Ceiling fans are a great way to cool a room, but certain qualities, such as blade size or motor capacity, can make them more or less effective than other similar products. The blade size needs to match the motor size to be most effective.
You can’t safely put longer blades on a ceiling fan. In doing this, you may damage the fan’s motor and put yourself in danger. Longer blades are risky because they’re heavy, and since they force the fan to work harder, they consume a lot of power, potentially overheating the fan and causing a fire.
In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss how ceiling fans cool a room, why ceiling fan blades shouldn’t be changed to a larger size, and suggest ways to cool your room off more safely and efficiently.
Do Larger Fan Blades Cool Rooms Better?
Larger blades on a ceiling fan can circulate the air in rooms better than shorter blades. That means the larger the blade, the better it’ll cool you down. When buying a fan with larger blades, you want to consider how much space it can cool, its size, and how often you’ll use it.
Ceiling fans don’t really cool down your room. A fan can’t actually change the temperature inside a room. However, because of the draft effect, you’ll feel cooler if there is a breeze. And when you’re trying to get to sleep on a hot day, every bit counts.
So if you want to get the most out of your fan, you might be wondering if bigger blades on a fan will make you feel cooler. Yes, bigger fan blades move more air. Just thing about trying to cool yourself by waving a piece of paper. The bigger the piece of paper the more air it moves and the cooler you feel. The same is true for fan blades; bigger blades move more air.
There is also a component of speed in there of course. The faster a fan spins, the more air it moves. Spinning larger blades at the same speed as smaller ones will move more air. However, that’s also where the problems start. Not all components are built to handle the bigger blades with some potential problems as a result.
Bigger fans are often built in a way so they actually spin slower but still move more air than a small fan. This usually means bigger fans make less noise and are more energy efficient.
Should I Change My Blades or Replace My Fan?
So if your room is hot and stuffy, you’re probably looking for a way to improve that. Should you replace your ceiling fan blades with larger ones so it moves more air? Let’s find out.
Listed below are some pros and cons to consider before changing the blades yourself.
The Pros of Replacing the Blades
The only time it’s safe to replace your ceiling fan blades is if the replacement blades are the same size and weight as the old blades. You might do this if the blades are worn or damaged. For safety reasons, the blades cannot be any larger than the original.
On most ceiling fans it is possible to remove blades from the fan. That does not mean you can just put any other blades on them you can get your hands on.
The Cons of Replacing the Blades
Upgrading to larger blades will move more air around your room. Fortunately, new blades are more affordable than an entirely new ceiling fan. However, there are several safety risks to consider before replacing your fan blades.
Safety risks to consider:
- Motor failure. Longer blades will meet more resistance in the air and are heavier than shorter blades. This requires the motor to work harder. Since the motor is sized for the blades that came with the fan originally, it’s likely that the larger blades will cause the motor to overheat, short out, or even cause a fire.
- Fan falling. The larger blades are heavier than shorter blades, so the fan is more likely to fall due to its increased weight. With unmodified fans this is extremely rare but if you start modifying things, this is a potential risk although still very small.
- Void warranty. When you purchased your fan, it most likely came with a warranty. But when you change the basic composition of the fan by installing larger blades, your warranty is no longer valid if you have problems with your fan in the future.
- Less energy-efficient. Your ceiling fan was sized with its specific parameters in mind to be more effective and energy-efficient. However, when you install larger blades on a smaller motor, it requires more energy, which would minimize the fan’s ability to be energy efficient.
In almost all situations, it’s better to just replace your ceiling fan with a larger model. That new ceiling fan will come with a new warranty and have all the components matched to the larger blades. This means you have a better experience with fewer breakdowns and risks in the long run.
Solutions to Cooling a Room Better
If you find that your current ceiling fan isn’t cooling your room as well as you’d like, follow the tips below for replacing blades or purchasing a new fan:
- Place ice or cold water in front of a floor fan, and the fan will move the cooler air around the room.
- Make sure blinds and doors are closed during the day so that the cooler air stays in the room.
- When the sun goes down, open your windows and doors to let the cooler outside air enter your home while keeping your fan on.
- Make sure to stay hydrated; fans cool you down by evaporating sweat on the skin.
There are also two things you should check on the fan to make sure it’s actually working properly;
- Fan direction: Many ceiling fans have a reversible motor. That means they can spin both clock and counter clockwise. Make sure it’s spinning counter clockwise and pushing air down. The other direction is for winter.
- Down rod length: If the blades are too close to the ceiling, it’s harder to ‘suck’ enough air for the fan blades. A longer down rod means a bigger air pocket above the blades and therefore easier = more airflow.
If you’ve tried some of the solutions above, but your room is still too hot, it might be time to purchase a new fan that is already properly sized with larger blades. Of course combining a ceiling fan with A/C is very effective.
High-Rated, Large Ceiling Fans To Consider
If you decide that you’re in the market for a new ceiling fan with larger blades, here are some highly-rated products found on Amazon.com.
- Big Ass Fans Haiku L Ceiling Fan. Big Ass Fans are known for their use in industrial settings, but they also offer fan options for residential use. This 52-inch (132.08-cm) fan is a good option to consider for an average-sized room. It allows you to control it anywhere while connected to WiFi and has different settings such as sleep mode and eco mode.
- Harbor Breeze Hydra: This 70″ fan will work well in large rooms and doesn’t look out of place in a modern interior. If you want a lot of airflow, upgrade to the 12″ down rod.
- Springer Collection Coastal. Got a more classic interior? This is an expensive but also really pretty ceiling fan. It’s not the largest but at 60″ it’s still pretty large and the 12 blades provide a lot of airflow. This is a conversation starter!
Another option outside of typical residential ceiling fans are high-volume low-speed (HVLS) fans. HVLS fans rely on larger-sized blades to move a significant amount of air. These are often industrial type fans and are very large (96″+)
The air moves down and around the room in all directions, hits a wall or object, and moves back toward the fan. This method creates excellent air circulation, and humidity is removed during this process, thus creating a cooler room.
HVLS fans differ from typical ceiling fans and are often used in industrial or commercial settings rather than residential homes. However, when searching for residential fans, the options listed above are great alternatives manufactured with residential spaces in mind.
Ceiling fans are a great way to keep your room cool, but changing out the blades for larger ones isn’t a safe or energy-efficient way to improve the output of your fan.
If blades are too large for the motor, the motor could overheat, short out, or even cause a fire. Instead, opt for purchasing a fan that already comes with larger blades. This way, it’ll create more airflow in your room, cool you off, and keep you safe.