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Ceiling Fans - Stylish Design Categories

What is a Ceiling Fan

A ceiling fan is quite simply any fan that is installed, or hung from a ceiling. Today, when we think of Ceiling Fans we think of an appliance hanging from the ceiling, turning at high RPMs, in a counter clockwise motion during the summer months, to keep our rooms cool. During the winter, we imagine it spinning at a very slow rate, in a reverse motion, clockwise, to gently force the warm air trapped against our ceilings down into the room, helping to keep our rooms warm at the living level.

For a time, designers thought of ceiling fans as something that needed to be replaced by a more stylish lighting fixture. However, thanks to modern ceiling fan companies like Minka Aire, Fanimation, TroposAir, Casablanca, and Gulf-Coast Fans, that concept has changed, and ceiling fans have come back in to the forefront of interior design. These stylish name brands offer ceiling fans with lights, sometimes so integrated into the fan’s design that the light fixture is never noticed until used to illuminate the room. They also offer many contemporary ceiling fan models without lights, in many popular designer finishes to compliment any room decor, from one blade models, up to large 9 blade fans that add a very industrial look into the living space. Whatever your taste, today’s best ceiling fan companies will offer a well balanced, quiet running, stylish model perfect for your needs.

Ceiling Fans: Brief History Lesson

The original ceiling fan did not operate using electricity like the ceiling fans of today. Instead the earliest known ceiling fan was very similar to Fanimation’s Punkah. Dating back to 500 BC, this fan hung from the ceiling and the paddles swung back and forth in a rocking motion, operated manually by a cord. This fan was great from the people getting to enjoy its breezes, but very tiresome for the operator.

Although Hunter Fan Company originally tried to take the credit for the invention of the first ceiling fan in 1886, Philip Diehl actually created the first electrically powered ceiling fan in 1882. His invention consisted of an Singer sewing machine motor he had engineered, and then he adapted the same motor to be used for the first electric ceiling-mounted fan. Thus, the world’s first electric ceiling fan.

Do Ceiling Fans Really Cool the Air?

While ceiling fans definitely help to make us feel cool on hot summer days, they do not actually cool the air like an air conditioner does. Instead, ceiling fans create a wind chill effect from the moving of air, thus tricking our bodies into thinking the air is cooler than it actually is. Think of standing outside on a still, hot and humid summer day. You are miserable from the heat when suddenly a cloud covers the sun and a nice breeze begins to blow. Ahhh, the breeze feels so nice, doesn’t it? Well, a ceiling fan does the same thing as the breeze does on that hot summer day you just imagined. Only with a ceiling fan we do not have to wait for the breeze to come. Instead, we turn it off and on whenever we want, and we get to adjust how hard the breeze blows. Ceiling fans can make the room feel up to 10 degrees cooler, but don’t be fooled, not all ceiling fans are created equal, and lesser models will have a hard time making a room feel even a couple of degrees cooler.

Why Do Some Ceiling Fans Blow More Air Than Others?

In theory, the higher the blade pitch the more airflow a fan will create. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as the theory sounds. While blade pitch does have an effect of air movement, there are many other factors that go into how much air a fan will move, or how much wind chill effect the fan can create.

Really, a ceiling fan is only as good as its heart, which is its motor. A high blade pitch with a week motor will only cause the fan to spin slower, even at high speed. Therefore, a high blade pitch with a week motor creates a useless ceiling fan, because it cannot turn the blades fast enough to do any good. On the other hand, quality ceiling fans using large high performance motors will have the power to push blades that are tilted at steeper angles, thus creating much more airflow. High performance motors, especially the newer high performance DC motor technologies cost more money, so you can expect to pay more for these types of ceiling fans. Yet, due to the huge increases in airflow you will get with these higher performance fans, the money you spend now will be saved tomorrow on air conditioning cost, making it money wisely spent.

Besides the pitch of the blades, the length, width, and shape of the blades has a big effect on how much air ceiling fans produce as well. However, all of this goes back again to how good the motor is the turns the blades. Longer blades will usually mean more air, but without the proper motor performance this doesn’t always hold true. The wider a blade is, the more blade surface there is to force air down from the fan, but again, more blade surface means a higher performance motor is needed to effectively turn those blades to properly move the air. RPMs, or Rotations Per Minute, has a huge effect on airflow, and that is why the bigger the blades and the higher the blade pitch (or tilt of the blades) the better the fan’s motor has to be to achieve the proper RPM rate to move more air. So, again, better airflow all goes back to the heart of all ceiling fans, the motor!

Ceiling Fans and Room Size

When shopping for a fan it is important to get a fan that fits your room size. Mostly meaning, do not get a fan too small for your room, or it will look outdated and you will not be happy with your purchase. Many fan companies have “guidelines” for the size ceiling fan needed for the size room it will be going in. Unfortunately, those guidelines are very outdated. Ceiling fan companies haven't updated their guidelines since the 1980’s, and fans and interior design styles have changed so much since that time.

Today, really large ceiling fans of 72” and bigger have become extremely popular. In the 1980’s a big ceiling fan had a 52 inch blade span, and if you were extremely lucky you may have found a 54 inch one. When it comes to airflow, typically the bigger the better, and we now have ceiling fans in 99” blade spans for household use. As a matter of fact, our #1 selling model is the 84” Titan Ceiling Fan by TroposAir. The Titan uses six extruded aluminum blades that have a varying blade pitch due to their slightly downward curved design. This fan moves almost triple the airflow of a typical 52” model.

Basically, when sizing a fan for room size, you will just need to make sure you have enough space from the tip of the blade to the nearest walls. For smaller fans, like 31” to 44” models, you will want to have about 18 inches of clearance from the blade tip to the nearest wall. For normal sized models of 50” to 60” in size you’ll want at least 18” of clearance, but preferably 24 inches. And for the newer popular extra large ceiling fans, you’ll want about 30” or so to the nearest walls.


At Modern Fan Outlet we strive to give you the best customer service available over anyone else that sells ceiling fans. We sincerely hope the above information helps you in selecting the right ceiling fan for your need. If you have any questions at all, we strongly urge you to give us a call at (888) 841-1993, and a helpful customer service representative will be glad to help in any way possible.