Where do I get good ceiling fan recommendations?
September 9, 2010 8:33 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any good ceiling fan recommendations?

We're building a house and need to pick our ceiling fans (9 of them). My google fu cannot cut through the crap to find people discussing ceiling fans. Consumer Reports doesn't have much to say.

Am I putting too much thought into this? Am I just fine going to Lowe's and getting fans that look nice?
posted by cmm to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have any specific recommendations for you, but having gone through this myself a couple years ago (thankfully picking only two fans out of about a billion light fixtures) here's some random advice:

Go to a lighting store, not Home Depot. Tell them you're building a house, you're going to be buying an assload of lighting, and ask if they can give you a contractor (or other quantity) discount. If they know you'll be doing a lot of business with them they'll give you really great service. You'll probably be dealing with the store owner. The Guy at Home Depot, who will be a new guy every time you return, won't do this for you.

Some fans are designed to look pretty rather than move a lot of air. Make sure you get the right fan for the job.

Pay attention to the switch/controller. For some reason these are really annoying on the two fans we bought. I'm always trying to figure out how to dim the lights or speed up the fan. It makes an annoying beep whenever I do anything with it.

A lot of fans have really cheap plastic blades. This might be ok with you, but know this going in.

There's a fan out there that might catch your eye. It looks like it's made out of bicycle sprockets, fishing rods and sail cloth, because it is. It looks pretty but doesn't move any air and the blades get really dusty and can't be cleaned. Don't buy this fan. We didn't, because the owner of the lighting store we bought our lights from advised us not to. We know someone who did buy it and they hate it because it's covered with dust and they can't clean it.

Pay attention to the bulbs the fan uses. Some of them use these really bad candle-type bulbs that hardly give off any light.

Good luck.
posted by bondcliff at 8:44 AM on September 9, 2010

Casablanca fans are worth the money. All the blades are perfectly balanced. I have 4 of them. They're also a snap to install. All kinds of variations of lighting.
posted by cali59 at 9:37 AM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Buy quality fans. Cheap fans use dishwasher motors that are not designed for continuous duty. I always buy Hunter brand fans, but I am sure there are other good brands out there.
posted by Lone_Wolf at 10:28 AM on September 9, 2010

I have two Minka fans, both of which have been flawless since installation seven years ago.
posted by jet_silver at 12:32 PM on September 9, 2010

We bought two Hampton Bay fans @ Home Depot this past spring for our new house. Cost me about $140 for both. Nothing fancy but they are pretty good units. For $30 more you can get a remote control unit as well. They are really quiet and have a reverse switch for the winter time. Once installed I hear only the slight whine of the motor and air movement.
posted by NotSoSimple at 12:33 PM on September 9, 2010

Avoid the cheapest models in any brand you are looking at. The motors will get noisy after a couple of years. I've got 8 year old Hunter's in 2 rooms in my house, both of which run constantly 8 months a year. Both are still as quiet as they were on day 1.
posted by COD at 12:47 PM on September 9, 2010

I have mostly Hunter and Hampton Bay from Lowe's and/or Home Depot -- they're pretty cheaply priced, comparatively (none cost over about $120, and most were half that). I bought a houseful of them when I got my house, and had no real issues installing any of them. All are still working fine.

Here's the only thing I've learned: DO NOT BUY A FAN THAT CAN ONLY BE OPERATED BY REMOTE CONTROL! My bedroom fan had a remote that broke, and official replacements cost almost as much as the fan itself. I was able to get a $10 "universal" remote, but that works EITHER the light OR the fan, not both (and switching between the two is a PITA). This is exceptionally irritating as I have absolutely no interest in using a remote control for the fan to begin with. (Next time I'll FTRB.)
posted by coolguymichael at 1:13 PM on September 9, 2010

Big Ass Fans makes fans designed for large spaces.
posted by Wet Spot at 2:39 PM on September 9, 2010

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