Which Ceiling Fans are The Best?
EPA Requires Fan Companies To Disclose Previoiusly Hidden Performance Data!
How to Save 10% to 40% with Ceiling Fans
Operating a central air conditioner or wall unit can cost anywhere from 20 to 50 cents/hour or more, whereas a ceiling fan on high speed
costs between 1/4 of a cent to 3 cents per hour to operate. So ceiling fans cost far less to operate than air conditioning.
If you use ceiling fans more and your AC less you can save you anywhere from 10% to 40% on your cooling bills.
Keep in mind that ceiling fans do not change the room temperature they simply create a wind-chill effect that makes you feel cooler than it actually is.
This allows you to use your air conditioning less without sacrificing your level of comfort, which explains why ceiling fans are so popular. But in order to use your air conditioning less, you must either manually
turn it off or raise the temperature of your thermostat. If you do neither of these, you will not save anything on your energy bills...in fact you will spend a little more
because you are paying to run both your AC and your fans. So in order to realize the actual potential savings of ceiling fans, you must not forget to raise the temperature of your AC by several degrees
or turn it off altogether. Furthermore, there is no need to run a ceiling fan if you are not there to feel the breeze, so always turn them off when you leave a room.
Which ceiling fans are the best?
The best fans are those with the highest Quality, highest CFM (Cubic Feet of Airflow per Minute), and lowest Watts (or most efficient)!
Of these factors CFM is most important because it is what creates the wind-chill effect.
The more wind-chill effect you have the less you need your AC. For an average size room, ceiling fans that produce at least 6,000 to 7,000 CFM
will keep you cooler and allow you to raise your thermostat more to save the most on your energy bills.
Efficiency is defined as CFM/Watts, so the amount of air produced divided by the amount of electricity used.
If you are torn between several fans that have similar CFM ratings, then choose the one that is most efficient (uses less watts).
Keep in mind that even the least efficient fan motors only cost about 2 or 3 cents per hour to operate (which is nothing compared to your AC), so CFM is far more important than efficiency since the goal
is to maximize the wind-chill and minimize the AC.
Ceiling Fan Regulations
As of January 1, 2009, all ceiling fan manufacturers are required to test their ceiling fans for airflow performance and publish the results to the public.
With this new legislation, you can now determine which ceiling fans are best for your needs...that is, if you know how to interpret the data.
Hansen Wholesale is the only website to put all this data together into a graph format that allows you to easily compare the performance of each ceiling fan!
The graphs you see below are examples of what you will see in our search results as you shop for ceiling fans on our site.
In each graph you will see how much air each fan moves in CFMs (Cubic Feet per Minute of Airflow), how much electricity they use in Watts and how efficient they are in terms of CFMs per Watt.
We have also added our own Quality Rating to help you decide which fans are best.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is now in the process of reviewing previous ceiling fan regulations with plans to impose even further regulations which will likely drive
the price of ceiling fans up in the near future. You can read more about these new regulations here: Highly Decorative Ceiling Fans and Other Ceiling Fan Classifications or
follow the development of the legislation by reading the information in the Docket Folder at the DOE:
Energy Conservation Standards Ceiling Fans and Ceiling Fan Light Kits: Public Meeting and Availability of the Framework Document.
How to Compare Ceiling Fans
Ceiling Fan Comparison Graph
Breeze Rating: 5.5 (5 is best)
Wind Speed Factor: 4.34 MPH
Graph represents 52" blade span
How to read our graphs
Ceiling Fan Comparison Graph
Breeze Rating: 4 (5 is best)
Wind Speed Factor: 3.19 MPH
Graph represents 52" blade span
How to read our graphs
Ceiling Fan Comparison Graph
Breeze Rating: 1 (5 is best)
Wind Speed Factor: 1.42 MPH
Graph represents 52" blade span
How to read our graphs
Our ceiling fan comparison graphs rate each fan from 1 to 5 where 5 is best for each of the 5 comparison factors listed below.
Fans that far exceed the highest rating will appear above the 5 line and are considered the best of the best for that rating.
The averages below are based on data compiled from of over 2,000 ceiling fan models from 12 different brands.
Average Quality = 3
Average Airflow = 5500 CFM
Average Energy Use = 70 Watts (on high)
Average Efficiency = 79 CFM/Watt
Average Wind Speed = 2.5 MPH (220 LFM)
Important Note: The formula for calculating wind speed was revised on 1/31/2015. The previous formula did not take into account that the testing chamber (cylinder) used to determine the CFM of a fan is 8" in diameter larger than the blade span. The revised formula ads 8" to the blade span to account for this. The new wind speed results are now slightly lower than previosly stated but are still proportionally similar for the purpose comparing various fans.
How to use our Ceiling Fan Comparison Graphs to Choose the Best Fans
Averages: Fans that are average in for any factor are given a rating of 3. We recommend looking for fans that are rated at 4 or 5 for quality, CFM and MPH. Some fans that have very high CFM will use more energy and be less efficient, but may be the best choice for your application. Many ceiling fans that are rated 5 for CFM are still rated lower for Efficiency and Watts.
This is because some fans that move lots of air tend to have larger more powerful motors that use a bit more electricity. Not to worry...these are still
great choices. Keep in mind that the best way to save energy with ceiling fans is to feel enough cooling breeze so that you can raise your AC thermostat a few degrees during the summer so you use less electricity
from you AC. Even the least efficient ceiling fan will still use far less electricity than your AC...but you cannot benefit from the energy saving ability of ceiling fans if you do not raise the
temperature of your thermostat several degrees.
Here is a brief explanation of each of the criteria
Quality: This is a rating of from 1 to 5 where 5 represents the best quality fans on the market.
This rating is determined exclusively by our own ceiling fan experts on staff and is based on our first hand knowledge of each fan.
The quality rating has nothing to do with how much air a fan will move, that is a separate rating. Quality has to do with how well the fan is made, how smooth and quiet it will operate, how long it will last, and equally important...how good looks in real life. The internal components use to make the fan including the motor, capacitors and controls are considered for the precision and tolerances to which they are made are critical. We highly recommend any ceiling fan that has a Quality rating of 4 or 5 when considering the other criteria below.
CFM is short for Cubic Feet per Minute, which is how the airflow of a ceiling fan is measured. The EPA now requires all ceiling fan manufacturers to test their fans for CFM using a testing cylinder like the one pictured here. The intent of this requirement is to give consumers a method of comparing the performance of ceiling fans. Although CFM is good for comparing ceiling fans of the same diameter, it does not bode very well when comparing fans of with different blade spans and it does not give you a very good correlation to how much wind-chill a fan will produce. So when comparing fans, we recommend you not only look at the CFM, but pay close attention to our "Wind Speed Factor", which is more closely related to the wind-chill affect a fan will produce. With that said, the CFMs shown in each graph represent the volume of air the fan can move when it is on High Speed. Based on comparing over 1200 ceiling fans that we have data for on our site, the average ceiling fan moves about 5513 CFM. Since most people buy ceiling fans in order to stay cooler, you must make sure you get sufficient airflow, otherwise you may be dissatisfied with your ceiling fan regardless how smooth and quiet it performs or how great it looks in your room. The worst is around 1400 CFM and the very best approach 10,000 CFM. So there is quite a range of difference in the performance between ceiling fans. For average size rooms, we recommend ceiling fans that are capable of moving at least 6000 CFM, which is above average. Larger rooms will need much more and smaller rooms can get away with less.
Wind Speed Factor:
"Our exclusive Wind Speed Factor is the only online tool that allows you to compare the actual potential cooling effect of fans with different sizes and CFM"
Aside from Quality, our Wind Speed Factor is by far the most important piece of information to compare between ceiling fans. Wind speed is not the same as CFM. CFM is a measure of the overall amount of air being displaced in an area, whereas wind speed is the measure of how fast the air is moving. Ceiling fans do not change the temperature of a room, they cool you off by creating a wind chill effect, which is directly related to wind speed...not CFM. So it is logical to assume that higher wind speed will make you feel cooler. It is also important to note that the breeze created by a ceiling fan is mostly concentrated in the column of air just beneath the blades and does not extent out much more than a foot or two beyond that. If you have two fans of different sizes that produce the same CFM, the smaller fan will have a higher wind speed. It is a bit more complicated when two fans of different sizes produce different CFM. In many cases, the larger fan may move more air or have a higher CFM, but because the airflow is spread over a larger area, the intensity of the breeze you feel (wind speed) may be less than a smaller fan. Our exclusive "Wind Speed Factor" is the only online tool that allows you to compare the actual potential cooling effect of fans with different sizes and CFM. This is particularly useful if you are trying to decide whether to use a single large fan as opposed to two or more smaller fans for a particular area. It is our experience that for large rooms it is often better to have 2 or more smaller ceiling fans than a single large fan. So, what should you look for when it comes to wind speed? We have determined that the average wind speed factor of a ceiling fan is a about 2.5 MPH, which is lacking when it comes to cooling you off. If the main reason for considering installing a ceiling fan is to cool you off, we recommend considering fans with a wind speed factor of 4 MPH or higher.
How we calculate our "Wind Speed Factor": Manufacturers are now required to test their ceiling fans in a testing chamber like the one shown here. The chamber is a cylinder that is 8" in diameter larger than the blade span of the fan. There are several arrays of sensors (anemometers) that measure the actual wind speed in the area of each sensor. The CFM is then calculated by combining the wind speeds for the area of each sensor to determine the amount of air moving through the entire chamber. The actual wind speeds used to calculate the CFM are not reported publicly, so we have devised a formula to extrapolate the wind speed from the CFM data based on the diameter of the chamber (8" larger than the fan) and the reported CFM for that area. To make it easier for you to compare fans of various CFM and blade spans, we devised the Wind Speed Factor, which is calculation is based on the CFMs (as reported by the manufacturer) per square foot of the testing chamber, which is the diameter of the fan plus 8". We use the term Wind Speed Factor because it is a calculation based on the CFM results in the testing chamber, not an actual scientifically tested measurement of wind speed.
Efficiency: Efficiency is defined by the EPA as CFM/Watts. The average efficiency of a ceiling fan is bout 79 Watts/CFM. This translates into the amount of air a fan moves (in CFM) divided by the amount of electricity it uses (in Watts) at high speed. Normally you would think of efficiency as a number between 1 and 100 because no mechanical device can actually be more than 100% efficient. However, the formula adopted by the EPA is actually a rather good way to compare the cost to operate a fan -vs- the comfort level you can expect from it to create. However, the most efficient ceiling fan will only save you about $10 to $20 per year max compared to the worst fan because even the worst fans use less electricity per hour than a single 100 watt light bulb. So it is our opinion that the CFM rating is far more important than the efficiency rating because a fan that produces more airflow is going to allow you to raise your thermostat 2 or 3 times higher than one that blows less air. That alone can save you hundreds of dollars per year. So don't sell yourself short by using the efficiency rating as the first criteria to consider. If you are torn between 2 models, then you may want to use it as a deciding factor. The best choice would be a fan with both a high CFM rating and a High Efficiency rating...although there are few that meet that criteria since getting the most air generally entails using more power.
Watts of Electricity Used: This is the amount of electricity that you can expect the ceiling fan to use when operated on the highest speed. The average watts used by ceiling fans is about 70 watts on high speed (without lights). A higher rating for Watts means the fan uses LESS watts, which is more desirable. Although this number is used to calculate the efficiency of the fan, it can also be used as a direct comparison between fans, or simply to get a better grasp on how much energy a fan will use. Think of the wattage in terms of light bulbs and you will easily understand just how little electricity virtually all ceiling fans use. This is the main reason that ceiling fans are such a popular alternative to air conditioning...simply because they use less electricity than an average light bulb. Use the calculator below to see just how much any of our fans will cost you to operate based on the Watts it uses.
Calculate how much it will cost to operate a ceiling fan based on the Watts it uses
If you look at your last electric bill, it will tell you just how much you are paying for each kWh of electricity (Kilowatts per hour).
You can use that number to calculate the actual cost of operating any of the ceiling fans on our site that have the Watts data.
Just plug in the Watts the ceiling fan uses and your own kWh cost...or select your state to automatically input an estimated average.
The average kWh by state used by our calculator is derived from information published by the
US Government Department of Energy as of May 2009.
Since this is an average number calculated by the Government, your actual cost may differ from this. You can find your exact cost of electricity per kWh on your electric bill
if you wish to plug in that number for a more precise calculation.
EPA Exemptions for CFM Testing
Certain ceiling fans are exempt from the EPA legislation, particularly hugger fans and fans with large palm leaves. Apparently hugger fans cannot be tested using the same method...and they do not move as much air as traditional fans anyway. Fans that are considered as strictly decorative are exempt as well such as fans with palm leaf blades, belt driven fans, and Punkah style fans that waft from side to side. Fans like these are simply not capable of moving much air and should only be considered where you are more interested in making a decorative statement and do not really care about keeping cool or lowering your thermostat.
Answers to Recent Ceiling Fans Questions Posted To This Page
- Question #9509 - Posted: 10/1/2015 4:43:21 PM
Ceiling Fans Question - Emerson Model CF788VNB-72
CF788VNB-72 - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/emerson/model.asp?ProdNo=CF788VNB-72
QUESTION: I am looking at the Emerson Carrera Grande Eco 72 (DC Motor) Ceiling Fan Model CF788VNB, however regarding fan blades for an outdoor-damp location, would these blades tend to warp over a few years in a humid environment? I have had many outdoor fans, and they almost all end up with warped blades over time. Do you offer blades that would be less prone to warping, or are these already "resistant"?
ANSWER: When you click on the orange button for blades, look for blades that say "(Outdoor Damp)". Emerson specially makes the damp rated blades from solid hardwood (instead of cheap plywood) that is treated to resist cracking and warping from being outside. They will hold up much better than what you have experienced and are in fact rated for use in outdoor damp locations by the manufacturer.
- Question #9508 - Posted: 10/1/2015 4:37:34 PM
Ceiling Fans Question
QUESTION: I just bought a house with a Halsey ceiling fan and I want to add a light to it. The universal light kit only works sometimes! Where can I find Halsey light kits to fit models HC-HP and HG models?
ANSWER: I am sorry to report that Halsey went out of business several years ago, so finding parts for them is difficult. It is not a brand that we ever sold, so we would not have any fixtures on hand that were made by them. If you email me some pictures of your fan, I may be able to determine what types of universal fixtures will fit...if any. Email pictures to: email@example.com
- Question #9507 - Posted: 10/1/2015 4:33:29 PM
Ceiling Fans Question - Emerson Model EM-CF766VS
EM-CF766VS - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/emerson/model.asp?ProdNo=EM-CF766VS
QUESTION: The location I am considering was wired only for a light and no fan (1 wire pair). How do I tell which lights are compatible and which are not?
ANSWER: Almost all of our ceiling fans with lights do not require a second hot wire, so they will work with a 1 wire pair...there are very few exceptions. If you give us a call, we will be happy to help you choose the best fan for your needs and make sure you can install it.
- Question #9504 - Posted: 11/22/2014 1:30:40 PM
Ceiling Fans Question - Savoy House Model SV-14-325-FD-SN
SV-14-325-FD-SN - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/savoyhouse/model.asp?ProdNo=SV-14-325-FD-SN
QUESTION: How far down from the ceiling does the Seaside fan hang when installed with the flushmount option?
ANSWER: Thanks for your question: The Seaside fan from Savoy House comes with an 8" downrod as well as a flush mount adapter. The bottom of the fan cage hangs 16.3" from the ceiling when installed with the 8" downrod. Although the manufacturer does not specify the hanging distance with the flush mount option, after reviewing the installation instructions I have estimated that the flush mount option will reduce the distance by at least 6" to be safe...if not a bit more. That would put the bottom of the fan at about 10" from the ceiling.
- Question #9503 - Posted: 7/6/2014 9:23:16 AM
Ceiling Fans Question - Minka Aire Model F820-CT
F820-CT - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/minkaaire/model.asp?ProdNo=F820-CT
QUESTION: I want to purchase the 36" Down rod DR536-CT (Cattera Bronze finish) $25.13 for the Santa Lucia Ceiling Fan I recently purchased from you. However, when I try to select it the website automatically adds the fan too. Please help
Sorry you are having trouble ordering a downrod. Here is what you can do: Simply delete the fan from your shopping cart to order just the downrod or use this link to add the downrod to your cart by itself:
Minka Aire DR536-CT Downrod
- Question #9502 - Posted: 7/6/2014 9:17:41 AM
Ceiling Fans Question
QUESTION: Do you happen to carry Hunter fan light fixtures that have a triangle base. These are not held in by screws but by a clip system.
ANSWER: I am sorry to report that we do not have any of the Hunter light fixtures you are looking for. Hunter only made the triangular fixtures for a short period of time and they discontinued them several years ago (too many problems). It is unlikely that you will be able to locate one anywhere. If you can email me some pictures of your fan along with the model number (located on a label on top of the fan housing), I may be able to come up with an alternative that will fit. Email your pictures to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Question #9500 - Posted: 7/3/2014 1:55:05 AM
Ceiling Fans Question - Modern Fan Model VEL-HUG-BN-50-NK-NL-NC
VEL-HUG-BN-50-NK-NL-NC - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/modernfan/model.asp?ProdNo=VEL-HUG-BN-50-NK-NL-NC
First off, I love all the consumer information Hansen Wholesale provides.
I'd love a clarification on something. You say that hugger fans don't work as well as regular ceiling fans. This makes total sense. However, why would the Modern Fan Velo Hugger be rated at the same 6650 CFM and 5.54 MPH wind speed as the regular Velo?
(Is it because the blades are installed as low as possible on the hugger fan, thus negating the height benefits?)
ANSWER: You are exactly correct. When installed with a standard downrod, the regular Velo hangs down the same distance as the Velo Hugger, so the airflow is the same.
- Question #9499 - Posted: 7/2/2014 11:30:33 PM
Ceiling Fans Question - Savoy House Model SV-58-819-5WA-37
SV-58-819-5WA-37 - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/savoyhouse/model.asp?ProdNo=SV-58-819-5WA-37
Per the information on the site, the new DC motors, the Emerson K55XL, and other "induction" type motors are considered best quality. If that's the case, how do fans with smallish non-special motors (Say, Savoy House Indira, with 153 x 22mm motor) earn a 5 rating?
There are exceptions. A 5 rating is not just based on the motor inside the fan, but the overall consideration of the quality of the components and performance. Most 153mm motors are only 12mm to 15mm tall and tend to be overworked. The motor used in the Indra is 22mm tall, which is very unusual. This is a special motor that Savoy House had designed for this fan and the performance and quality of the motor are excellent. The 3-blade Indra produces a whopping 8517 CFM and runs very smooth and quiet. The entire fan was designed to produce maximum airflow while reducing noise. The blades have a very special aerodynamic design and the fan runs perfectly quiet. When I saw this fan introduced at the lighting show in Dallas, I was very impressed. Overall, one of the best fans I have rated in years. A DC motor would have been nice...but was not necessary to earn a 5 in my book.
Here is a link to the Savoy House Indra
- Question #9496 - Posted: 6/19/2014 10:09:09 AM
Ceiling Fans Question - Minka Aire Model F513-WH
F513-WH - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/minkaaire/model.asp?ProdNo=F513-WH
QUESTION: Hi, I have 4 rooms I'm thinking of installing fans. One is 10x14, 2 are 13x14, and a fourth is 23x15. For the first 3 I was considering Minka Aire F513. For the largest room I was thinking about Minka Aire MF-689. Will these be adequate?
Thanks, Tom Kelley
The Minka Aire F513 New Era fans will be great for the 3 smaller rooms. For the larger room, a single ceiling fan will not be adequate...you should install 2 fans. If you install 2 fans, then the F689 Kola-XL 60" fans would be a great choice. If you can only install a single fan, then I would recommend an even larger fan (up to 84") such as the Fanimation Odyn. Here are links to those resources: Large Ceiling Fans
or The Fanimation Odyn
. Please call us at: 1-800-201-1193 and we will be happy to discuss all of your options and help you make an educated decision.