With summer slowly but surely approaching, ceiling fans will be one of the best upgrades you can make to summer-proof your home. Ceiling fans are much more effective than pedestal fans at cooling your family members down, while operating at a fraction of the cost of air-conditioners. With most ceiling fans now come equipped with reverse cycle technology for all seasonal usage, there really isn’t any reason not to get one. 

To be frank, choosing whether to buy ceiling fan or not is actually the easy part. With the bewildering number of choices out there, deciding which ceiling fans to get can get tricky. On one hand, it makes sense to choose a ceiling fan that fulfils its primary purpose of generating large amounts of air flow but yet performs its task quietly and consumes low amounts of energy. On the other hand, the aesthetic value of ceiling fans should not be discounted either because, just like any other piece of fixture in your home, they can make or break your home décor. Juggling between form, function, and value to arrive at the right balance is ultimately the key to choosing the right ceiling fan for yourself and your home.

Fan Blades

How Many Blades Do I Need in a Ceiling Fan?

Getting back to the main question – if you’re in the market for a ceiling fan, you are probably wondering whether there are any differences between 3, 4 or 5 (even 7) fan blades. Do ceiling fans with more blades generate more airflow? More importantly so, does it really matter for the average buyers?

The answer is, for the most part, no. With the current innovation in fan design, you are unlikely to notice any major difference in performance between fans with fewer or more blades. Even if they do matter slightly, there are many factors at play here to simply say that more blades will generate more airflow. Therefore, if we are just strictly talking about the number of fan blades, it is safe to say just choose whichever that pleases your eyes!

Fan Blades

Even so, is there actually an objective way of comparing ceiling fans performances? Yes, there is. The two most important information we need are CFM (cubic feet per minute), meaning amount of air movement generated and power consumption (in wattage). On average, a typical ceiling fan has an airflow generation of about 5,500 CFM and consumes 70 W of energy. Use this information as a baseline to determine how well a given ceiling fan can move air and yet remain energy efficient. The best of ceiling fans can generate the highest possible CFM at the lowest possible power consumption. What this means is that such ceiling fan is both effective and efficient in doing its job. In cases where information about a ceiling fan’s CFM and power consumption are not provided or even measured, it can mean that the given ceiling fan may have been designed more for aesthetics rather than functional purposes (i.e. a case of form over function).

Choose a Ceiling Fan That is Suitable to Your Decor

The conclusion is, it is difficult to tell if a ceiling fan will perform well simply by looking at its individual design features (i.e. number of fan blades). Other crucially important factors such as motor quality, blade span, blade pitch, and blade material all act simultaneously to give the net outcome on whether a given ceiling fan is well designed or not (that’s a topic for another article). The most objective way to measure a fan’s performance is through the CFM and power consumption information provided by the fan designer or manufacturer. So just choose a ceiling fan design that complements your taste and home decor, be it 3, 4, 5 or even 7 fan blades. Then examine its CFM and power consumption. Finally, remember to check that the fan noise is kept to a minimum as a noisy fan can be rather annoying!