Ceiling fan advice

We have two ceiling fans in two bedrooms that were installed in our house before we moved in and they just do not do a very good job of circulating air. I've read a little about the strengths of various types of fans and how fin angle, number of fins (4 is better than 5, but more difficult to balance) and a strong motor all play a role in getting good circulation.
However, when shopping at the local home store, fin angle and motor strength is nowhere to be found on the boxes and the "Hunter's" were mixed in with the "Harbor Breeze" models.
So I'd like some advice in choosing a fan. We're not too concerned with design...the fans will be mounted over beds with 8 ft ceilings, white or wood is fine, but we do value strong circulation. I'm not concerned whether or not it has a remote control or not.
We do not have air conditioning, except for a window unit.
Are three fin fans better than four if the motor is adequate?
If I go to the manufacturer's site to get motor specs, what is considered an adequate or "strong" motor for a house fan?
What brands should we consider, or not consider (i.e., I've read good things about Hunter's, but someone mentioned to me that Hampton Bay's are re-branded Hunter's, any luck with Harbor Breeze's)?
Are there significant price points that cross the boundaries of "do not buy because it's probably junk," through "very functional at this level, the next step up begins the line of the bells and whistles and gadgets"?
Thank you, Dave
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In this newsgroup, you will find people who share disappointing stories about Hunter and Hampton Bay fans, and some who haven't had a problem with either of them. However, one thing I have never seen is anyone complaining about Casablanca fans. Having lived with three of them, I can tell you that they are well balanced, circulate air well, and are extremely quiet. There's a reason they're more expensive.
As far as fin angle and all that, I never gave it a thought when I bought fans. I bought a Casablanca based on a recommendation from a builder. I bought two more based on my experience with the first one. You don't hear much about them because of consumer laziness. Many people think Home Depot and Lowe's are lighting stores, so they never bother to find a specialty store and see what else is out there.
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wrote:

Disclaimer: I don't work for a fan company so none of this is a testmonial or sales pitch. It's just info...
Here's some quick info on ceilings fans, both of which include some verbage on blades angles.
http://www.garbes.com/inform/fanfaq.html http://www.ehow.com/how_110234_choose-ceiling-fan.html
Stolen without permission from http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/casablanca/about.asp
*** Begin Included Text ***
"Don't let your ceiling fan leave you hot under the collar... Just because a ceiling fan moves air doesn't mean it moves enough air to keep you comfortable. The blade pitch (or angle) determines how much air is moved when the fan is on. Some fans have blades with a very shallow pitch because their motors are not powerful enough to handle the extra demand made by steeper blade pitches. Casablanca fans use a motor which is engineered to be more than powerful enough to operate fan blades with a full 14 degree pitch. So you always get the right amount of air to keep cool and comfortable."
*** End Included text ***
Interesting fact: The first 3 fans listed under the model section at that site are 3, 4 and 5 blade fan. The 3 blade has an air flow rating of 4 out 5, while the 4 & 5 bladers are rated 5 out of 5. Casablanca claims 5 is the best, but I don't know if that's their standard or an industry standard.
Bottom line: If a fan isn't bragging about it's blade angle and motor quality as selling points, that may mean it's not as steep or strong as one would like. My guess is that no one is putting a motor that can handle a 15 degree pitch on a fan with an 8 degree pitch, if you know what I mean.
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On Mon, 02 Jul 2007 06:12:39 -0700, tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

No fan works really well if it's flush mounted.
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-- No fan works really well if it's flush mounted.
Just to back up what the Plow Man says, check out this site:
http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/bestfans.asp
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I have a whole house fan that is flush mounted and it works great. much better than my hanging ceiling fan.
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Feel free to correct me if my assumptions are wrong, but...
I believe we are talking about 2 very different animals here. A flush mounted whole house fan is not the same as a flush mounted ceiling fan.
The main idea is that you have to have clearance behind the fan in order for it to move air. If a ceiling fan is less than 10 - 12 inches from the ceiling, it probably can't move enough air to do much good. That's the type of flush mounted fan we're discussing here - the motor is mounted directly to the ceiling with minimal clearance between the top of the fins and the ceiling material.
I'm assuming that your whole house fan, which may indeed be flush with the ceiling, has more than 10 - 12 inches above it.
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wrote:

Yup.
Absolutely. I have a fan on the window sill above my bed, and part of the day the sun is too bright even to take a nap. If I put the curtain behind the fan, pretty much nothing comes out. Of course that is only an inch behind the blade, but still.

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tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

* We do not have air conditioning, except for a window unit. * ========================================Effective ways to get optimal cooling from your window/room AC. A mere 6,000-BTUH Half-Ton Window AC cooling perfectly 3 rooms & a hallway with stairwell, a +850 square feet! http://www.udarrell.com/airconditioner_current_temperature_btuh_charting.html
Ceiling fans have little effect toward saving on cooling costs. - udarrell
--
WISDOM PRINCIPLE DIRECTED EMPOWERMENT COMMUNICATIONS -
THE REAL POLITICAL ISSUES and WISDOM BASED PEOPLE EMPOWERMENT
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There are times when all you need is a little moving air to make a room feel comfortable, so running the AC makes no sense. Do you dispute this?
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Absolutely NOT! I am a strong believer in moving air for many comfort, & also cooling efficiency reasons. One of the problems with using ceiling fans, is that they tend to bring the warmest air down from the ceiling areas to the occupants' level.
When ceilings are above 8 feet, such as alcove ceiling areas, that layer of hot air acts as an insulator reduces the temp difference between the attic air and the room. In the winter a ceiling fan can help bring the air down to the occupants' level.
Many times 20 inch floor fans can do a much better job during cooling season. Those 20" fans such as the 3-Speed Vertical Adjusting 3300 WindMachines at Wal Mart & other stores can increase the capacity of small ACs enabling them to cool larger areas & save bigtime on cooling costs. http://www.udarrell.com/airconditioner_current_temperature_btuh_charting.html
- udarrell
--
WISDOM PRINCIPLE DIRECTED EMPOWERMENT COMMUNICATIONS -
THE REAL POLITICAL ISSUES and WISDOM BASED PEOPLE EMPOWERMENT
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Are you attempting to cool two rooms with one AC? If so, you may do better with a pedestal fan blowing from the AC room into the other. Trying to have a propeller blast from the ceiling is going to be of limited value. We have ours going very slow, just enough to move some air.
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Nope. We really only use the AC on very hot days in the one bedroom, when the night temp does not drop below 70 and the air is stagnant (about 10 night a year, on average). On those nights, we normally have the kids sleep in the room with us if they're uncomfortable. They're rooms are on a lower level than ours, so there are times when our room is suffocating and they're under that 70 degree mark.
What we're trying to get away from is running a second, floor unit fan in the same room as the ceiling fan. Our hope is that if we invest in a better ceiling fan, we can eliminate the second fan in the room. There are a few other reasons that we're looking to replace the current unit, but air circulation is the primary one. The second ceiling fan that we're replacing is the same type of fan and is undersized for the room that it is in.
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On Mon, 02 Jul 2007 11:07:58 -0700, "tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

I just saw some 70" fans the other day. I even remarked about them, because all of mine are 52" fans on 10' ceilings.
-- Oren
"I don't have anything against work. I just figure, why deprive somebody who really loves it."
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wrote in message

Casablanca. Simple answer to the problem. Seriously. The price may be slightly breathtaking, but you won't mind once it's installed.
http://www.casablancafanco.com/difference/dif_motor.html http://www.casablancafanco.com/difference/dif_blades.html
The site seems to focus on the more ornate models, but we didn't want that, and ended up with something very plain.
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Along the same lines, though a window fan may be best. A good window fan, not a $12 box fan, can draw the cooler night air in where it will pass through the house and the hot air is being blown out at the same time. Ceiling fans are good for circulating iar, but not for changing it. The ceiling fan may make you feel two degrees cooler, but fresh air from the otside can actually be 10 degrees cooler.
Consider a "whole house" fan also, drawing air in and blowing out hte attic space. That also cools down that hot box for less heat to radiate down, even through the insulation. When the bedroom is 85 and the outside is 65, ceiling fans do nothing, as you are finding.
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On Mon, 02 Jul 2007 06:12:39 -0700, "tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"
<snip>
Personally, I have Casablanca, Hunter, and Hampton Bay ceiling fans. All work fine for many years and the Hampton Bay was a $12 HD closeout bargain. I probably would not spend a lot on a ceiling fan, certainly not more than $100, and you should see end-of-summer sales soon. The size of the blades will make a big difference, but there are guidelines. A large room should have larger, longer blades. The larger Casablanca fans have 5 blades. You may get better results by allowing a little more room between the blade and the ceiling. Get a fan with three or more speeds. Test the fan for proper balance else it can vibrate. The air direction should blow directly down in the summer, and blow up toward the ceiling during winter. A light kit is worth the extra cost.
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On Mon, 02 Jul 2007 06:12:39 -0700, "tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

Those are both H fans. It's like my girlfriend who drives a Vette, a Chevette.
They are all C cars like Camaro, Corvair, Corvette, Cavalier. I guess they're meant to be one as good as the other.
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