10 Different Types of Ceiling Fans to Consider

Ceiling fans are the ideal way of keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. If you’re looking for a simple, cost-effective way of maintaining a year-round optimal temperature, here you have it. The only difficult part is choosing which ceiling fan to opt for – with options available in every style, color and finish under the sun, you may struggle to decide which is the best fit for you. Add to that the different functionalities required for different spaces (whether indoor or outdoor, industrial or residential) and the decision gets even more difficult. Fortunately, help is on hand- to discover more about the types of ceiling fans available (and how to determine which is the right one for you), keep reading.

1. Standard Ceiling Fans

As you can probably guess from its name, standard ceiling fans are the most popular and common type of fan available. If you’ve walked into someone’s house and seen a ceiling fan, there’s a very good chance it was a standard option, such is their ubiquity. The defining characteristics of a standard ceiling fan include a built-in light, a five-blade design and installation on a downrod (a metal pipe that connects the motor housing to the mounting hardware, acting as a stabilizer to the device and ensuring a proper distance between the ceiling, the blades and the floor (which, as Delmarfans notes, should be at least 7 feet). The main reason the standard option is so popular is its versatility.

Regardless of what color, finish, or material you want your fan to come in, you’re likely to find one that fits the bill without a struggle. As well as the fan itself, you’ll find the lights and light shades that accompany the device can be easily customized according to your preferences. If you’re looking for something truly original, it’s worth investing in an aftermarket light kit to add your own unique twist.

2. Low Profile Ceiling Fans

Unlike the standard fan which uses a downrod as part of its installation, a low-profile ceiling fan (sometimes know as hugger ceiling fans or flush mounted ceiling fans) are affixed directly to the mounting brackets, making them flush against the ceiling. If you have a room height of less than 8 feet (or are just exceptionally tall), these fans make a great option, as they’ll still allow the blades to rest the recommended 7 feet above the floor.

One of the downsides of the low profile ceiling fan is that, as ceilingfans.com notes, its closeness to the ceiling doesn’t allow for the same level of airflow as other options (such as the standard), so its cooling abilities are slightly reduced. On the upside, it will at least reduce some of the pressure on your HVAC system. Like standard fans, low profile ceiling fans are available in a wide choice of materials, finishes, and colors, and can be easily customized to suit your particular preferences. Their compact form, elegant appearance, and suitability for small spaces make them almost a match for the standard ceiling fan in terms of popularity.

3. Energy Star Ceiling Fans

If you want to earn your environmentalist badge, an Energy Star ceiling fan may be the one for you. Only those ceiling fans that meet the rigid rules laid out by the US Environmental Protection Agency governing energy efficiency, quality and performance qualify for the status of “Energy Star.” In addition, they need to have passed rigorous testing by accredited labs and received independent, third-party certification before they earn their stripes. These types of fans won’t just earn you the approval of Greenpeace… invest in one of these bad boys and you’ll significantly reduce the amount of electricity you’d otherwise be using with a conventional fan.

As Energy Star notes, Energy Star certified ceiling fan/ light combinations are on average 40% more energy efficient than conventional fan/ light units, offer superior functionality thanks to improved motor and blade designs, and provide the very latest in efficient technology and state-of-the-art design. So, if you want to cut greenhouse gas emissions while cutting your utility bills at the same time, it’s pretty clear which type of ceiling fan you should be looking for.

4. Dual Motor Ceiling Fans

If you’re looking for a fan with both style and substance, you can’t go wrong with a dual motor ceiling fan. Characterized by two adjustable fan heads held in place by sturdy horizontal bars extending from compact motor housing, dual motor ceiling fans (also known as double head or twin ceiling lights) are the utmost in sophistication, making a bold design statement in whichever room they privilege. In addition to their stylish aesthetic, dual motor ceiling fans offer a superior level of functionality that many traditional fans struggle to match.

As they are powered by double motors (one installed on each end of the fan’s body), the fans are capable of creating exceptional airflow in even the largest and most high-ceilinged space. The fully adjustable blades can be turned vertically, at an angle, or, depending on the model, parallel to the floor. Not only does this allow for a customized look, but it also allows airflow to be directed in multiple ways across the room, letting the full force of its effects be felt across a much larger space than traditional options will allow. If you want a stylish, contemporary fan with superb functionality, a dual motor ceiling fan makes a great choice.

5. Remote-Controlled Ceiling Fans

Remote- controlled ceiling fans offer great usability. If you’re not tall enough or otherwise disinclined to manually adjust a fan’s settings, a remote-controlled option will allow you the opportunity to change lightening, fan speed and blade direction with the simple press of a button. Their ease of use makes them especially well suited to rooms with a high ceiling height, bedrooms, and even very large spaces such as auditoriums and large event rooms.

Most remote-controlled ceiling fans are adaptable enough to allow a wall control to be added, making it even easier to control and adjust settings. With the option to set the timer, dim the lights, and activate and deactivate the fan, remote control functionality offers unparalleled convenience. As “2modern” notes, with the advent of smartphone technology, some brands even offer fans that can be synched to your phone, allowing you to control the fans settings as easily as you would send a text. Other than the fact they’re operated by a remote control rather than a pull chain, remote- controlled fans vary widely, given you plenty of choices when it comes to style, design, and finishing.

6. Damp & Wet Ceiling Fans

The beauty of damp and wet ceiling fans is their resistance to damp, wet or humid conditions. Made from special, water-resistant fabrics and durable, all-weather blades, damp and wet ceiling fans make the ideal option for adding some much-needed airflow into spaces affected by changeable or adverse conditions.

There are some keys differences between wet fans and damp fans that need to be remembered when choosing the most appropriate device for your requirements. In basic terms, wet fans are waterproof, so will withstand direct exposure to water. Damp ceiling fans, on the other hand, will withstand moisture and mild humidity, but will not hold up to heavy rain. If the area you’re housing the fan is covered by a roof (a porch, sunroom or covered deck, for example), you can get by with a damp ceiling fan. If the area is exposed on all sides (for example, an open pergola) you’ll need to consider a heavier duty wet ceiling fan instead.

Usually made of naturally resistant materials such as palm leaves or bamboo (or manmade materials specially designed to withstand direct contact with water), a wet ceiling fan will continue to run smoothly even when exposed to extreme humidity, direct, heavy rainfall, or even snow. In terms of style, damp and wet ceiling fans are available in a wide range of styles, colors, and finishes, allowing you to customize the device to perfectly match your outdoor décor.

7. Industrial Ceiling Fan

Industrial ceiling fans are, as their name suggests, designed to withstand the heavy-duty requirements of industrial settings. Specially designed to create maximum airflow in large, open spaces, industrial fans create the ideal ambiance to make workers in factories, warehouses, and other similarly spacious settings feel comfortable.

Heating or cooling a large, open plan space comes with a very different set of requirements than heating and cooling a house does, but fortunately, industrial ceiling fans are there to make light work of the task. Industrial fans are built around a heavy-duty motor and a design that ensures higher air delivery in an efficient and cost-effective way.

If you’re concerned that enhanced functionality will come at the cost of style, don’t be. As well as offering excellent coverage, industrial fans offer equally superb aesthetics- regardless of what style, color, or finish you want, you’re just as likely to find what you’re looking for with an industrial fan as you are one designed for residential spaces.

8. Commercial Ceiling Fans

If you’re looking to improve air circulation in a classroom, restaurant, retail store or office, a commercial ceiling fan should be your first port of call. Designed for spaces that have a ceiling height of between 10 and 25 feet (or, alternatively, spaces that are wider than average), commercial fans are designed to provide the optimal ambient temperature via their dual functionality.

In summer, commercial fans can be run in the forward-facing direction to create an optimal airflow that will reduce the effective temperature by around 8ºF. If your space isn’t air-conditioned, this will allow you to keep things tolerable without increasing energy costs. In winter, commercial fans can be run in a reverse facing direction, which generates a sufficient updraft to force warm air down from the ceiling (where it tends to rise) into the used space below. Like industrial fans, commercial fans are available in a choice of styles, whether rustic or contemporary, allowing you to choose the perfect option for your décor.

9. Outdoor Ceiling Fans

If your outdoor space is missing one last vital element to make it complete, an outdoor ceiling fan may be just the finishing touch it needs. A ceiling fan makes a great addition to any outdoor space, whether it be a porch, a deck or a patio. As an added bonus, many ceiling fans come with the option of lights, meaning you can light up your space at the same time as cooling it.

The variety of options for outdoor ceiling fans is almost as wide as those intended for indoor spaces, meaning you don’t have to compromise on style when you make your purchase. Whether you prefer a traditional fan or a modern one, a rustic theme or a contemporary design, an exotic style or a country feel, your choices are only limited by your imagination.

If you want to up the ante, choose a style with blades designed to resemble palm leaves – it’s guaranteed to add a talking point to your outdoor space. If you opt for a fan with lights, make sure you look for a branched, globe, or schoolhouse light kit. Equally important is to choose a fan with an integrated LED light – not only will you be saving the earth, you’ll be saving your dollars too.

10. Agricultural Ceiling Fans

Ensuring proper ventilation in spaces used for agricultural purposes is vital- as Farmtex notes, not only will it keep air flowing to ensure a comfortable temperature for both workers and animals alike, it will also help reduce farmyard smells, create the optimal environment for plant growth, reduce the formation of mold and mildew, and help the drying of animal bedding, litter, and floors. Agricultural ceiling fans are specially designed to withstand the moist or wet conditions that can quickly become a problem in such spaces, while their size and design make them more than able to handle the demands of ventilating large open spaces with ceiling heights of 15 feet or more.

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