ceiling fan prices

I'm remodeling some rooms and want to add ceiling fans. In looking at what's out there (Home Depot, Lowe's, Web) there's an amazing spread of prices. What accounts for the difference? Does it have to do with noise, velocity of air movement, what?
Thanks.
Lynn Willis Indianapolis
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All those things. Even if you don't end up buying one, go here http://www.casablancafanco.com/home.html
and read about how a truly high quality fan is made. I've never seen them at the big box stores, only at electrical & lighting specialty stores. I installed one in my previous house around 1990. It's still completely silent when it's running, and there is zero wobble. At its slowest speed, it moves plenty of air, unlike some cheaper fans.
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On the other hand, I have two Hampton Bays from HD, both cost <$100, one I think was only like $55. And they are quiet and work perfectly at 5 yrs+.
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I'm a pretty big fan of both Casablanca and Hampton Bays fans. I've installed hundreds of fans over the years and my personal favorite has always been Casablanca " Panama". These fans are absolutely silent and perfectly balanced. Casablanca has had issues with their flywheels separating from the motor and since Hunter Fan bought them, their customer service is poor compared to what it once was. On the other hand Hampton Bay is not a company, it's a trademark of Home Depot. The fans sold under this name are manufactured by a variety of companies, some make an excellent product at an unbelievable price, so if you don't want the spend the $300 for the Casablanca, you can get a perfectly decent fan from HD

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On Fri, 19 Oct 2007 22:04:50 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

The (cheap) fan in the apartment where I lived 20 years ago a noise like someone dragging a heavy chain across an iron floor all night (reminds me of some old stuff about prisoners with "ball and chain"), I had to learn to sleep through that, since the A/C didn't work very well. The brand name on that fan was "Encon".
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On Fri, 19 Oct 2007 21:50:24 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

Some of the cheap ones are good. I put ceiling fans in my house 6 or 7 years ago (it was in the fall, which is still hot much of the time here). I got 6 of them at K-mart and they were on sale for $30 each. I still have all those. They work properly and are not noisy. The only necessary maintenance has beet to tighten the screws holding the blades on every couple of years.
BTW, I started with one and made sure it was suitable before buying more of the same model.
I would recommend separate wiring for the fan and light (if you use that). Individual wall switches are much easier to use.
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What the market is willing to pay.
Seriously. The difference in parts & manufacturing costs between fans can be measured in cents. Especially as most are made in China these days. Regardless of cost, the price goes up with the number of blades and the size thereof.
The most significant things to look for are exterior rated (if that's a factor for you) and whether it comes with a light kit (if that's a requirement). Some of the more expensive ones come with a remote control.
I recently bought a couple of exterior fans for a covered deck. The fans are mounted high up in a protected eve and I was curious as to what the difference would be from an interior fan.
Net difference - one rubber gasket where the wirebox mounted to the ceiling and plastic blades instead of wooden ones.
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Several factors:
Quality of all of the components. Motor, blades, castings.
How long do you expect to own the fan?
What do you want the fan to do? Work an hour here and there, or all day every day? Do you want a simple one bulb light, or a fancy three bulb arrangement? Do you even need light at all? Lights and their different types add to the cost, and on some fans, you have to buy the light kits at an additional price.
How important is a remote? Some circuits don't have the double wiring it takes to run a separate light and fan from the wall plate, and the remote solves this.
How handy are you? Could you balance it if it DID wobble?
Can you install it yourself?
If I had to give a simple answer to your question, it would be quality, features, and product life affect the price the most. But then, cheap fans blow forever, and expensive ones have problems every day. It's the luck of the draw. But usually, on the better ones, you get better support and have fewer problems.
Steve
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If you plan on putting it on a dimmer, some models say don't do it. My hum at anything other than top speed.
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