Ceiling fans review 2008

An environmentally-friendly way of cooling your home during those scorching days.
 
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02.Results

What to buy

Brand and price

  • Hunter Vista - $499
  • Hunter Carera - $289
  • Hunter Pacific Typhoon 316 - $370
  • Omega New Yorker - $369

What about the rest?

The models in the 'What to buy' list give a good range of choices among blade material, number of blades, type of controls, etc. However, you may also want to consider a few other models from the top half of the table.

  • Despite having no instructions, the Cinni White Birch is the easiest to assemble and would work well in a living room.
  • The Hunter Salinas got good scores for both bedroom and living room settings, though there are better performers for each of these rooms individually.
  • The Arlec CSF130WP2 fan can be installed outside your house.

On the downside:

  • The Hunter Pacific Sycamore’s unusual single-blade design was inspired by the shape of a falling seed pod, but that didn’t enhance its performance. Not only is it very expensive ($600), it’s not very effective.
  • The Hunter Pacific Sycamore and the Arlec are the only fans you can’t reverse to move warm air downwards in winter.
  • The worst performer is the Lucci Fijian — the only fan made of steel with rattan inserts. At $269, it’s essentially just a stylish ceiling adornment.
 

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Results tables

Performance table

  Performance
Brand / model (in rank order) Overall score (%) Ease of use score (%) Living room score (%) Bedroom score (%) Noise on low Noise on high Price ($)
Hunter Vista
www.hunterfan.com.au
83 68 91 83 Quieter Quieter 499
Hunter Carera
www.hunterfan.com.au
77 68 69 90 Medium Quieter 289
Hunter Pacific Typhoon 316
www.hunterpacific.com.au
76 67 94 62 Quieter Noisier 370
Omega New Yorker
www.omega-australia.com
76 94 74 68 Quieter Quieter 369
Cinni White Birch
www.cinni.com.au
71 47 87 66 Quieter Noisier 299
Hunter Salinas
www.hunterfan.com.au
70 70 70 70 Medium Quieter 399
Hunter Pacific Penta
www.hunterpacific.com.au
68 73 70 64 Quieter Quieter 320
Hunter Savoy
www.hunterfan.com.au
68 69 62 73 Quieter Quieter 299
Hunter Industrie II
www.hunterfan.com.au
67 54 69 72 Quieter Quieter 329
Hunter Lemoyne
www.hunterfan.com.au
67 71 59 72 Medium Quieter 329
Omega Seattle
www.omega-australia.com
67 94 55 66 Medium Quieter 299
Cinni Polished Shine
www.cinni.com.au
65 50 79 59 Noisier Noisier 459
Lucci Futura 52
www.beaconlighting.com.au
65 78 59 65 Quieter Quieter 199
Hunter Pacific Concept 2
www.hunterpacific.com.au
64 70 54 70 Medium Quieter 289
Hunter Pacific Kinetic
www.hunterpacific.com.au
63 55 65 65 Medium Quieter 430
Arlec CSF130WP2
www.arlec.com.au
61 60 54 69 Medium Quieter 243
Design Craft Harbor (A)
www.hunterfan.com.au
60 72 64 50 Quieter Quieter 219
Hunter Pacific Sycamore
www.hunterpacific.com.au
48 43 47 51 Medium Quieter 600
Lucci Fijian
www.beaconlighting.com.au
28 74 13 21 Quieter Medium 269
 

Features and specifications table

  Features Specifications
Brand / model (in rank order) Fan balance kit supplied Fan blade material Blades Integrated light Fan and light control How to reverse Ceiling fixture type Recommended minimum fan height from floor (m)
Hunter Vista
www.hunterfan.com.au
yes Wood 5 2 x 60W bulbs Pull cord (B) Switch on boss Metal plate 2.3
Hunter Carera
www.hunterfan.com.au
yes Wood 3 Optional Pull cord (B) Switch on boss Metal plate 2.3
Hunter Pacific Typhoon 316
www.hunterpacific.com.au
yes Stainless steel 4 1 x 100W bulb (optional) Wall switch Switch on boss Metal bracket 2.1
Omega New Yorker
www.omega-australia.com
yes Wood 5 2 x 60W bulbs Remote Remote control Metal plate 2.1
Cinni White Birch
www.cinni.com.au
Steel 4 Wall switch Switch on boss Metal bracket 2.3
Hunter Salinas
www.hunterfan.com.au
yes Wood 5 Optional Pull cord (B) Switch on boss Metal plate 2.3
Hunter Pacific Penta
www.hunterpacific.com.au
Wood 5 2 x 75W bulbs (optional) Pull cord (B) Switch on boss Metal bracket 2.1
Hunter Savoy
www.hunterfan.com.au
yes Wood 5 Optional Pull cord (B) Switch on boss Metal plate 2.3
Hunter Industrie II
www.hunterfan.com.au
yes Wood 3 Optional Wall switch Switch on boss Metal plate 2.3
Hunter Lemoyne
www.hunterfan.com.au
yes Wood 5 3 x 60W bulbs Pull cord (B) Switch on boss Metal plate 2.3
Omega Seattle
www.omega-australia.com
yes Wood 3 1 x 100W bulb Remote Remote control Metal plate 2.1
Cinni Polished Shine
www.cinni.com.au
Stainless steel 3 Wall switch Switch on boss Metal bracket 2.3
Lucci Futura 52
www.beaconlighting.com.au
yes Wood 4 1 x 100W bulb Wall switch Switch on boss Metal bracket 2.1
Hunter Pacific Concept 2
www.hunterpacific.com.au
yes Wood 4 Optional Wall switch Switch on boss Metal bracket 2.1
Hunter Pacific Kinetic
www.hunterpacific.com.au
Wood 4 1 x 100W bulb (optional) Wall switch Switch on boss Metal bracket 2.1
Arlec CSF130WP2
www.arlec.com.au
yes Plastic 5 2 x 40W bulbs Pull cord na J-hook 2.1
Design Craft Harbor (A)
www.hunterfan.com.au
Plastic 5 1 x 60W bulb Pull cord Switch on boss Metal plate 2.3
Hunter Pacific Sycamore
www.hunterpacific.com.au
Plastic 1 Wall switch na Metal bracket 2.1
Lucci Fijian
www.beaconlighting.com.au
Rattan / steel 5 Wall switch Switch on boss Metal bracket 2.1
 

Table notes

Price: Recommended retail price, as at September 2007.

na = Not applicable — can’t be reversed.
(A) Discontinued, but may still be available in some shops.
(B) The tested version had a pull cord, but you can opt for a remote control or wall switch instead.

Scores: The overall score is made up of:

  • Ease of use: 20%
  • Living room performance: 40%
  • Bedroom performance: 40%

Living room performance: This shows the ability of the fan to move air at high speed. This setting is more likely to be used in a larger area during the day, and is likely to be noisier.

Bedroom performance: This shows the ability of the fan to move air at its lowest setting. This setting is quieter, and is most likely to be used at night, when a quiet environment is important for a good night’s sleep.

Noise levels: Measured on each fan’s lowest and highest settings.

Fan balance kit: This can help correct any wobbles, which can otherwise rob a fan of efficiency and lead to extra noise during its operation.

Fan control options: Options may include a pull cord control on the bottom of the fan, a wall switch that replaces the light switch if the fan has a light, or a remote control.

Reversing the direction of the fan: This feature draws air upwards rather than downwards, helping move warm air around in winter without creating a downward breeze in the room.

Ceiling fixture type: A J-hook makes installation a little easier but can only be installed on a flat ceiling. Fans with a metal bracket or plate can be installed on both flat ceilings and those with a slight slope.

Minimum fan height from the floor: The height needs to be 2.1m or 2.3m, depending on the model you choose. This means your ceiling would need to be at least 2.4m high. If your ceiling is significantly higher than this, you may need an extension rod to lower the fan to an optimal operation level.

How we tested

The performance of the fans was evaluated in a room measuring 4.5m by 4.5m, with a height of 2.4m. The room had no furniture, no heat sources and flat, bare walls, floor and ceiling. Room temperature and humidity were measured before and during the tests to confirm that they were consistent for all tests.

Testers measured the total airflow from each fan on its highest and lowest settings. They also measured the noise (dB) emitted when each fan was on its lowest and highest settings, using a sound level meter mounted on a tripod 1m below the centre of the fan. Results are comparative only — what you hear will be different in different rooms.

For ease of use, testers assessed the quality of each fan’s installation instructions, the ease of assembly, the use of the regulator (fan control), moving from one fan speed setting to another, and whether it’s possible to reverse the rotational direction of the fan.

 
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