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A Practical Guide to Ceiling Fans: What You Should Know Before Buying or Installing
Considering today’s economy, saving money is likely more important for you and your family than ever before. Lots of new energy-efficient solutions are being invented every year, but a ceiling fan is a tried-and-true money saver when it comes to keeping cool or staying warm. Ceiling fans have been around for more than a century, and they continue to be a staple in most homes. Countless styles, sizes, configurations, materials, prices, finishes, and accessories are available. Ceiling fans’ motors, finishes, materials, and controls have all improved greatly. If you know a little bit about ceiling fans before choosing one for a room in your home, you can make an informed decision that you are likely to be pleased with for years to come.
By using a ceiling fan, you take away some of the burden from your air conditioning unit.
A ceiling fan is an attractive option for a variety of reasons. A nice-looking fan fixture adds a certain aesthetic to a room. Some people even enjoy the soft "white noise" a fan creates in the background. Primarily, though, ceiling fans are extremely practical. A ceiling fan can greatly increase the comfort level of a room by moderating the temperature and increasing the flow of air. Perhaps most importantly, a ceiling fan can achieve all these things without hiking up your electricity usage (and your bill). A fan fixture forces warm air down in the winter, and it creates breezes in the summer, all for just a few cents per day.
By using a ceiling fan, you take away some of the burden from your air conditioning unit. If you use both a fan and an air conditioner, the air conditioner will not need to be set quite as high to achieve the same overall cooling effect, due to the breeze of the ceiling fan. Raising your thermostat can decrease your electric bill by up to thirty percent.
During the winter, a ceiling fan can "recycle" warm air that has risen and is confined at your ceiling. To recirculate this warm air, simply use the switch on the fan to reverse the direction in which it spins. Doing so will reduce the need to crank up your heat.
Know the Controls
A ceiling fan is usually mounted at a box where a light fixture used to be. Your corresponding light switch is typically replaced with some kind of control that lets you adjust the speed of the fan and the fan light(s), if your fan includes a light as well. Choose a control with a capacitor design that is made by the same company as your fan to help prevent humming and buzzing from your ceiling fan.
Before You Install
Prior to attempting to install a ceiling fan, carefully read the instructions that came with your fan. All fans should have a mounting kit included in the box. Installation techniques sometimes differ between manufacturers, but the process is similar to installing a light fixture. The phrase "some assembly required" will almost certainly apply to your new ceiling fan, so be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions and check any applicable codes before you take on the job.