Ceiling Fan Reviews, Pricing, and Comparisons
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When you try to picture a ceiling fan, odds are the traditional model pops into your mind. A bladed light fixture. There may even be a varying degree of dust lingering on each of the blades you are picturing too. You know, if your imagination is just that good, or you are simply recalling a rather vivid, albeit dusty memory.
But regardless of how clean those blades are, or are not, in this imaginary picture, one universal truth is the same about all of them. There is a pretty good chance the air circulating device you are recalling is, at best, dated and at worst, simply is not suiting all of your needs. Which is quite a shame considering how much new models have to offer your home.
To address this dilemma, we created the following guide to modern ceiling fans. Read on to find out what they are and why you would want to use them.
Bladeless Ceiling Fan
Do not worry, you read that right. One of the modern ceiling fan models actually lacks those dust collecting blades we are all familiar with. Instead, bladeless ceiling fans house all of the moving parts inside the fixture. So, to be fair, there likely are a few mini blades in this type of ceiling fan, even if you cannot see them on the outside.
Here is how it works. Air is sucked into the fixture in the same manner as a vacuum, only much, much quieter. From there, the collected air is expelled all around the bottom of the bladeless ceiling fan. This generated flow is pretty strong too, and most importantly, consistent. So if you need a way to constantly clean the air in a room via filter, a bladeless ceiling fan is an ideal solution. Just be sure to grab one with a replaceable air filter feature.
That said, bladeless ceiling fans come in quite a few shapes and sizes, as well as the following perks.
- Tend to be more energy efficient than traditional fans
- Lack the gentle whoosh sound bladed fans create
- Since all moving parts are internal there is a reduced risk of injury
- Many models are easy to clean
- Can adjust flow rate of breeze generated
- Due to the variety of air circulation options, a remote control is likely to be included with the bladeless ceiling fan
- Voice control is available in the pricier versions
Beyond the pros listed above, there are a couple things to consider prior to going bladeless. For starters, review the price. The majority of bladeless ceiling fans are over $100 easy, even if you do not purchase one with extra features. Another issue is temperature. Traditional ceiling fans can be adjusted to blow air up or down to capitalize on seasonal temperature.
For example, traditional fans should spin counter clock wise to push cool air down in the summer. In the winter, the opposite direction on a low setting to push warm air down. Bladeless ceiling fans typically pull air in from all directions and expel a breeze in the same direction. Which means whatever temperature the flow is coming in is exactly how cool or hot it is going back out.
So, if you plan on equipping every room in your house with one instead of getting central air, do yourself a favor and reconsider.
Retractable Ceiling Fan
As we mentioned above, traditional ceiling fans tend to collect dust. If ignored, these accumulations can wreak havoc on allergies or even make occupants sick. Not to mention the fact those wannabe dust bunnies look appalling. Nevertheless, cleaning off ceiling fan blades is not exactly at the top of anyone’s favorite chores list.
And since this issue is so well known, ceiling fan manufacturers actually came up with a solution to bypass the unpleasant chore altogether. Dubbed retractable ceiling fans, this type of fixture tucks the blades in when the device is turned off. By housing the blades in this manner automatically, dust has a much smaller window to settle on the blades.
Which means the frequency of how often they need to be cleaned is likely right up there with how often homeowners actually feel compelled to clean them. That said, let’s check out a few of the other retractable ceiling fan pros.
- Light works without the blades having to be out
- Comes with remote
- Most models are very stylish
- Great conversation starter
- Less maintenance
All and all retractable ceiling fans are ideal for homeowners seeking a way to reduce the amount of chores on the to-do list. Beyond this basic bonus, however, are a few noteworthy drawbacks. For example, if you would like to equip your household with lots of retractable ceiling fans, prepare to pay a decent amount of cash for each one.
Then, make sure you set aside about an hour per for installation if you are doing it yourself. Otherwise, consider double check how much a handyman is going to charge by the hour before committing. Next, serious consideration needs to be given to where your retractable ceiling fan is going to be installed based on the moisture version.
To elaborate, “dry” retractable ceiling fans should not be installed in a bathroom or other places with excess moisture. These types of environments tend to damage the mechanical elements responsible for making the blades virtually disappear, resulting in the feature to stop working properly in most cases.
And finally, if you are a fan of switching blade rotation retractable ceiling fans may not be what you are looking for. Most do not have a reverse function at all, which means air flow cannot be altered between seasons.
Oscillating Ceiling Fan
So far, we have covered two really cool ceiling fan options. However, neither one of them addressed a major household concern. Smells. Although this nasal issue can be less troublesome then, say allergies or asthma, it is a topic worth discussing. See, bladeless ceiling fans take in air and blow it out indiscriminately, which is great for removing microscopic particles from the air.
But this model takes time to work and cannot be focused on a specific area. As for the retractable ceiling fan, most do not have the option to reverse the blade rotation, let alone direct an air current in the general direction of a bad smell.
Fortunately, oscillating ceiling fans exist. These awesome fixtures are keen allies in the war against foul odors thanks to their versatile point and blow functionality. Homeowners can use this feature to ensure a lingering smell is blown from its present location and, preferably, out a near by open window or door.
Beyond hyper focusing an air current on an odor filled area, oscillating ceiling fans can be used to generate a strong breeze in your direction. Which is great for cooling your sweaty body down after a work out. This type of fixture also makes it possible to systematically blow air in a circle at a desirable angle. Which means you can keep air circulating in a room without having to worry about the breeze knocking a bunch of stuff over.
That said, there are quiet a few issues to consider before purchasing an oscillating ceiling fan.
- More moving parts means more maintenance
- Exposed blades and grill will need to be dusted
- Entire fan is rather bulky due to all of the mechanical elements
- Some models are not recommended for sloped ceilings
Homeowners that opt to purchase an oscillating ceiling fan may prefer to install it in the kitchen to blow smoke and odors out a nearby window, or outside to generate a breeze along the covered back deck.
Low Profile Ceiling Fan
Homeowners with low ceilings may swoon over this model. Low profile ceiling fans are practically made for small spaces and homes with shorter ceilings. These compact devices forego traditional installation methods in a safe manner, while hugging the ceiling as close as feasibly possible. They also come in two ratings, dry and wet. As we mentioned above, these version reflect how the manufacturer made the fixture in regards to durability.
So, if you want to equip your small attic with a low profile ceiling fan, get a dry rated one. On the other hand, if you find yourself in need of a low profile ceiling fan outdoors, go for a wet rated version. These are made to withstand getting rained on, thanks to the waterproofing coating placed on all of the electrical components.
That said, paying for this extra protection may not be necessary in the bathroom. Unless, of course, you plan on splashing your fan from the bathtub. If not, it is safe to just get a damp rated one.
One of the biggest perks low profile ceiling fans has are its customization options. These fans come in a variety of different blade types, with or without lights, and even motors. Thanks to this, you can equip your home with an air circulating device that aptly compliments a room, even if the ceiling is a bit low. Plus, the majority of low profile ceiling fans are fairly easy to install.
But before you start shopping for this type of fan, consider the slope of your ceiling. Low profile ceiling fans are not suited for angled ceilings as they lack a downrod to keep them firmly in place.