Black beauty: Nordic 142cm fan. All pictures show Beacon Lighting fans and were supplied by Beacon Lighting
Ceiling fans are the perfect way to create a welcome breeze to help keep your cool when the mercury rises.
Beacon Lighting product knowledge development specialist Denise Hammond said although ceiling fans were mainly about generating comfortable living conditions indoors, they were also now valued for their style power.
“They can be a beautiful statement piece,” Ms Hammond said. “Some designs are glorious designer works of art and, like a piece of jewellery provides the finishing touch to an outfit, a ceiling fan can add the finishing touch to a room and take a space from bland to grand.”
Here, Ms Hammond shares some useful things to know when choosing a ceiling fan.
Complementing this room’s design is an Airfusion Airmover 142cm five-blade fan.
Your starting point when choosing any ceiling fan should be the airflow.
“Airflow from ceiling fans is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The greater the CFM figure, the greater the breeze and the cooler you will be,” Ms Hammond said.
Also, take into consideration the size of the room. The larger the room, the larger the ceiling fan diameter is needed to produce enough air movement.
For a small to medium room (up to 4m x 5m), Ms Hammond recommended fans with a 90cm-105cm diameter, while large rooms (6m x 6m) would probably need 132cm and above.
Cool stuff: the Futura 122cm four-blade fan.
Airflow is directly related to the blade type — and acrylic, metal and plastic blades are Ms Hammond’s preferred picks.
The shape of the blade and the pitch also impacts the airflow. Ideally, the blade should be pitched between 12 and 22 degrees for the best results.
“If a blade is perfectly parallel to the floor, it won’t produce strong airflow. The higher the blade pitch, the more air the fan will move,” she said.
“Timber blades tend to be more like flat paddles and certainly push the air around but don’t catch it and push it away like metal, acrylic or plastic blades would.
“That said, timber-blade fans are less noisy if you are looking for something quieter for spaces such as a bedroom or study.”
Making a statement: the Bayside Calypso 122cm three-blade fan.
Any ceiling fan must be positioned in a room allowing a 2.1m clearance from its base.
Ms Hammond said don’t be tempted to simply install a fan directly over the centre of a bed. You’ll find you get more benefit by having it at the end of the bed, so the air is directed towards you as you sleep.
Also, consider the shape of a room and where you want the air largely focused.
“You might have a bedroom with a small retreat (area) but want the focus to be around the bed, with some cool air pushed towards the sitting area as well.”
In large open-plan spaces that combine multiple rooms in one zone, such as living and dining spaces, Ms Hammond recommended having two fans mounted (one over each space) that could be individually operated.
And if the ceiling height of a room exceeds 3m, a specially designed extension rod fitted by an electrician will be required so the fan can be positioned at a suitable height to provide immediate comfort.
Where space was tight, Ms Hammond recommended an integrated fan/light, especially when a fan needed to be installed in the centre of the room where the light fitting was sitting.
Take it outside
If you have a covered alfresco dining/living space, you’re likely to want to make it even more comfortable by adding a ceiling fan.
But don’t just assume you can install any ceiling fan outside. Ms Hammond said you must choose one that’s specifically designed for outdoor use or it simply won’t last.
Outdoor ceiling fans need to have a strong moisture and dust-resistance rating and be able to withstand external elements. For those living near the beach or salt-chlorinated pools, you’ll also need a fan that’s coastal rated.
“Check the IP (Ingress Protection) rating of the fan. The higher the rating, the better the protection,” Ms Hammond said.
“You want the rating to be around 55 or 56 because this will ensure salt, dust and moisture can’t penetrate the motor’s housing.”
Suitable for coastal locations is the Bayside Nautilus 132cm four-blade fan.
• Turn off your ceiling fan to conserve energy when you’re not in the room. Ceiling fans are designed to cool people by creating a cool breeze in the room; they’re not designed to cool rooms.
• Go big and your fan will probably be less energy efficient. There’s not a great difference between the performance level of a three, four or five-bladed fan. However, five-bladed fans need a larger motor to rotate the blades, which amounts to greater energy consumption.
• Keep your fans clean. A dirty blade can unbalance the fan and impede performance.
• Consider a ceiling fan with an in-built reversible motor. During winter, you can set the blades to rotate in reverse, so they force down warm air near the ceiling to mix with the cool air and create a cosier space for colder months.
Source: Denise Hammond, Beacon Lighting