Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ceiling Fan comparison Chart

This is a follow through article after research on the general considerations in choosing a ceiling fan. If you have not read it, the link is here (coming soon)

Unique to our needs, we have summarized our requirements as follows:
1. Size of fan in accordance to the room size.
2. Ceiling height about 2.3m. We cannot afford a low hanging fan.
3. High Aesthetics is important to satisfy my better half's requirement
4. Light kit is a must!

Guided by the above requirements we visited 7 showrooms over 2 weekends and shortlisted 5 options as follows:
1. Crestar Rainlite
2. Crestar Skylite
3. Fanco FF707
4. Acron Ventieulator 218
5. Vento Mela distributed by Amasco

You can probably guess our final choice from the photos below. For the benefit of the readers, we still want to share the selection process. Our 2 weeks of fact finding and comparison has been summarized into the following comparison chart.
Note that the Fanco FF707 specs are from our living room ceiling fan purchased in 2009. Read the review here (coming soon!)
Comparison Discussions with the sellers:

1. Crestar Fans offer great value with their Aluminium cased motors. Aluminium releases heat well and does not rust. One seller explained that Crestar used German Technology, built in Taiwan. I loved their functional appeal. Unfortunately, its aesthetics did not appeal to my better half.
HDB Renovation Ceiling Fan- Crestar Rainlite

HDB Renovation Ceiling Fan- Crestar Skylite

2. Fanco has a competitive price (at least in 2009 when we bought it)  This is a good choice for something decent looking but on a tight budget. The have very similar design to Amasco. Read our review on our Fanco FF707 here (coming soon)

HDB Renovation Ceiling Fan- Fanco FF707 WH
3. Although we have never heard of the Acorn brand, but we asked extensively about it as we found the unit on display elegant. The motor body is largely hidden by the light kit.  The seller explained that Taiwan makes the "best" ceiling fans. He explained that several ceiling fan marketing companies that have their products OEMed by the same few Taiwanese factory. Thus they have the same quality despite the different brands. Acorn is one of them.

HDB Renovation Ceiling Fan- Acorn Ventilateur 218

4. Vento's Mela really caught our hearts. See here to understand why. It remained our 1st choice until the last minute when we realized the price tag was sufficient to purchase 3 standard ceiling fans. There was also an unfounded doubt on the ease of maintenance and lifespan of the  blade rotation bearings.

HDB Renovation Ceiling Fan- Vento Amasco Mela
5. KDK is a household brand I grew up with. However we did not consider KDK as they did not provide much options with lighting kits. Perhaps another reason is our choice of showrooms did not promote KDK aggressively.

The most balanced choice was the Acorn.

Also see
Advantages of installing a Ceiling Fan
How to choose a Ceiling Fan
Installing a ceiling fan

How to choose a ceiling fan

How to Choose a Ceiling Fan

From our research, generally the key recommended considerations are the room size, ceiling height and lighting kits.

1.  Room size: 44” or 54” sized fans?

Firstly, the measurement of the fan sized we were told is NOT measured from the diameter of blade tip spinning path. It was rather complicated and we gave up trying to understand it. If anyone knows please let us know. As recommended by several sellers, for optimal performance:

For room size below 100 square feet 
(typical old HDB 4R common bedroom) - use size around 44”

For room size 100 to 200 square feet 
(typical old HDB 4R master bedroom) - use size around 50”

For room size 200 to 350 square feet 
(typical old HDB 4R living & dining room) - use at least 54”

2.   Ceiling Height

Standard HDB ceiling height are less than generous. Unless the ceiling fan is mounted above a non-walking path eg dining table or bed, the choices are pretty limited. For low ceilings there are a few low profile and flush mount fans available in the market. One of the smallest one we found is the KDK M11SU

3.   Light Kits

Some ceiling fans models come with light kits and most have optional add-on options. It is a good way to mount one more light in the room and saves the cost of an extra light point.

With this in mind, check out our

Also see:
Choosing an air-conditioner (coming soon)
Installing the ceiling fan (coming soon)

Advantages of installing Ceiling Fans

Why we had a ceiling fan in the Bed room.

Room ventilation generated by ceiling fans can make the ambiance feel cooler by a few degrees. This is something standing and wall fans are not designed to achieve.
When applied intelligently together with air-conditioning, it can help to save electricity consumption. This was how I convinced my wife the savings without doing a laboratory test:
When using the air con with ceiling fan, this 2 additional steps were applied:
1.   Set the thermostat on the aircon to 3 to 5 DegC above the preferred ambiance temperature. For example, if you are used to sleeping at 20DegC, set the aircon thermostat to 25DegC.
2.   Set the auto off-timer on the aircon to 3 hours before your wake up time. For example, if user sleeps at 10pm and wakes up at 6am. Set the aircon auto off-timer to 3am.

Thermostat set on air con
Air con Operating hrs
Fan operating hrs
Energy consumption per month (KWhr)
Estimated cost savings (April 2013 SP rates 26.7c/kWhr)
Aircon (2.5KW) only
2.5KWx8hrsx30days= 600KWhr
S$ 160
Aircon (2.4W)+ ceiling fan (0.08W)
+ 0.08KWx8hrsx30days
= 380KWhr
S$ 102

S$ 58 per month per room

(A) Assume 0.1kM savings from thermostat temperature difference of 5DegC.
(B) Typical 1 air con blower from a system operating at 8,540BTU/hr = 2.5kW
(C) Typical ceiling fan power consumption = 60W to 90W (costing about S$300 to purchase)
(D) Estimated electrical consumption = Input (kW) X No. of hours used X No. of days per month X Current Utility Rate

The choice seems clear! Conservatively, even if the real difference is only half of the calculated, the electrical tariff savings will pay for the ceiling fans in 10 months! The only exception I can think of is if users cannot sleep in a “windy” environment due to arthritis.

Disclaimer: We are not trained electrical engineers. The above is a heartlander trying to make sense of the small things in life. Apply at your own risk! If there are any experts out there who can correct or verify this, please leave a kind comment.

Also see
Choosing air-conditioner (coming soon)
Installing Ceiling Fan (coming soon)
Cost savings from using LED lights (coming soon)