How to Choose the Best Ceiling Fan for a Room: Part 2, Number of Fan Blades
3 blade vs 4 blade fan? Single blade vs 5 blade fan? Does it make any difference in the efficiency? These are great questions.
The fan blades need to push a large volume of air to create the circulation that you seek from a ceiling fan. There are many factors that influence how much air a ceiling fan can move. These include:
- diameter (width) of the fan from blade tip to blade tip
- size, shape and material of the blades
- number of blades
- pitch of the blades (how they are set into the body of the fan or the angle of the blades)
- speed of rotation which is controlled by the strength of the motor and the gearing
You can see that there are a lot of factors influencing the efficiency and air blowing capacity of a fan. Most of these factors are related to the blades. These are all taken into account in when fans are being designed.
Fans that are single-bladed to 3-bladed are generally the most efficient. The more blades that a fan has, the more likely they are to interfere with each other’s air movement. Consider an airplane propeller – it has only two “blades” yet it is able to move a heavy airplane into the air.
Fans with more than 3 blades can be made to move a lot of air as well if they are properly designed.
The fans are all tested during the design process to make sure that they move enough air and do it efficiently. An idea of how much air the fans will move is given by the CFM figure – cubic feet per minute of air moved directly underneath the fan. This figure is only a rough guide because some fans move a lot of air from the sides of the blades which is not measured by the CFM measurement. More about this in a future blog…
So, the answer to the question about how many blades a ceiling fan should have to be most efficient is….. it depends!! In general, high quality ceiling fans such as our fan models will provide more than adequate air movement for most home applications, even on low or medium speeds. When you need that extra boost, using the fan on the highest speed will quickly circulate all of the air in the space.
If you have a really large space, high ceilings, or extreme temperature conditions, you may want to consider choosing a larger sized fan and/or using several fans to circulate the air (the Artemis fans are pictured below).
So, our advice is to carefully consider the overall appearance of the fan when choosing a fan as well as the size and efficiency. You will be looking at it for years and so it pays to get something that you really like. How do you feel when you look at it? Get the one that really pleases you. The investment, when spread over the lifetime of the fan, will be worth it.