Keeping Your Cool: How To Make Your Ceiling Fans Work Better

Keeping Your Cool: How To Make Your Ceiling Fans Work Better

Tess Wilson
Jul 6, 2015

Diamonds are nice and all, but in the summer ceiling fans are this girl's best friend. Keep your cool by keeping your fan running at peak efficiency, thanks to these 6 tips.

Stay Under the Fan at All Times, All Summer Long

"Turn off ceiling fans when you leave a room; fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect." -Department of Energy

Find Balance

"Use a ruler or yardstick to measure the distance between each blade's leading edge and the ceiling. Keep the ruler vertical and always measure from the same spot on the ceiling, manually moving the blades to measure each one. If an edge is out of whack, try to gently bend the blade's bracket up or down by hand. Now run the fan to see if the problem persists. For the best view, stand on a ladder away from the fan, at eye level with the blades. Use an object in the background... as a reference point to see if the blades are all running at the same level. If the fan continues to wobble, buy a blade-balancing kit from your local home center or the fan's manufacturer." -This Old House

Get the Height Right

"Look for fans that ride close to the ceiling in order to keep them seven feet from the floor. Great rooms and soaring ceilings are perfect for ceiling fans. For these installations your fan should be hung by a down rod to eight or nine feet from the floor. Fan-to-floor height is important because the higher the fan is hung, the less air circulates near the floor. Choose an accessory down rod available in lengths of one foot to six feet to achieve your desired height. Mount your fan as close as eight inches from the ceiling." -Madison Lighting

Clockwise in Winter, Counterclockwise in Summer

"In warmer months, a ceiling fan produces a direct breeze, blowing air down into the room and creating a wind-chill effect. The result? You can set your thermostat a little higher, and still be comfortable. In a normal, or forward, setting, your ceiling fan is running in a counterclockwise direction- when viewed from below- which creates the direct breeze. It also helps to pick up air from the air conditioning vents and circulate the cooler air throughout the room." -SFGate

Put Pillowcases to Work

"Fill a spray bottle with water and 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar and use it to spritz the inside of a cloth shoe bag or pillowcase. Put on a baseball cap. Standing on an extra-tall stepladder that puts you about a head above the blades, slip the bag or the pillowcase over each blade, pulling it back to trap dust. Use a cotton cloth for residual grime and to dust the base and the light fixture." - Real Simple

Cool Down, Quiet Down

"Is your ceiling fan making a humming noise? This commonly happens when using dimmers. Dimmer wall controls are made to control lights and may cause your fan to hum. We DO NOT recommend the use of dimmers to control fan speed. You should remove the dimmer switch and replace it with a standard speed control. [For] rattling ceiling fans, make sure that the screws securing the ceiling fan blades to the motor aren't loose. Tighten them up if needed. Also look to see if there are any loose screws inside the motor housing. These should be snug, but not overly-tightened." -Fan Diego
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