Rates the ability of the fan to move a good amount of air at the lowest setting without disrupting your sleep. Models with more than three settings such as the DC powered models with 5 and 6 settings earn a 90% score if the first setting is lower than the optimal air movement speed as one of the other 4 or 5 settings will deliver the appropriate air movement.
The figures provided are for the ceiling fan running at the medium setting which gives a clearer indication of the overall performance of the fan as far as noise. We also make comment if the fan is particularly quiet at all speed settings.
Running cost based on eight hours of use per day for six months of the year, used in summer to keep cool and part of winter to help move warm air down to the living area. Electricity is priced at 30 cents per kWh.
As can be seen in our test, models with three, four, five and even two blades perform at all different rates with no trend based on the number used so choose based on the results in the report and your personal taste.
Fan control options include a pull-cord control on the bottom of the fan or a wall switch that usually replaces the light switch. A remote control not only provides a good level of control, it also allows easier fan installation in situations that make it difficult to rewire for a light switch.
Over several years of testing and based on reader feedback, we have found models with three settings to be restrictive when looking for the best range of air movement solutions for bedroom, living room as well as at the warmest times in summer. Models with 5 or 6 speeds deliver the range that should satisfy most situations, as long as the slowest speed is not too fast.
A remote can be useful for operating and may also make installation easier. Some of the remotes we tested had simple settings while others can set a timer to stop and start the fan and can reverse the direction to help draw warm air from the ceiling down to the living area in winter.
Models that claim to be tropically rated should be a good choice for use in coastal and humid areas. Remember that it's not just the blade materials that have to deal with the humidity but the motor which should be sealed to help keep out moisture.