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New Modern Ceiling Fan Options for Postgreen Homes

by Chad Ludeman on January 5, 2010 · 8 comments

in Design,finishes

While we’ve been working on finishing the Passive Project and launching the Skinny Project, we’ve also been working on new options for Postgreen Homes in the background. We really want to offer easy to implement options on the site that allow people to really customize their home to that next level. Ceiling fans and light bulb temperature are examples of things that we will be upgrading and offering options for on the site in the near future. Roof mounted hot tubs and salvaged doors are examples of things that would not be easy for us to implement and therefore will not be options anytime in the near future.

Our original post on affordable and modern ceiling fans was quite popular and now is your chance to chime in on our latest list. Tell us what fan we forgot and what fan we included that doesn’t belong. You won’t hurt our feelings, at least not for too long.

New Base Ceiling Fan Option

$70 – Home Depot Hampton Bay Industrial Energy Star Ceiling Fan

Home Depot Hampton Bay Industrial White Energy Star Ceiling Fan
After much searching, ISA has spec’ed out our new base option for ceiling fans in our Postgreen Homes. They like it’s simple lines and white finish that help it blend into the home’s minimalist interior design without standing out or competing with other “design elements” in the homes. We agree and also like that it’s only $70 and comes with it’s own in-wall adjustable speed controller. Other pluses include the fact that it’s available at your local Home Depot and it’s hard to beat it’s efficiency.

Practicality – 5 out of 5
Efficiency – 102.2 CFM’s per Watt
Awesomeness – 6 out of 10
Energy Star - Yes
Reverse Function – Yes
Includes Wall Control - Yes
Width – “60
Colors – White

Before we move on to our first group of potential upgrades, I wanted to share some notes I have found helpful when searching for that new perfect ceiling fan. Some of the categories I have listed above may give some of the tips away. I hope they help you in your search:

  • An Energy Star certified fan isn’t necessarily more efficient than a non Energy Star fan. Compare the “Efficiency Ratings” of each fan which basically takes the max CFM’s a fan will generate and divides it by the max Wattage the fan will consume on high setting. Average fans will be around 75, but the really efficient ones will be over 100.
  • Industrial models are cool and cheap if you shop around, but make sure a wall control is included. If not, you will need to purchase a special industrial wall controller ($25 – $50) that can handle the industrial motor of the fan. Skipping the controller altogether is possible, but it leaves you with a one speed fan which we have deemed the “Scary Speed” when put in residential applications.
  • When buying a fan with a light kit, take notice of the type of light bulb it will accept. A fan that accepts a CFL or normal incandescent bulb (that a CFL can replace) will be much more efficient than a halogen bulb.
  • Unless you are in a climate that requires no heating, you are going to want to reverse the direction of your fan in the winter to help circulate the hot air on the ceiling. This can reduce heating bills by as much as 10%, so look for that reverse feature up north.
  • Going with a white or black fan will often look better than you think and will save 15% or more over the brushed steel/nickel versions out there. Just a thought.

Affordable & Modern Ceiling Fan Upgrades

$60 – Westinghouse Ceiling Fan

Westinghouse brushed steel industrial ceiling fan

This is the original ceiling fan used in the 100K House project. The pros are that it looks great, it’s cheap as heck and it’s one of the most efficient ceiling fans out there. The cons are that it goes really fast for residential use and could turn into a finger extractor at your next summer party if left on high. The wall controller supplied also mounts externally to the wall and it’s big enough to choke a mule or large dog that you might own. It needs to be immediately thrown into the trash and replaced with a special, industrial fan controller that you won’t find at your local hardware store. If you know this from the beginning (which you do now), then this isn’t a huge deal.

Practicality – 4 out of 5
Efficiency – 119 CFM’s per Watt
Awesomeness – 7 out of 10
Energy Star - No
Reverse Function – No
Includes Wall Control - Yes, but huge, so no.
Width – “56
Colors – Brushed Nickel or White

$100 – Emerson Pro Heat Fan

Emerson Affordable Steel Industrial Ceiling Fan

This Emerson industrial model looks like a slightly more polished version of the Westinghouse above. It’s up their in efficiency and only looses some points for no reverse function and not including a wall control. If you own one, let us know how you like it.

Practicality – 3 out of 5
Efficiency – 118 CFM’s per Watt
Awesomeness – 8 out of 10
Energy Star - No
Reverse Function – No
Includes Wall Control - No
Width – “60
Colors – White, Black & Brushed Steel

Affordablish Modern Ceiling Fan Upgrades

$220 – Emerson Loft Energy Star Ceiling Fan

Emerson Loft Energy Star Ceiling Fan

The Loft by Emerson looks like their polished, residential version of the Pro Heat (good name) above. This is one of my favorites as it’s still pretty affordable, comes in black/white/Steel, is efficient, is Energy Star certified, includes a wall control and is reversible! Is that enough? Did I mention it looks like it will score very high on the “Shiny Meter” (patent pending).

Practicality – 4 out of 5
Efficiency – 95 CFM’s per Watt
Awesomeness – 6 out of 10
Energy Star - Yes
Reverse Function – Yes
Includes Wall Control - Yes
Width – “60
Colors – Brushed Steel, Black or White

$260 – Casa Surveyor Fan from Euro Lighting

Casa Surveyor Ceiling Fan Image

This is our first model with a light. It’s not the most efficient, with it’s required halogen bulb, but it won’t sting your wallet too bad and it’s easy on the eyes.

Practicality – 4 out of 5
Efficiency – 65 CFM’s per Watt
Awesomeness – 6 out of 10
Energy Star - No
Reverse Function – Yes
Includes Wall Control - Yes
Width – “52
Colors – Brushed Steel or Bronze

$290 – Ball Eco-Freindly Fan by Modern Fan Co.

Modern Fan Co Ball Fan Image

This is probably my favorite of the reasonably priced upgrades. This is also a popular choice in many modern interiors. It comes with a light if you so desire as well, which is nice.

Practicality – 3 out of 5
Efficiency – 83 CFM’s per Watt
Awesomeness – 9 out of 10
Energy Star - No
Reverse Function – Yes
Includes Wall Control - Yes
Width – “52
Color – Brushed Aluminum, Aluminum/Maple or Gloss White

$352 – Velo Eco-Friendly Fan by Modern Fan Co.

Velo Fan by Modern Fan Co Image

If I knew how efficient this fan was, I could like it more. Or less… It loses a practicality point for having specs that are so hard to find online that I have to contact the company directly to plead for them.

Practicality – 2 out of 5
Efficiency – ??
Awesomeness – 8 out of 10
Energy Star - No
Reverse Function – Yes
Includes Wall Control - Yes
Width – “50
Colors – Bright Nickel or Gloss White

$400 – Emerson Midway Eco Ceiling Fan

This fan claims to be the most energy efficient in the world and I think it might be right. Check out that 289 CFM per Watt spec! It blows everyone else out of the water. It could be cheaper. Buy it in white.

Practicality – 3 out of 5
Efficiency – 289 CFM’s per Watt
Awesomeness – 7 out of 10
Energy Star - Yes
Reverse Function – Yes
Includes Wall Control - No, but includes remote
Width – “54
Colors – Bronze, Brushed Steel/Brown, or White

Let’s pause for more thoughts. We at 100K like to feature products that meet at least two of the three following categories very well – Affordable, Modern & Green. As I finish this list, it occurs that some of these fans may not meet two of these criteria. The two below certainly don’t. Should they even be here. Should we even consider a fan that is not better than average in terms of energy efficiency?

Expensive but Stupid Awesome Mod Ceiling Fans

$900 Blow Ceiling Fan by Luceplan

Blow Ceiling Fan

Best name for a ceiling fan ever. Totally impractical, but very awesome looking.

Practicality – 0 out of 5
Efficiency – ??
Awesomeness – 11 out of 10
Energy Star - No
Reverse Function – Yes
Includes Wall Control - No, but remote included
Width – “55
Colors – Multi-Colored, Blue, Green, Orange or Clear

$500/$1,000 – Artemis Ceiling Fan by Mika Aire

Artemis Ceiling Fan in Liquid Nickel
Artemis Ceiling Fan in Clear

I usually hate descriptors for the terms nickel and steel when describing a finish, but I am going to make an exception for this fan that comes in “Liquid Nickel.” How cool is that? My only concern would be that it would turn into a T-1000 at night and roam the streets seeking out things to terminate until the sun comes up. This fan comes in the most array of colors and also includes a transparent option which is pretty cool. All colors are $500 except for the potentially lethal liquid nickel, which will cost you a cool grand or your life or both.

Practicality – 1 out of 5
Efficiency – 54 CFM’s per Watt
Awesomeness – 10 out of 10
Energy Star - No
Reverse Function – Yes
Includes Wall Control - Yes
Width – “58
Colors – Liquid Nickel, Transparent, Maple, Mahogany, High Gloss White, High Gloss Black, High Gloss Red or Copper/Bronze Translucent

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 morgan January 6, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Chad regarding the awesomeness scale
Is this a pure Chad rating, a Chad and Nic collaborative rating, or a wider consensus rating. same question for the practicallity.

interesting collection of fans

2 chad January 6, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Morgan – Good question. To be specific, these are all 4AM, sober Chad ratings. The “shiny meter” will be much more objective when it debuts.

3 max January 6, 2010 at 5:46 pm

love the list. ceiling fans are a great way to reduce energy costs and improve iaq. I recently installed the Minka Aire Concept I ceiling fan in my apartment and love it. the fan was a good compromise between my wife and i – i lean more to the modern side and she seems to have an allergy to all things shiny. it’s right in the middle on price ~$250, it’s pretty efficient – 106 cfm/watt, it has a reverse function, it comes in a half dozen different finishes, it has a light option, 44″ or 52″ sweep, it comes with a remote but you can buy a wall switch (~$25). if you’re interested: http://www.minkagroup.net/ProductDetails.aspx?id=4683&brand=Minka-Aire%C2%AE&sku=F517-BN&name=Ceiling%20Fan

4 chad January 7, 2010 at 9:52 am

Max – Not a bad fan at all. Very nice efficiency figures and it’s always nice to find something that satisfies two distinct tastes in the house. We’ll keep it in mind for the site.

5 Brandon January 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I’m really liking the Emerson Loft fan. If you buy it in white or black it only costs $190, which seems like a great deal to me for such a nice looking and efficient fan.

6 Carl January 11, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I love the one with the different coloured fans. Although 900 bucks is a bit much for me. But the other chrome ones would be perfect for my office.

7 Dana August 13, 2010 at 9:59 pm

nice commentary. thanks

8 Kris December 10, 2010 at 9:34 am

I find I don’t need a reverse function on fans in a radiantly heated house because you don’t have the convection issues like in a forced air houses.

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