The invention of ceiling fans was a major milestone in the world of electrical machines. While they originated centuries ago, they still hold immense importance in our daily lives. However, due to the invention of air conditioners, fans may have taken a back seat in many parts of the world. That being said, ceiling fans have successfully maintained their simple and affordable image all throughout these years, which is why they are commonplace today.
A glance at history shows that the first kind of ceiling fans can be traced back to India in the 17th century. This major source of air was known as “punkha.” At that time, the punkha was made out of palm leaves or cloth and was hung from the ceiling. Unlike today, it worked manually with the help of a cord, which needed to be pulled in order for the fan to function. In the 17th century, Americans started to use ceiling fans which employed a belt system and water/steam. A stream of running water was used along with a turbine to drive a system of belts which would switch the fan on. These types of fans became exceedingly popular and were found in stores, offices, homes, and restaurants.
The first electrically-powered ceiling fan was invented in 1882 by Philip Diehl. Initially, it was popularized as “The Diehl Electric Fan” and functioned like an everyday ceiling-mounted fan. Each fan came with its own motor unit, eradicating the need for a heavy and expensive belt system.
For the first two decades of their invention, ceiling fans weren’t affordable by the common man. Only wealthy citizens could afford to install them in their homes. However, with time, these devices became cost-effective and downright cheap. Easy to use, install, and energy-efficient, ceiling fans come in many types. Continue reading this article to find out different types of ceiling fans.
Table of Contents
1. Standard Ceiling Fan
As the name suggests, standard ceiling fans are the most conventional type of ceiling fan out there. It is likely that you may have spotted a traditional ceiling fan in most traditional houses. This mechanical fan comes with some defining features like three or four blades, which are usually made from wood, MDF, plastic, or metal.
These ceiling fan blades are usually mounted under, on the side of, or on top of the motor. In addition to the blades, a traditional ceiling fan consists of metal arms, known as “blade irons” and a downrod – a pipe that joins the mounting brackets of a fan to its motor housing. This allows these fans to stay fixed on flat as well as sloped ceilings.
The primary reason behind the popularity of standard ceiling fans is their versatility. You can find standard ceiling fans in a huge range of colors, styles, designs, and sizes. In order words, it’s very unlikely that you won’t be able to find a ceiling fan that fits in your home and blends with your interior design. Along with that, you will also find additional features like light kits in several colors that further add to their aesthetic appeal.
Since standard ceiling fans come in a plethora of designs, they can go well with almost any kind of décor. Some typical fan finishes that you can consider for your home include antique bronze, brushed nickel, auburn, pewter, etc. Standard ceiling fans can be customized in plenty of other ways too. You can fit different accessories on them, such as a remote control, a pull chain, and customizable blades.
2. Low Profile Ceiling Fans
Also known as hugger ceiling fans or flush-mounted ceiling fans, low-profile ceiling fans are affixed to a mounting bracket, which is different to a standard ceiling fan that’s generally mounted to a downrod. These ceiling fan types are ideal for rooms that are less than 8 feet in height.
Since they are fixed closer to the ceiling, these fans may not provide the same kind of airflow as the standard ceiling fans. In other words, their cooling capabilities may be much lesser than other high profile ceiling fans. Hence, if you live in a hot climatic region, low profile ceilings may not be an ideal choice.
Don’t assume that just because you have a low ceiling and need to use a flush-mounted ceiling fan, that you are limited in your style options. Like any other ceiling fan, hugger ceiling fans can easily be customized according to the wants and desires of the owner. Another plus point is that you won’t have to worry about downrods or the fixture that helps attaches the downrod to the ceiling of a space.
3. Dual Motor Ceiling Fan
These ceiling fan types are exactly what their name suggests – a fan with two motors. These are the type of ceiling fans that offer both style and quality. The fan features two changeable fan heads that are handled by two horizontal rods.
Also referred to as twin ceiling fans or double head fans, dual motor ceiling fans boast a remarkably unique design, which makes them the center of attention instantly. Apart from the trendy aesthetics, dual-motor ceilings have a supreme level of practicality that many conventional fans may lack. Since they consist of two motors, you can set each of these fans at its own speed and enjoy extraordinary airflow.
What’s more, is that they come with adjustable blades that can be modified – vertically, horizontally, or at some particular angle. This allows the airflow to spread in all directions, letting every nook and cranny of the room feel the air in its full effect. This is the reason why dual motor ceiling fans are used in larger public settings. If you are planning on installing this type of fan outdoors, make sure that you go through the manufacturer’s specifications to check for the ability of the device to function in damp areas.
4. Energy Star Ceiling Fans
Available in both standard and hugger ceiling options, energy star ceiling fans aren’t like any other fans. These fans help save a lot of money as they are energy-efficient in nature. Owing to their energy efficiency capability, they are more beneficial for the environment as compared to their counterparts.
It is not that simple for a fan company to earn the “energy star” badge. Their fans have to meet the strict guidelines outlaid by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, they need to undergo meticulous testing procedures by certified labs to qualify as energy star ceiling fans.
According to Energy Stars, their certified ceiling fans provide 40% more energy-efficiency than traditional fan units. Plus, they also feature advanced motor and blade designs, which make these types of fans a little too costly. If you are an environmentalist and want to eliminate harmful greenhouse gas emissions, you know which type of ceiling fan you should go for.
5. Remote Control Ceiling Fans
Standard ceiling fans, outdoor fans, dual-motor fans, or any other type of ceiling fan have models that function with remote control. This is an amazing choice for those who have a mobility issue or aren’t tall enough to pull the fan’s cord by themselves. With the help of remote control, the user can easily change the light of the fan, its speed, and the direction of the blades. The easy use makes these units perfect for rooms with extremely high ceilings, large bedrooms, and auditoriums.
Some remote-controlled ceiling fans boast features like setting a timer, dimming the lights, activating and deactivating the fan – all of these elements increase the comfort and convenience of the user. Some brands also allow you to control your fans via your mobile phone. In this way, you can control your fan’s settings from anywhere via a text. Apart from the fact that remote-controlled ceiling fans operate through remote control, these units can vary considerably. They give you a wide variety of options in terms of designs, styles, and finishing. In other words, they can vary from model to model.
In case you are worried that you may lose your remote control, you can always install a wall switch as a backup.
6. Damp and Wet Ceiling Fans
Damp and wet ceiling fans are known for their impeccable resistance toward wet and humid conditions. Unlike typical ceilings fans that may get damaged due to moisture, damp and wet ceiling fans defy the odds and stay functional.
These ceiling fans are made from water-resistant materials and blades which keep them in an optimum condition at all times. For this reason, these units can be installed outdoors – on porches and lawns. They also help add some much-required airflow into areas that may be impacted by adverse weather conditions.
Please note that there are a few differences between damp ceiling fans and wet ceiling fans, even though they may sound almost the same. Wet ceiling fans are completely waterproof, which means that they can endure water exposure. On the contrary, damp ceiling fans can withstand humidity and moisture, but they won’t withstand heavy rainfall.
So if you are installing a fan in an area with a roof, such as a porch or a deck, you can consider damp ceiling fans. In case of space is open from all sides, such as an open tent, you will need to get a high-quality wet ceiling fan. Wet ceiling fans have the ability to work even when faced with heavy snowfall, rain, and excessive humidity. Both damp and wet fans can be chosen from a variety of colors, styles, and sizes, letting you pick the unit that goes well with the look of your outdoor space.
7. Commercial Ceiling Fans
For the improvement of air circulation in commercial areas like offices, stores, restaurants, and shopping malls, commercial ceiling fans are the best option. These kinds of fans are designed for spaces that have a ceiling height ranging from 10 to 25 feet.
In summers, commercial fans are faced in the forward direction to produce airflow that reduces the temperature by 8 degrees Fahrenheit. This is ideal for spaces that do not accommodate an air conditioning system. The high airflow from commercial ceiling fans will keep the space cool without spiking the energy cost. In winters, commercial ceiling fans can operate in the reverse direction, which helps bring in warm air into a space to keep it tolerably heated.
Like other traditional fans, commercial fans come in a wide range of designs – modern, rustic, etc. It is always ideal to choose one that matches the interior of the place you want to install the fan in.
8. Industrial Ceiling Fans
As the name implies, industrial ceiling fans are designed to withhold the heavy-duty outcomes of an industrial setting. These fans are specifically designed to produce a great amount of airflow in big, open spaces. This results in ideal working conditions for employees.
A large, open space like a warehouse or a factory poses different kinds of airflow challenges than a large house. Therefore, factories, warehouses, and other huge spaces require industrial ceiling fans as they are designed to provide efficient airflow in a cost-effective manner.
If you think that the fan’s improved working will come at the expense of style, think again. In addition to offering remarkable coverage and airflow, industrial fans do not lack in their aesthetic appeal. In fact, you can find these amazing ceiling fans in a wide variety of colors, styles, and finishes. You will find just as many options in industrial ceiling fans as you may find for the ones designed for houses. You will be mesmerized with the iconic designs these hefty fans come in. Each one of them is designed using cutting-edge technology.
9. Outdoor Ceiling Fans
In the scorching summer heat, your otherwise relaxing outdoor space can become downright unbearable if it lacks air. This is why the installation of an outdoor ceiling fan is so crucial. An outdoor ceiling fan also makes for a great decoration piece for your outdoor space – your deck, patio, or porch.
These ceiling fans offer plenty of added bonuses like lights. So along with cooling the space, you can brighten up your outdoor area too. If you think that an outdoor ceiling fan won’t complement your outdoor décor, you are wrong. Outdoor ceiling fans come many different types – from a traditional style to a more contemporary one, to a mix of both – the options are plenty!
If you are investing in an outdoor ceiling fan that comes with lights, consider whether you want a globe, schoolhouse, or a branched light kit. Whatever you pick, it must come with an LED light. This way, not only will you save your money, but you’ll also be environmentally-friendly.
10. Agricultural Ceiling Fans
Farms without proper ventilation result in an uncomfortable environment, which makes it is difficult for both animals and workers. This is why it is important to have agricultural ceiling fans that ensure a proper inflow of air, keeping an ideal temperature for animals as well as workers.
The ceiling fans also reduce unbearable farm smells and eliminate the growth of fungi. But that’s not all. These fans also aid in drying wet animal bedding and flooring and can withstand moist conditions that may become a nuisance for workers.
Now that you have a greater understanding about the different types of ceiling fans, it will be easier for you to make the correct choice about the kind of ceiling fan you want to install indoors and outdoors.