Hey, do you folks have…

Hey, do you folks have any thoughts on ceiling fans? Specifically, are the Emerson, Minka-Aire, Fanimation, Casablanca, etc. fans actually worth paying more for, over the Home Depot models? Are they more stable, more efficient? Or are they just prettier? People generally seem to prefer the Hunter over the Hampton Bay for quality on the reviews I'm read -- does that seem accurate? And several people said the Minka-Aire was very quiet, which seems important for a bedroom. One reviewer said, "A fan is all about the motor, and strong motors are pretty expensive to make, so truly good ceiling fans do seem to start at the $200 mark." True?

The Minka-Aire Concept II gets a ton of positive reviews, and it's pretty, in a sort of sleek, aerodynamic way, but I'm not sure what I think about the look of it in our house. Maybe in the kids' rooms, which need a compact fan due to the ceiling angles?

If I had a more modern apartment, I would totally get the Minka-Aire Cirque. So fun!

Also, do you think it's important to have a light in the ceiling fan? Our bedroom is the only one with built-in wall sconces; the kids' rooms and guest room don't have them, so I think probably they need a ceiling light, rather than relying on just table lamps and standing lamps. Yes? Or maybe not -- the rooms are pretty small. I don't know.

If I don't need a light, I kind of love the Westinghouse Industrial Fan ($67)!. But the instructions say it's only for commercial use; dangerous if it's not at least 10' high, and my ceilings aren't that high, sadly. (Well, they are on the first floor, but all the fans are going upstairs):

More likely would be the Hunter Limited Edition 1886 fan ($382), which is also lovely in a completely different way:

Rejuvenation doesn't sell ceiling fans, but they do link to some sites that sell period-type fans. But they don't talk about which ones are better quality. The Woolen Mill fans are gorgeous -- my favorites, I think, for aesthetics. But it looks like their site is to-the-trade only; I can't figure out how much the fans cost, or where they can be bought, which means they're probably out of my price range (which is the $100-$300 range). Sigh. This is their Moa design.

I found this site with tons of information on ceiling fans, but honestly, it's overwhelming to me. Too many factors to think about. I just want pretty, quiet, efficient, and cheap. Not necessarily in that order. Is that so much to ask?

11 thoughts on “Hey, do you folks have…”

  1. To me, things like ceiling fans and light fixtures are what my husband and I refer to as “JNDs” or “just noticeable differences”. While the idea of spending $600 and up on a ceiling fan might seem unpalatable (when we are presented with the vast selection of $100 models every time we step into Home Depot or Menards…you know, 2-3 times a week), to do a $100K rehab on a vintage home and then slap up some rental apartment-quality fixtures is even more so.

    We got all our ceiling fans from hansenwholesale.com, 2 of them are Minka Aire. Yes, sturdiness and silence were important to us. Luckily my bestie set up a wholesale account for us so we were able to get a discount 🙂

    Also, don’t forget to add around $75-150 per fan for installation…that’s generally what electricians charge to install them.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    We do have HVAC, but ceiling fans actually make HVAC more energy-efficient, interestingly. You save money if you use a ceiling fan with your HVAC — both for cooling in summer and heating in winter. Weird!

  3. Having lived with a noisy ceiling fan, I would opt for something with a study quiet motor myself. More sleep. And I do miss not having overhead lights in our bedrooms now, not for reading, but just having a strong overhead light for things like getting dressed in the morning and cleaning. Little lights just don’t cut it.

    Exciting to see the house coming together, can’t wait to see the final product!

  4. Our house came with two ceiling fans when we bought it in 2001. The fans have run efficiently and quietly for ten years. I am pretty sure they are cheap fans such as you’d find at home depot. I might change the styling of them, but there’s no way I would pay extra for a “better motor” or some such other feature. If I were to replace them, I would go not go with a higher end (more expensive) product. So here’s one vote for “go with the cheap fans and spend the money on something you really care about.” My biggest complaint about the ceiling fans is that it’s pretty much the only ventilation in our older home. If we had HVAC or even decent vent fans in the kitchen and bathroom (neither room has any ventilation), our air circulation needs would be very well served.

  5. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Catherine, maybe you got lucky? I’ve had bad fans before that came with apartments — noisy fans, wobbly fans that we couldn’t get to go smoothly. They were miserable to live with, and I definitely want to avoid that again.

    I also should have mentioned that I often have trouble sleeping without air blowing on me. So we have a couple of standing fans, which we could just keep using, but I had hoped to keep those for the first floor. But one way or another, a fan in the bedroom is pretty much a necessity for me.

    Cathy, interesting points, but I don’t think they apply to us. We get a ton of eastern and southern light in our bedroom, so I don’t think I’d have any trouble seeing to clean during the day. We’re expecting to actually get dressed in the walk-in closet across the hall, rather than the bedroom, so hopefully won’t need a bedroom light for that. Hmm…I really am not sure I need an overhead light in my bedroom at all. But definitely in the others, I think.

  6. I like the Hanson Wholesale website for information:


    but I found better prices and easier ordering at ligtingdirect.com

    Either way I found it helpful to call. The salespeople were really helpful.

    My parents have hunter fans everywhere and they are super-quiet. We bought a craftmade which is lovely but maybe not so quiet as my parents, which is against all the ratings. I think, though, that the reason it is louder is because my electrician didn’t balance it correctly. We could rebalance it, but we need the directions which the electrician threw out. If you buy craftmade, please save the balancing kit and instructions and let me borrow them!

    What I love about the craftmade fans is that you pick the finish, the lights, the light covers and the blades individually. Also, you can switch out the blades for different ones for about $35 per set. I joked with Adrian about spring vs winter fan blades. Tropical leaves for summer and more traditional style for winter. Maybe a little much, but I love the fact you can keep changing the look.

  7. Oh, and I forgot to say that the noise from the craftmade is actually only wind noise and only at higher settings. I can’t hear the motor at all. Everyone assumes me that once it’s properly balanced I won’t hear the air noise on high settings as much, and I believe them.

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