what's the best ceiling fan

What's the Best Ceiling Fan?

Summer is synonymous with ceiling fans. You might think that you can just pick out any ceiling fan and it’ll get the job done, but we’re here to burst that bubble. As it turns out, choosing the best ceiling fan can be a nuanced process. We’re here to guide your choice of which ceiling fan is the best for your home.

What Goes into a Ceiling Fan?

From the number of blades to energy efficiency and even AC vs. DC ceiling fans – a lot goes into choosing which ceiling fan is best for you.

Number of Blades

The number of blades your ceiling fan has will impact the drag, speed, strength, noise and much more. You might think that the more blades, the better. More is not always better, however, and it’s important you understand how the number of blades will affect your fan’s performance.

Fans with fewer blades have less drag and so spin faster and can move more air. This means they create a stronger wind effect which can feel cooler. Fewer blades also mean the fan itself is lighter, and so uses less energy to spin and can be more cost-effective.

Alternatively, as the number of blades increases, the amount of noise created decreases. Fans with more blades are more balanced which also helps keep them quieter. But more blades can also mean a higher cost.

3 fan blades are your best option if you’re after a fast moving fan to move air and create a good chill effect without breaking the bank.

If you’re after a quieter fan for your bedroom or living room, it might be worth investing in 4 or 5 fan blades. While these might be more expensive upfront and have marginally more expensive running costs, this is made up for by the quieter experience.

Ceiling Fan Design

From the functionality to the blade material, there are a number of things to think about when it comes to your fan’s design.

You will most often find fan blades are made of wood, plastic, stainless steel or aluminium. Generally speaking, the speed of your ceiling fan won’t be affected by the material of the blades. Metal blades can be noisier than wood or plastic, however.

Your ceiling fan can have a big impact on the overall aesthetic of your home too. Whether you’re after a modern and sleek fan design, a statement piece or just want something basic, this is also something to consider.

What about the functionality? Are you happy with fans that have a pull cord to turn them off and on? Or would a wall switch or remote control be more convenient? More and more we’re seeing people move away from pull cords and towards a remote control or switch.

What about a ceiling fan with an integrated light? Many modern fans combine both your ceiling fan and an LED light into one fixture which you control from a wall switch.

When picking out the best ceiling fans for your home you will need to take all these design features into consideration.

AC Vs. DC

No, we’re not talking about the iconic Australian rock band, unfortunately. We’re talking about the different types of electrical currents!

There are two types of current when it comes to electrical systems – alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). Most ceiling fans are AC, however more and more DC fans are reaching the Australian market.

Power companies provide us with AC electricity. This can flow in both directions. DC only flows in one direction. The main idea behind DC ceiling fans is that by converting your AC power to DC, you can save energy.

When comparing AC to DC ceiling fans, there are a few benefits to DC:

  • DC is more energy efficient
  • Generally quieter
  • More speed options
  • Lighter and more compact motor

While DC fans have a lot going for them, it will also come down to what is readily available in your area as well.

Ceiling Height

Most ceiling fans require your ceiling height to be between 2.1 and 2.4 metres high. Each fan is slightly different and has a different height at which they work most optimally.

If your ceilings are higher than this, you can install an extension downrod that will lower the fan to an optimum height. Alternatively, if your ceilings are too low but you still want the benefits of a ceiling fan, low profile fans are available. You can even get flush mounted ceiling fans for rooms with especially low ceilings!

Ceiling Fan Size

Whoever said size doesn’t matter clearly hasn’t got the best ceiling fan installed for their home. When looking to install new fans, you’ll want to ask, what ceiling fan size do I need? Too small and it won’t move enough air. Too big and you might be using more energy than is necessary for the size of the room.

When we talk about the size of a fan, we’re speaking about the diameter – from the tip of one blade to the tip of the other directly across from it. This can range from approximately 90 to 240 cm in the home.

Generally speaking, the average living room would be suited to a medium-sized fan at 130 to 140 cm. In the bedroom, a small to medium-sized fan at 120-130 cm is appropriate.

The best ceiling fan for your home, however, will depend on the specific size and dimensions of the room. This is where it can be useful using an expert electrician to assist you in selecting appropriately sized ceiling fans for your home.

Fan Safety

Did you know that there is a prevailing myth in Korea that leaving an electric fan on in a room with no open windows or doors can cause death? They believe having no way for air to escape can cause an accumulation of carbon dioxide and cause asphyxiation!

While this myth doesn’t have any sound research to back it up, you might still get nervous about your ceiling fan hurting someone if they were to touch the spinning blades. A powerful fan at full speed can cause serious injuries, but as the Mythbusters proved, won’t decapitate you.

Ceiling fan guards are available, however, to prevent anyone coming into contact with the spinning blades. This can be useful in situations where bunk beds and fans make for an accident waiting to happen.

Energy Efficiency

There are a number of factors that go into the energy efficiency of your ceiling fan. First, there’s the number of blades. As the number of blades on your ceiling fan increases, so too does the energy required to spin it.

When it comes to energy efficiency, it’s also important you select a ceiling fan size that is appropriate for the size of the room it is in. There’s a bit of a Goldilocks principle here – too small and your fan won’t effectively move air. Too big and you’ll be paying more than you need to!

According to Canstar Blue, your ceiling fan could be costing you as little as 0.13 cents per hour on a low setting. Set it spinning on high and you’re still only paying 1.29 cents per hour.

On top of their cheap running costs, you also need to consider how your ceiling fan can make your heating and cooling more energy efficient. The average reverse cycle air conditioner can cost you between 33 and 40 cents per hour. That makes your ceiling fan 25-300 times more energy efficient than a reverse cycle air con!

While your ceiling fan doesn’t have the same heating and cooling effect as an air conditioner, the combination of the two can help bring your energy bill down. They do this by moving the hot and cold air in such a way that it maximises the cool or warm feeling in a room. This means you can set the thermostat higher in summer and lower in winter and save money!

When picking the best fans for your home, it’s worth looking into one with a reversible motor that you can use with your air conditioner. The reversible motor means your ceiling fan can spin in both directions – anti-clockwise in summer and clockwise in winter.

Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Ever considered having an outdoor ceiling fan? An outdoor ceiling fan is a great way to keep cool in the summer with a gentle, controlled breeze, as well as a great way to keep the flies and mozzies away. Add in an LED light and you’re set up for an easy, breezy night for your alfresco setting.

A regular indoor ceiling fan can’t just be installed outside, unfortunately. The first thing to consider is whether your fan is made of weather-proof material. We recommend stainless steel, aluminum or plastic.

The motor should also be sealed to prevent moisture from getting inside and damaging it. You can look at the fan’s IP rating to see whether or not it is suitable as an outdoor fan.

How to Choose a Quiet Ceiling Fan

Perhaps one of the biggest deciding factors on what the best ceiling fans are for your home is how noisy they are. Generally speaking, well-balanced fans are quiet fans. Ceiling fans with more blades also tend to be more balanced.

As your fan grows in age, the blades can become unbalanced and loose, causing more noise. A simple fan balancing kit can solve this.

You’ll also need to consider how well it has been mounted to your ceiling. A poorly mounted fan will be sure to make some noise while it spins.

The material of the blades can also have an impact on how noisy your ceiling fans are. Wood and plastic blades tend to be quieter.

Which Ceiling Fan Should I Buy?

The best ceiling fans for your home really come down to your preferences and priorities. How much air flow do you want? Do you want an LED light or remote control included? How energy efficient do your ceiling fans need to be? Then there’s size consideration, materials, and more.

This can all get confusing very quickly. An electrician from Metropolitan Electrical Contractors can supply and install the best ceiling fans for your home. Contact us today for more information about our ceiling fan services.


Published: 29 Sep, 2020

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