Don’t you just hate that sweltering heat and the unbearable suffocating sensation that come every June? When the air seems to be at a complete standstill, all you crave for is just a light, cool breeze. But blasting the ACs all day long ought to burden your bills. When you finally deem that a few hours of personal comfort is not worthy of that hefty sum, you might opt for those cheap paper hand-held fans. Obviously, there are alternatives between the two extremes, and that’s the purpose of this piece of writing: to help you select the best ceiling fans out there on the market.
Granted, it may seem more like an item of ornament than a practical piece of equipment, but hey, it still works great and gets the job done. Now, the matter falls on you to make the right choice. Countless options are scattered across the web, and in this article we did a little bit of research ourselves to save you the hassle of browsing through them all.
So, What’s The Appeal Of Ceiling Fans Over Other Cooling Options?
A heated argument between an AC user and a ceiling fan user.
Compared to AC units, ceiling fans are unquestionably cheaper.
One study on New York Times estimated the rough expenditure of operating different cooling methods on an hourly basis: a central AC unit consumed 3 kilowatts per hour, equivalent to 36 cents, while a window AC took up 1.2 kilowatts, equalling 14 cents.
Now, that may seem like chump change, but on a monthly scale, it would translate to a $129.60 and $50.40 electricity bill, respectively. Not until viewing on an annual scale do you realize how much you spend on air-conditioned cooling.
On the other hand, a standard ceiling fan used 30 watts per hour, costing a mere penny, or $1.20 monthly. Let’s get impractical and buy, say, 15 more of the same model, and your monthly electricity bill wouldn’t even surpass 20 bucks! So, for price-conscious consumers, this is a no-brainer.
Furthermore, its eco-friendliness earns environmentalists’ approval: ceiling fans doesn’t utilize CFC, an ozone-depleting refrigerant found in most AC systems and refrigerators.
Another aspect where ceiling fans trump ACs is customizability: an add-on neon light bulb would look weird on an air conditioner, but it would accentuate the timelessness of a rustic Honeywell hanging over a reading room.
In addition, ACs can only function in closed areas, while fans can be used for both indoor and outdoor purposes (provided that they’re weather-resistant, but we’ll get to that later).
Regarding installation, ACs require considerable prep works, including fixturing, ventilation duct, heat exhaustion, drainage, etc. A ceiling fan, meanwhile, is simpler to set up: just plug in, turn the knob and you’re good to go.
Maintenance-wise, a quick wash and wipe should remove all the dirt and cobwebs on the fan, but the same type of servicing can’t be used on an AC, because you have to take it apart before cleaning.
Now, it’s the ceiling fan versus its counterparts.
Installed upon the highest point of the house, ceiling fans are not only space-saving, but also safer, particularly for children and animals. Inaccessibility to the whirling blades can prevent injuries stemmed from meddling with the fan in operation. In your face, standing fans!
Wingless fan manufacturers take safety concerns seriously: the blades are hidden inside the pedestal. But the trade-offs are the turbulence and the hefty cost.
Ceiling fans, on the contrary, are virtually noiseless when functioning, and most of them are available for purchase at prices ranging from surprisingly cheap to slightly above average.
Criteria For Choosing A Ceiling Fan
One does not simply mount a cooling device on the ceiling of a room, just like Boromir does not simply walk into Mordor. It takes a bit of technical savvy and a keen eye to cherry-pick the fan that best meets your demands.
So, you’ve decided to arm yourself with a ceiling fan to battle against the heat. But here’s the thing: you have absolutely no idea what to look for. Fret not! Just keep it simple, and stick to the basics. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you search for the right product.
Out there in the market, the old veterans including Hunter, Honeywell, and Westinghouse are well-trusted names with years of experience in the cooling industry.
Lesser known brands like Harbor Breeze, Prominence, and Fandian are starting to gain recognition for their unconventional yet highly efficient models.
Their products vary in size, shape, and color, but still share the same core functionality.
Ceiling fans nowadays can get as low as under 100 bucks or rack up over 4 digits, and anywhere in between.
However, don’t allow yourself to be talked into buying those extravagant impracticalities or those seedy second-hand products! “A budget-friendly yet high-quality fan” should be your constant reminder when choosing.
Of course, everyone wants their purchase to last as long as time itself, but as the old cliche goes: nothing lasts forever. Get a decent fan that gives others a run for their money.
Compared to other cooling options, ceiling fans are the least electricity consuming. With the ever-advancing technologies, these fans are getting more energy-efficient than ever, thus saving even more money. Hunt for those approved by Energy Star and you’re all set.
Ceiling fan blades are made of various materials, including metal (aluminum, nickel, bronze, steel, chrome, and alloys), wood, synthetics, or even high-quality plastic. Some manufacturers place extra protective layers of coating on the wings for resistance properties, particularly those of outdoor fans. Depending on your home and personal preference, you can basically go with anything.
Color And Style
Again, this is a matter of personal preference, but it is recommended that the ceiling fan of choice either blends in or complements not only your ceiling but also your entire home. A Victorian-style ceiling fan would stand out like a sore thumb inside your newly modernized apartment, just like how a pearly white fan would look out of place inside a wooden cabin. Remember: harmonize the style and color.
Ceiling Height, Wingspan And Clearance
Have you ever experienced those goosebumps (unlike the good ones when you rediscover your old favorite songs on shuffle mode) when the turbine whooshes overhead? Your hair standing up, blood running cold are just some of the signs that your fan might have been awkwardly installed.
Depending on the model, the wing’s length varies greatly, from slightly larger than the palm of your hand to that of a canoe paddle. One would do well to measure their home and the dimensions of the fans before buying.
So, as a rule of thumb: make sure there’s enough clearance for the fan to operate at its highest capacity (at least 12 inches from the ceiling, 84 inches from the floor and 24 inches from the covering walls). Badly scratched ceiling and walls are the last thing you want, so trust me on this.
You wouldn’t want to put a giant ceiling fan in the kitchen, or a tiny one above the living room. Buy the right fan with suitable capacities to accommodate the air ventilation in desired areas.
You want a lightweight fan for the ceiling, but still powerful enough to make you feel fresh. Ceiling fans normally weighs somewhere between 15 and 50 pounds, but this doesn’t take into account the extra stress and vibrations generated when it is in operation. You might want to consult experts on how to safely position the fan on the ceiling to prevent freak accidents.
Servicing ceiling fans can be a tall order (no pun intended), involving oiling, cleaning and occasional rewiring. Are you comfortable with being above ground? Do your palms sweat? Do you have butterflies in your stomach when you look down from the ladder? Not to mention instances where you have to disassemble parts in mid-air?
If the answer is no, it’s best to call a pro. But if you just want to clean off the dust, a clean rag and 20 minutes of endurance on the ladder should suffice.
Personalization And Customizability
For DIY-ers hoping to add personal touches to their belongings, customizable ceiling fans are truly a blessing. Just imagine all the possible add-ons: colored lighting, wireless control (remote, associated apps, voice recognition), and even Bluetooth speakers!
Review Of The Best Ceiling Fans 2019
We scanned through pages after pages of products. We were inundated with thousands and thousands of types of fans, and trust me when I say we went through EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Of course, there were obvious choices and heartbreaking eliminations. But in the end, this is the compiled list of fans that survived it all. The selected few made it all the way through meticulous evaluation, strict criteria, and even the ever-biased personal preference of the writer.
Here are our picks for the best ceiling fans:
- Hunter 59135 Key Biscayne Weathered Zinc Ceiling Fan – Best to buy 2019
- Westinghouse Lighting 7204300 Indoor/Outdoor – Best outdoor ceiling fan
- Hunter Dempsey Low Profile Fresh White – Best ceiling fan with light
- Westinghouse 7224300 Quince Gun Metal – Best ceiling fan for bedroom
- Hunter 53091 Builder 5-Blade Single Light – Best ceiling fan for kitchen
|Hunter 59135 Key Biscayne Weathered Zinc||Barn Wood / Drifted Oak with Onyx Bengal / Weathered Zinc finish||54 inches||Lifetime motor warranty, 1-year limited warranty for other parts, 3-year warranty for LED and Energy Star rated light kit|
|Westinghouse Lighting 7204300||ABS||52 inches||Lifetime motor warranty, 2-year warranty for other parts|
|Hunter Dempsey Low Profile Fresh White||Black Oak/ Chocolate Oak Grain||44 inches||Lifetime motor warranty, 1-year limited warranty for other parts, 3-year warranty for LED and Energy Star rated light kit|
|Westinghouse 7224300 Quince Gun Metal Indoor Fan||MDF||24 inches||Lifetime motor warranty, 2-year warranty on all other parts|
|Hunter 53091 Builder||Brazilian Cherry / Stained Oak with New Bronze finish||52 inches||Lifetime motor warranty, 1-year warranty on all other parts|
1. Hunter 59135 Key Biscayne Weathered Zinc Ceiling Fan – Best to buy 2019
- Good circulation
- Nearly noiseless during operation
- Fit for both traditional and modern homes
After an extended research, we can conclude the best ceiling fan to buy— the cream of the crop— is none other than the Hunter 59135 Key Biscayne Weathered Zinc Ceiling Fan.
The eye-catching retro design, with gray pine colored blades and a lantern-shaped light, brings a certain nostalgic feeling to its beholders. This masterpiece of furniture is a perfect adornment for both antique and contemporary homes. Protected with layers of zinc finish on those wings, this fan can hold itself against the destructive sea air, moisture and rainfall— you can also use it indoors if you wish.
Regarding installation, homeowners who wish to install the fan themselves can breathe a little bit easier, knowing that this model comes with a user-friendly setup guide. As for the brightness, though the fan doesn’t utilize highly efficient LED bulbs, it does radiate warm lighting that would cast an aura of coziness over those standing beneath.
Also noteworthy is the fan’s versatility in mounting options for various types of ceilings (standard, low and angled), along with its reversible and powerful 3-speed motor. Temperature can be anywhere from soothingly cool to refreshingly chill. Not to mention the nearly complete silence during operation, even if switched to maximum speed.
Verdict: Its considerable weight may stir up hesitation among potential buyers, but the fan compensates with its durability. The fan’s pros exceeds its cons by far. You know you want this fan, so just go with it.
2. Westinghouse Lighting 7204300 Indoor/Outdoor – Best outdoor ceiling fan
- Large wingspan
- Built-in LED light bulb, highly energy efficient
- Versatile mounting options
- Occasionally wobbles when on low speed
In a pool full of worthy candidates, it’s excruciatingly hard to pick out only one winner among the rest.
Other than its indoor and outdoor capabilities, this fan sits in a reasonable price range, with high airflow efficiency. Besides being lightweight, what makes it a clear winner in this category is the multiple mounting options for various ceilings, like a one-size-fits-all type of ceiling fan.
Also, the Winter-Summer mode makes it a useful appliance come winter, when it can assist the AC to distribute warm air even further.
The Westinghouse Lighting 7204300 is perfect for chilling out in open spaces such as patios, cabanas, sunrooms, pergolas, or even garages. Imagine a picture-perfect afternoon tea party under a gazebo, with fresh breezes coming from the fan, keeping the bugs away from spoiling the pleasant and relaxed ambience.
With a rustic design and finished with oil-rubbed bronze, this fan sure can withstand corrosion and rust. Its motor casing has waterproof seals that help prevent moisture-borne complications. Donning a sturdy design to resist even the toughest weather conditions, Westinghouse has indeed pleased a lot of customers with this fan.
Verdict: The bulky design may put frowns upon certain customers, and the price may throw people off their rockers, but it’s the right choice for those looking for durability and endurance in ceiling fans.
3. Hunter Dempsey Low Profile Fresh White – Best ceiling fan with light
- Easy to install
- Compact design
- Remote controllable
- Quiet during operation
- Efficient LED lighting
- Small in size, thus low circulation
Looking for a ceiling fan with a built-in lighting system? Don’t worry! We’ll shed light on this dilemma of yours (no pun intended, either).
Look no further than this bad boy: the Hunter Dempsey Low Profile Fresh White. With its compact design and overall weight, it won’t place much pressure upon the ceiling. Utilizing an LED bulb, the illuminating light can create a cozy feeling while also providing enough brightness for readers below it. The simplicity in design goes well with its contemporary look, giving off a sense of elegance.
This fan can be used for living quarters, study halls, and reading rooms. Equipped with a remote control, this model has replaced its older pull-chain version. With the number of DIY-ers ever increasing, the manufacturer has made the self-installation and setup easier. The only downsides are the occasional loud humming noise and flickering lights.
Verdict: Though more costly compared to its competitors in the same category, this fan is a perfect gift for bookworms lazily enjoying a good read during summertime.
4. Westinghouse 7224300 Quince Gun Metal – Best ceiling fan for bedroom
- Affordable pricing
- Multiple blades
- Light weight
- Small wings, so slow speed
- Does not use standard bulbs, so hard to replace in case of damage
Choosing the right ceiling fan for a bedroom is no easy task: it needs a light strong enough for bedtime stories while dim enough not to wake up the children. Furthermore, the motor ought to be quiet enough not to disturb your beauty sleep. Luckily, the Westinghouse 7224300 Quince Gun Metal Indoor Ceiling Fan meets all those requirements.
Customers can let out a sigh of relief as the installation, assembling and disassembling are so user-friendly, they could do it in their sleep (I swear, I didn’t do this on purpose). In addition, the good air circulation from this fan will ensure that your bedroom is always well ventilated and comfortable.
Furthermore, if installed in children’ bedroom, its short blades may actually prevent the kids from injuring themselves. The only downside of this fan is its monochromatic color scheme might make it unpopular among toddlers, who would prefer fans with bright and fun colors. Or, if you’re looking for a ceiling fan for babies’ room, consider one that has a Bluetooth speaker so you can turn on a lullaby before bedtime, like this model right here.
Verdict: Don’t sleep on the decision to buy this fan, because stock may run out when you wake up the next day!
5. Hunter 53091 Builder 5-Blade Single Light – Best ceiling fan for kitchen
- Large wingspan
- Remote controllable or wall control
- Timeless design, vintage vibe
- Occasional flickering light
- Does not use standard bulbs, so hard to replace in case of damage
Usually in every home, the kitchen is the least ventilated section, so a flow of air here is highly appreciated. And that’s where the Hunter 53091 Builder Ceiling Fan comes in.
As a user-friendly model, the step-by-step guide will assist you in assembling the fan without any difficulty. Along with its transitional style, the large wingspan fan can also get rid of any unbearable odor and smoke from high-temperature cooking, all in a practically noiseless fashion.
In addition, the flow of air will keep the flies away from contaminating the food. Unfortunately, having a ceiling fan in the kitchen may lead to longer cooking time (for gas tank stoves) as the flames could get snuffed out, though this shouldn’t be a problem for electrical and magnetic stoves.
Verdict: A good ceiling fan for a kitchen is one that can shoo away the unwanted and attract the hungry diners.
Although a ceiling fan can get the job done on its own, running it 24/7 during summer will shorten its lifespan. Plus, it doesn’t actually change the temperature. It just circulates the air around to alleviate the stuffing sensation. These fans merely encourage ventilation by pushing the air toward the consumers.
Therefore, it is recommended that a ceiling fan is utilized as a supplement to the AC system.
Nowadays manufacturers are striving to make products cheaper while functioning better than ever before, so why not get BOTH AN AC AND A CEILING FAN?
Just like Netflix and chill: by working together, AC and ceiling fan can create all the difference in the world regarding temperature adjustment and ventilation. An AC can cool down or heat up the air to the desired temperature, then a ceiling fan disperses the treated air throughout the area, and circulates the air back to the AC.
By selecting the low fan setting mode on the AC and crank up the ceiling fan, a.k.a the optimal combo, one can experience the complete temperature change brought about by the duo. This energy-saving tactic can also help you cut down on the expenses on cooling during summer. This may be contrary to popular believe, but it is quite well advised to use an AC and a ceiling fan simultaneously.
However, those whose budget cannot afford both should consider investing in a heavy-duty ceiling fan. Also noteworthy is unlike the AC, you don’t have to keep the fan running round the clock. Just turn it on when there’s someone in the room.
So there you have it. Hopefully our beloved readers can weather themselves against those dog days of summer with an effective yet reasonably priced heat-dispersing ceiling fan.
1. Should I use the fan and the AC at the same time?
If your initial budget can allow that, then of course yes. That’s the optimal cool air distribution scheme using efficient energy, thus cost-saving in the long run.
2. Does longer wingspans means cooler breezes?
Not true. Some fans with short round blades can generate breezes as cool as the long ones. It’s the distance of air travelling that differ the two.
3. Can outdoor ceiling fans be used indoors, and vice versa?
Outdoor ceiling fans have protective layers and casing suitable for enduring harsh weather conditions, ranging from corrosive ocean wind, scorching sun rays, to drenching downpours. So yeah, outdoor fans can survive indoor environment, though the same can’t be said for those indoor fans, unfortunately.
4. Do outdoor ceiling fans actually keeps bugs away?
The natural winds already make it difficult for the bugs to land, so the addition of the fans would make their job harder.
Extra: A Closer Look Into Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are more than what the name suggests: a practical adornment and a stylish appliance. There is functionality imbued within that vintage look, and behind every graceful spin lies a relaxing sensation. This part will delve deeper into how you can differentiate different types of ceiling fans and their hanging methods.
Types Of Ceiling Fans
Below are the most common variants:
- The reliable standard type, a.k.a the “cast-iron ceiling fan,” typically has 3 to 5 blades (though some designs can pack up to more than 8 wings, like a jet engine turbine). A distinctive feature is a downrod separating the rotor and the ceiling, preventing collision and scratching. The downrod may vary in length, circumference and width, depending on the model. These fans are customizable with lots of add-ons to choose from. As the most common type, they can be used commercially or industrially with a high-speed motor. They come in various designs and sizes, and are as popular in average Joe homes as they are in Richie Rich mansions.
- The low-profile, a.k.a the “hugger fan” or “flush-mount”: contrasting the standard ones, there’s no downrod or canopy — the spinner motor is directly attached to a hub or a mounting bracket, holding everything in place. A lifesaver for rooms with a low ceiling (though the movements may be restricted due to proximity to the overhead wall).
- The dual-motor ceiling fan: as the name suggests, this fan can redirect the flow of air with the strength of two. A fine choice for public buildings or roomy houses. Each fan can be reconfigured to fit certain needs, redirecting air in different directions at different speeds. (PIC:
- The orbit fan: 360 degrees of operation. Similar to hugger-type fans, no downrod is required. Typically small in size (about 16″ in diameter), they usually have finger guards against unwanted accidents.
- The stack-motor ceiling fan: the fan’s blades are mounted to a metal or reinforced rubber central hub, a.k.a a flywheel. Some models with high energy efficiency, low pollution rates on the surrounding environment even get Energy Star certified (read more at Energy Star rating system). As vouched for by an accredited organization, the initial cost can be quite off-putting, but it will prove its worth over daily use.
- The DC ceiling fan: utilizes a brushless DC motor for better efficiency compared to traditional fans powered with AC motors. Thanks to the consistent electricity flow and permanent magnet rotors, these fans operate with higher efficiency, produce less noise pollution, less rotor heat, promote integration of remote control, as well as other convenient technologies. The only drawbacks are the high cost and the complex electronic components.
Now, there are some unusual yet still popular ceiling fans:
- The bladeless ceiling fan: use a bladeless turbine to push air outwards via a brushless DC motor.
- The High-volume low-speed fan (HVLS fans) are oversized ceiling fans aimed at vast areas like warehouses, gymnasiums, hangars, and shipyards. These fans operate at a low speed and they use airfoil-style blades for maximum effect.
- The Punkah style ceiling fan: originated from and inspired by the Indian palmyra leaf, a punkah fan captures the essence of historical royalty, where servants would flap those giant leaf-like fans to cool their masters off. With the advent of technology nowadays, no servant is required: simply plug it in a socket and you’ll be lulled into a sound sleep by the fan’s casual yet delicate movements.
Be that as it may, those mentioned above are fans fitting for indoor use only. For ceiling fans hanging outside, surely there ought to be some kind of protection against the brutality of prolonged outdoor exposure, like rusting or corrosion. There is, in fact!
Covered in layers of specialized coatings or encased in safeguard covers, these “damp and wet” fans can withstand several waves of attack from mother nature, with little sign of wear-and-tear. They can hold off against high-humidity environments, with special versions even able to survive snowfall and salty ocean air. Weather-shield fans are encased to protect the circuits and wiring, giving them a sturdier and slightly bulkier look than their indoor counterparts.
People also differentiate ceiling fans according to their hanging types. In order to secure the fan to the ceiling safely, these types of mechanisms are used as follows:
- Ball-and-socket system: a metallic or plastic hemisphere is mounted on the end of the downrod; this hemisphere rests in a ceiling-mounted metal bracket or metal canopy, allowing the fan to move freely, a plus point for houses with vaulted ceilings.
- J-hook or Claw hook system: the fan hangs on a metal hook attached to the ceiling via screws. A rubber grommet is used to keep the fan in place and helps avoid vibration on the ceiling.
- U-bolt system: similar to the J-hook system, but the hook on the ceiling is U-shaped, securing the fan into a firmer and more tightened position, so it won’t loosen during the fan’s movement