Ceiling fans add a nice decorative touch to most rooms in the house. But they’re also a very functional addition, keeping you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Wait a minute, you might ask. How’s that possible?
By running the fan counterclockwise at a medium to high speed in the summer, you force air downward, so it creates a breeze and cools you. If you reverse the fan in the winter and run it at a lower speed, you have the opposite effect. The warm air that rises and collects up at the top of rooms gets circulated gently along the ceiling and down the walls, making the lower part of the room warmer.
Start by choosing a fan that’s right for the room. Diameter is important. Roughly speaking, if the room is 15’x15′ or bigger, get a 52″ fan. If it’s 12’x12′, 42″ diameter should do it. And in a really small room, you can use a 32″ fan.
Check the blade pitch. This is the angle at which the blade is slanted. A 12 to 14 degree pitch will do a much better job than anything less. Lower quality fans have less of a pitch because the drag from the air eventually burns out lower quality motors.
And check the blade material. The cheaper the material, the more likely they’ll warp in humidity. Look for compressed wood covered in veneer and a good sealer. Synthetic materials can also be good.
Next time, we’ll talk about fans with lights, and take a look at your switching options.