A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing and Using Ceiling Fans
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A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing and Using Ceiling Fans


Ceiling fans can help you save on energy bills during Portland summers, since a steady breeze in a room allows you to turn the A/C down a few degrees, or leave it off altogether.

Another benefit of ceiling fans, which many homeowners fail to take advantage of, is the reverse switch. Set the fan in reverse during the winter (most modern models have this feature), and the blades will gently draw cool air from the floor and redistribute warm air from the ceiling, allowing you to stay comfortable without having the heat on full blast.

Below are some things to consider when investing in ceiling fans.

Placement and size
Ceiling fans should be 7 to 9 feet above the floor to work most efficiently, so if you have exceptionally high ceilings, consider a model that can be extended downward.

A room that is less than 225 square feet can be kept sufficiently cool with fan 36 to 44 inches in diameter. Larger fans are naturally better suited for larger rooms, and any room longer than 18 feet may require two or more fans.

Ask a salesperson if you can listen to the fan at its highest setting. Some models will be louder than others, and it’s important to know what your limit is before purchasing. Noise level is measured in “sones,” which is often indicated on the packaging. A rating of 1.5 sones is considered very quiet.

Improper installation can also result in loud whirring or rattling sounds and wobbling. Even at its most powerful setting, a ceiling fan shouldn’t wobble.

Most fans have three to five blades, but more blades does not mean the fan will create more powerful airflow. What’s more important is the pitch of the blades – how steeply they are angled. A 12- to 14-degree pitch is recommended.

As far as aesthetics are concerned, ceiling fans should, of course, match the decor of the room. Many manufacturers are able to cater to decorative preferences by offering a variety of colors, trims, wood tones, attached lighting fixtures, and more options.

For more advice on keeping your Portland home comfortable, please contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling. 

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