Update Next Ceiling Review

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Need a new ceiling fan? I was there. I have personally installed at least nine ceiling fans over the years – the first with a colleague from This Old House magazine, others with professional electricians I interviewed and the last four by myself at home . In 2011, I even disassembled a fan motor while researching the ceiling fan feature for Popular Mechanics; with the team there I collected data and tried to plot the exact recommended blade diameter per square foot of room and determined the ideal number of blades, digging deep to find the right fan cubic feet sweet spot per minute (CFM) of air movement.

Update Next Ceiling Review

Update Next Ceiling Review

After going through all this work, I realized something: many of the stats and facts I found, while technically correct in the strictest sense, don’t mean much to the average buyer. The truth is, finding a decent fan is easy. At least half a dozen manufacturers make perfectly good, affordable fans that will last a decade or more, and all perform basic air-moving functions while being fundamentally quiet and stable.

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But time and time again (seven times in three different homes, to be exact), I find that I keep coming back to the Westinghouse Comet 52-inch indoor ceiling fan. Although it’s a lie to claim that it – or any other fan, for that matter – is the best ceiling fan out of thousands of models available, the Westinghouse Comet has always proven to be quiet, powerful, affordable and unassuming. . . And when it comes to a ceiling fan, that’s all you really need.

Across four Los Angeles venues, with more than five years of continuous operation as of 2022, all of those fans are doing well. So good, in fact, that we’ve never had a chance to do a real comparison test, which is a weakness of this article compared to a standard Wirecutter guide (like the one on, say, laptop fans). vibe). We understand that what works for one home may not work for another, and we haven’t given up on testing multiple ceiling fans side-by-side in a consistent, consistent way. In the meantime, we’ve put together some tips on what to look for when buying a new ceiling fan.

Between selections at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and specialty retailers like Hansen Wholesale and CeilingFan.com, there are literally thousands of designs to choose from. And with this rush of options comes a host of overwhelming questions. How many blades? How long should they be? What is the CFM rating? Do you need a flush mount or a down rod? Does it make a difference? Should you follow the Energy Star recommendations to maximize your energy efficiency? What should you even expect to spend?

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These technical specifications can certainly be important (and we will come back to them below). But in our experience — talking to electricians, dissecting fan motors, and installing many models ourselves — we’ve found that buying a ceiling fan can be much simpler than that. Pick something that’s well made, doesn’t cost too much, and has reliable customer support if you have any issues. If you follow these basic criteria, you should get everything you’re looking for: quiet operation, no vibration, maintenance-free durability, and the ability to spin.

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Avoid the cheap, cheap fan models you find at the big box stores, especially the cheaper options in Hampton Bay and Harbor Breeze. According to the Chicago electrician who helped me install a total of six ceiling fans in two locations, none of these big models are as good as the $100 Westinghouse out of the box. He said he was impressed with its solid engine and general ease of assembly, as well as the hardware, which he poetically described as “not bad”. It’s a small but telling description that says a lot about the quality of some of the cheapest fans he’s had to work with.

That’s not to say that all fans from big box stores are bad, or that all fans from more fan-focused manufacturers are good. But at least you’ll have a better chance of success if you can choose a bestseller from one of the big brands like Big Ass Fans, Fanimation, Hunter, or Casablanca, Kichler, Minka-Aire, or Westinghouse, to name a few. name a few. .

As for the fan blade, just enlarge. A 52 inch blade diameter is a common larger size that provides reliable wind speed control and generally has a larger motor which means it is more likely to run quietly and last longer.

Update Next Ceiling Review

If you’re worried that a larger fan might seem out of place, don’t be. I once fitted a 52-inch Westinghouse Comet in a child’s bedroom that was about 10 feet by 8 feet, which is seriously over the top by conventional standards. It looked big enough for the space if you stopped and looked at it, but it never caught my eye after the day I installed it, and no one said anything when we sold it. place the following year. When it comes to ceiling fan aesthetics, “not noticing” is pretty much ideal.

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When we installed smaller fans in two bedrooms of our old house, they had an extremely high hum at every speed. Not a ridiculous amount, but not the complete silence we got from a larger fan like the Westinghouse Comet. (I might not even have noticed if the electrician hadn’t pointed it out to me after installation, saying, “Dude, do you hear that fan? That noise would have triggered me

”) They also didn’t move as much air at lower speeds, so we had to run them faster, which produced a louder hum and probably consumed a bit more power. On hot days, when I turned on the smaller and larger fans in succession, I just shook my head at the sound of the little ones. Again, there are probably plenty of good fans that can run quietly at any speed, and there are even really bad ones that can knock or click or make a wah-wah sound after some use.

Manufacturers list fan airflow in CFM (cubic feet per minute), an objective measurement, but I’ve subjectively found there’s something a little nicer about the breezy feel of a larger diameter fan at low speed compared to lower speed. a fan that has to work harder and spin faster to maintain the same airflow in the room. A narrower fan is more like a sharp, focused beam of air, and a taller one is more like a light breeze.

Most fans should also have an option that lets you reverse the direction of the fan. A general rule of thumb for using this feature is to spin the fan clockwise in the winter (to push the cool air up) and counter-clockwise in the summer (to push the air out). fresh air down).

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Any decent ceiling fan (like the Westinghouse Comet) comes with several mounting options in the box. You can usually place it flush with the ceiling or use the included downrod to extend it from a higher ceiling. However, if you have sloped ceilings, you may need to purchase a separate adapter.

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One of the things that really separates the larger manufacturers (like Westinghouse) from the big box store brands is the ability to get real-world support for your specific model. Of course, you can usually return any fan at a big box store, so you’re out of luck if something goes wrong right away. But it’s more likely that Westinghouse (or Big Ass Fans, Fanimation, Hunter, Kichler, Minka-Aire or The Modern Fan Company) can send you a spare if needed, answer the odd question if anything odd happens goes with your fan, or maybe even replace an older model if something goes wrong later.

There are currently over 50 ceiling fans for sale in the United States that would meet our objective requirements. If you find one that has good reviews, a reliable company behind it, and a style you like, you’ll probably be happy with it.

Update Next Ceiling Review

However, I can name one model that I keep coming back to, a ceiling fan that I have personally purchased seven times for use in three different homes: the Westinghouse Comet 52-inch Indoor Ceiling Fan.

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The Westinghouse Comet offers the key features you expect from any good fan: quiet, stable operation, plenty of airflow, quality parts and hardware, and reliable customer support. Its ceiling light and five blades have an understated style you probably won’t notice, and it typically costs under $150, which puts it in the affordable range for a quality ceiling fan. I installed four of them, and they all worked perfectly; as of 2022, they have been working continuously for more than five years.

One of the rooms we put the Westinghouse Comet in was a massive 20-by-16-foot master bedroom. Its square footage was at the upper end of the 52-inch fan’s supposed capacity, but we’re almost there.

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