How to choose the right ceiling fan

Thinking of buying a ceiling fan? We get wind of how to choose the right one.

Ceiling fans are a great way to cool your room without running up an astronomical electrical bill.

A ceiling fan consumes about 50 to 60 watts while an air-conditioner sucks up 500 to 1000 watts – you can imagine the difference it makes to your electricity bill! Follow our tips before you head to the shops.

Picture: Property Quotient

1. Determine the right size of the ceiling fan

Firstly, measure the longest wall in the room. As a rule, follow this chart:

Length of longest wall Most suitable ceiling fan width
Less than 12ft 36 inches or less
12 – 15ft 40 – 48 inches
More than 15ft 52 inches or more

According to fan specialist KDK Singapore, a large bedroom or living room needs a large ceiling fan with the blade length of between 56 to 60 inches, in order to circulate air effectively. Smaller bedrooms can make do with fan blade length of between 44 to 56 inches.

2. Position your ceiling fan properly

This should ideally be the centre of your room so as to circulate air evenly. If the room is huge, you should have two ceiling fans.

While the idea of having a ceiling fan spinning directly over your bed in the sweltering heat of Singapore may seem very attractive, KDK suggests that you don’t do so, for safety reasons.

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3. Consider the ceiling height

The higher the ceiling, the more powerful the fan you need.

You should install your ceiling fan at least 2.3m to 2.8m above your floor. Lower the ceiling fan if needed. Most fans in Singapore’s HDB flats are likely to be mounted directly to the ceiling. Rooms with low ceiling will need flush-mount (sometimes known as a hugger or low-profile) fans.

However, some condominium apartments or landed properties may feature very high ceilings which need a down rod. To calculate the length of the rod needed, simply use the ceiling height to deduct 2.3m (or up to 2.8m).

According to KDK, if your ceiling height is 3.65m, just use 3.65m – 2.3m. You should thus get a down rod of 1m to put your fan-to-floor height at comfortable between the 2.3m to 2.8m standard.

Picture: Property Quotient

4. Decide on the number of blades you want

The more blades the better? Not always.

What you should aim for is a fan that can move 6,000 CFM (cubic feet per minute) or more air, consumes 30 watts or less, and have a fan efficiency of 200 CFM per watt or more. Ask the shop assistant to show you the specifications of the models so you can compare them.

Some award-winning fans may come with just three blades but are cleverly designed with winglets at the end of the blades to maximize the air circulation effect.

One study discovered that four blades were the optimum number to get you into the cool zone. However, depending on the technology behind every fan, a two-blade fan may cool down a room better than its multi-blade cousins too.

Irregularly shaped blades can be sharply tapered, curved, spiralled or twisted so that the blades do not have a constant blade width, rake angle, or blade pitch. These offer a more uniform airflow velocity while lessening the drag and noise.

5. Double up your fan’s use with a light

There are many models out there that come with one or even multiple lights. This saves space and cost as you don’t have to install extra lights. In fact, if you choose a ceiling fan carefully to fit your home’s theme, it can be a lovely and useful focal piece!

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