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Ceiling fan reviews

CHOICE compares 12 ceiling fans priced between $199 and $999 including AC and DC powered models.
 
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01.Introduction

Ceiling Fan Reviews

We review and compare 12 ceiling fans, priced from $199 to $999.

Through our rigorous testing, we reveal which ceiling fans:

  • have the best performance
  • are the easiest to use, and
  • make the least amount of noise.

On this page:

Ceiling fans don’t actually lower the room temperature, but instead work the same way that a breeze does: by moving air around and over your skin, which cools you by accelerating the evaporation of perspiration. 

They can be an effective alternative to air conditioner options such as portable air conditioners and ducted reverse-cycle air conditioners, and are much cheaper to buy and run.

Get more tips on keeping your house cool at our comfortable home blog. Or, for more information on home cooling, see Heating and cooling.

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Findings

The ceiling fans with the best bedroom performance deliver effective air movement at the lower settings without being too breezy, while models with good living room performance deliver a good amount of air movement at the highest settings. All the models on test are quiet at the low setting; some of the units become noisier at the highest setting.

Ceiling fans using an alternating current (AC) motor are the most common kind, and are an economical and cost-effective option; however fans using a direct current (DC) motor are becoming more common and deliver even greater efficiency, and therefore lower running costs. Speed options with DC models also allow more control over air movement with up to seven speeds compared to most AC models with only three settings.

The models on test powered by a DC motor include the Aeratron E503, Mercator Grange DC, Big Ass Fans Haiku, and Off Grid Australia 12 Volt DC fan and consume significantly less power at low, medium and high speeds than non-DC motor fans.

Brands and models tested

2013 test includes the following 12 models:
    • Aeratron E503
    • Big Ass Fans Haiku
    • Hunter Carera
    • Hunter Pacific Typhoon 316 Stainless
    • Martec Alpha
    • Martec Envirofan
    • Mercator Grange DC
    • Mercator Kewarra
    • Off Grid Australia 12 Volt DC 
    • Spinifex Ball
    • Spinifex Schoolhouse
    • Vento Uragano
    2012 test includes the following 24 models:
    • Atlas Acqua
    • Beracove  Elegance 24001
    • Cinni Milano
    • Fanaway  EV01 Prevail 210899
    • Hunter  Cabo Frio 24234
    • Hunter Carera
    • Hunter Industrie II
    • Hunter Pacific  EcO2
    • Hunter Pacific Attitude
    • Hunter Pacific Concept II
    • Hunter Pacific Icon
    • Hunter Pacific Majestic Coolah
    • Hunter Pacific Revolution
    • Hunter Pacific Typhoon 316 Moulded
    • Hunter Pacific Typhoon 316 Stainless
    • Hunter Savoy
    • Hunter Sonic
    • Hunter Vista
    • Intercept  Ceiling Fan
    • Lucci  Futura Eco 210873
    • Martec  Orbital MCE276BN
    • Martec  Wraptor MFW120W
    • Sapphire  SAP1304BWHT
    • Vento  Sole

    These models from earlier tests are also still available, however results are not directly comparable with the current test results:

    • Airflow ACES56
    • Cinni Colonial
    • HPM Air Boss WATCF13AW
    • Hunter Low Profile III
    • Hunter Outdoor II
    • Hunter Pacific Aurora Alternatives 2
    • Hunter Pacific Sycamore
    • Hunter Pacific Typhoon Timber
    • Martec Envirofan
    • Martec Quadrant
    • Omega Airspace
    • Omega New Yorker
    • Omega Seattle

    How we test 

    Performance is evaluated using our test program and quality requirements by a specialised external lab with a controlled test room measuring 4.5m x 4.5m x 2.4m high. The room has no furniture or heat source and has bare flat walls, floor and ceiling. Room temperature and humidity are measured before and during the tests to confirm their consistency for all tests. All fans are pre-conditioned by running on maximum speed for one hour. Fan rotational frequency is measured with a tachometer on each regulator setting. The instrument output is averaged over one minute for each reading. Measurements are completed for the highest and lowest regulator settings only. Total air delivery is calculated for both high and low settings. The temperature rise of the regulator and fan motor is measured after approximately 30 minutes of operating time. 

    Ease of use includes quality of installation instructions, use of the fan control, and the ability to reverse the rotational direction of the fan. We also look at issues such as moving from one fan speed setting to another. 

    Noise (dBA) is measured in the test room on the lowest and highest regulator settings, as well as the highest regulator setting in reverse fan direction, using a sound level meter positioned one metre below the centre of the fan. The dB values are comparative only. A listening test is also used to describe the type of sound (“clicking”, “humming” and so on).

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