* Prices may differ from that shown
As global warming gets worse, you might find ceiling fans are an inexpensive way to beat the heat, at least partially. Living in Israel, we wouldn't be without these, especially when summer nights become breezeless. But my kids can be very hard on ceiling fans and all three we had ended up needing replacing because they pulled the strings out. When our handyman told us that we should buy Westinghouse fans, I was a bit wary. I recall the name from living in the USA but didn't know they made ceiling fans. Luckily for me, our local hardware shop was selling these very cheaply at just under the equivalent of £23 each, so we bought three.
Since we aren't very good at these things, we had our electrician install them, because we wanted them double wired so that the fan and the light had separate wall switches (in hopes to avoid our previous problem). While that complicated things a bit, from what I could see, if you're good at basic electricity and general DIY, you shouldn't have much of a problem installing these.
These 4-blade fans are really very quiet, and that surprised me a bit. Our earliest experience with these fans made us think that the closer the fan is to the ceiling, the quieter it would be. These have a fairly long pole and so hang lower from the ceiling than our other fans, and yet, these are actually quieter than our old ones, which had no pole at all.
What I also found out was apparently, the closer to the blades are to the ceiling the less air flows between the ceiling and the blades. So that pole is actually something that makes this fan more efficient than our older ones. With our old fans (while they still worked), all three of my kids would have their fans on the fastest settings almost all summer long. With these fans I see that they've been turning them down to slower settings except when it's really hot. I don't think that means we're using less electricity, but you never know. Also, my older son's room has very little air coming in, and in order to help circulation, he found he can angle this fan to catch more of the breeze and also direction the air flow towards his bed (where he needs it most), which is really nice.
Like all ceiling fans, there are two pull chords - one for the light and one for the fan speed. Our previous fans had chords made of fabric (like shoelaces) and those got frayed and eventually tore and broke the fans. These fans have chords made mostly of plastic chain, with metal chain near the end, and will last far longer. Also, these have clever little medallions with appropriate symbols on them to help you remember which chain is for the light and which is for the fan. Of course, like most fans you can change the direction of the spin for cooling or re-circulating warm air, as needed. Mind you, I've never found that the winter setting has helped move warm air around the room, but perhaps that's just me.
Unfortunately the lighting fixtures have tempered glass covers, and I would have preferred plastic. However, we've been able to install the high efficiency bulbs in these, so we'll need to change the bulbs less often. Still, you have to find the compact ones since the standard ones are too long.
Lastly, while these aren't the most attractive of ceiling fans in the world, they are nice enough looking for our kids' bedrooms. The model we bought have blades with white on one side and a washed pine on the other. We installed it so we could see the white because the washed pine looked very tacky and cheap. Certainly if I was looking for something for my sitting room I would have gotten a fancier model, with more real looking wood finish to the blades.
All in all, these are very good, efficient ceiling fans that look okay, are very quiet, adjustable and very affordable. I'll give these four stars and recommend them.
Thanks for reading!
Davida Chazan © May, 2008
From what I can see, you can buy these for £21.70 from www.tlc-direct.co.uk and the official web page for these fans can be found at http://www.westinghouseceilingfans.com/
The Westinghouse (78321) Ceiling Fan has 3 Speeds. The 36 in. unit has 4 Blades. With light fitting feature.