Though ceiling fans won't reduce humidity or decrease air temperatures, they help circulate air and provide a refreshing breeze. These simple devices add a cost- and energy-efficient accent to central cooling systems and help maintain a comfortable environment in moderate climates. Though it is up to each consumer to determine the best ceiling fan for her particular situation, high ratings from professional organizations help make the choice a little easier.
As consumers often vote with their dollars, it's sometimes worthwhile to note the most popular ceiling fan choices among the public. In a test of 19 ceiling fan models, the independent product testing organization Consumer Reports identified Hampton Bay, Harbor Breeze and Hunter as the most popular brands among consumers. In the same report, the agency noted that 52-inch diameter fans were the most popular size.
Independent ceiling fan and lighting retailer Hansen Wholesale calls the Energy Star-qualified Emerson Midway Eco the “most efficient ceiling fan ever.” This fan is 300 percent more energy-efficient than the next best fan in its class. The same company recommends the Casablanca Atria for pure power. This 68-inch fan moves 9,000 cubic feet of air per minute while remaining still and silent. Hansen touts the ruggedness of Casablanca's Heritage outdoor model, noting its ability to withstand elements, including rain and snow.
The professional design enthusiasts at Apartment Therapy give the Artemis model ceiling fan from Minka Aire high marks for style. This wood-bladed fan has distinct blades that wrap around the light fixture before curving outward. For smaller spaces, the same reviewers recommend the futurist design of Serien Lighting's Propeller fan. For classic styles, Apartment Therapy touts the black Harbor Breeze Classic model ceiling fan while Hansen recommends the white Casablanca Panama. Hansen also praises the ultra-modern Casablanca Stealth, noting its sleek, tilted-blade style.
No matter what the ratings are, each individual space calls for a different type of ceiling fan. Consumer Reports recommends 42-inch fans for rooms between 144 and 225 square feet and 52-inch fans for rooms between 225 and 400 square feet. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency encourages consumers to use two small fans for rooms longer than 18 feet. Fans with the EPA's Energy Star label operate about 50 percent more efficiently than fans without the label.
- Hansen Wholesale: Who Makes the Best Ceiling Fans
- Apartment Therapy: Best Ceiling Fans 2010
- The Seattle Times: Consumer Reports' Tips on Air Conditioners and Ceiling Fans
- Consumer Reports: Add a Ceiling Fan (Introduction)
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Energy Efficient Homes: Ceiling Fans
- Energy Savers: Ceiling Fans and Other Circulating Fans
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