Looking for a Labor Day weekend project around the house? How about installing a ceiling fan.
Ceiling fans are a smart addition to a home. They circulate cool air in the summer and drive warm air down from the ceiling in the winter, which helps cut home energy costs (you know how I love that!) and improve the comfort of living spaces and bedrooms.
Prices range from $50 to more than $250 depending on the style and features of the ceiling fan you choose. Keep in mind that a quality fan can last for years, but an inexpensive one will wobble and wear out quickly.
Use this quick buying guide to help narrow down your choices and find the best fans for your rooms:
• Figure out ceiling height. Determine the distance between the ceiling and the bottom of the fan (called the hanging depth). There should be at least 7 feet clearance from the bottom of the blades to the floor. If your ceiling is tall enough, pick a fan with a rod that allows you to position the fan blades at least 10 inches from the ceiling. With ceilings below nine feet, you may need a flush-mount (also called a ceiling hugger) fan, which won’t circulate air as well.
• Determine room size. The size of the blades you choose will depend on the size of your room—fan blades should swing no closer than 18 inches to the nearest wall. See the chart, below, for a rundown on the best fan blade size for your room. (Oh, and if your room doesn’t allow for monster fan blades, don’t worry. It’s the fan motor size—not the blade size—that’s most important.)
• Consider style. Once you pick a fan based on function, it’s time to think about style. The shapes, sizes, materials, and finishes available for blades and fan bodies are many, plus you have the fan’s overall profile and features such as lights to consider. Can’t find quite what you’re looking for? Some manufacturers, such as Hampton Bay, allow you to custom-design a fan—you select everything from the finish of the housing unit to the style of the light to the blade design and color.
• Look at extras. Keep an eye out for handy (and efficient) additional features. For added convenience, look for ceiling fans that operate at multiple speeds and can be controlled by remote. And Energy Star-labeled ceiling fans are a smart investment—they’re 50 percent more efficient than other models.
Get more info on ceiling fan selection. Then, once you’ve purchased your fan, it’s time for the important part: installing it.
If you don’t have an electrician friend nearby, don’t despair—installing a ceiling fan is a relatively easy DIY project. According to This Old House, you can complete a ceiling fan installation in two to four hours (and they have some great instructions on how to do it).
Until next week,
The Home Know-It-All