General Ceiling Fan Information

Today's ceiling fans are as much a home decor item as they are a useful home appliance for staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter. There are thousands of styles of ceiling fans and many fine manufacturers such as Casablanca, Emerson, Minka Aire and Fanimation, all sold here at Carolina Rustica. However, some of the basics of installing a fan remain the same, regardless of the manufacturer or style of fan.


Why Buy A Ceiling Fan
Although ceiling fans do use electricity to operate, experts say the amount of money homeowners can save on air conditioning with a fan greatly outweighs the cost of running the fan itself. The cost of operating a ceiling fan varies based on how often they’re turned on and how much the electric company charges, but on average, a standard ceiling fan costs less to operate than an incandescent light bulb.


Ceiling fan savings are generated year-round. In the summer, fans circulate the air in the room, preventing hot air from accumulating at the ceiling. Ceiling fans helps equalize the temperature throughout the room, and a fan can cut air conditioning bills by as much as 40%. This is because most fans make it feel like it’s about 6 degrees cooler in the home than it actually is. Homeowners can save 7 to 10 percent of their cooling costs for each degree above 78.


In winter, it can move heat trapped near the ceiling back into the living area, reducing heating costs by up to 10%. Changing the direction of the fan forces the air up toward the ceiling, and that helps re-distribute the heated air. This works particularly well in rooms with high or vaulted ceilings. This is one of the greatest attributes of ceiling fans: they are practical in both hot and cold weather.


Ceiling Fan CirculationThis image demonstrates how ceiling fans work in different seasons. In the steamy summer months, nothing beats a ceiling fan for creating a cool air flow, lowering the room temperature and circulating the air conditioning. During the cold winter months, a ceiling fan is the perfect solution for circulating forced warm air in the room and keeping it from simply rising to the top of the room. The configuration and direction of the fan movement is simple. During the summer, set your fan to run counter-clockwise to create a wind chill factor for a cooler environment. The fan should be pushing the air down. During the winter, set your fan to run clockwise to recirculate warm air and eliminate cold spots. The fan should be pulling air up (and then pushing it out).


Energy Efficient Ceiling Fans
Energy Star LogoThe Energy-Star rating is given to those fixtures and appliances that are designed with energy-efficient consumption in mind. We have ceiling fans that are specifically designated as Energy Star qualified fans, which have passed the strongest testings on airflow and efficiency. Energy Star-rated ceiling fans are about 50 percent more efficient than conventional fan/light units with an estimated energy savings of $15 to $20 per year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Web site, Energy Star-rated ceiling fans move air up to 20 percent more efficiently than conventional models due to advanced blade and motor design, and Energy Star-rated ceiling fans that have light fixtures are about 50 percent more efficient than kits with regular lights, and they produce about 75 percent less heat.While Energy Star qualified ceiling fans use improved motors and blade designs, you can also increase your energy costs by using Energy Star lighting, which is long-lasting. If a ceiling fan also includes a light fixture, you can also maximize energy savings by replacing the incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.



Energy Cost Savings Chart Many people think that use of a ceiling fan means more electricity use and therefore a higher energy consumption. Nothing could be farther than the truth! Today's ceiling fans are energy-efficient, using the very latest technology for smooth, low-energy operation with maximum benefits. Compare the chart to the left...imagine spending only .10/day on a ceiling fan if it could substitute entirely for air conditioning! You would make up the price of the fan itself within a year, and still be saving money for the life of the fan. Of course, in many areas this is not possible due to hot summers, but still, the ceiling fan can have a huge impact on your monthly energy bill. This diagram provided by Emerson Electric, one of our valued manufacturers of high-quality ceiling fans.

Here is another diagram to illustrate how fans help regulate temperature. This is from Casablanca Fans, one of our valued suppliers of ceiling fans (further information on Casablanca fans can be found by clicking here).

Summer Ceiling Fan Operation
Winter Ceiling Fan Operation

In hot weather, operate the fan in the NORMAL direction (counter-clockwise). This creates a cooling "wind chill" effect to make you feel up to 8 degrees cooler. The room thermostat setting can then be raised, resulting in reduced air conditioning energy consumption of 40% or more.

In cold weather, operate the fan in the slow speed, Reverse direction (clockwise). This creates a gentle updraft which recirculates the hot air trapped at the ceiling to provide even, comfortable heat throughout your room. The re-circulation of warm air allows you to lower the room's thermostat setting, resulting in energy savings of 10% or more.


What is the Best Size Ceiling Fan for a Room?
There are two component to measuring for a ceiling fan: the diameter/size of the fan and the height, or distance from the ceiling, that the fan hangs. These are two entirely separate issues, although generally rooms with very high ceilings are larger and require a more powerful fan.


Size of the fan: Selecting the right ceiling fan isn't just about choosing the right color or style. There are some key factors you must take into account in order to get the maximum efficiency and enjoyment from your fan. Below are the recommended fan widths and styles for specific room sizes and ceiling heights.

Small Ceiling Fan Example

Medium Ceiling Fan Example

Large Ceiling Fan Example
32" Ceiling Fan
For rooms up to 8'x10'
- Small bedrooms
- Walk-in closets
- Smaller kitchens
52" Ceiling Fan
For rooms up to 18'x20'
- Large bedrooms
- Family rooms
- Great rooms
- Dining rooms
42" Ceiling Fan
For rooms up to 12'x12'
- Medium bedrooms
- Kitchens
- Small recreation areas


Carolina Rustica represents the major quality-name ceiling fan manufacturers available today, such as Minka Aire, Casablanca, Emerson, and Fanimation. Although each manufacturer may provide a different representation of how the fan is measured, the basic measurements remain the same from manufacturer to manufacturer. The most important measurement for you to consider is the diameter of the fan, i.e. the total width of the fan when you consider both the length of the fan blades plus the motor housing. Remember if a fan takes 21" blades, the total diameter of the fan will not be 42" but more like 54", as the width of the motor housing must also be added into the equation. The second most important measurement is the total height of the fan. If you are using a light fixture, that height would be "F" in the above diagram. If you are not using a light fixture, then the total height of the fan would be from the top of the canopy to the switch housing, or "B" in the above diagram. Fan heights and downrods are explained next. Westinghouse Ceiling Fan Dimensions


Fan Heights and Downrods
The most important thing to remember when selecting or recommending a downrod is that if the ceiling is HIGH (above 10 feet) start by measuring the distance from the ceiling. If the ceiling is LOW, start by measuring the distance from the floor. In both cases you still need to make the two measurements when calculating downrod length: The distance from the ceiling and the distance of the bottom of the fan from the floor.


Downrods connect the fan blades and motor to the coupling unit that attaches to the ceiling. Downrods can be very short, from 3", up to 72" for the very highest ceilings. For optimum air circulation, it is most efficient to have the blades 8 to 9 feet above the floor.


The charts below are suggesting measuring from the ceiling height. These are good charts to use if you have high ceilings (which we define as over 10 feet).

Ceiling Fan Downrod Diagram
Ceiling Fan Room Size Diagram


Most people, however, have standard 8-ft or 9-ft high ceilings. For 9-foot ceiling heights, most of the standard 3-inch or 6-inch downrods may be used. For 8-foot ceilings, then it is recommended that your purchase a "hugger" type fan that does not have a downrod at all. Some of our manufacturers make extra-short downrods which can minimize the distance from the floor to the bottom of the fan. It is STRONGLY recommended that you not purchase a fan that is going to hang lower than 7-feet above the floor as tall people could potentially hit the fan.


Another option for lower ceilings are "hugger" fans, which have no downrod at all. These are also good fan choices for tall families! Carolina Rustica has a great selection of hugger fans in a variety of styles and price ranges.


Fan Lights
Fan lights turn an ordinary ceiling fan into a multi-purpose fixture, providing both light and air circulation. Many of our fan designs incorporate some lighting accessory, either in the form of a single bulb configuration or using smaller individual fan lights. Fan lights can be added to many of our "fan-only" designs by purchasing a Universal Light Kit. Check first to make sure the fan you buy is adaptable to a light kit, and make sure you buy the light kit from the same manufacturer as the ceiling fan. If you have an existing fan that already has fan lights, you can also purchase some very interesting designer fan lights from such manufacturers as Meyda Tiffany or Minka Aire.


Increase productivity in the home office with enhanced lighting and improved comfort provided by a Casablanca Fan.
In a setting where appliances and cooking accessories have become aesthetic statements, a Casablanca fan servs as a stylish accent and a reliable source for air circulation.
A home's entrance area sets the stage for its interior. A Casablanca fan will accentuate the foyer with a dramatic reflectin of personal style.
Mission Ceiling Fan
Kitchen Ceiling Fans
Foyer Ceiling Fans
Humidity makes the bathroom an ideal site for a ceiling fan. Casablanca has created a diverse range of UL Wet- or Damp- Rated fans, which provide much-needed ventilation for damp settings.
In a room where air circulation and whisper-quiet operation are especially important, a Casablanca fan plays an integral role in the creation of a comfortable, restful environment.
Enjoy the outdoors without being subjected to the whims of nature. A UL Wet-Rated Casablanca fan can maximize comfort on a porch or veranda, and is designed to withstand variable outdoor conditions.
Powder Room Ceiling Fans
Ceiling Fans for the Bedroom
Outdoor Fans


Ceiling Fan Medallions Ceiling Medallions
We offer many different styles and sizes of ceiling medallions to help trim or dress up our ceiling fans. Sometimes the ceiling will show some wear or damage wear a fan hangs. These medallions will hide those unsightly areas above your fan. From plain and simple to wildly ornate patterns. We have a medallion for every style of fan from every one of our manufacturers. So, you can choose a matching ceiling medallion, both made by Minka Aire, for example, or you can mix and match since they all conform to the same specification.