Ceiling fans are fans that are mounted on the ceiling. They use rotating blades to help circulate the air around a room. Usually powered via electricity, they tend to have less immediate effect than tower fans or desk fans. Miniature ceiling fans are perfect in small rooms to save space and they come in a variety of styles and designs.
History of Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans can date back to 500BC in India. Known as Punkah fans, they moved the air and were operated by a cord. It wasn’t until the 18060s-70s that the first rotary fan made its way to the United States, powers with water instead of an electric motor.
The electrical ceiling fan was invented by Philip Diehl in 1882, using the motor from the Singer sewing machines. They originally had two blades but now tend to have four blades for better air circulation and to keep the fan quiet.
While they were popular at first, the Great Depression and then the growth of electric air condition meant that ceiling fans grew out of popularity. It wasn’t until the 1970s and 1980s when the energy crisis hit that homeowners looked for more energy efficient options and they became a go-to option.
How Ceiling Fans Work
Contrary to popular belief, fans don’t actually make a home cooler. It’s not like running air conditioning around the house. Instead, some fans can make the air around them hotter because of the heat given off while the motor is running.
Fans helps to circulate the air. Whether you have ceiling fans or even tower fans, the blades help to keep the air moving, offering the feel of cooler air in the area. That’s why there’s no point running a fan when you’re out of the house. It’s a waste of energy since you can get the same feeling rather quickly by just turning the fan back on when you return home.
The blades are usually installed on a slight angle. For a counter clockwise-moving fan, you’ll need the blade to sit to the right (clockwise-moving fans need to sit left). This moves the air downward to help create the sense of cooling the room.
You can use the fans to heat the room! Sit the blades the opposite way around and you’ll move the air upwards to help keep the air circulating but without creating what feels like a draft. It is possible to use a fan with the air conditioning unit. When pitched to circulate air downward, the unit will be able to push the cooler air throughout the room.
Why You Need a Ceiling Fan
If ceiling fans don’t help to cool a room, why would you bother getting one? Wouldn’t air conditioning be better? The truth is that you still get the feeling of a cooler room when the fan is moving. Ceiling fans are far more energy efficient than your air conditioning unit and even tower fans. You can leave them running throughout the night without worrying too much about the costs to your energy bills or the use of fossil fuels.
They can also be used in the colder months. Switch the blades around or get the fan moving in the opposite direction and you’ll be able to move the air in the opposite directions. You get the feeling of a warmer room without spending more on your heating bills.
Ceiling fans are also decorative. They come in a variety of styles and colors. There’s something for every room in the home, whether you just want a fan or you want it connected to your lights.
Just because you get a ceiling fan doesn’t mean you have to forgo other cooling options in the home. Ceiling fans work excellently with the air conditioning to spread the cooler air throughout the room. You can end up using your air conditioning less as the cooler air feels like it sticks around for longer. Once again, you’re saving money on your bills.
Types of Ceiling Fans Available
With so many types of ceiling fans available, you need to decide between your options. What will work best for your décor? Which option is more energy efficient? Are there certain ones that are safer than others?
Cast iron ceiling fans used to be extremely popular, but haven’t been in use as much since the 1950s. They need to be oiled regularly but when well maintained, they last for decades. They don’t tend to have electronic components, which makes them a studier option.
“Pancake” motor ceiling fans became extremely popular in the 1970s and are one of the most energy efficient options on the market. They’re made of cast aluminum housings, and it consumes less energy than your incandescent light bulbs, making them perfect for the bedroom where you want to use them overnight.
Still worried about the cost? Look out for stack motor fans. They are very similar to the Pancake motor and offer excellent energy efficiency. These remain common to this day, using a flywheel in the center where the blades are attached.
It’s not just about the type of motor or fan design, though. Look at the design of the blades and the materials used. Vinyl or PVC blades are becoming popular for easy maintenance. They can be painted in any color to make the fans fit the décor better and are much lighter.
Alternatively, wood and faux wood have grown in popularity. They usually come in the natural wood colors, offering something that you’ll want to work with your window shutters or blinds or your hardwood flooring. The wood or faux wood is durable and lighter than the cast-iron, which can help to settle minds when it comes to weight and gravity.
Ceiling fans are a highly effective way to creating a cooler (and sometimes warmer) space in the home. They are more energy efficient than many other fans and even your air conditioning unit and can be used with other cooling methods in the home. It’s time to consider one for your home. You won’t be disappointed.