2011-06-02 / Local & State

Get Smart About Ceiling Fans

Are you getting hot under the collar about rising energy costs? If so, it’s probably time to evaluate how you keep your home cool.

With the right knowledge you can keep cool and save money, all while enhancing your home’s appearance. For example, ceiling fans use less energy than air conditioners and add character to rooms.

When used exclusively or with an air conditioner set at a higher-than-usual temperature, ceiling fans are a great power and money saver.

“For greatest energy efficiency, choose a new ceiling fan with a DC motor,” says Jeff Dross, corporate director of education and industry trends for Kichler Lighting, manufacturer of decorative interior and exterior lighting, ceiling fans and other home accessories. “Then move your thermostat to a warmer temperature and let your ceiling fans do the rest of the cooling. Your electric bill will be a lot more affordable.”

Ceiling fans can also save you money on heating costs in cooler months. By circulating air, the fans push warm air, which rises, back down into the room.

For rooms with high ceilings, use a down rod to position the fan closer to the living space. But don’t be fooled into thinking that a bigger, more powerful motor is better. The motor should be the right size for the fan. Longer blades with a greater pitch require more power than shorter blades situated at less of an angle.

Many ceiling fans also feature single or multiple lights that can be used to supplement room light. But don’t make your fan your room’s only light source. Layers of light, created by task and accent lighting, are best for creating beautiful, functional spaces.

For outdoor locations, semi- enclosed patios and even for bathrooms, look for fans that are approved for use in damp or wet locations. These fans often feature stainless steel mounting hardware, a hot dip galvanized undercoat, a special finish that resists weathering, and blades of a composite material rather than wood so they won’t deteriorate and will last for years.

But you don’t have to focus solely on function when choosing fans. Fan styles today range from Victorian and Old World to sleek modern or contemporary.

“Your fan should reflect the design of the room and its tones, styles and finishes,” Dross says. “Hand-hammered looks and burnished, antique brass finishes are very popular today, as are other metallics and black.” Knowledgeable lighting showroom employees can also help you choose. For more information on ceiling fans visit www.kichler.com.

With the right knowledge you can create a comfortable and energy-efficient home.

Return to top