ROSIE ON THE HOUSE

Need a new fan to survive the Arizona summer heat? Use these fan selection, installation tips

Jun 6, 2024, 5:30 PM

Installing a new fan? Tips to stay cool in Arizona's summer heat...

Temperatures in Phoenix this weekend are expected to be in the 110s, according to the National Weather Service. (File photo: Lauren A. Little/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

(File photo: Lauren A. Little/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

Installing a new fan in any room of your home is a good idea, no matter where you live in climatically diverse Arizona. From Flagstaff to Kingman to Greer to Nogales, we enjoy a plethora of different climate circumstances. And, in each of them, we are fans for fans.

Fans don’t just cool!

Fans have two directions.

A clockwise rotation of the fan blades will take the warm air that naturally rises to the ceiling. The gentle upward draft created will move the warm air across the ceiling to the walls and down to the floor and warm your home. This is handy in our more northern and higher climates.

A counterclockwise rotation has the opposite effect. The fan blades will force air directly downward, causing a cooling effect, which is needed in warmer climates.

Choosing the fan

When shopping for a new fan, there are several factors to consider. The fan’s size is measured by the diameter of the blade span. Each manufacturer’s website will provide some methodology by which you can calculate the fan best suited for your space.

Consider room size vs. fan size

  • Small Room (average 8′ x 10′) — a 29″ to 39″ fan is typical.
  • Medium Room (average 10′ x 20′) — a 42″ to 52″ fan is typical.
  • Large Room (average 20′ x 20′) — a 56″ or consider a second fan.
  • The common location for a single fan is in the center of the room for equal and effective airflow.

Think about ceiling height before installing a new fan

This will determine whether or not the fan will have a down rod or be a ceiling hugger. The ceiling hugger is a fan where the housing or motor is mounted with the fan directly attached to it and is mounted flush to the ceiling. This is typical for an 8’ ceiling. If your ceiling is 9′, you might consider a 12″ down rod where the fan is below the housing or motor that is mounted to the ceiling. Taller ceilings may warrant a longer down rod, sometimes as long as 24″ to 36.”

How to pick the perfect fan for your Arizona home

There are hundreds of styles to choose from. Picking a fan that suits your home décor is really up to your good taste.

Number of Blades You may think that the more blades a fan has, the more air will be circulated. That is not always the case. Two- and three blade fans can circulate as much or even more than a five-blade fan. It all depends on their Cubic Feet Per minute (CFM) rating.

With or without light

Many styles of fans come with a light fixture. Again, there are endless styles to choose from. A general rule of thumb is if you are installing a fan in a location with a current light fixture, incorporating a light might be a good idea.

Energy Efficiency Fans can be energy efficient by allowing you to run your heating and cooling at better efficient levels.

What to know about installing a new fan

There are two types of fan installations. One replaces an existing light fixture, and the other requires a new electrical connection. If you need to install a new electrical connection, hire a professional electrician licensed by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

Existing

This might be the simplest installation. If you are familiar with electrical connections, this DIY might be a no-brainer. The wiring and switching are in place. You must coordinate the mounting or attachment details with the fan’s manufacturer. Typically, a threaded rod or bolt is supplied with the fan.

New

Once you have selected the spot where your fan will be, you need to determine a source for the power. This involves understanding the circuitry of your home. You might be able to tap a nearby outlet on a circuit that has additional capacity. If any of this causes you to pause, call a licensed electrician, such as a Rosie on the House Certified Partner.

The route chosen for the wire may also require drywall repair unless you use a surface-mounted decretive wire mold. Snaking a wire through an existing wall and ceiling structure can be tricky and not a “gimme” DIY.

Use these safety tips when installing a new fan

We always want you to be safe. When taking on any DIY project, knowledge is your premiere safety partner. Electricity can be dangerous. So, don’t take any chances. ALWAYS turn off the power to any circuit you are working on.

Mounting your new fan on the ceiling will require a ladder to reach the location. Be sure you are ladder-qualified. If you are not comfortable on a ladder, you might consider scaffolding. It will give you a platform to stand on.

Room fans are a great way to heat and cool your home more efficiently. One in every room of the house is common. However, running them all day will NOT keep your home cooler. Only use the fan when someone is in the room. The fan is there to cool you, not the room.

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Need a new fan to survive the Arizona summer heat? Use these fan selection, installation tips