Why Cheap Ceiling Fans May Cost You More Money

cheap ceiling fan

When looking to buy cheap ceiling fans, you can go two ways. Purchase a cheap low quality ceiling fan or find a deal on a high quality ceiling fan that would have been out of the price range if not for being on sale. Whether on a budget or see it practical to buy cheap ceiling fans, there are always a trade-off when you shop on the lower end of prices.

Cheap Low Quality

Buying a low quality fan can be very affordable at the time of purchase. A $50 ceiling fan is easy to find on the internet. But, what makes it so affordable? The construction of materials, weak motor, low pitch (angle) of the blades and the lack of energy efficiency all add up to a cheap low quality fan. In the long run, a cheap fan can end up costing you more. Tip: a wobbling fan does not necessary reflect the quality of a ceiling fan. The screws might have come loose on the arms for the blades. The mounting bracket or electrical box could be loose or not the correct ones. Or the fan needs to be balanced, which you can purchase a balancing kit.

Before you purchase that ridiculously low ceiling fan, keep these questions in mind.

  • What is the materials made up of?
    • Motors with stamped steel housings, while less expensive, are more likely to wobble and are typically noisier with lesser quality bearings and windings. Look for Motors with die-cast aluminum or die-cast zinc. Vibration caused by thin stamped steel can also add noise and be less stable due to its lower weight.
    • Fan blades can be overlooked. Some less expensive blades are made of particle board, which can bend and warp over time, which can contribute to fan wobble and noise. Look for blades made with pressurized hardwood to eliminate warping.
  • Is the motor heavy-duty?
    • An electric motor hum is a trademark of cheap fans. Motor size is one of the most important factors. The size determines the quality and ability to move air. An under-sized motor can cause over-heating and motor burnout. If there is a sudden humming or noise, the fan may need maintenance.
  • Is it energy-efficient?
    • “ENERGY STAR qualified ceiling fans with lights are over 50% more efficient than conventional fan/light units, saving you $165 in energy costs over the fan’s lifetime.” energystar.gov
    • Correct fan installation can help with efficiency and life of your fan.
  • What is the blade pitch?
    • The combination of a heavy-duty motor and high blade pitch makes for an efficient, well-engineered fan. Don’t get a blade angle less than 12 degrees, it’s a waste of energy. Bigger the pitch, bigger the motor needs to be to handle the force produced by the blades.
  • Is there a lack of additional features?
    • Some ceiling fans don’t have reverse. This may be fine for outdoors since the main use will be in warmer weather.
    • Do you need light? Savings can be achieved by not including a light fixture with the ceiling fan. Cheaper fans naturally lack a light fixture and if they do have one, it usually only has one bulb.
    • A remote control is a nice feature to have. Think about the ceiling fan installation. How difficult would it be to operate the fan? The higher the fan the harder to adjust the speed and other functions.
  • Do you have to purchase parts separately?
    • While the lack of additional parts or features might be the basis of a low price ceiling fan, is it  cost-effective to buy the blades in addition to the fan? Because, a low price online is due to having to purchase the blades separately.
    • A light assembly kit is another item to keep in mind. It all depends on the room, if it is well-lit or not.

High Quality

If price was not a concern, then most people would choose a high quality ceiling fan over a cheaper quality one any day of the week. Unfortunately, price is a concern for the lot of us. Luckily for us, buying a discounted high quality ceiling fan is as easy as getting last years model; purchase one on sale; or finding a low price on eBay, Amazon, and Craig’s list for example.