How to Choose the Best Ceiling Fan for Conservatories
A conservatory is a beautiful place to relax in the spring and summer months, bridging the gap between your home and garden.
But conservatories aren’t the most practical of rooms, as on hot days when the sun shines onto them, they can get exceedingly hot. The interior traps UV and heat even if it’s overcast outside, and opening the windows tends to do very little!
A ceiling fan will remove unwanted heat from the conservatory, and they’re also surprisingly useful in the winter months too. Ceiling fans are much more cost-effective than air conditioning, and you don’t need a lot of space, as they are simply mounted to the ceiling.
Ceiling fans can vary in quality, so it’s worth knowing what you’re looking for before you make a purchase. Take a look at the following tips to help you make the right decision.
5 Benefits of Using a Ceiling Fan Over Air Conditioning
When the weather gets warmer, using an air-conditioning unit can seem like a great idea. However, regardless of whether you already have one installed, or would consider a unite fitted in the future, you might be interested to read some of the benefits of investing in a ceiling fan instead (in fact, I say “investing”, but one of the primary benefits of ceilings fans is that they are a much more affordable alternative!)
- Fans are so much more cost effective.
Ceiling fans cost a fraction of an air conditioning unit, both to purchase outright, and to run and maintain
- They’re easy to install and use.
Unlike air-conditioning units, ceiling fans are simple to install. A lot of the time they take advantage of existing wiring for lights. Installing an air conditioning unit, on the other hand, can involve a lot more upheaval – including knocking a hole through the outside wall.
- Fans are better for the environment.
Ceiling fans have a low carbon footprint, far lower than that of air-conditioning units. They use a lot less energy, which means less energy needs to be generated in the first place.
- They’re incredibly reliable!
There are several reasons why ceiling fans have stayed popular for so long, and one of these reasons is because there’s very little that can go wrong! Unlike air conditioning units, which have a lot of different components (and also require frequent maintenance) fans have a much simpler design.
- Fans are also useful in winter.
This might sound like nonsense, but bear with me; ceiling fans aren’t just for the summer! Those with reversible blades can be used on cooler days to bring hot air from the top of the conservatory down to the floor. This will save you money on your heating bill and allow you to utilise your fan year-round. It’s a method of using the heating that you’re already generating, without using an expensive air-conditioning unit for additional heating.
As you can see, the main advantages of using a ceiling fan over air conditioning relate to cost, ease of use and making environmentally-friendly choices.
Whilst all fans have blades, they’re not a one-size-fits-all design. There are a few different features you may wish to look out for, depending on what you want your fan for.
Number of Blades and Blade Length
Ceiling fans usually have between three and five blades, although some may have as few as two. The number of blades doesn’t actually dramatically affect performance (in terms of cooling power); however, it can make a difference to the noise of the fan. Fans with more blades tend to be quieter.
Nevertheless, more blades can increase the drag and air-resistance on a fan, so those with more blades may cost slightly more to run, as the motor requires more power.
The length of the blades is also worth bearing in mind, as fans are available in a lot of different diameters. Fans with smaller blades are technically capable of moving the same amount of air as fans with long blades – they’ll just have to spin faster and use more energy to do so. Therefore, longer blades can be more efficient – moving air without requiring as much power to drive the motor.
Larger blades are also better at softly circulating air around a larger space. Shorter blades are great for smaller rooms as the airflow is more direct. If you are sitting directly underneath a fan with very short blades, you may get a little chilly, whereas a fan with large blades will spread the movement of air.
The material the blades are made from can also affect the function of the fan. Here are the most common fan-blade materials, and some of their properties:
- MDF is commonly used for ceiling fans. This is affordable and very stylish. MDF blades work great in most rooms, although they will start to droop if exposed to moisture. Some conservatories can get damp, so this is worth bearing in mind depending on the humidity levels in your conservatory.
- ABS plastic is also used to make a lot of fans. This is easy to manufacture, affordable and very malleable. It can be finished to look like wood which is very stylish.
- Wood is a great option if you’ve got more money to spend. Fans with wooden blades are often more expensive than MDF and plastic, but they are solid and durable. Be aware that wooden blades can be heavy, so you will need to be sure that the ceiling is strong enough to take the weight of the fan (as is the case with all fans!).
- Metal is one of the most popular choices. This is a good choice for conservatories as it’s durable, stylish and should be rust proof.
Reversible Blades – Useful in Summer and Winter
Reversible blades are another good feature to look out for, and these will enable your ceiling fan to be used in summer and winter.
Due to the curvature/angle of fan blades, the direction that they spin in can alter the effect they have on the air. Usually, blades spin in a direction that force the air downwards to create a downdraft. This cools the room.
Reversing the direction of the fan can help warm the room. In the winter months, hot air rises to the ceiling. Instead of leaving warm air trapped at the ceiling, the reversed blades will work to spread the air around the room.
Fans with Built-In Lights
Although all the fans featured on this page have built-in lights, there are of course ceiling fans on the market that don’t double up as lighting units.
In a conservatory, it can be difficult to fit both a fan and ceiling light, simply because there isn’t always a lot of space. This is why it can be beneficial to combine the two. Also, fans with built-in lights are often more aesthetically pleasing than basic fan units.
Of course, the choice is up to you, depending on your preferences and which style you prefer, but it’s good to have an idea of everything that’s available on the market.
If you want a light that doubles as a fan, but you don’t want the fan to be visible all the time, you may choose to investigate a unit with retractable blades.
There are a couple of additional things to consider, if you’re choosing a ceiling fan with a built-in light:
These lights usually use LED light boards so they can be quite bright. Be aware that they will potentially be brighter than standard house lighting (and also more energy efficient than traditional bulbs), even if there is a choice of warmer colours.
Cold white light may not appeal to everyone (although it can also be useful if you need to illuminate the space clearly). It can help to choose a light with a range of colour options so that you can be sure there will be some warmer/more neutral tones.
- Compatibility with dimmer switches.
Not all fan/light units will be compatible with dimmer switches. If you know that having the choice to dim the light is important to you, make sure it’s compatible before you buy it. You may need to message the manufacturer if there isn’t sufficient information about the product available online.
Ceiling Fans for Conservatories FAQs
Do you need a ceiling fan for a conservatory?
Ceiling fans can be useful in conservatories for several reasons. First of all, it can get extremely hot in conservatories during summer. Ceiling fans can help the conservatory remain a relaxing place to sit during summer, and also ensure that plants and electrical equipment don’t get too hot.
In winter, ceiling fans can also be useful. If they have reversible blades, they can be used to stop the warm air that rises from getting trapped by the ceiling. They can circulate this warm air, helping to get the most out of the heating.
Are 3 or 5 blade ceiling fans better?
The higher the number of blades, the more natural balance there is within the fan. This means that a fan with more blades tends to produce less noise than one with fewer blades.
Fans with more blades experience more drag and air resistance. Therefore, they need more power to turn the motor. You may find that fans with more blades use slightly more energy than those with fewer blades.