Unlike air conditioners, ceiling fans don’t lower a room’s temperature. But you can boost your comfort level—and save energy and money—by turning on your ceiling fans and turning off your AC. Or by turning up the thermostat a few degrees and letting the fan do the rest.
"In past tests, most ceiling fans performed similarly on low and high speeds," says John Galeotafiore, who oversees our testing of home products. As a result, we don't currently rate ceiling fans. "But we did find some features that make a difference if you plan to buy a ceiling fan."
Ceiling fans come in a variety of styles and finishes. In the past, we tested a number of three-speed fans 52 inches in diameter, the most popular size. We found that spending more didn’t guarantee better performance but did get fancier finishes on the motor cover and blades. We also learned to predict how noisy a fan would be just by looking at its design.
Read on to learn what else our tests revealed.