With increased energy costs a ceiling fan is a sensible and efficient option.
Ceiling fans have become popular because people have found they can save on energy costs while satisfying decorative needs and increasing personal comfort.
Ceiling fans effectively circulate the air in a room to create a draft throughout the room. If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will assist in air movement, reducing airconditioning load (and cost) with no reduction in comfort.
In temperate climates, or during moderately hot weather, ceiling fans may allow you to avoid using your air conditioner altogether. Equally ceiling fans can assist in circulating warm air produced by heaters in the colder months.
Remember to turn off ceiling fans when you leave a room; fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
Are ceiling fans for summer use only?
No, ceiling fans can be used all year round.
How a ceiling fan works in the summer…
Ceiling fans use the “wind chill” principle to cool us in summer. The movement of air down from the fan and across your body creates a cooling effect.
Even if you have air conditioning you can use a ceiling fan and set your thermostat higher while maintaining the same degree of comfort, thus saving on energy costs.
…and in the winter
We have all heard that heat rises. When you are heating your home in the winter the air temperature near your ceiling can be as much as 10 to 15 °C higher than the temperature near the floor. Without a ceiling fan, this heat remains trapped at the ceiling.
Running a ceiling fan in reverse will move that hot air down to floor level and save on heating costs. The air is forced up on to the ceiling and out towards the walls of the room and then down, which eliminates the wind chill effect.
What if I have a very high ceiling?
Longer downrods are available, up to 90cm, with 1.8m downrods available for some models / colours. These longer rods can be cut , if required, to suit a particular ceiling height and re-drilled accordingly.
With very high ceilings (4m and higher) it is actually more efficient in winter to use your ceiling fan at low speed, on normal rotation (ie: summer position). This is because with the fan so high you will not feel any wind chill effect on low speed. On normal rotation, at low speed, the fan will gently push the hot air downwards.
If you use the fan on reverse rotation in a very high ceiling, it will tend to circulate the hot air around the top half of the room and not push it down to floor level. Extra length downrods are available for high ceilings applications.
What if I have a low ceiling?
Most fans are suitable for the normal ceiling height (2.4m or 8ft.) and blades must be at least 2.1m from the floor. Shortening the supplied downrod on a fan may impact on the performance of the fan – restricting the amount of air it can draw through the blades.
What size of ceiling fan should I have?
There are no hard and fast rules about selecting the size of a ceiling fan. The desirable level of air flow in a given location and the general appearance of the fan is a matter of personal choice. Based upon experience, however, we offer the following suggestions for ceiling fan size selection.
|Room Size||4m x4m||5m x 6m|
|Recommended Fan Size||120cm|
|140cm / 140cm|
* Blade Span is the overall distance from the tip of one blade across to the tip of another.
For areas larger than 30sq.m you should consider installing two or more fans depending upon the layout of the room.
What makes a fan more efficient? Is it the number of blades?
Is a fan with 5 blades more efficient than a fan with 4 blades, or 3?
The number of blades on a fan has little to do with efficiency, making it a matter of personal taste, rather than a purely practical consideration. The performance of a ceiling fan is determined by only 4 factors:
1. Motor speed (revs per minute).
2. Blade design & pitch (angle the blade is set at).
3. Distance between fan blades and ceiling.
4. Distance between blade ends and walls.
Fan Motor Speed
The maximum speed of most fans is between 190rpm to 270rpm. Motor speed, along with blade pitch are critical factors in performance.
Blade design & pitch
It is the combination of blade shape and pitch which delivers efficiency. A curved aluminium blade is efficient because of its aerodynamic design and lightweight construction. Some fan models have metal blades set at a 20 degree pitch and a maximum motor speed of 270rpm. This combination makes for a very high performance fan. Unfortunately, high performance can create air noise and this model of fan should only be used in situations where high airflows are required.
Formed plywood or ABS blades offer design style and are efficient air movers. Fans which have flat wooden blades set at between 11 and 14 degree pitch are very quiet.
Typically, low cost fans have a blade pitch of around 7 degree. This allows the manufacturers of these fans to use a smaller motor to obtain a similar rpm to the better quality fans. However the effect of this is that while the low cost fan certainly spins around quite quickly, it moves a limited amount of air and is relatively inefficient.
Distance between fan blades and ceiling
The minimum distance between fan blade and ceiling, without affecting efficiency, is 30cm. Hugger fans and Dual mount fans installed without the downrod can have the blades as close as 16cm from the ceiling. This will reduce the airflow efficiency of the fan. Unfortunately in a low ceiling situation you have to reach a compromise between safety and performance.
Distance between blade ends and walls
There should be at least 1 metre clearance between the blade ends and any walls. If the blade ends are closer than 1 metre this will affect the efficiency of the fan and may cause the fan to vibrate.
How do I control my fan’s speed?
There are two basic ways to control a ceiling fan’s speed. A wall controller or a hand held remote control. With AC ceiling fans they are generally supplied with a wall controller, with the remote as an option. You can’t use both. With DC ceiling fans they are generally supplied complete with a remote and do not have a wall control option – however a wall “isolating switch” is required.
3-speed wall control switch
The majority of AC fans in our range are supplied with a 3 speed wall control. This is a high, medium, low capacitor type control specially designed for ceiling fans and matched to the fan for optimum performance. This control is also known as a “quiet” control because it will not cause any electrical motor noise (humming). This humming will occur when dimmer switches or controls not recommended by fan suppliers are used.
Most 3-speed wall controls in our range incorporate a light switch which can be used either as an ON/OFF switch for the fan or to control lights fitted to the fan.
We have a number of remote control units that can be supplied as an accessory on all models except the DC Series (which come with their own specific remote contol). The receiver fits inside the ceiling canopy. This control gives you fan/light control from a remote location. It will change the speed and turn ON/OFF the light. It will NOT reverse the rotation of the fan.
The remote control unit also allows for independent control of the fan and light where extra wiring cannot be installed. The ON/OFF switch for the light allows the use of LED or compact fluorescent globes in the fan light. The compatibility of fan remotes should be confirmed before purchase. The use of non-compatable remotes may damage the fan & void the warranty.
DC fan remote control
Our DC ceiling fans are supplied with dedicated remote control units. The DC remotes control the fan speed, summer/winter operation and light (if fitted). Some have additional functionality specific to the fan.
What about light attachments?
Ceiling fans are often installed in locations that require lighting and in many cases they are replacing an existing light fixture. Most of the fans in our range are either light adaptable or have a version with a light. There are a variety of styles, sizes and finishes to suit any decor. Some fans are sold as unipacks, a fan and light kit, all in one box.
I’m installing a fan/light combo in place of an existing light fitting – do I need extra wiring?
The table below is a simple guide, but the installing electrician should be consulted brfore making a choice, as not all options may be available.
|Fan & light to be wall controlled||An extra switch wire is required|
|Fan & light to be on remote control||No extra wiring required|
All ceiling fans must be installed by a licensed electrician in accordance with the current wiring rules. A dual pole isolation switch provides for maximum safety.
Ceiling fans are required to be earthed. Some older homes may not have an earth wire on the lighting circuit. This can normally be installed by your electrician.