You know that a ceiling fan is a smart investment that can reduce your energy bill dramatically throughout the year. You know that the right ceiling fans will add style and comfort to both interior and exterior spaces. But, you might not know everything about ceiling fans before you install them, which could lead to some dangerous and costly mistakes.
As you are exploring your ceiling fan options, consider the following common mistakes homeowners make while installing and operating their fans:
Running the Ceiling Fan When You Are Gone
Many homeowners mistakenly believe that ceiling fans are cooling the air, like an air conditioner does. However, ceiling fans actually work by facilitating your body’s natural cooling system. When you feel warm, sweat covers your skin, and the ambient heat of your environment allows the sweat to evaporate, thereby leaving your skin feeling cooler. By moving the air around a space, a ceiling fan allows for swifter evaporation, which means you never feel hot or sweaty.
Unfortunately, this means that ceiling fans do absolutely nothing to your home when you are not there to enjoy the moving air. If you are in the habit of keeping your ceiling fan running while you are away from home, you are merely increasing your energy bill for no benefit. To prevent this, you can invest in a smart ceiling fan that allows you to easily adjust power and speed from anywhere, so you won’t be wasting energy when you are not there to feel cool.
Allowing Dust to Collect on the Blades and Motor
Ceiling fans are remarkably efficient and require very little maintenance — except that they must be regularly cleaned. Like any other surface in your home, a ceiling fan will accumulate dust and grime over time, even if it is kept constantly moving. Not only will the gathering dirt weigh down the fan blades, which should be light and balanced to ensure silence while the fan is running, but the dirt can infiltrate the delicate inner workings of the motor, causing premature wear and tear.
Many homeowners forget to clean their ceiling fans regularly because their fans are located up high, out of sight. Still, you should integrate your ceiling fan into your monthly cleaning rotation, being careful to dust off the blades without bending them or throwing them off balance. You should apply cleaner to your rag rather than the fan itself to prevent any moisture from damaging the motor, and — it should go without saying — you should turn the fan off before you clean any part of it.
Hanging the Ceiling Fan Too Far or Too Close to Walls
It is critical that you measure your room before you buy and hang a ceiling fan. Fans come in different sizes to ensure efficient air movement in every room, regardless of the square footage of the space. For example, if you have a smaller room that is under 144 square feet, you should purchase a fan with blades under 42 inches in diameter, but if you have a massive space over 400 square feet, you will need a fan spanning over 62 inches or perhaps several smaller fans. Likewise, you do not want to hang your ceiling fans too close to the wall, as they will not be able to pull and push air appropriately to achieve the cooling effect you need. Most experts advocate keeping at least 18 inches between the tips of the fan blades and the nearest wall.
Spinning the Ceiling Fan in the Wrong Direction
Believe it or not, fans are useful not only in the summertime. Because a fan uses electrical energy, the appliance will heat up as it spins, and in the wintertime, that extra heat can be harnessed to keep a room warm. The key to utilizing a ceiling fan in all seasons is to take control of how it spins.
Ceiling fan blades are slightly tilted to push and pull air in different directions. During the summertime, your fan should spin counterclockwise to remove hot air from the lower spaces in the room and hold it close to the ceiling. This helps keep your living areas more comfortable. Then, in winter, you should switch the direction of rotation to clockwise, which pushes the hot air that has risen to the ceiling back into the lower parts of your room to warm you up. If your ceiling fan is moving in the wrong direction in the wrong season, you could be wasting energy running an appliance that is having the opposite effect to your desires.
A ceiling fan is a great investment — when you know how to use it properly. With the above tips, you should become a more informed ceiling fan owner, so you can make the most of the best appliance in your home.