Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a sampling of inquiries that we answer most often.
How do I determine the size (blade size) of a ceiling fan?
The blade size, or sweep, of a fan is determined by taking the distance from the edge of one blade to the center of the motor and then doubling that number. For example, if the distance between the edge of one blade and the center of the motor is 26”, you would have a 52” (26” x 2 = 52”) sweep ceiling fan.
The sweep of the ceiling fan is one of the most important considerations when choosing a fan for your room. If your fan blades are too small you won’t have the proper airflow coverage or circulation. If your blade size is too large, you run the risk of over-dominating the space and making the room appear smaller than it actually is. That being said, the biggest size you can fit without overwhelming the space the better. Larger sweep ceiling fans move more air for less operating cost.
The most common blade sweep, or standard size, for a ceiling fan is 52”. 52” ceiling fans are designed to cover rooms ranging from 10’ x 10’ up to 16’ x 16’ depending on the motor size (remember motor size is different from fan size/sweep. For more on motor size, follow the link). When you think about it, the majority of rooms in most houses fall within, or close to, that range. The following is a general guideline for Dan’s Ceiling Fans in relation to room size:
|6’ x 6’ or less
|26” or 31” sweep
|8’ x 8’ or less
|10’ x 10’ or less
|10’ x 10’ up to 16’ x 16’
|16’ x 16’ up to 18’ x 18’
|16’ x 16’ up to 25’ x 25’
|18’ x 18’ and up
|72”-96” sweep (The max room size for these fans is 30’ x 30’)
*Please remember to consider the motor size in addition to the sweep size when selecting your ceiling fan
There are a few light kits, and fans with integrated lighting, that have non-obvious methods to gain access to the light bulbs for replacement. This also applies to various Hampton Bay, Harbor Breeze, Quorum, Monte Carlo, Casablanca and Hunter ceiling fans and light kits.
- Low Profile Light Kit Dome, Luna, Proton, Sunrise, Aurora, Versailles - Unscrew glass counterclockwise, 1/4 turn, from the metal housing. In the cases of Luna and Versailles model there is a metal frame around the glass.
- Milan - Unscrew the center Blade Cover Cap, remove the blades and blade hub, remove the glass housing.
- Orleans, Chandelle - Interior Housing Illumination, fan models' metal housing has four access panels held in place by screws. If the bottom of the housing is glass, the panels are on top of the housing.
The down rod, commonly referred to as the pole or pipe of a ceiling fan, is very important for both proper circulation, and overall room aesthetics. In addition, the down rod has a direct effect on the amount of air you feel from your ceiling fan.
Proper circulation helps ensure the maximum efficiency from your ceiling fan. Your fan blades need to have at least a 3 inch clearance on either side and an 8 inch clearance between the blades and the ceiling. For every 2 inches less than the recommended 8 inches there is a 25% loss in airflow. In some extenuating circumstances where these dimensions are not possible, ceiling fans will still provide benefits, but not at 100% levels.
Conversely, having your ceiling fan too low can result in a crowded and distracting room space. Originally, it was recommended that ceiling fans sit between 8-10 feet off the floor for both form and function. With today’s newer homes and the higher, more open ceiling spaces, it is recommended to set your ceiling fan blades between 9 and 11 feet from the floor (the closer, the more effective). This height specification allows for the benefits of both optimal airflow and aesthetic balance. As ceiling height and overall volume in the room increased over time, it was important to adjust the placement of the ceiling fan blades in order to adequately turn the air over on both the upside and downside of the blades. These newer recommendations are a direct result of that.
The third impact the down rod has is on the realized airflow from the ceiling fan. The general rule is the more space between you and the blades, the more room for the airflow to dissipate. For example, if your ceiling fan is 9 ft. off the floor compared to 14 ft. off the floor both the ‘cooling’ effect and overall feeling of air movement will be considerably more.
Some other items to keep in mind pertain to tray, or recessed, ceilings. If the tray allows for at least 3 inches of clearance on either side of the blades, adhere to the above recommendations. However, if the tray does not allow for at least 3 inches of clearance on either side of the blades it is recommended that you drop the ceiling fan blades below the tray to ensure both proper circulation and optimal airflow.
The following is a general guideline relative to Dan’s Ceiling Fans:
|9ft. or less
|standard down rod (3 inches)
|10ft. – 11ft.
|1 ft. rod or standard if preferred
|11ft. – 12ft.
|18” – 24” down rod
|12ft. – 14ft.
|36” down rod
|14ft. – 16ft.
|48” down rod
|72” down rod
|Custom down rod
An outdoor ceiling fan is one that is rated for outdoor use. The “outdoor” rating comes from Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL). Ceiling fans are either UL Listed as “damp location” rated or “wet location” rated. Besides the UL Listing for the ceiling fans, there are also different blade types and motor finishes to consider.
Both types of UL ratings are designed to be exposed to the elements without the risk of electric shock or fire. However, damp location ceiling fans are NOT designed to come into direct contact with water. Wet location ceiling fans CAN handle direct contact with water from things like rain, sea mist, pool water, and even a garden hose. UL wet rated ceiling fans are sealed with silicon. This silicon seal does not make the fans waterproof which is why you should never pressure wash any ceiling fan, regardless of rating.
In addition to UL listings, outdoor ceiling fans will have some form of weather resistant blades. Usually these blades are made out of plastic, or some more durable plastic polymer like ABS plastic. Some other materials that can be used for outdoor blades include treated wood, canvas, vinyl, and denim.
Outdoor ceiling fan motor housings also come with different protective features to help protect against weathering. The type of paint used can make a huge difference on how long the finish holds up. All of Dans Ceiling Fans use an electrostatic powder paint finish to help ensure longevity. Some outdoor celing fans, like the Raindance and Patio Fan, have a special galvanized undercoat which help it to resist rust better. Other fans, like the Centurion and the Ovation, have housings made out of poly-resin. These types of housings are virtually rust-proof. The Luna outdoor ceiling fan has an aluminum housing. The metal aluminum succumbs far slower than steel to oxidation, which is white in color.
When choosing an outdoor ceiling fan exposure to the elements and airflow should be primary considerations. Even though an outdoor ceiling fan is in a covered lanai, it is still exposed to things like humidity and heat. Whenever a fan is not within an air conditioned space, an outdoor rated ceiling fan should be considered necessary.
Many of the new fans coming out in the market place, especially the DC-motor ceiling fans utilize a learning remote which is different than the current remotes in the market place today. When programming a fan with a learning remote please follow the instructions carefully. Start by assembling the fan and hanging it with the blades attached. Then when you apply power either by the existing wall switch or circuit breaker you must press and hold either the learn buttom in the battery compartment or the "On" key within 30-seconds and the fan will signal that it has accepted the code transmitted by the remote. Some fans will go through a set up process such as turning in reverse, then foward and finally stopping witch signals the fan is ready to operate. Fans equipped with a learning remote need to have the power running to the fan "Left On" all of the time otherwise the code may be lost when power is turned off. The operation of the fan is completed using the remote only and not the on/off switch on the wall..
When you are setting up multiple ceiling fans each with there own learning remotes you need to first install the fan and complete programing, then take power away to the first fan (usually by disconnecting the black power wire on the first fan) and then program the second fan. If you are programming multiple fan you need to continue the same process but, take power away of each of the fans that were previously programmed. The reason that we need to do this is that each time you initially program a fan with a learning remote it sends out a signal to the fan that you are programming and if there are additional fans that are turned "On" at that time they will think that the remote is trying to program them as well.
Most fans in the marketplace today are built with very tight tolerances on weight and when a fan is out of balance the first step is to make sure the blade arm screws are tight, then you will want to check that all of the blades are level. The easiest way to accomplish this is to measure from the ceiling down to the tip of one blade and check this measurement on the remaining blades by spinning the next blade to the same location you measured the first blade. You can adjust and level the blades by holding the motor housing and pushing the blade at the tip up or down as needed to make sure everything is level. Most often this will solve the out of balance or wobble problem
All manufactures list the CFM and Airflow Efficiency (Airflow at High divided by Watts used on the top of the box), this is a requirement of the EPA.
The term CFM represents the total cubic feet per minute of airflow on the ceiling fan while at high speed using standard size blades The higher the airflow that more you will feel the breeze of the ceiling fan and thus making you feel cooler. Most ceiling fans available in the mass market or big box stores are rated between 4000 and 5500 CFM which is adequate for a bedroom or small living space. Our most popular ceiling fan model the Raindance ceiling fan produces 8165 CFM at high and 5625 CFM at medium which is sufficient for a large living area and or outdoors, . Airflow is a component of the size of the motor and the pitch of the blade. The larger the motor and the higher the pitch the more airflow will be produced. Since most people typically never run their ceiling fan on high due to wind noise and or possible fan wobbling it is more important to get a fan with a higherCFM if possible.
In additional to CFM all ceiling fans are required to show Airflow efficiency, this is the CFM at high speed divided by the wattage used. Typically the higher the number the more efficient the fan will be in regard to energy usage. Since most fans are rated between 4000 and 5500 CFM at high using around 69 Watts the efficiency would be 5000 CFM / 69-Watts = 72.47 Efficiency Rating, as an example our Raindance model listed above has a higher CFM rating at medium than many of the ceiling fans in the market at 5625 CFM / 59.5-Watts = 94.5 Efficiency Rating.
Here at Dan's Fan City we strive to offer the best quality and performance on our entire line-up of ceiling fans. Hopefully this brief explanation will help you understand the terms CFM and Airflow Efficiency. Please let us know if you have any questions in regard to CFM and Airflow Efficiency at toll free 1-855-326-7352.