Every summer, many homeowners who don’t have ceiling fans start to consider having a few installed in their home to either supplement their air conditioning or as a more affordable alternative to using it in the first place.
But once August and September come around they think the season for them has passed, and they should put that home improvement off until next year.
In fact, they can be just as useful in the winter, with one simple adjustment.
During the cold season, the fan’s blades should spin clockwise on the lowest speed, rather than counter clockwise on any speed. This will draw warmer air from the ceiling down toward the floor, helping to reduce your dependence on the heater and plug-ins like space heaters that can become hazardous. This can usually be done by flipping a switch on the base of the fan or using the accompanying remote or app.
Now that’s settled, so here are the other things to keep in mind while shopping for ceiling fans:
- Size — This is usually determined by the size of the room. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Star program recommends using the smallest fans with 29-inch to 36-inch fans in rooms no larger than 75 square feet. Rooms up to 144 square feet can take a fan with up to 42 inch-blades, while 144- to 225-square-foot rooms need a 44-inch blade fan. Spaces 225 square feet to 400 square feet can use a fan with blades up to 54 inches.
Energy Star recommends multiple fans for larger rooms, but fans spanning up to 60 inches are available.
- Mount — Most extend down from a rod that puts it at least 7 feet away from the floor. Flush-mounted fans allow more headroom and less interruption of the room’s flow but are less efficient for moving the air.
- Style — Lights mounted on ceiling fans are a very popular option, and they come in every style imaginable from classic to industrial. You’ll want to keep the current décor of the room and any anticipated changes in mind while you shop.