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How to Choose a Ceiling Fan for Your Home

Bedroom with ceiling fan at sunset or sunrise

Make Shopping for Ceiling Fans a Breeze

Ceiling fans might seem like a bit of a relic in the days of ducted and split system air conditioning, but they still offer a wealth of benefits that should not be overlooked. Especially if you just want to kick back on the couch in the summer without worrying too much about your power bill.

Not only do they help to circulate cool air throughout your home, especially when used with an air conditioner, but they do so in a cost effective and energy efficient way. Plus, a well-designed ceiling fan can make for an eye-catching feature in any room.

Of course, choosing from the plethora of models and styles on the market can be a touch overwhelming. Luckily, we’re here with some handy hints to help make choosing the best ceiling fans for your home a … (I’m sorry) welcome breeze.

Key Benefits of Ceiling Fans

The humble ceiling fan remains a welcome addition to any living space, boasting a multitude of benefits that include:

  • Cost effectiveness, in many cases costing barely 50 cents a day to run
  • Low power usage, meaning more eco-friendly due to decrease carbon footprint
  • Reduces reliance on air conditioning systems for optimal cooling
  • Availability in a wide range of stylish ceiling fan design options
  • Easy to operate using remote control or wall control
  • Many are reversible, so can help to warm a room in the winter months

Though air conditioning systems might provide more immediate and controlled cooling for your home, indoor ceiling fans make for a worthy alternative for those times when you’re looking to be more conscious about your power bills.

But what exactly should you be considering when it comes to buying the best ceiling fan for your needs?

Different Ceiling Fan Types

Ceiling fans come in two different categories, available in alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC). Once you’ve chosen between the AC or DC options, you’ll then have a variety of designs, sizes and blade number options to consider.

AC fans are probably the more frequently installed option. They can often be cheaper than direct current ceiling fans, but a DC ceiling fan is typically more energy efficient than its AC counterpart. With up to seven settings, direct current models offer greater control over air movement than AC models which only provide three settings.

Ceiling fans can also be operated from smart devices and can enhance your lighting if you choose a model which includes a light.

Location of the Fan

Have you determined exactly where you’re going to install your indoor ceiling fan? Location within your house can have a significant impact on the type of new ceiling fan you choose.

Some modern ceiling fans are built for indoor use only and will state that on their packaging. Others may be suitable for outdoor spaces that are covered, like outdoor rooms, verandas and patios. These will be labelled “damp rated” or “alfresco”.

There are also options that are labelled “wet rated” or “coastal”. These are built for outdoor spaces that have a degree of coverage but might occasionally be subjected to spray from rain or sea water.

Wet rated ceiling fans are manufactured using a metal that is resistant to rust, with blades that are also made from metal or acrylic.

Given our love of the outdoor life (particularly in summer), these models are ideal for Australia.

Ceiling fan above hammock in outdoor room

Ceiling Height

You will also need to consider the height and design of your ceiling when choosing the right ceiling fan style for your home.

For rooms with low ceilings, you will want to consider a hugger fan, which is a ceiling fan that is not fitted with a down rod. A properly installed fan will sit close to the ceiling. This is important in a large or small room.

This can mean that there is less air movement and therefore the potential for the fan to not be as effective as other models. However, it does also help in meeting the safety requirement of installing indoor ceiling fans at least 2.1m from the floor.

Standard height ceilings are lucky as the range of ceiling fan options is virtually limitless.

For high ceilings, or those that might be significantly angled, you will need a fan with an extension rod. Without that rod the fan will be too high to be remotely effective.

Type of Fan Blade 

Does the number of fan blades have any noticeable effect on the performance of your ceiling fan? Basically, there are good and bad points to having more blades. Ceiling fans with a greater number will generally be quieter, but will also require a larger motor which generally means greater energy consumption.

What matters more is the type of blades your ceiling fan has. Factors such as the shape, size and material composition of the blades, as well as fan motor size and the shape and size of the room will have a more significant impact on the performance of your ceiling fan.

Ceiling Fan Blade Noise

So, we know that indoor ceiling fans with a greater number of blades are generally quieter, but the materials with which the blades are made can affect the noise levels as well. Ceiling fans with metal blades are generally louder than models with timber blades.

That being said, metal blades are typically better at moving air through the room, so you may need to consider what benefit is more important to you.

If you’re a heavy sleeper you might be okay with louder metal blades for your bedroom ceiling fan. If you have a tendency to wake up at even the quietest of sounds, you might prefer a timber-bladed fan instead.

Ceiling fan in white living room

Room Size to Fan Size Ratio

It makes sense that a larger room will need a larger fan for maximum effect, but what is the right size ceiling fan for small and large rooms?

If you’re looking at indoor ceiling fans for a small to medium sized room, no more than 20m² for example, then you’ll need to consider a fan blade size of roughly 122cm.

If you have a larger room, say between 20 and 36m², then you’ll be looking at a larger fan, one with a blade size of 132cm to 142cm or greater.

The Rundown

There are many factors to consider when you need to choose a ceiling fan for your home. They include:

  • The type of ceiling fan
  • Where it will be positioned in your home
  • The height and style of your ceiling
  • The size, shape and composition of the ceiling fan blades
  • How many blades you want
  • Noise levels
  • Fan to room size ratio

Most ceiling fans also come with an integrated light built in for optimal convenience, so may be worth considering as well. For quality installation by a licensed electrical contractor, contact the specialists at Mr Emergency.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.

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