Ceiling fans have the capability of creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere all year long. By circulating fresh air, the space is kept at a desired temperature in both cold and warm seasons. There are many different sizes, colors and designs available in ceiling fans that can complement any decor, but there are some factors that can be taken into consideration when purchasing a ceiling fan.

The first thing a person should consider is the size of the room. A large fan that is placed in a small space will give off an awkward appearance, while a small fan placed in a large area will not provide desired results for properly circulating the air. It is recommended that there be at least eight feet of clearance from the floor to the blades of the ceiling fan. For most residential homes, the clearance is only six to seven feet. This means that a ceiling fan that mounts flush with the ceiling should be installed in the room or living space.

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Homeowners should also take into account how often they will utilize the fan for comfort. When living in hotter climates or when planning to use the ceiling fan to make the  home more efficient, it is recommended that a fan with a more powerful motor be installed. When purchasing a ceiling fan for outdoor use or in areas that are humid and damp, consider selecting a waterproof model. The models are designed with shields that prevent the moisture from damaging the motor of the unit.

As with most hard to reach fixtures, ceiling fans have a tendency to collect a large amount of dust that can go unnoticed for an extended length of time. When the ceiling fan is in use, dust can be spread around the home causing homeowners to suffer from allergies, asthma and other respiratory ailments. The dust can also prevent the home from looking and feeling as fresh as desired.

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Before cleaning your ceiling fan, make sure it is turned off and the blades are not in motion. For hard to reach ceiling fans, use a stepladder for easier access to the blades. For heavy grease and grime, use a damp paper towel to slowly and carefully wipe off the dirt and dust.

Make sure any excessive water is rung out of the paper towel, as this can cause water damage to the blades and motor of the fan. Use a dry paper towel to wipe off any remaining dust that is left. Use a dry cloth to clean pull-chains and accessories. A feather duster or microfiber cloth should be used on the motor housing and electrical features to ensure they’re not damaged.


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This article originally appeared on Angie’s List.