Erin Doman on January 25, 2016 0 Comments Ceiling fans add function and style to your space, and can help keep your energy bill low by circulating air throughout the rooms in your home. However, choosing a ceiling fan is not as simple as picking the prettiest one out of a catalog. There are a variety of ceiling fan types, each with its own features and pros and cons. Some ceiling fans are better for indoors and some are better for outdoors, and then you have to consider humidity levels and other weather conditions. There is much to consider when choosing the right ceiling fan for your home. The following guide will give you a better idea of differences between different types of ceiling fans so you can make an informed decision when you go to purchase one. 1. Standard Ceiling Fans Ceiling Height Downrod Length 9 feet 6 inches 10 feet 12 inches 12 feet 24 inches 14 feet 36 inches 16 feet 48 inches 18 feet 60 inches 20 feet 72 inches Standard ceiling fans are the type you find in the majority of homes. They are versatile and come in a variety of styles that can match almost any decor. Some common fan finishes include brushed nickle, antique bronze, auburn, pewter, black, white and natural. Typically, these fans feature five blades and a built-in light fixture, with a variety of operating mechanisms, some of which will be addressed later in this guide. The light will typically have a shade that comes in a variety of finishes as well, and these can be easily changed and customized to better fit the decor of your home. The customization doesn’t stop there, though. Your traditional ceiling fan can be fitted with a number of different accessories, including a pull chain or a remote control, different light kits, and customizable blades. Be sure to check the manufacturer specifications before purchase to ensure that the parts you buy will work with your fan. Standard ceiling fans typically use a downrod–a metal pipe that connects the fan’s mounting brackets to its motor housing–which allows them to be mounted on both flat and sloped ceilings. However, you need to be sure that you are getting the correct type of fixture for your ceiling, and then ensuring that the downrod is compatible with it as well. The National Electric Code requires fan blades to be at least seven feet above a room’s floor, and a standard ceiling fan’s structure allows for this. This type of fan is most useful in indoor rooms with ceilings that are at least nine feet tall. You can reference the chart above to better understand the size of the downrod that you need based on your ceiling height. 2. Low Profile Ceiling Fans You might have heard low profile ceiling fans referred to as “hugger fans” or “flush mount ceiling fans”. This type of ceiling fan should be used if your home has ceilings that are less than eight feet tall. Instead of using a downrod, the fan is installed directly onto the mounting bracket, which keeps it at the required seven feet above the floor. Since the fan’s blades are so close to the ceiling, the air movement isn’t terrific on its own, but it is still a powerful tool for moving air conditioned or heated air throughout the room, which helps you run your HVAC system less often. Don’t think that just because you have a low ceiling and need to use a hugger fan you are limited in your customization options. Low profile ceiling fans can be customized just as easily as your traditional fans can. The only difference is that you do not need to worry about a downrod or the fixture that attaches the downrod to the ceiling. 3. Energy Star Ceiling Fans Energy Star-rated ceiling fans are available in standard and low profile options like other fans, but these types of fans can save you a lot of money in the long run and are exceptionally better for the environment than other comparable units. In order for a product to be given an Energy Star rating, the unit must use 20-30% less energy than what federal standards require. The Environmental Protection Agency created this classification to help consumers recognize when a product has gone through thorough testing to prove it can save them money on their energy bills as well as produce little to no environmental impact. When less energy is used for the same results, the environment benefits. Energy Star-rated fans have efficient motors and aerodynamic blades that helps them use less energy. A standard energy-saving ceiling fan is 20 percent more efficient, and if you opt for one with integrated lights, it will be 50 percent more efficient. 4. Dual Motor Ceiling Fans Dual motor ceiling fans are exactly what they sound like: ceiling fans with two motors. This type of fan has a central motor housing attached to two horizontal rods. Each rod has its own adjustable fan head. These fans allow you to set each one at its own speed, and they are usually more decorative than traditional, single-motor ceiling fans. These unique fans are typically used in public settings due to their ability to circulate air over a greater area than your standard ceiling fan. If you want to use your dual motor ceiling fan outdoors, make sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications for the unit to ensure that it can serve as a damp or wet fan as well. 5. Remote-Controlled Ceiling Fans Whether you have a standard ceiling fan, dual-motor fan, a damp outdoor fan or some other type of fan, many of them are available with remote controls. A perfect choice for people who aren’t tall enough to reach a traditional ceiling fan’s pull cords, remote-controlled fans allow you to adjust the speed and direction of the blades. This option is also great for rooms that have high ceilings and either no downrod or a downrod that simply isn’t long enough. These can also be convenient for large event rooms, auditoriums, restaurants and shops. If the fan also has lights, you will be able to turn them on and off with the remote. Some remote-controlled fans have a range of up to 40 or 50 feet. If you are worried that you might lose the remote control, you can also always have a wall switch as backup. 6. Damp and Wet Ceiling Fans If you are looking for an outdoor fan and you live in a humid location or an area that frequently rains, then a damp or wet fan might work best for you. Damp ceiling fans are made with motors that resist damages due to moisture and humidity and have all-weather blades that are resistant to warping. You can often find these fans in exotic styles, but you can find more traditional or contemporary styles of these fans as well. Damp ceiling fans are useful for rooms or outdoor areas that do not receive direct precipitation but do experience a fair amount of humidity. Popular rooms for damp fans include: Covered porches Covered patios Sunrooms Damp fans can also be installed in dry interior rooms, but are not sturdy enough for any areas that have high humidity or other precipitation. If you are looking for a fan for your exposed outdoor porch or gazebo, it is best to avoid damp ceiling fans and go with wet ceiling fans. Like damp ceiling fans, wet ceiling fans have all-weather blades and motors that aren’t affected by moisture and humidity, and they usually are made of bamboo, palm leaves or other natural elements, but they can also be made from more industrial and weather-proof materials. Unlike damp ceiling fans, wet fans can handle rain and snow, and are a good option for outdoor areas that are close to a beach and receive spray from the ocean. They are also a popular option for gazebos. Wet ceiling fans can be installed in any area of the home. 7. Industrial, Agricultural and Commercial Ceiling Fans Industrial ceiling fans are necessary for very large areas. Their heavy-duty motors are ideal for higher air delivery. Industrial fans with curved blades can be mounted up to 25 feet, and those with straight blades are optimal for very high ceilings. Industrial ceiling fans can be used continuously, making them the best choice for warehouses, gymnasiums and other very large spaces. Some types are reversible and can lift air up to exhaust fans, which prevents condensation on the ceiling. Agricultural ceiling fans are designed for use in barns, poultry buildings and greenhouses, but can also be used on covered porches. Their sealed motors prevent the accumulation of moisture or dust, and when combined with epoxy-coated blades and housings, agricultural ceiling fans can run continuously. Commercial ceiling fans fall between standard fans and industrial ones. They are most popularly used in classrooms, retail stores, restaurants and other places of business, and have the ability to cool in the summer and assist in pushing heat around the room in the winter. Commercial-grade fans are ideal for ceilings between 10 feet and 25 feet as well as wider rooms. Because these are specialized fans, they might be more challenging to locate. If you need to cool a larger space but do not have the means of finding a commercial ceiling fan, consider using two standard ceiling fans instead. Other Factors to Consider Deciding which ceiling fan is right for your needs depends on the type of room you are wanting to circulate air in, the area of this location and how tall the ceilings of this space happen to be. The larger the space, the bigger the fan should be. You can determine the size of the fan that you need by measuring the size of the space that you want to cool: a 52-inch fan can cool up to a 400-square-foot room, a 44-inch fan can cool up to 225 square feet, and a 42-inch fan can cool up to 144 square feet. If your space is any larger that 400 square feet, you might want to consider purchasing and installing two or more fans. The height of the downrod is also important. Typically, if your ceiling is 10 feet or higher, you will add one foot of rod for every two feet of ceiling space. For example, a 20-foot ceiling would need a 72-inch rod. Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of ceiling fans available, you can decide on a type, size and rod length that would work best for your home. The final step will be to choose perfect finish to match the room or outdoor space where the fan will be installed. With these tips, you’ll have a beautiful, functional ceiling fan installed in no time.