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) - No longer do you have to choose between comfort and design. Once thought of as purely utilitarian, today's ceiling fans offer sophisticated styling, designer finishes and glamorous accents.
According to the American Lighting Association
(ALA), ceiling fans are a unique home cooling option, as they blend aspects of both form and function to improve comfort while enhancing home décor. Indeed, there are many ceiling fan models available that can serve as an eclectic centerpiece for any room, without sacrificing cooling air movement.
Modern features, such as single-blade fans, allow homeowners to get the necessary performance while having style options that seamlessly entwine with a home's interior design. Whether modern with clean lines, traditional with classic features or something in between, the newest, most popular fans apply technology that moves the maximum amount of air.
"The better fans are quieter, more efficient and have better airflow," says Sean Lavin, chief design officer for Generation Brands, parent company of Monte Carlo Fan Co. "Most popular with consumers are hugger fans, which are mounted close to the ceiling, as eight-foot ceilings become more of the standard ceiling height."
"Whether a fan is simple or more ornamental, consumers are looking to fans for comfort," adds Joe Rey-Barreau, education consultant for ALA and associate professor at the University of Kentucky's School of Interior Design. "The functionality of a fan is not affected by its style, but there are other factors to consider."
Room size is key to selecting the right-size ceiling fan. An ALA-trained professional can determine the perfect-size fan to move the maximum amount of air in a particular space. Also important is the type of light needed.
In addition to offering a wide array of choices for aesthetic tastes, ceiling fans provide significant energy savings. "Ceiling fans use less power to deliver a localized wind chill effect, allowing you to turn your thermostat up while remaining cool," says Nathan Frampton, president of Fanimation.
In fact, running a ceiling fan can reduce how cool you feel by as much as eight degrees. Conversely, in the wintertime, a ceiling fan can be reversed to move warm air downward, making you feel warmer.
To find the perfect ceiling fan, talk to a professional at an ALA-member retailer, or visit www.americanlightingassoc.com