Choosing the right fan for your home

Looking for a way to cool yourself down in this treacherous Singapore weather? For many of us, this usually indicates reaching out for the remote controller to manipulate that air conditioner mounted on our wall to our liking. 

Fumbling with the remote control?

Fumbling with the remote control?

However, do you know that the costs associated with switching on the air conditioner can easily add up? A single 1000W window unit air conditioner used for 8 hours daily consumes 240kWh of electricity per month, amounting to a staggering $48.84*! Single and multi split air conditioner units consume even more electricity, and your lovely air conditioner may no longer be as lovely as you perceive it to be anymore. 

The potential heartbreak you have to face when separated from your air-conditioner

The potential heartbreak you have to face when separated from your air-conditioner

 

As much as the breakup may hurt, don’t dwell too much onto this failed relationship! Intraix has the remedy to mend your broken heart. After all, some wise men once proclaimed that getting into a new relationship is the best way to forget the old. So, listen up, get your pens ready and perhaps, love again?

A much more cost-effective alternative to the air conditioner is the fan. A fan works similarly to an air conditioner by cooling down the surroundings, but since it can be operated using lesser electricity, substantial savings can be expected! In fact, using a typical ceiling or standing type electrical fan for 8 hours daily consumes only 18kWh per month, amounting to just $3.66* monthly. 

Granted, unlike an air conditioner, a fan is unable to cool down a large area as effectively. Blades within a fan could also pose as a minor hazard for young children, and the cleaning of these blades may require some time. However to be fair, air conditioners also require regular cleaning in order to maximise its efficiency. Fans thus are a good cost-effective alternative. Besides being electricity- and cost- efficient, fans these days possess more advanced technology; we now have bladeless fans that can also produce powerful and steady stream of uninterrupted airflow!  

With the numerous models and types of fans in the market, it may be confusing to choose who your future partner will be. Since it is going to occupy a significant position in your heart (and in your house), you should get as much information as possible before making that special commitment. Fret not though, for Intraix has the ultimate guide in purchasing just the right fan for you! 

 

Types of Fans

  • Desk Fan

A desk fan is usually small in size, which is a plus for accessibility. It is often placed on top of a desk, as its name suggest. Some models also include a mist option (which can be removed) for additional cooling effect.

 

  • Tower Fan

 

With its sleek and modern design, tower fans are extremely efficient and environmentally friendly since it has various functions including an energy saving auto shut-off function, cooler, fan, and humidifier. This fan also eliminates noise while producing the maximum amount of air. Furthermore, the ingenuity of its design makes it a much safer fan as compared to the other designs. However, one drawback of this type of fan lies in its heavy weight, making it challenging to move around. 

 

  • Pedestal Fan

 

        

Supported by an adjustable stand, pedestal fans are able to cover a wider area compared to a desk fan.  Models usually include adjustable speeds that are able to circulate different volumes of air. Newer models are usually also remote controlled, making it easier for the user to carry out desired adjustments.

 

  • Ceiling Fan

 

Suspended from the ceiling, modern ceiling fans tend to be remote controlled, enabling the user to control the desired speed. There are two types of ceiling fans- AC and DC motor powered fans. DC motor powered fans can run in two directions; they can run in the traditional direction like an AC Fan,  or in reverse mode. In the traditional direction the blades push air down from the ceiling. The difference for reverse mode is that the blades will push air up into the ceiling and thereafter, down towards us, spreading the airflow over a larger area of the room. With DC motor powered fans, this allows for better circulation of air and one does not need to be directly under the fan to feel the wind.

Even though ceiling fans may be slightly more difficult to clean, they are also more affordable. Numerous homes feature these fans as part of their bedroom or living room fashion design.

 

  • Bladeless Fan

 

Working similar to a jet engine, a bladeless fan sucks air into a cyclone accelerator that amplifies it 15 to 18 times before blowing it out over an airfoil-shaped ramp in a powerful and steady stream of uninterrupted flow. With its sleek and unique design, bladeless fans are aesthetically pleasing to most homes. Being bladeless, these fans are also suited for homes with young children, and are considered the safest fan of all types. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Now, with your newly equipped knowledge of the different types of fans, let us explore the various questions you should consider before purchasing one. 

1. What size of fan to choose?

Firstly, consider the space. You would not want the fan to overwhelm your room, so be sure to measure the free space that you can allocate for your fan. Typically, bigger fans also circulate more air.

2. What should I consider when buying a fan?

Special features that you can consider include: 

  • Budget set aside for purchase
  • Electrical consumption of the model
  • Smart functions including remote controllers, timers or auto-shut off modes
  • Quality of the material

3. When to choose a ceiling fan or a standing fan?

The decision should be based on the area that the fan would cover. If the area is smaller, a standing fan or a table fan would be sufficient. If the area is larger, such as the living room, a ceiling fan should be considered instead, as it is able to reach a wider area.

4. Should you choose a ceiling fan with light or without light?

To answer the aforementioned question, first ask yourself if this fan with light will be acting as a replacement to your room’s main source of lighting? If your answer is yes, integrating light with the ceiling fan will be your best choice. However, since both the fan and light will be drawing electricity from the same source, it would be ideal to understand if your circuit will be able to supply the wattage required to operate both the fan and light simultaneously. Hence, consulting an electrician before making any decision is advised.

5. Does a ceiling fan pose as a safety hazard?

I am sure that the main concern of having a ceiling fan is the nightmare of having it crashing down on you. However, ceiling fans generally do not pose any form of safety hazard! 

Note: The myth of decapitation was busted by Mythbusters in 2004, in one of their episode segment titled “Killer Ceiling Fan”. If you are interested in watching a small segment of this episode, do check it out here

6. Are there any guidelines or tips to choose a ceiling fan?

To choose the right fan, it is important to know the space you intend to cover.

Here is a rough guideline to follow:

About 50 square feet (or about 4.6 square metres): 29” fan
About 75 square feet (or about 7 square metres): 36” fan
About 100 square feet (or about 9.3 square metres): 42” fan
About 225 square feet (or about 21 square metres):  52” fan
About 400 square feet (or about 37 square metres): 56” fan
More than 400 square feet (or about 37 square metres): Use multiple fans.
 

Conclusion

Before deciding on the type of fan, it would be best to compare several different models and doing more research before purchase.

To wrap it all up, here are some safety tips that you should follow!

  • Always check the condition of your fan
  • Keep the fan away from children, especially fans with blades
  • Do not place a desk fan near to the edge of the table
  • Avoid using extension cords for power
  • Do not touch the blades while it is moving, since it may result in undesired injuries
  • Clean the inside of the fan if not use in a long time
  • Check for unusual noise emitting from the fan, which could be an indication of a malfunction

Fans, regardless of its type, could be a great alternative to air conditioners. The hottest months of the year might still necessitate the use of air conditioners, but you can always set your air conditioner on a timer and switch on the fan at the same time to minimize electrical usage. This is because having the fan turned on helps the surrounding air feel much cooler. With that, you can even consider increasing the temperature set on the air conditioner, and maintain it at 25°C. In fact, as a rule of thumb, every degree of cooling can increase your electricity bill by 10%!

Have you changed your mind about the use of fans? We hoped we managed to heal your broken failed relationship with the air conditioner. If that did not work, we believe time will heal all wounds. Give the fans a chance! You may be surprised. 

*Figures are based on the calculations provided by SP Services).

This article was researched and written by our lovely intern Jessica. 

Lydia Lok

Lydia is a former civil servant who worked on policies regarding social issues and Singapore small medium enterprises. After serving the nation for six years, she left to join the start-up scene with Intraix to be an energy super hero! With a major in Political Science from NUS (minor in English), and a specialisation in Singapore’s public administration/ policy, Lydia has a passion for all things pertaining to start-ups and social enterprises!