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Ceiling Fans

Ceiling Fans

Fans are a popular and efficient way to cool a room.  We can add a fan in virtually any location.  Some points to consider:

  • Don't scrimp on the cost of the fan.  Poor fans are noisy and tend to wobble more.  And the last place you want to hear a hum or click is when you're trying to sleep or read.  It costs just as much to install a $300 fan as it does to install a $30 fan.  And if the fan is defective, it will cost more to reinstall the replacement fan.

  • Higher ceilings need longer downrods than the 3" ones that comes with the fan.   And sloped ceilings need downrods so the fan blades don't hit the ceiling.  (Slopes more than 30° usually need a special adapter.)  Use this chart to select a length.  It helps to get 2 or 3 lengths for us to give you a choice when we're installing.  Then you return the ones that weren't needed.    

    Ceiling Height Downrod Length
    8' 0" standard (3")
    9' 0" standard (3")
    9'6" standard (3")
    10' 0" 12"
    10' 6" 12"
    11' 0" 18"
    12' 24"
    13' 36"
    14' 48"
    15' 60"


  • Fans can be controlled in different ways.  

    • Basic fans come with pull-chain switches on the fan.  A nice convenience is separate wall switches to control the light and fan.  A dimmer is nice for the light, and a fan speed control for the fan.   

    • Some fans come with a wired wall control that uses electronics to control (and allaow dimming) the light, and control the fan speed.  These cost more but can save on installation costs.

    • Now, wireless remote controls are available, either built-in or as an add-on.  The  fans still need a master off switch somewhere for servicing the fan or if the remote stops functioning.   

  • Based on our experience, we recommend Casablanca, Hampton Bay, Emerson and Panasonic.  We recommend the Hampton Bay Huntington III fan for its value.  It comes standard with a light kit, but the light does not have to be installed.  We advise against the Hampton Bay Windward II.  Over time, fan models and quality changes.  We used to advise against the Hunter fans but then they got better.

  • If you have a high ceiling and are not sure what size downrod to get, buy several lengths.  We can hold the fan at the different heights and use the appropriate downrod.  Then, you can return the unopened ones.

  • Lights on fans.  If you're getting a fan with lights, don't forget the importance of the quantity and type of bulbs.  Look at the style and total wattage of the lights.  Some fans allow fluorescent, but they may not be dimmable.  Some have the bulbs in a glass shield, some are a metal shield.  The metal ones reduce the spread of light. 

We have a few pictures of a particularly challenging fan installation (all wood paneling without any access above or below).  Click here.

Helpful Hints:
If your fan is not working:

  1. Is there power to other items in the room, wall outlets, lights?

  2. Is there a wall switch that is turned off?

  3. If there are pull-chains, try pulling each one once.  Perhaps the setting was changed.

  4. Check the reversing switch (most fans) to be sure it didn't get bumped into a middle position which is neither "Summer" nor "Winter".