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07.01.2020

Why Do Fans Have 3 Blades?

Ceiling fans come in few different blade counts, but the 3-bladed ceiling fan is the most common. This may be general knowledge to some, but not everyone examines their ceiling fans in such detail.

Traditionally, 4 and 5-bladed ceiling fans were familiar sights among people's homes, but the preferred choice has put the 3-bladed version at the top. One would think that the more blades on a ceiling would equate to a cooler room, but there is a bit more that goes into the blade count than that. Taking a closer look into what a ceiling fan can really do for a room will help in understanding the 3 blade preference.

So, why exactly do fans have 3 blades?

Ceiling fans generally have 3 blades because they are considered more energy-friendly, more modern in appearance, last longer, and are quieter than other blade counts. The combination of these attractive aspects is the perfect recipe for cooling smaller areas or even rooms with a more open concept design.

Energy-Friendly solutions are a favored choice in today's society. This is not only for the cost-effectiveness of energy-efficient devices but because knowing that less energy is needed to still produce sufficient airflow gives true peace of mind. It is a win-win situation for putting more money in someone's pocket and contributing to the switch of using energy-efficient devices.

A simple stroll through older model homes or offices would show fans that simply look outdated. They are bulky and sometimes embellished with thick gold trim.

While this vintage look is acceptable for some people, others want a more modern and chic design to their home appliances. 3-bladed fans provide this modern look by conveying a look that is slimmer but also shaped to be more efficient.

Generally speaking, regular blades are rectangular in shape and bulky looking. More modern versions are sleek and aerodynamic in their design to help produce more airflow.

Fans with 3 blades are known to last longer because they are lighter in weight. Why does this matter? Simply put, the stress on the motor of the fan is significantly less.

The motor often gets bypassed in thought by some, as is common with household appliances. Technology gets the reputation that it is to be plugged in and just...work. However, there is so much to that and understanding this will ensure a better life span for the tech devices lining our homes.

A fan motor is the golden egg of the whole device. While the blades are important, so is the health of the motor. If the blades are cumbersome they will make the motor work a bit harder than it really needs to. With this in mind, a 3-bladed fan, with its aerodynamic design is going to help the motor run a bit more smoothly and longer.

Everyone has come across a ceiling fan that is just obnoxiously loud. These beasts create such noise because of heavy blades pulling on the motor, causing it to push itself to the limit.

When they are switched on, the ceiling fan tends to shake vigorously, causing a less than savory annoying sound profile. With fewer blades, less sound is produced making for a quiet and peaceful machine. This truly gives the 3-bladed fan an advantage over older models or models with more blades.

Is a 3 or 4 Blade Fan Better?

There tends to be a debate about whether a 3 or 4 blade fan is better (or even 5-bladed fans). This question is a bit vague on the surface and to really get the answer, it is important to draw back on the production of airflow.

A 3 or 4 blade fan can produce sufficient airflow and while it's only a one blade difference, the 3-bladed fan will be the better choice every time. Airflow from fans is not the production of cooler air, but rather the circulation of air.

A 3 blade fan will more efficiently move this air to create a more comfortable environment. Once again, this primarily falls on the aerodynamic design of the 3-bladed fan. The technology of fan design has continuously changed to improve airflow. This is been implemented in 3 blade fans by creating curvature to the blades which are meant to redirect airflow as the blades move.

What it really comes down in the overall choice between 3 or 4 is whether the space that the fan is going to be in have sufficient airflow? This in itself is determined by other factors like blade length, etc, but simply speaking, the 3 blade fan will produce the proper amount of the airflow in the long run.

Do Fans With More Blades Work Better?

Fans with more blades do not necessarily work better. In fact, what does "better" actually pertain to?

The faster a fan moves won't necessarily make it better either. For safety reasons, there are maximum speed levels that ceiling fans operate to ensure the perfect environment.

The airflow off fans is measured by CFM or cubic feet per minute. This is determined by the square footage and height of the room. Even though the airflow is the primary measurement, wind speed is also calculated into the equation of figuring out what's better.

This is directly measured by how quickly air moves to the floor, (MPH, miles per hour) and is only measurable by the use of an instrument called an "anemometer". These measurements combined are why fans with fewer blades and improved aerodynamic designs will work better.

How Many Blades is Best for a Ceiling Fan?

Ultimately, the decision is up to the buyer, but the optimal amount of blades for a ceiling fan still stands at 3 blades. However, potential purchasers should factor in other aspects in deciding the number of blades. This ranges from the room size, the blade length, height from the floor, and blade finishes.

While this seems like an overwhelming decision, the choice can be broken down into general things to look for when considering a fan. Below is a deeper look into the concepts to think about when it comes to picking out a ceiling fan.

  • Room Size

As discussed before, the room size will affect how airflow is produced by a fan. Placing a ceiling into an oversized room and expecting the airflow to be the same as when it was in a smaller room is a huge mistake. Always keep in mind what the square footage is of the room where a fan will be installed.

  • Blade Length

Blade Length is directly related to the design of the fans. Different lengths will produce different airflow rates, thus certain sizes ideal for certain sized rooms.

With this said, sticking with the 3-bladed fan will yield overall better results and the size of the blades on them will only increase its performance. For example, blades that are 36" are best in up to 75 square foot areas and alternatively 52" blades are beset in up to 225 square foot areas.

Blade sizes are most commonly known to range between 29" (or less) up to a maximum of 56". This wide range of blade sizes helps to customize a fan choice best fitted to a specific area.

  • Height From The Floor

It is an industry-standard that fans are to be no less than around 8 to 7 feet from the floor of a room. This was implemented to set safety precautions into place. This height is determined to be the optimal height for safety while still keeping the functionality of the device.

  • Blade Finishes

What kind of material a blade is constructed from once again aligns with its overall function in producing airflow properly. Blades can be made from various materials however, wood is the most common.

Others include plastic, metal, or MDF. MDF is medium density fiberboard that is a mixture of wood scrapings and sawdust. This variety is used in cheaper models and cannot withstand any type of moisture or it will warp.

Plastic models are popular like wood, not only for its look but its ability to be flexible. This helps create more aerodynamic designs. Metal blades will most likely be found among portable fans over a ceiling fan, though they do exist.

Wooden blades are a common choice due to their sophisticated look but are more pricey as they take longer to construct.

These components are best factored in when deciding what number of blades is acceptable. Sticking with a 3-bladed design is recommended and when combined with the above aspects will only increase a better overall decision!

Can You Switch Blade Sizes on Fans?

The short answer is yes. Fans can be upgraded to have a wider and longer blade size.

However, making the switch-a-roo is only advised if the room the fan is in warrants the switch. For example, smaller rooms shouldn't have larger and wider blades as the airflow for the size of the room will decrease significantly. Only swap out a blade size if the blade is not properly sized for the room it is installed in.

What is a Good CFM Rate for Ceiling Fan?

When shopping around for fans, choosing one with around a 5,000 CFM rating is the best choice. The 5,000 CFM rating is the mid-grade of choices. Anything with above 4,000 is sufficient, but aiming for mid-way helps in making most rooms comfortable. The absolute best rating is considered to be over 6,000 CFM and while they are typically pricer, they are also an option.

When examined more closely, ceiling fans have much more purpose than just decorative pieces. They are specifically designed to create a more comfortable living and knowing why 3 blades are the best choice for fans is extremely informative!

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