Looking for a way to cool down this summer, but you don’t want to spend a fortune? Why not opt for a ceiling fan to provide an affordable and simple means of cooling down during the hot summer months. Melissa Davidson from leading lighting and ceiling fan supplier, The Lighting Warehouse tells us how.
The ceiling fan – a product from the Industrial Revolution – remains one of the most functional solutions to home comfort, even today. So says Melissa Davidson from leading lighting and ceiling fan supplier, The Lighting Warehouse: “After more than a century, ceiling fans still offer one of the simplest, most affordable and charming means of cooling and heating the indoor and outdoor spaces throughout your home.”
Why this lasting popularity? Charm is undoubtedly a factor, notes Melissa: “For some, the steady, quiet whirl of the paddles evokes the romance of bygone days and sultry summer afternoons. However, the fan’s practical side is even more notable – it goes a long way to making a room more comfortable and it helps to lower energy bills. By forcing warm air downward in the winter, and stirring up breezes in the summer, it decreases demands on heating and air-conditioning systems. And yet, unlike air-conditioning systems, it costs very little to operate.”
Since ceiling fans do not actually change the temperature of your home, they are incredibly energy efficient, and unlike air-conditioners, they are easy to install and operate as effectively indoors as they do outdoors. What’s more is that they serve a dual purpose of being able to keep mosquitos and other airborne night-time bugs away.
So how do they actually keep you cool? Melissa explains: “As they circulate the air over the surface of your skin, the heat from your boundary layer is removed. This is a warm layer of air that surrounds us at all times. By stripping the heat from this layer, a well-placed ceiling fan can seriously reduce the real feel temperature of any space. During the summer, using a ceiling fan in conjunction with an air conditioner will allow you to set the thermostat higher without a noticeable difference in comfort. A fan’s breeze will make a 29°C-room feel more like 22°C. By raising the thermostat, you can save up to 30% on your air-conditioning bills, depending on your home’s construction and where you live.”
In the winter, Melissa says that a ceiling fan can re-circulate warm air that naturally rises in a room and gets trapped at ceiling-level: “All you do is turn your ceiling fan on in the reverse direction, which is only possible if the unit has reversible motors. This will bring the warm air down into the living space, which means the heating won’t have to work so hard.”
The best of today’s ceiling fans have taken a considerable step up from their ancestors, says Melissa: “Today’s ceiling fan units boast better motors, they are made from more durable materials, feature more handsome finishes, and have intuitive controls. Today, there are ceiling fans in a multitude of sizes, styles and finishes, to suit virtually any décor style – from traditional, through to the über contemporary. You can choose fans with wooden, plastic or metal blades, depending on your décor and budget. In fact, a well chosen ceiling fan can stand proud as a feature in its own right.”
Ceiling fans are controlled electronically – they usually come with wall-mounted control units, or in some cases with pull-switches. Some ranges are are even available with remote controls for added convenience and ease of use. Says Melissa: “Any ceiling fan worth its salt should have at least two to three different speeds, so that you can adjust the speed to suit your personal preferences and to extend its use throughout the seasons. In addition, most have two setting that allow you to control the direction that the blades turn – one setting for winter, which helps bring warm air down, and another for summer, which forces the warm air up. They are available with or without a built-in light source. These lights can be fitted with energy efficient LED or CFL globes, in warm or cool white, to ensure that the energy-efficient nature of the ceiling fan can be maintained.”
If you have a very low ceiling, then Melissa recommends that you invest in a wall-mounted ceiling fan: “Wall-mounted fans are a great choice for smaller spaces – they offer the same cooling efficiency as a ceiling fan, except they are mounted neatly out of the way on the wall.” she also advises that you measure the volume of the space in which the fan is to be installed, to ensure you purchase the correct size fan: “Different fans come with different blade sizes – those with larger blades are best suited to larger spaces, or spaces with high ceilings; and those with smaller blades are a better bet for smaller spaces or spaces with low ceilings. Also – take note of how many paddles the fan has – the more paddles it has, the more effectively it will cool you down. If you are shopping for a very large space, then you may want to consider installing two ceiling fans for maximum effect.”
Visit www.lightingwarehouse.co.za to view more of the gorgeous selection of ceiling fans that The Lighting Warehouse offers.