Ceiling Fans: All about fans, their Invention, History and Evolution

All about Ceiling Fans: Their Invention, History and Evolution

  • 5 January

If you’re rummaging through the internet for an all-in-one guide on ceiling fans, you’re in the right place! Over the years, fans have gone from providing comfortable air delivery to enhancing your home’s aesthetics. In this comprehensive ceiling fan guide, we will elaborate on the history and development of ceiling fans, how a ceiling fan works, and all the information required to choose a ceiling fan for your home.


What is a Ceiling Fan?

A ceiling fan is one that is mounted on the ceiling of your room, runs on electricity and uses rotating blades which cuts the air to produce airflow. Ceiling fans are readily available in advanced forms and models with customizable features. 

In India, electric ceiling fans are the most commonly used and preferred electronic appliances for air circulation due to lower prices and lower running costs. Ceiling fans are an excellent and efficient choice for your living room as they can cover a large area and do not take up too much floor space.


Who Invented the Ceiling Fan? 

Not many are aware that the ceiling fan was invented by the Greman-American inventor, Philip Diehl. He mounted fan blades on a sewing machine motor and fixed them on the ceiling and there, the world’s first ceiling fan came to life. While he went on to patent the design in 1889, the inventor of the electric fan continued to make improvements in the design. In his pursuit to combine two functionalities in one unit, he also designed a fan in which he fit a light kit with it.


The History of Fans and How They Have Evolved

By the 1850s, people came up with the idea of using steam and water turbine to run the fan. And in 1886, a father-son duo, John & James Hunter built a water turbine-powered ceiling fan. Philip Diehl, a German-American, was the inventor of the first electrically powered ceiling fan in the world in 1887. He mounted blades on a sewing machine motor and fixed it to the ceiling.

With the introduction of air conditioners in the 1950’s the popularity of ceiling fans began to phase out in the United States. During the energy crisis of the 1970s and 1980s, companies like Crompton Greaves and Encon Industries brought about improvements in induction motor technology. This led to the evolution of ceiling fans which now consumed only 70-80 W. In 1962, Brushless Direct Current Motors or BLDC motors became the next big technology, ushering in a new era of energy-efficient ceiling fans that further reduced power consumption to below 50W. 

Since the 2000s, companies have been offering energy-efficient 3-blade fans that not only help with air circulation but also add to the home décor. We now see ceiling fans that come with under lights, different blade finishes, remote options etc. New-age ceiling fans are now IoT-enabled and can be controlled with voice commands with features like mood lights, timer mode, motion sensors and speed control. India is moving towards energy-efficiency and sustainability as a nation. So it has become mandatory for fan manufacturers to declare the BEE Ratings for their products, January 2023 onwards. Read more on BEE Star Rating and BEE Label to know more about this initiative.


How Does a Ceiling Fan Work?

The ceiling fan motor converts electrical energy to mechanical energy i.e. when you switch on the fan, electricity runs through the electrical wires powering the motor to turn the blades in the fan’s motor. These rotating blades cut the air and create an airflow throughout the room, providing air circulation and comfort. 

The ceiling fan works on the principle of hot air rising and cool air settling. The counter-clockwise rotation mechanism of the ceiling fan is built in a way that attracts the warm air upwards. As the hot air rises up, the blades of the fan slice this air and push it down. This begins a continuous process of air circulation throughout the room. 


Which Type of Motor is Used in a Ceiling Fan

There are primarily two types of motors used in ceiling fans, conventional induction motors and BLDC motors. While most traditional fans use induction motors, BLDC motors are becoming increasingly popular due to lower power consumption.

Brushless direct current (BLDC) motors use permanent magnets as compared to electromagnets in conventional induction motors. As a result, it converts alternating current to direct current and enables the motor to function on lower voltage and thus consumes lower electricity.


How Much Power Does a Ceiling Fan Consume?  

The cost of running a ceiling fan depends on two factors. First, the wattage of the ceiling fan and second, the per unit charges of electricity. A traditional induction motor of an electric ceiling fan has lower prices but consumes more energy than an energy-saving ceiling fan, around 70-80 watts. On the other hand, BLDC motor ceiling fans cost higher but save on electricity due to lower power consumption between 25-40 W.


How to Install a Ceiling Fan

We have put together a concise step-wise guide on how to install a ceiling fan to ensure safety and proficiency. 

1. Turn off the electricity supply to the existing fixture

2. Unscrew the existing fixture from the ceiling and disconnect the wires. 

3. There are two ways to mount the ceiling fan. One is to mount it directly to the ceiling and the other is to hang it away from the ceiling using a down rod. Screw the preferred mounting device to the electrical box, making sure that it’s fastened securely and that the wires are placed through the opening.

4. Attach the coloured house wires to the same coloured fan wires. Use the temporary hooks, if provided, to hang the fan from the ceiling while you connect the wires.

5. Attach the fan motor and housing to the mounting device using the screws provided.

6. Turn the power on to test if all the connections of the ceiling fan are working normally. If everything is working fine, switch the power supply off again to complete the installation. 

7. Attach the fan blades using the screws provided. You should read the instruction manual to guide you through the ceiling fan installation specifications. 

8. Turn the power supply on to check if the fan is working properly. 


Crompton’s Ceiling fans

Crompton brings to you a range of ceiling fans, from simple and elegant to premium offerings with superior performance, designs and features.

Powered by ActivBLDC technology, Crompton’s energy-efficient range of ceiling fans consumes lesser electricity and provides up to 50% energy saving. Crompton also provides different types of ceiling fans with best-in-class designs, and a variety of features like silent operation, anti-dust, remote control, timer, IoT enabled, mood light options etc.

With our comprehensive ceiling fan-buying guide, you have all the information you need to choose the perfect ceiling fan that blends technology and design to satisfy your needs.