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7 ceiling fan terms to know before going shopping

Most of us can’t live without a fan, to cool down when the mercury rises. Here's a handy guide for fans, so you’ll know everything there is to know, at a glance!


The limited edition Futuriste 308 WD from Acorn Buy it here. Image: Acorn

Know these terms

1) Downrod – For a ceiling fan to work efficiently, the height between the fan and floor should not be too distant. Therefore, homes with high ceilings will need a downrod to lower the fan while keeping it stable. Homes with low ceilings, on the other hand, will need a hugger installation – this keeps the fan as close to the ceiling as possible.

2) Ceiling Type - Know the surface you’ll be installing the fan on. A false ceiling usually requires reinforcement to strengthen the mounting spot.

3) Measurements – It’s not just the measurements of the fan itself you have to consider. Buyers need to know the size of the room to determine the number, size, and angle of the fan’s blades. For instance, flat blades generate wind within the fan diameter, whereas a blade with a steeper angle covers a wider area.


(Design: Spacedge Designs)

4) Direct Current Motor (DC) – DC is a bi-directional motor which is light, compact, and energy efficient. The Alternating Current Motor (AC), on the other hand, is uni-directional, heavier in weight, and consumes more energy.

"Ceiling fans are operated using either AC or DC motor.  Although majority of ceiling fans use the AC motor due to its stable performance, the DC motor only consumes 30 watts to 40 watts of power. compared to the AC motor which uses about 70 watts to 100 watts (at max)," says Eric, founder and managing director of fan distributor company, Acorn.

5) Temperature Sensor – This is technology which monitors the surrounding temperature, and automatically adjusts the speed of the fan to suits it best. The sensor helps save energy, and makes the fan eco-friendly, too.


A fan suitable for the outdoors, from Big Ass FansImage: Big Ass Fans

6) Airflow - Users tend to confuse airflow with the term RPM, which refers to how fast the blades spin. A ceiling fan which spins at a high speed does not mean better airflow. As the blades rotate, air is circulated in a direction which pushes cool air down and hot air up – or vice versa, depending on the blades’ direction. This is also why the angle of the blade matters!

"Choose a ceiling fan that is powered by an appropriate motor capacity, and built with blades angled at the right pitch. This combination will provide excellent wind delivery and a quiet performance," advises Eric. Here's how to pick out the right fan!

7) Safety Mark - Under the Singapore Consumer Protection (Safety Requirements) Registration Scheme, the ceiling fan is a controlled good which requires to be tested, to meet the safety standards as set out by SPRING, the Safety Authority. Those that meet the requirement will bear the Safety Mark.

"Homeowners should make a wise choice when shopping for electrical appliances, especially through online platforms," says Eric. "Never compromise, just to get a cheaper price. As the old adage goes: “Pay peanuts, get monkeys”."

How to Maintain

  • Cleaning fan blades by sliding each one within a pillowcase promises mess-free results. For blades made of organic material such as bamboo, such as those on Haiku fans, do not use water or any cleaning liquids as this will result in mould growth.
  • If you are experiencing a noisy or wobbly fan, it is due to incorrect installation. Contact experienced installers and professional cleaning experts to fix the problem.
  • Consider buying a new fan when your fan blades start drooping. This typically happens to fans with blades made out of thin metal sheets

Information provided by Acorn, Big Ass Fans, and Spin.

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