A ceiling fan is the most common accessory you can find in every Indian home. Every home in India has a minimum of one ceiling fan, if not more, in each room. A ceiling fan is indispensable because the hot climate can make it almost impossible to sit for even a minute without it. Let us now see the points to note when purchasing a ceiling fan for your home.
What is a ceiling fan?
A ceiling fan is an electrical device comprising fan blades (three or four, depending on the model) mounted on an electrically driven motor suspended from the ceiling.
How does a ceiling fan work?
The ceiling fan works on the principle of converting electrical energy to mechanical energy. The electric current reaches the motor and creates a magnetic field around the copper coils wrapped around the metal base as you switch on the power supply. This magnetic field induces a mechanical force in the clockwise direction and rotates the blades to circulate the air into the room and provide comfort from the heat and humidity.
Compared to table fans or other portable fans, ceiling fans rotate slower but circulate more air and provide better overall relief.
Parts of a ceiling fan
One should know the different parts of the ceiling fan to understand its functioning better. It can help you choose the ideal fan for your room, depending on your requirements.
Fan motors are of two types, induction motors, and BLDC (Brushless Direct Current) motors. These motors depend on an input current of 220 to 240 V and a 50 Hz single-phase supply. First, let us discuss the motor parts in brief.
Related: BLDC Fan vs Normal Fan Power Consumption
- The Stator – The stator has a core of electrical steel samplings and copper windings. This part receives the input power from the electrical source through the capacitor. The stator connects to a rotor placed in the top and bottom covers, enabling the motor to rotate freely using ball bearings fitted inside them.
- The Rotor – Instead of windings like the stator, the rotor has a core of electrical steel laminations with aluminum die-cast bars in its slots. As a result, the induced current generated inside the rotor causes the rotation of the covers on which you fix the fan blades.
The motor design is such that it suits the blade set meant for it. Hence, one should not use the fan blades meant for another set with the motor. There can be compatibility issues leading to quicker wear and tear. One should also have an air gap between the stator and the rotor to ensure that they do not come into contact.
Different types of motors are available on the Indian market, classified in terms of size and capacity.
- 153mm – It is the average size, but this motor makes more noise and delivers less air.
- 172mm – This motor is better equipped and is ideal for small rooms. These fans deliver more air and make comparatively less noise.
- 188mm – Fans equipped with this motor do not make any noise and have excellent air delivery.
- 212mm – These motors are better than all the motors discussed above. Besides delivering more air, these motors are durable and sturdy.
- K55 motor – It is an expensive motor but one of the most durable of all.
- BLDC Motor – The BLDC motor is a technologically advanced and energy-efficient motor that consumes up to 75% less power while generating greater speeds.
The Fan Blades
Generally, you have sheet metal or aluminum fan blades. Aluminum fan blades are better because they are lighter and comparatively less prone to corrosion, especially in coastal areas. Wooden fan blades are also available in some brands. Costs-wise, aluminum blades are more expensive than sheet metal blades.
Typically, a ceiling fan in India has three blades. You can often see fans with four or even five blades, but three blades are the ideal combination in Indian conditions. The three-blade fans ensure better air delivery. The higher the number of blades, the more is the drag. Therefore, it slows down the fan’s rotational speed and results in lower air delivery.
The blade pitch is another crucial aspect that determines the air delivery quality. The pitch is the tilt that each blade has to ensure better air circulation. The ideal pitch is between 12 to 15 degrees.
The blade size should depend on your room’s area. Smaller rooms need blades of a smaller size. Generally, ceiling fans come in sizes ranging from 900mm to more than 1400mm, with 1200mm being the standard size. This table should help you have the ideal fan size for your room.
|Room Size – in square meters||Fan Size in mm|
|Less than 7||900mm|
|7 to 10||1050mm|
|10 to 12||1200mm|
|12 to 14||1400mm|
|More than 14||More than 1400mm or go for multiple fans in the room|
Besides the motor and blades, the ceiling fan comes with a hanging system. It is usually a rod and a set of shackles that connect the ceiling to the fan. The rod length is crucial and depends on the ceiling height. Generally, one to one and a half feet should suffice, but if your ceiling is too high, you can have rods of higher length.
Ideally, the fan base should be around eight feet from the floor to deliver optimum performance. If the fan’s distance from the ceiling is less than a foot, it can result in hot air being circulated inside the room.
Some fans come with lights fitted in them. These are usually LED lights that can illuminate the room. In addition, such fans come with remote controlling options using a separate handset.
Fans today come with features like anti-dust coating that do not allow dust layers to accumulate on the blades. Such fans can be slightly expensive than others.
Fan regulators help to reduce or increase the fan’s speed, depending on your requirements. Today, you have ceiling fans with remote control operations to make it convenient to operate the appliance.
One should know the specific performance parameters of a ceiling fan before purchasing one for their home.
Air delivery is expressed in CMM (cubic meters per minute). It denotes the quantum of air discharged over the area. Generally, the higher the CMM figure, the better it is. However, the ideal air delivery should be around 230 CMM.
Similarly, the RPM of your ceiling fan has a significant bearing on the air delivery. The higher the RPM (revolutions per minute), the better is the air delivery. The standard 1200mm (48) fans come with two-speed options, Normal Speed and Hi-speed. The normal speed is around 330 to 340 RPM, and the Hi-speed fans have an RPM of 370 or 380.
The ‘Wattage Consumed’ parameter indicates how high your monthly electric bills will be. The wattage depends on sweep size, number of blades, type of motor, etc. Just as other electrical appliances, ceiling fans also come with BEE star ratings. The 5-star rated ceiling fans are better than the lower-rated models.
Related: Ceiling Fan Power Consumption
Points to consider before installing ceiling fans
Here are some points to note before installing ceiling fans in your home.
- If you wish to have a fan in an outdoor location, like your porch, it is better to go for a larger size.
- Rooms with higher ceilings (more than 12 feet) need fans with one sweep size larger than rooms with similar areas but lower ceilings.
- At times, you might feel the need to have more than one ceiling fan in your room. Under such circumstances, you should ensure the distance between the tips of two fans is more than four feet. It will ensure there is no conflict of conical air throw in the room.
- Similarly, you should ensure to place the fan blade tip a minimum of three feet from the side wall. It ensures that there is no back suction of air throw reflected by the wall.
- Ideally, the fan should be at the center of the room. However, if your room is large and warrants more than one ceiling fan, it would not be possible to have the fan at the center.
Ceiling Fans Maintenance Guide
Finally, we shall discuss the ceiling fan maintenance guide to help make your fans more durable.
- The ceiling fan motor is protected in a sealed enclosure. Hence, there is no question of the motor attracting dust. However, the other parts of the ceiling fan are not that fortunate. Therefore, one should ensure to remove the dust that accumulates on the fan blades and body. In addition, it helps to reduce the fan’s weight and reduce drag to deliver a better performance.
- One should ensure that the fan’s canopy fits snugly and does not touch the rotating body parts. Again, it helps to reduce the noise caused by the fan.
- If your fan vibrates or makes more noise than it should do, there can be a mounting problem. You can remove the canopy and check out the mounting.
- We reiterate that one should not interchange the ceiling fan’s blades because each ceiling fan comes with specifically created blades. Therefore, interchanging them can affect the fan’s performance considerably.
- Decorative fans, especially those with lights, do not have much value except cosmetic appearance. However, anti-dust protective coating or anti-rust features can improve the ceiling fan’s durability.
- One should go for a BLDC motor-equipped fan as it enables higher energy savings. These fans are super-efficient. However, these fans can be expensive.
This ceiling fan buying guide should make it easy for you to select the ideal fan for your home. While selecting the right fan is crucial, maintaining the ceiling fan is critical to ensure its quality. Cleaning your fan regularly and removing the dust layers sticking to the fan help enhance the ceiling fan’s overall efficiency.
Source: HowStuffWorks, Homenish, Wikipedia