The Department of Energy (DOE) is reviewing ceiling fan regulations this year and making plans to add new regulations that may have a major impact on the ceiling fan industry. This article is not meant to be a documentation or discussion of all of the new regulations, it is just an overview of what is being proposed as far as classifying ceiling fans. The intent of the DOE is to break ceiling fans out into various classes so that performance and efficiency standards can be created for each class. Ceiling fan performance standards and other regulations will be addressed in subsequent articles.
In order to distinguish between various possible performance requirements for ceiling fans, the DOE plans to create 4 classes of ceiling fans. In the past, Hugger ceiling fans and some highly decorative ceiling fans were exempt from performance testing and manufacturers were not required to publish performance data for these types of ceiling fans. Based on the latest proposals, ALL types of ceiling fans will now be required to meet certain minimum standards and will need to be tested and have their performance data published. Here are the proposed categories of ceiling fans as of the date of this posting:
Highly Decorative Ceiling Fans:
Highly Decorative Fans is the most controversial group of fans and it is yet to be determined what the criteria is for a ceiling fan to be considered a highly decorative fan. However, the intent is to include ceiling fans that are designed more for their decorative appeal rather than their performance. In other words, they are not designed to move much air. Some examples of fans that would logically be considered highly decorative are fans like the Palmetto, Palisade and the Islander. The Islander is a tropical style ceiling fan with palm leaf blades and is representative of a plethora of other similar fans from most ceiling fan manufacturers who have copied this popular style.
Highly Decorative Fans will have to meet some sort of minimal standard and will most likely be required to have some type of label that states they are considered to be a "Highly Decorative Fan" and that they are not designed to move air as much as they are designed for their decorative appeal.
Hugger fans (often called flushmount ceiling fans) were previously exempt from DOE regulations and were not even considered to be ceiling fans according to the definition of a ceiling fan established by the DOE in years past. It is now proposed that hugger ceiling fans be considered ceiling fans and be included in regulations having their own category. This means they will have their own testing procedures and performance standards that may be different than other ceiling fans.
Indoor Ceiling Fans:This is the group that most ceiling fans will fall under.
Outdoor Ceiling Fans
Outdoor ceiling fans will include damp rated and wet rated fans.
For more information about the latest ceiling fan regulations use the link to the DOE Framework Docket Folder.