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Knowledgebase Article

Stainless Steel Ceiling Fans


These days many more people are opting for stainless steel ceiling fans in their home. They have a nice metallic look and don't deteriorate the way a standard white ceiling fan would.

However, people need to be aware that there are different types of stainless steel ceiling fans. The different types affect things like price, quality and longevity of the fan. This blog entry is aimed to inform people of the different types and dispel any myths that are out there.

The first thing to talk about is ceiling fan size. Ceiling fans usually come in two sizes - big and small. The small size is usually 1200mm (48") wide, and the larger size is either 1300mm or 1400mm (56"). Different brands and styles will have different sizes. The smaller size fan is good for small rooms, because a fan needs to be able to suck in a certain amount of air from around it. Because of this you will find a small fan will create more draft in a small room than a large fan does.

In a large room a larger fan does not necessarily mean more air flow. There are many factors that affect this, such as the number of blades, the pitch of the blades and the speed of the fan motor. With so many factors you simply can't say "Well, a 1400mm fan is bigger so it must blow more air than a 1300mm fan". The only way to determine what fan is better is by looking at test data from the manufacturer. Look for how many cubic metres of air the fan moves per minute or per hour. Be warned though - many manufacturers don't usually publish this data!

The second thing to talk about is the grade of steel used in the fan. All stainless steels are not the same - they have different grades that affect their resistance to corrosion. The most common grades of stainless steel are 304 and 316. 304 stainless steel is a cheaper grade, and while they will never rust in a flakey way they will discolour over time. The closer you live to water or the sea the faster this will happen. This will look like rust to the casual observer, similar in colour to being stained with tea. 316 stainless steel is a marine grade steel and won't suffer from this, no matter how close you live to the sea. The downside here though is that 316 stainless steel is much more expensive, with the fans being almost twice the price.

You need to be careful with the fan you are buying to ensure that the *entire* fan is made of 316 stainless steel. There are cheaper options on the market that only have 316 stainless steel blades, with the centre cup being made of 304 stainless or chromed.

The last thing to talk about is fans that look like they are stainless steel but are in fact satin nickel or brushed chrome. This is similar to chromed surfaces on your car. These fans are much cheaper than a stainless steel fan, and initially do look great. However, after a few months you will notice that the nickel or chome will begin to peel. Eventually they will end up looking like standard painted white fans. After all, they are essentially the same thing.

Obviously, with all the expense you have gone to buy and get your fans installed you don't want them to discolour a year or two later. At M and R Electrical Wholesaling we only supply 316 grade stainless steel fans. We can't justify it to ourselves to sell what we consider inferior products. Whether you buy from us or somewhere else, we strongly urge you to consider only purchasing 316 grade stainless steel fans. Otherwise you are better off purchasing a cheap white ceiling fan.