Beat the Aussie Heat: How to Choose a Ceiling Fan
With temperatures soaring north of 38 degrees, the last thing Aussies want is to return home to spend the remaining part of the day suffocating in a hot, stuffy and stifling home. So, whether you’re lounging on the sofa reading a novel, enjoying a relaxing family dinner, or simply laying down on the bed, make sure you’re under a ceiling fan to keep the heat – and the bugs – at bay.
Given the extremities of our weather these days, you need not worry about the practicality of ceiling fans as there will be plenty of opportunities to use them all-year round. Many modern ceiling fans are now equipped with a reverse cycle technology to even allow for winter usage – by pulling hot air down and maximising the effectiveness of heaters.
Sounds great! But which ceiling fan should you buy? Ceiling fans now come in all manner of shape, size and colour, so picking the right fan can be a daunting task at first. To make your life a little easier, we have done some homework for you. We have come up with the following list of the 8 most important points to consider when choosing a ceiling fan.
The 8 Important Tips for Choosing a Ceiling Fan
1. The Size of Ceiling Fan is Vital
The first important thing to consider is the size of the room as this directly determines the appropriate overall fan size diameter. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the room is, the larger the fan size required to generate sufficient air movement and ventilation.
To choose the right fan size, simply measure the area of the room and compare with the guideline below. For example, a standard 5 × 5m (or 25m2) bedroom would require a fan blade size between 48” to 52” in order to achieve the optimal level of ventilation.
|Room Dimensions (m2)||Suggested Fan Size (inch)|
|Up to 7 - 13m² (3m x 3m small bedroom)||36" - 42"|
|Up to 13 - 20m² (4m x 4m medium bedroom)||42" - 48"|
|Up to 20 - 27m² (5m x 5m large bedroom, medium living area)||48" - 54"|
|Up to 27 - 36m² (6.5m x 6.5m rumpus, large living area)||56" - 60"|
|More than 40m² (Very large living area)||60" & larger|
2. Consider the Usage Area – Indoor, Outdoor or Coastal Use
Ceiling fans are rated for indoor, outdoor or coastal usage. Some indoor ceiling fans are okay to use in sheltered outdoor areas provided there is proper care and maintenance. However, an indoor fan should never be used in a coastal area as the surface area is not properly sealed against harsh coastal elements.
3. Don’t Worry About the Amount of Blades
With the current innovation in fan design, you are unlikely to notice major difference in the performance between fans with fewer or more blades. What counts more is the overall size of the fan and the speed of the fan (revolution per minute). Click here to read more about this topic.
4. The Material of the Fan Blades Can Affect Fan Noise
Ever wonder why some ceiling fans are a lot noisier than others? Most of the noise actually comes from the fan blades spinning and cutting through the air. While this can be attributed by the design of the fan blades, the blade material is just as important. The majority of ceiling fan blades today are made from the following materials – steel, plastic, timber and plywood. We always recommend buyers to choose timber, plastic or plywood over steel for indoor usage as they are significantly quieter to run than steel blades.
5. Extension Rods are for Ceilings Above 2.7m Only
An extension rod is an add-on that is only ever needed if your ceiling height is higher than 2.7m. In such cases, adding an extension rod to bring the ceiling fan lower will dramatically improve its airflow effectiveness.
Your appointed electrician can trim the extension rod down to custom length to reach the optimal height. Try to keep the ceiling fan within the optimal height of 2.1m to 2.4m from the floor.
6. Not All Ceiling Fan Motors are Created Equal
Ceiling fan motors are not created equal. Like the engine of a car, the motor determines the fan’s ventilation effectiveness and its energy efficiency. There are currently two types of ceiling fan motor technology on the market – AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current). As a general rule, DC fans consume less energy than AC fans but are more costly to purchase. For example, a typical DC ceiling fan would consume 35W at full speed, whereas its AC counterpart may consume double that at 70W of energy. For a detailed comparison between AC and DC motors, click here.
The best of ceiling fans can generate the highest possible airflow at the lowest possible power consumption. What this means is that such ceiling fan is both effective and efficient in doing its job.
7. Light Kits and Remote Controls are Practical
Many ceiling fans are dual purpose and can either come fitted with light or has the option to add a light kit. This can be very useful if you want the simplicity of a light and fan in one. It is also a good space-saving solution for smaller rooms. In addition, a remote control is also a great accessory that offers extra convenience to your life.
8. Appearance Matters
Last but not least, there are no hard facts when it comes to selecting the appearance of a ceiling fan. The important thing is, ceiling fans are no longer just functional appliances. Ceiling fans are now designed to serve an aesthetic purpose to complement your home décor and interior and exterior design. If you are looking to achieve a Balinese theme or a Modern theme, now you can choose one that blends perfectly with that theme.
The Australian/New Zealand Standard requires that a fan should be installed so the blades are more than 2.1 metres from the floor. Fan should be installed by a Licensed Electrician.
Enclosed Outdoor Installation
If the fan is to be installed in a covered outdoor area, the fan should be placed at least 1.5 metres from the edge of the roof or eaves of the enclosure. This will keep the fan away from direct rain, water and sunlight, as well as indirect water splashing which may cause damage to or expedite deterioration of the fan motor and exteriors.