Are Ceiling Fans Effective?

That’s a great question. Ceiling fans can be both very effective and very ineffective depending on several variables involved. The two most important are the fan and the environment its installed in.

Each ceiling fan is designed, manufactured, and installed for a specific type of application. Not all ceiling fans are the same. To determine if your fan is effective, it is crucial to understand the performance characteristics of the ceiling fan model. How fast can it move the air (velocity), how much air can it move (volume), and how big of a space can it cover are all questions the manufacturer should be able to answer for you. These answers should also be verified by a third-party testing entity such as AMCA or BESS Labs.

After identifying the key performance criteria of the ceiling fan, it is equally important to recognize similar variables in the environment where the fan is to be installed. How large is the space (length, width, and height)? What is the temperature inside the space (both at ground level and ceiling height)? Are large obstructions present that would prevent airflow from the fan to reach your desired area? All these variables will greatly reduce or enhance the effectiveness of your ceiling fan.  

"Each ceiling fan is designed, manufactured, and installed for a specific type of application. Not all ceiling fans are the same.. "

Other minor details can also negatively effect performance. For instance, by installing ceiling fan blades to close to the ceiling, the fan could be ‘starved’ of air. This would dramatically affect the performance of your ceiling fan by reducing the amount of air the fan is moving.  

In the end, the effectiveness of any ceiling fan comes back to the expectations set forth. To ensure a ceiling fan is effective follow these simple steps.

  1. Identify the goal of installing the ceiling fan
  2. Determine the size of the space the ceiling fan will need to cover
  3. Research the performance characteristics of several different makes and models
  4. Establish a budget and reach out to a professional to discuss options
  5. Install the ceiling fan to the manufacturer’s specifications
  6. Enjoy a lifetime of effectiveness from the ceiling fan

Dean Wood - General Manager, Envira-North Systems Ltd.

Since 2007, Dean has sold, serviced and installed HVLS projects in countless applications on every continent around the world.  His experience and knowledge are key components to the continued success our sales and distribution partners.