/casablanca/model.asp?ProdNo=CA-55021

    QUESTION: will a 1994 wall for a intelertouch and rods work with a new fan ?

    ANSWER: No, the inteli-touch system is antiquated and not compatible with new Casablanca fans. Casablanca has also changed their mounting hardware and downrods, so the older downrods will not work either.

  5. Question #9473 - Posted: 4/4/2014 8:12:01 AM

    Ceiling Fans Question


    QUESTION: We have a small office, 9 feet by 11 feet. We just put in a wall to wall, floor to ceiling built in cabinet. The ceiling fan, which centered in the center of the ceiling, is not now. It is closer to the built in and it seems more air is being pushed toward the built in. Is this the effect of the built in? Can anything be done to push more air to the desk, which is opposite the built in?

    ANSWER: The built in cabinet is likely impeding the natural airflow pattern of the fan, which can cause it to move less air. Several options: 1) Relocate the fan closer to the desk. 2) Buy a larger fan. 3) Buy a more powerful fan of the same size. The amount of airflow a fan is capable of producing is measured in CFM (Cubic Feet of Airflow per Minute). You will find it easy to compare the CFM between all of the fans on our site (where CFM is available). Give us a call and we will be happy to go over these options in more detail. If you can email me some pictures of your room, I will be happy to take a look and see if there is anything else I can suggest. Email pictures to: gregt@hansenwholesale.com

  6. Question #9472 - Posted: 4/3/2014 8:30:36 AM

    Ceiling Fans Question - Emerson Model CF955WW

    View  model CF955WW
    CF955WW - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/emerson/model.asp?ProdNo=CF955WW

    QUESTION: Is it possible to use dimmable CFL bulgs in Midway Eco and will remote allow them to dim?

    ANSWER: Unfortunately the Emerson Midway Eco remote does not have a dimming function, so although you could install dimmable CFL bulbs, you would not be able to dim them. As I have mentioned previously, the lack of dimming capability is the only complaint we get about this fan...and rightfully so. This is a problem for virtually ALL ceiling fans with lights from ALL brands that meet Energy Star requirements. If you really need dimming capability and are looking for a ceiling fan that has a DC motor, I would suggest you consider the Casablanca DC Stealth. The DC Stealth does not meet Energy Star requirements because it incorporates a 100 watt halogen bulb, but it does have a super efficient DC motor. Casablanca chose to go that way in order to meet the needs of people looking for a high quality contemporary style ceiling fan with a super efficient DC motor and a dimmable light. Here is a link to the: Casablanca DC Stealth Model 59105 in White.

  7. Question #9470 - Posted: 4/3/2014 8:17:20 AM

    Ceiling Fans Question - Emerson Model CF787ORB-72

    View  model CF787ORB-72
    CF787ORB-72 - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/emerson/model.asp?ProdNo=CF787ORB-72

    QUESTION: Model CF787ORB comes with a 4 speed wall control. How does it reverse the fan blades direction ? It is located at 20feet off the ground

    ANSWER: The Emerson Carrera Grande has a manual reverse switch on the motor housing. Because your ceiling is so high, reversing the fan manually is obviously not going to happen. Emerson makes a special remote control transmitter and receiver that is capable of reversing the fan. This remote can be installed as a wall control and also be used as a hand held remote. Here is a link to the components: SR650-RC212. They also have another remote only option with a receiver that cannot be used as a wall control. Here is a link to that system: SR600-RC212. Although the receiver is not shown in the picture, it is included in the model that we are selling.

    Keep in mind that in order for these to work, you must install the receiver unit in the canopy of the fan when you install the fan. If you do not install it then, you will have to get up there to do it later...so be sure to purchase these components along with your fan. Also, rather than using the links above to purchase these parts, you can simply add them to your original fan purchase by clicking on the orange button labeled "Controls" below the picture of the fan on the main product details page...or just give us a call and we will make sure you get everything you need.

  8. Question #9469 - Posted: 4/3/2014 8:02:18 AM

    Ceiling Fans Question


    QUESTION: Where can I find a replacement globe for my harborside breeze Wakefield ceiling fan?

    ANSWER: Harbor Breeze ceiling fans are sold only by Lowes, so you will need to contact them to see if they can supply you with the globe you need.

  9. Question #9468 - Posted: 4/3/2014 8:01:15 AM

    Ceiling Fans Question - Emerson Model CF875SPB

    View  model CF875SPB
    CF875SPB - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/emerson/model.asp?ProdNo=CF875SPB

    QUESTION: I am looking for an Emerson crystal LX ceiling fan CF875SPB that I understand has been discontinued. Can you find one for me?

    ANSWER: It has been about 10 years since Emerson made that fan...so we ran out of stock many years ago. I am pretty confident that you will not find any dealers that have one. It was a nice looking fan with the illuminated crystal motor housing, but compared to fans made today, it did not move enough air (the motor was too small in order to accommodate the lights that lit up the crystal). Here is a link to view all of the flushmount/hugger ceiling fans that we currently have available: Flushmount Ceiling Fans.

  10. Question #9466 - Posted: 4/3/2014 7:45:49 AM

    Ceiling Fans Question - Minka Aire Model F803-TL

    View  model F803-TL
    F803-TL - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/minkaaire/model.asp?ProdNo=F803-TL

    QUESTION: How do I reverse my Minka Aire Model F803-TL ceiling fan without the wireless remote. The remote unit has begun to fail and will not power up. I have switch the wireless unit to a regular wall mounted fan control. However, I need to change the direction of the blade spin and I do not see a direction switch on the fan itself. How do I rectify this issue. Many thanls

    ANSWER: There is no method of reversing the Minka Aire Artemis ceiling fan other than with the remote control or wall control that was/is made for the fan. Generic remotes do not have a compatible reverse function and there is no reverse switch on the fan motor housing. Please contact Minka Aire customer support so they can determine the correct replacement parts (remote transmitter and receiver) for your fan since they have changed them over the years. Once you have determined the part numbers you need, you can call us to order them. Here is a link to their contact info: Minka Aire Customer Support.

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