5 Factors That Determine Ceiling Fan Airflow

5 Factors That Determine Ceiling Fan Airflow

5 Factors That Determine Ceiling Fan Airflow

by Gil Schauer on May 8, 2013

There are many factors to consider when you’re shopping for a ceiling fan. You want the right size fan that serves the purpose of each room and perfectly matches the décor, but your first priority should be the motor. The motor determines the power, performance, and longevity of a fan. Ceiling fan airflow and efficiency are often overlooked, but the amount of air your fan moves each minute impacts the level of performance.

Five factors work together to determine the airflow and efficiency of a ceiling fan: blade pitch, blade shape and size, RPM, height from ceiling, and motor size. By paying attention to the ways in which these factors affect one another, you can buy a ceiling fan that fits your needs and has long-lasting durability without noise or wobble.

Understanding the Five Factors of Ceiling Fan Airflow

Blade pitch refers to the angle of the blades as they move through the air. Picture a ceiling fan’s blades as the oars of a rowboat. When the blades are flat to the surface of the water it doesn’t take much force to move them. Then, as you tilt the blades at a steeper angle, it becomes progressively harder to row the boat. If you don’t increase your force, you can work harder without being able to move faster or cover as much distance.

This applies to ceiling fan airflow as well. Fan blades with a relatively flat pitch—between 10 and 12 degrees—do not require a very large motor to reach a high speed. A steeper blade pitch, such as 14 to 15 degrees, will require a more powerful motor to achieve the same speed. Even at a high speed, the fan with the flatter pitch will move less air and may wobble or make noise due to being overworked. On the other hand, the fan with the steeper blade pitch may wear out much faster if the motor isn’t powerful enough to move larger amounts of air for longer periods of time.

Bottom line: The pitch of the blades and the power of the motor need to complement one another. If they work against each other, your fan will have to work much harder to move less air, resulting in less comfort and a motor that burns out faster—which is why quality ceiling fan manufacturers always design and test to make sure motors and blades work together well.

Blades cannot be too long or too wide if you want to maximize ceiling fan airflow. Bigger does not necessarily mean better even if the fan has a large motor. Larger and wider blades may not be able to move as much air, but blades that are too small and narrow can have a similar effect. Speak with a ceiling fan expert to ensure the motor and blades will work together properly.

RPM refers to how fast the blades spin at a specific speed. The faster the blades spin the more air they move, but only if the blades have the right pitch. Ideally, to achieve the best ceiling fan airflow, you want to buy a fan that has six separate speed settings ranging from low to very high.

Your ceiling fan’s blades need to be at about 10 to 12 inches from the ceiling to produce the best airflow. Unless it is a hugger ceiling fan that is designed to be closer to the ceiling, if your typical fan is too close or too far from the ceiling it won’t move as much air. If you have vaulted ceilings you’ll want to add a longer downrod so the blades are about 8 to 9 feet from the floor.

The motor is the most important feature on your fan, provided that the other four factors are working in alignment. You can always count on the most powerful motors to provide excellent ceiling fan airflow, comfort, and durability. Although they can be more expensive, a high-powered fan will deliver the best return on investment and ultimately have a longer life.

When all five of these factors work together as one you can be sure to achieve the best performance, airflow, and efficiency.  Since there are so many variables involved with ceiling fan airflow, you will want to consult a ceiling fan expert to help you choose the perfect fan your space. Talk to a professional today by visiting www.CeilingFan.com or calling 877.724.2326.


Leave a Reply