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How to keep your home cool this summer

Would you rather be too hot or too cold? It’s an interesting conundrum. While heat is often related to beaches, holidays and generally great weather, being too hot can be a real struggle.

After all, it’s often easier to get warm than it is to cool off. Or is it? There are some great ways to keep our homes cool this summer, and one of the all-round best and easiest is with a ceiling fan.

These offer a distinct number of benefits for both body and mind. Here are three reasons to consider a ceiling fan as we get into the hot and sticky summer months.

They make you more comfortable

Ceiling fans don’t actually cool a room, but they do a great job of making you feel a lot more comfortable. Much like opening a car window and feeling the breeze doesn’t mean the air is becoming cooler inside the car, it does help to evaporate moisture from the skin, meaning your body temperature drops.

Having air circulated around your room is a great way to keep your home habitable when the sun is blazing. They are not just for seasonal use either; in winter, a ceiling fan will circulate warm air around a room, too.

They help reduce energy costs

If you own an air conditioning unit, you will know the expense of running it throughout the summer months.

A ceiling fan uses much less electricity than your typical AC unit. It also moves the cooled airaround the home, so if you want the ultimate cooling effect, combining both means your air conditioner can usually be turned down by a few degrees.

They add style

A ceiling fan is a timeless piece. Contrary to popular opinion, they can be used indoors or outside, meaning practically any room or space in your house can get all the functional benefits of a ceiling fan, while getting an aesthetic boost in the process.

We have a huge range of fans in our online store. Many of our variants also include lights, making them even more multifunctional.

If you have any questions about buying a ceiling fan, feel free to ask one of our experts – just contact us for advice.

Ceiling Fans

What to consider when purchasing a ceiling fan

Ceiling fans are increasingly becoming a go-to option for a practical and inexpensive way to circulate air throughout your home and keep you cool when the temperatures soar. While it may still be winter for now, the colder months are a great time to start planning your summer renovations and checking to see if your home has proper measures in place to keep it cool.

While installing an automatic air conditioning unit is a timely and expensive endeavour, appointing an electrician to fit your home with ceiling fans is an easier option to consider.

Design

When deciding on ceiling fans for your home, function doesn't have to be the only factor. Ceiling-mounted fans are increasingly made in a range of designs, meaning that you can find one to fit your aesthetic as well as cool your room. 

Consider wooden fittings to match a traditional interior design, or chrome embellishments on a white fan for a more minimalist look.

Energy-saving

To ensure that the ceiling fan you choose will keep you cool but not inflate your electricity bill, make sure that the device matches the latest energy ratings in your state or territory. This allows for a practical yet green way to cool your home, as well as keep power bills down.

Check the direction of the blades – they should move in a counterclockwise direction to allow for the cooler air to be pushed downward. Taking the time to do this will not only cool your home, but could mean the fan is on for less time, using less energy and saving you money.

Purpose

While the primary purpose of the fan is keep you cool in summer, there are also several other uses too. Reversing the blades into a clockwise direction in winter is ideal for distributing warmer air throughout a space, meaning you can use your ceiling fan all year round. Also if you select a design with a light, this is a great option for a multi-purpose device that is a source of illumination too.

Ceiling Fans

How to clean ceiling fans

In a recent post we discussed the importance of including your interior lighting in your spring cleaning spree. While you're up there, consider dusting down the ceiling fans in your home too for improved air circulation and general household cleanliness. Set aside approximately 15 minutes of cleaning for long-term benefits. 

1. Turn off the electricity

 When cleaning lights, fans and other electrical devices, always make sure the power supply is turned off. This is an important step and safety should be paramount at all times when cleaning or completing other household tasks. 

2. Use the correct equipment

As many ceilings fans will be located at height, ensure you use the proper ladder to reach them. Again, safety is key – don't balance on sofas and other furniture. Instead, use a ladder and be sure to read the safety manual first, as well as enlisting the help of a housemate to hold the ladder steady.

3. Wear breathing protection

Depending on how long since the last clean, your ceiling fan is likely to be dusty! Stop the dirt from getting in your nose and mouth by wearing a safety mask – especially important if you have asthma or other allergies. 

4. Use a damp cloth

Dampen a cloth or old pillowcase with water and/or vinegar solution. The metal and other materials used on ceiling fans can be delicate so ensure it stays intact by using liquids that will gently clean the fan. Move the cloth over the blades, being careful of any sharp edges as well as the lead. Alternatively, place the pillowcase over the entire blade and clean in a small circular motion.

5. Check the blades

While maintaining your ceiling fan, take a look at the blades. As the warmer weather is approaching, make sure they are facing in a counter-clockwise direction to circulate cool air in your home.

Ceiling Fans

History of the ceiling fan

Ceiling fans are becoming more popular as both a way to cool your house in the summer and also as a great alternative to the heater in the winter.

However, you may not realise that this kind of technology has a long history, dating back to the 17th century.

In fact, the earliest known ceiling fans were made from palm fronds and were hand operated usually by servants. In India this was known as a "punkah".

They were well known for their erratic, low-speed operation. Palm trees were durable, large and were constructed from individual sections through which the air was able to circulate.

However, come 1886, technology made a big leap forward when Philip Diehl made the first ceiling fan from a sewing machine and a few fan blades.

While this invention seems very simple now, it was very successful and is now found in many homes and businesses across the globe.

It has been remade and the current models are some of the most advanced.

In the 1890s, many factories began to use ceiling fans to keep employees and products cool.

Hotels and restaurants also began to use this technology, too.

It was not introduced in the the home until the 1920s, when it was limited to upscale housing with high ceilings, as these were essential for its safety.

Many people had to hold off getting these machines until the Great Depression of the 1930s was over as they could not afford to purchase electrical appliances.

During World War II, however, these machines began to be more popular as people could afford to pay for the electricity required to run them.

In the 1950s, home air conditioning units began to be more popular and this continued into the 1960s.

Recently, however, many people have been turning to ceiling fans as a more efficient way to control the temperature in the home, thanks to rising electricity prices.

Ceiling Fans Tips and Tricks

Ceiling Fan Buying Guide

We’ve compiled some information below to assist you in selecting a Ceiling Fan for your home.

Fact:Ceiling Fans can be used in BOTH Summer and Winter Ceiling fans are great for circulating the air in a room. Although they don’t actually cool the room down, in the summer ceiling fans will create a cool breeze by spinning in a forward direction (counter clockwise) and will make your feel considerably more comfortable indoors and outdoors. However, please remember that ceiling fans cool people – they don’t cool rooms, therefore, consider turning off your ceiling fan when no one is in the room to conserve energy. With most fans, you can set the blades to rotate in reverse (Clockwise) in winter. This will force the warm air that is trapped at the ceiling, down into the room to mix with the cool air. This will warm up your room in winter. For best effect in winter, keep your fan on low speed.

TIP:Check to make sure that the Ceiling Fan you’re buying comes with a reversible motor that allows you change between the summer and winter option.

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TIP:You can also use the reversible modes of a Ceiling Fan to disperse the air according to your needs. Clockwise spinning will generate a breeze directly under the ceiling fan where as Counter-Clockwise spinning will disperse the breeze to the edges of the room

 

Ceiling Fans Create a Cool Breeze in SummerIn Winter, Ceiling Fans will assist to warm the room

Efficiency The efficiency of a ceiling fan, especially in a warm climate like Australia, can have a large influence on the electric bill. You can save a lot of money and enjoy increased performance from your ceiling fan by choosing an energy efficient ceiling fan. Efficiency in ceiling fans is measured by the amount of airflow generated per wattage of Power consumed. This is measured in (m3/h)/W (cubic metres per hour per Watt). Below are the results of testing done by Hunter Pacific to compare the efficiency of some common Australian Ceiling Fans:

Compare the Efficiency of some Common Ceiling Fans

How to choose the best ceiling fan for your home

Correct size Choosing the correct ceiling fan size for your room is important to get maximum comfort and energy savings. If the fan is too small for your room it will not circulate enough air and it will be ineffective in summer and winter. If the fan is too big for the room it could overpower the room making it uncomfortable. You can change the size of your ceiling fan by changing the size of the blades.

Room Dimensions Suggested Fan Size
Up to 7 m2 29″ – 36″
7 – 13 m2 36″ – 42″
13 – 21 m2 44″
21 – 37 m2 50″ – 54″

Motor There are higher and lower powered motors. Higher powered motors will produce more airflow and they won’t overheat as easily as fans that have lower powered motors. If you choose a motor that has sealed bearings you never need to oil it and noise won’t be a problem. Another good option is a rubber flywheel, which keeps torque under control. With a rubber flywheel, the fan is stabilised and the level of noise is reduced.

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Blades A ceiling fan has two to six blades, which are usually made of wood, metal or plastic. The major differences between the blades is the angle that they are pitched at, the material they are constructed from and the shape of the blade. The blade pitch of a fan is the angle of the blades relative to the fan. It is measured in degrees. If a blade perfectly parallel to the floor (pitch 0 degrees) it won’t produce a strong airflow. Therefore the higher a blade pitch the more air the fan moves, however this needs to be considered with all of the variables together. For an optimal airflow the blade should be pitched between 12 and 22 degrees. The standard number of blades is four. In general you can say the more blades a ceiling fan has the more air can be circulated, up to a certain point. Then more blades increase the drag of the motor and the price of the fan. But the number of the blades is not as important as most customers think. The efficiency of a ceiling fan also depends on the strength/quality of the motor, the pitch of the blade and the right blade size. In general you can say that metal blades are more efficient than wooden ones but they are produce slightly more noise. You should also consider the mounting location when deciding on the most appropriate blades. There are some places in your home where ceiling fans are exposed to moisture like in a kitchen or in a bathroom therefore metal corrosion or a reduced blade life could be a problem. For these areas you should choose blades that have a rust proof finish and blades that do not warp easily like plastic or stainless steel blades.

TIP:Consider whether noise will be an issue for you when running your ceiling fan; choose wooden blades for decreased operational noise.

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TIP:Consider the mounting location when selecting your blade type; Plastic or stainless steel blades will perform better in moist conditions

Outdoor Ceiling Fans Outdoor ceiling fans are usually installed at a porch area. They are therefore exposed to extreme temperature changes and moisture for at least part of the year. That’s why the outdoor ceiling fans are made from tough materials like plastics and stainless steel. The blades can also be made of wood but then ensure that you get timber blades that are specially treated for outdoor use. If you do use timber blades outdoors you should expect to replace the blades more frequently than moulded blades or metal blades. If the fan will be hung where it can actually get wet, you will need to ensure that it is designed to handle this condition.

Ceiling Fans with Lights Most of the Ceiling Fans are also available with light. There are ceiling fans which have an already integrated light and there are some you can buy it as an additional accessory and use your fan with or without light. A light can be attached at the bottom of the fan. To ensure that fan and light finishes match buy both from the same brand.

Mounting Your Ceiling Fan You should install your Ceiling Fan in the middle of the room and at least 2.15 meters above the floor however for optimal airflow you should install it 2.5 meters above the floor. This is the height at which most fans are designed to operate. For ceilings that are higher than this you can use a downrod to lower your ceiling fan for optimal operation. Normally the lower a ceiling fan hangs the more airflow you will feel when you stand directly under it. But the airflow is then also more concentrated on a smaller area.

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This is especially important during the summer time when the primary purpose of the fan is for cooling. If your ceiling fan hangs higher you won’t feel a breeze but the air will disperse over a larger area. In winter time this can be a good option. The ceiling fan can move the warm air from the ceiling back down. If you want to place multiple fans inside a house you shouldn’t place ceiling fans too close together in the same room because they work then against each other. The circulation from one room to another can make the air quite pleasant during the hot summer months.

Caring for your Fan Usually you can only see your ceiling fan from the bottom where no dust can collect. Therefore many people neglect to clean their fans. However, it is really important to clean your ceiling fan because dirt and dust can make your ceiling fan noisy, wobbly and it can even damage the motor. In addition, the collection of dust on the fan can represent a health hazard over time. Therefore, to clean the blades of your ceiling fan, wipe the dust with a paper towel regularly.