Fan Man Lighting

Free shipping for all orders over $500+

Ceiling Fans 101

Ceiling Fans 101

A Ceiling Fan is essentially: “An appliance wrapped in furniture“.

Do you want your ceiling fan to: Look nice, perform well, or both? Even in famous brands like Casablanca, Emerson and Hunter you will find a big range of price and quality. Make sure to choose the right ceiling fan for your application.

1. Fan Mounting
2. Fan Exteriors
3. Fan Blades
4. The Motor
5. Flywheel
6. Blade Arm
7. Switch House


  1. Fan Mounting:It is always better to have a ceiling fan mounted with a short down rod on ceilings 8′ to 9′. “Flush or Hugger” mount ceiling fans limit airflow, and tend toward smaller motors.
  1. Fan Exteriors:Styling is the biggest difference here. Some ceiling fans offer “Die-Cast” housings versus “Stamped” housings. Die-cast housings have a richer finish color and quality.
  1. Fan Blades:Most Ceiling Fans have MDF or particle board with a “wallpaper” finish. The best quality ceiling fans offer real furniture grade hardwood blades in a variety of styles and colors.
  1. The Motor:It all depends on where you are installing the ceiling fan, and what type of performance you are expecting. Motor quality can vary considerably within a given brand. We are here to help you make an educated choice for your area.
  1. Flywheel:This free floating blade system assures years of quiet operation by separating the blades from the motor to dampen any sound transference from the motor.
  1. Blade Arm:Blade irons are specific to each model of ceiling fan. The pitch or angle of the blade iron is determined by the strength of the motor.
  1. Switch House:This is the very bottom portion of a ceiling fan where the light fixture is attached. Most ceiling fan light fixtures are interchangeable from one brand to the next.

The “Lifetime” Warranty.  Warranties are not a big factor in rating ceiling fans since they do not accurately reflect quality. Every brand and price range seems to offer lifetime warranties. When you read the actual warranty information you will note they offer 1 year on parts and components (the parts that most often break). The lifetime portion of the warranty is on the motor itself. Lower grade motors never really burn out, they just move less air and may develop sound over time (Not covered under warranty).

Fan Man Lighting offers peace of mind. We have worked with all aspects of ceiling fans, for over thirty years. If there is ever an issue with a fan you purchased from us (or anyone else for that matter). We promise to solve any issues as timely and fairly as we can. “We value a referral more than a sale”.

High Use “Stack” Motor (Emerson K55XL) These Are The Real Ceiling Fans, They Were Responsible In The Late 1970s For Bringing The Ceiling Fan Back Into Use. These Ceiling Fans Are Durable, Well Constructed, Have Large Motors & Bearings, Stay Quiet, And Typically Move Functional Amounts Of Air (Even At Low Speed). Expect To Find Ceiling Fans Like These Priced From About $300 – $400 For Traditional Looks. Designer Styles And Finishes Range From $350 – $ 1,000 Plus . You Can Run These Types Of Ceiling Fans Continuously For Days Or Years And They Keep Working.
If You Want The Best Level Of “Appliance” Available Select These Fans
Medium to High use “Pancake” Motor: Motor size 188mm to 212mm. Fans which are rated Medium to High use were constructed with price in mind. These ceiling fans are a step down from High use, but still have a high level of durability and function. Fans which use a 188x15mm or larger motor, come close to matching the Performance Grade fans in terms of air movement. These ceiling fans function well in rooms with ceiling heights up to 12′ and where the normal continuous running time of the ceiling fan is 12 hours and under. Expect to find ceiling fans like these priced from about $150 – $200 plus for traditional looks with Designer Styles and finishes priced $300 – $1,000 plus .
Medium To Low Use “Pancake” Motor:Motor Sizes 172mm To 153mm. Ceiling Fans Which Are Rated Medium To Low Use Have Typically Been Designed With Lower Prices In Mind. Lower Grade, Motors And Other Components Were Selected For Price, Rather Than Performance. These Fans Are A Step Down From Medium Grade But Still Have Good Durability And Function In Selected Locations. Fan Man Lighting Feels Such Ceiling Fans Function Well In Rooms With 8′ Ceiling Heights, Where Normal Continuous Running Time Is 6-8 Hours And Under. This Type Of Ceiling Fan Moves Noticeably Less Air Than Performance Or Medium Grade Fans. Expect To Find Ceiling Fans Like These Priced From About $49 – 149.99.
Promotional Grade:
This type of ceiling fan moves noticeably less air, finish flaws are not uncommon and nor are sounds when running.These ceiling fans are priced from about $19 +

Fan Man Lighting feels such fans are not useful and will not carry this grade of ceiling fan.

Run Times, Typical Period of On – Off usage of your ceiling fans.
As an appliance, purchase the correct level of “Appliance” for the job and your expectations. No warranty or instruction manual is going to say a word about “Run Times” or say the ceiling fan moves less air. We strongly recommend using “common sense” the same as if buying power tools, washers and dryers, mattresses, …etc.

For Example: A ceiling fan in the dining room runs typically 3 hours or less. A ceiling fan in the bedroom runs all night.
The fan with a better motor should go in the bedroom. Taken a step further, kids can sleep through sounds that drive adults crazy. Put the better fans in master bedrooms.

Ceiling Fan Suggestions:

Best value high use Stack motor:

Emerson CF4800 Series

This model from Emerson, offers the best motor (K55XL), most housing and blade color choices, it even has a built in light on top of the fan (down light sold separately).
Best value medium use Pancake motor:

Minka Aire F568 series.

This model from Minka Aire, offers one of the best values in Pancake motors (188x15mm). Available in many colors with optional light kit options.
  Best value medium to low use Pancake motor:

Emerson CF712 series.

This model from Emerson, offers the best value for medium use areas. Available in many colors with light kit included.
 Motor characteristics
Ceiling Fans with the “Stack” motor use a rubber spoked wheel the blades attach to called a Flywheel. This allows the blades to “Free Float”. This design cuts down on wobble and vibration sounds.Ceiling Fans with the “Pancake” or “Direct Drive” motor have the blades attached to the outer casing of the motor. This rigid mount design can be more prone to wobble or sound over time (neither is covered under warranty). 

Blade span
It is better to use as long a blade as possible for thearea. The most common blade spans are 52″ and 42″ diameter. Longer blades offer a more comfortable, softer airflow. Shorter blades offer a more direct airflow. The motor makes a difference in the volume of air, not the size of the fan.“Stack Motor”“Flywheel”“Pancake Motor”


Fan Myths and common issues:

5 blades are better than 4.
Number of blades only make a difference in the “look” of a ceiling fan. Airflow is determined by how strong the motor is and the pitch or angle to the blade.

Long Downrods cause “wobble”.
A fan that moves on a downrod would move with the original short stem. It’s a balance or installation issue. Call our  Technical Support line at (952) 683-9450 for Troubleshooting.

Ceiling Fan “Hum” (Does your fan know the words?)
The most common problem here is the use of a dimmer or rheostat type of wall control. Using a control with set speeds will eliminate most issues. Other problems: blades not installed correctly, something “loose”, or an inexpensive motor.The two owners of Fan Man Lighting have over 20yrs experience each in ceiling fan and home lighting sales,service,and trouble shooting. Please call or stop by with any questions or concerns you may have.

Share This :

Leave a Reply

Fan Man Lighting


Additional 50% Off RED TAG Items . 
Take an additional 50% off close-out/over-stock items with Red Tags already discounted up to 50% or more.In-Stock only. See store for details.