Do you have any questions about ceiling fans you would like answered? Post them in the comments below.
I have a few questions: Do they REALLY make a difference, do they cost much to install and run and what are the best sorts?
They are the best I have them in all my bedrooms lounge and family room they cost bugger all to run and leave air-condition for dead. Don’t know which are the best I only have ordinary ones which didn’t cost much, my daughter has a couple with much bigger blades and more settings but she has much bigger rooms & they are great. Most lightning shops are very good at recommending sizes etc. although Bunnings ones are good too.
The last two ceiling fans I had installed were supposed to be ‘very quiet’ so why are they so noisey? I wouldn’t live in Qld without ceiling fans.
Do not buy fans that simply have flat blades slightly tilted. Fans with proper pitch contour changing along the blade, like an aeroplane propellor, are vastly more efficient and the only ones worth considering.
I have them in all my rooms. Can’t beat them for the night time
Living in North Queensland as I do, ceiling fans are essential, but they must have plastic blades as the leading edge always gets chipped, whatever coating is on them, and rust ensues.
My question relates to the controllers supplied with the fans. My house was built in the 80’s and all the fans had five speed controllers - perfect, you could set them to just the right speed for the conditions. When I needed to replace fans, I found that the new ones mostly had three speed controllers - slow, slow and much too fast. They just don’t give you the flexibility of the older ones, so I tried variable controllers (which work like a dimmer switch). These were recommended by my local electrical wholesaler and are great when used with some fans, but cause a constant humming noise with others. I notice that the latest crop of fancy looking fans have remote controllers, which look unnecessarily complex and need batteries. I would like to know how to get a reliable controller which is either constantly variable or has a good range of speed options and does not cause other problems such as humming noises.
Is there a minimum ceiling height for ceiling fans? I’d like one in my bedroom, but my bedroom ceiling is quite low — just on 2m I think.
I live in Darwin and agree the five staged controllers were much more effective.
How do you clean ceiling fans and do they need to be serviced because mine also make a lot of noise on high speeds?
That reverse button on the actual fan…winter mode they all it. Is it effective in the colder states for circulating warmer air in winter?
Ceiling fans are not inherently cooling, the air movement they create blows across the skin causing moisture to evaporate and this creates the cooling effect. This is a real effect, but it works best with a bit of humidity.
The reverse or ‘winter’ rotation works by pushing the warm air off the ceiling back down toward the floor, where people are. The warmed air naturally rises to the ceiling and will not move unless it is pushed back down. The reverse operation of the fan draws the ‘cool’ air off the floor and circulates it out to the walls, minimising draughts that would happen with normal rotation and which would feel ‘cool’ as I mentioned above.
The quietest fans are DC, this will be specified on the box. AC fans are noisy because of the 50Hz hum, which is the power supply causing parts of the motor to ‘hum’. ALL fans will make a noise on high speed due to the ‘beating’ of the blades in the air. Some types of blade will be noises than others, mainly flexible blades. For truly quiet operation only use a lower speed.
Remote controllers are good, but make sure it is one that is matched to the fan.
If you want to have a built in light in the ceiling fan it is possible to have the light switched by the normal light switch and separately with the remote fan control, this requires two switch wires into the ceiling fan. It is also possible to get ceiling fans where all control is through the remote; the light switch will turn all power off the the ceiling fan, but can be set up so that it will turn on the light OR start the fan!
If you do buy a ceiling fan, NEVER install it yourself (unless you are a qualified electrician). They can be very fiddly to install and wiring colours are not the same as house wiring. If you get the connections wrong it could be very dangerous, deadly in fact - the different colours are in accordance with the rules, but they are different!
Since my last post on this subject I have found some good fans with which to replace my old 5 speed ones. I was unable to find any with wall mounted 5 speed controllers. You can only get that on those which have remote controls, which I didn’t want because I have a small house, don’t want to replace batteries all the time and also don’t want to have to repair my walls where the old controllers were. The new fans I found are AC not DC, which I know means that they are not the most energy efficient. They have only a 3 speed wall mounted controller, but it has well spaced speeds and frankly I have not had to use them on high speed very often because the well designed blades produce plenty of airflow. The fans are remarkably quiet, they have plastic blades and are of a very simple design - Just what I wanted.
The fans I’m talking about are Airfusion Moonah 122cm available from Beacon Lighting. http://www.beaconlighting.com.au/moonah-122cm-fan-only-in-white.html
Ceiling fans, great when they have been installed but a total pain to get them onto the ceiling. I posted a fairly long explanation of the "ins and outs’ of ceiling fans a bit earlier, but I recently bit the bullet and installed two of them myself ( not a new to me as I had them in my old house).
The experience is not something I wish to repeat soon. The paucity of instructions and the tight space make installation absolutely painful. I followed my own advice and bought DC fans with remote control. The presence of the remote controller in the head of the fan resulted in insufficient space to easily fit the cowl over the wires. After fitting the remote the wrong way around (not easy to tell which IS the right way), I then tried to screw the cowl to the bracket on the ceiling. This was the must frustrating, annoying process I have ever experienced as an electrician. The wires did not have any place to sit and constantly got in the way! After fitting then releasing the cowl many, many times I eventually got the cowl in place.
BUT what do I with the remote sensor wire? There is no slot for it to come out the side of the cowl, so the cowl presses on it; OR do I push it under the cowl which is NOT safe because there is 230-V?? No idea which is right because there is zero in the instructions about this!!
You may detect a slight amount of frustration here - you would be right.
So, think of your electrician when you order a ceiling fan - please!
Are there DC fans available with wall mounted controllers? They have have remotes as far as I can tell.
There are a number of ceiling DC fans available with wall controller rather than remote. They are offered as the remote being an optional extra. To find them go to a mainstream lighting store rather than a ‘hardware’ shop. If that does not help there are a number of online suppliers who will have them (I prefer to buy them online as it is a lot cheaper than in-store).
BUT remember you will need an electrician to install the ceiling fan, it is not in any way a DYI job! I have seen some dreadful and dangerous installations in my time, so only use someone who is qualified. Also, unless you are replacing an existing ceiling fan installation it will need some additional wiring if it is replacing just a light. This is why the remote option is more favourable as they use the existing wiring for an integral light as well as the fan, with the remote doing all the controlling for an light and the fan.
The reason for using an integral light in the ceiling fan is that there is no problem with flicker from the fan. If having lights separate to the fan is important, make sure they are placed well outside the sweep of the fan blades (having more than one will reduce the flicker effect).
My biggest issue with ceiling fans (and light fittings for that matter) is the total lack of space to connect them to the house wiring. I installed two ceiling fans in my house last year and found it very difficult to fit the wires under the ceiling cover. I only managed to get the cover on by chopping a big hole in the ceiling (it is hidden under the cover)!
While this is only an issue for that relatively tiny amount of time it takes to install the fan (compared to how long it is in use) it is still a problem. One concern I have is that the wires are so crammed in that there is a potential risk of damaging the wires.
Note that fans with remotes are the main problem as the controller in the ceiling cover takes up a lot of room.
So, I am wondering whether “ease of installation” could be considered in assessing fans and similar equipment?
(PS: I am a retired electrician)
Ceiling fan reverse mode is effective in winter in Queensland, so it should be too in the colder states.
It moves the warm air which has risen to the top of the room.