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Del Mar Fans & Lighting Ceiling Fan Rating System

Many homeowners rely solely on style and price when choosing a ceiling fan; however, the most important qualities that form a fan are not visible. Del Mar Fans & Lighting uses industry knowledge and first-hand experience to identify the most important elements for selecting the best ceiling fan. We rate ceiling fans based on motor, airflow, design and efficiency. The grade or performance of each element determines the overall rating in stars with five stars being the best ceiling fan available.

 
Example Ceiling Fan Rating:
Minka-Aire Concept I by Minka-Aire Fans

Concept Ceiling Fan
Item
Description
Rating
Motor
172 x 20 mm Motor
(Large Standard Direct Drive Motor = 4.0)
Rating
Airflow
6300CFM
(between 5750 - 6499 CFM = 4.5)
Rating
Design
Base Score = 3.5
Original Design (+1.0),
3/4" Downrod and Canopy (+0.5)
Standard Finish (-0.5)
Rating
Efficiency
107 CFM/watt
(Over 99 CFM/Watt = 5.0)
Rating
Sum
Overall
Average of other elements
Rating

Motor Rating

The motor is the most important component of a ceiling fan. The motor is responsible for proper airflow movement as well as smooth, quiet operation. There is a wide variety of motors in the ceiling fan industry. Higher quality, performance motors earn more stars due to their functionality. See the review for the most common motors below.

 

Five Stars

(5 stars)
K55XL Motor
Flywheel - The flywheel is a high performance motor that has been in production since 1979.
  • Built around thick steel laminations, surrounded by copper wiring
  • Some of the largest sealed precision ball bearings in the industry
  • Quiet operation, due to the rubber flywheel disc absorbing shock
Example: Casablanca Stealth Fan by Casablanca Fan Company
Five Stars

(5 stars)
Oil Bath Motor
Oil Bath - The oil bath motor is the first ceiling fan motor technology used.
  • Created by Hunter Fan Company
  • Iron is heavy, but sway and vibration is reduced
  • Oil check is required every 1-5 years
Example: Hunter Original Fans by Hunter Fan Company
Five Stars

(5 stars)
EcoMotor
DC - DC motors are the most energy efficient motors available in the industry.
  • Magnetic field is stationary, unlike AC motors
  • Up to 300% more efficient than standard fans
  • Most fans with this motor have six speeds instead of the standard three speeds
Examples: DC by Monte Carlo Ceiling Fans; Midway Eco by Emerson Ceiling Fans
Four and a Half Stars

(4.5 stars)
Ball Bearing Motor
Ball-Bearing - The ball bearing motor is a shaded four-pole motor with permanently sealed bearings.
  • Usually moves in one direction
  • 1/15th - 1/10th horsepower
  • Made in the USA
Example: Acqua Fan by Matthews Fan Company
Four and a Half Stars

(4.5 stars)
Ultra Performance Direct Drive Motor
Ultra-Performance Direct Drive - The ultra-performance motor is a type of direct drive motor.
  • High quality bearings and copper wiring
  • The largest stacks of laminated steel in any direct drive motor
  • Provides excellent airflow
Example: Edgewood Fans by Fanimation Fans
Four Stars

(4 stars)
Stack Motor
Stack Motor - The stack motor is a type of direct drive motor
  • High quality bearings and copper wiring
  • Taller stack of laminated steel than standard direct drive motors
  • Quiet operation
Example: Altus Ceiling Fan by Modern Fan Co
Four Stars

(4 stars)
Large Standard Direct Drive Motor
Large Standard Direct Drive Motor - The large standard direct drive motor contains a wide stack.
  • High quality bearings and copper wiring
  • Produces more torque than standard motors
  • 172mm or bigger size motor
Example: Mia Ceiling Fans by Craftmade Ceiling Fans
Three and a Half Stars

(3.5 stars)
Standard Direct Drive Motor
Standard Direct Drive Motor - The standard direct drive motor is a common ceiling fan motor.
  • High quality materials
  • Mainly used in contractor / builder grade ceiling fans
  • Produces great airflow
Example: Builders Specialty Fans by Savoy House Fans

 

 

Airflow Rating

Ceiling fans circulate air to produce a cooling breeze or airflow. This airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air moved. The CFM is dependent on the motor, blade pitch or angle, and the blades’ shape and size. Large fans with wide, long blades and greater pitch tend to circulate more air and earn higher ratings.

50 inches and above
Airflow
Rating
6500+ CFM:
Five Stars
5750 - 6499 CFM:
Four and a Half Stars
5000 - 5749 CFM:
Four Stars
3000 - 4999 CFM:
Three and a Half Stars
2999- CFM:
Three Stars
42 inches to 49 inches
Airflow
Rating
5000+ CFM:
Five Stars
4000 - 4999 CFM:
Four and a Half Stars
3000 - 3999 CFM:
Four Stars
2000 - 2999 CFM:
Three and a Half Stars
1999- CFM:
Three Stars
41 inches and under
Airflow
Rating
4000+ CFM:
Five Stars
2500 - 3999 CFM:
Four and a Half Stars
1500 - 2499 CFM:
Four Stars
1499- CFM:
Three and a Half Stars

Check out our Fan Size Guide to help determine the proper ceiling fan size and airflow rating needed for your room size.

Artisan / Design Rating

All of our products start with a base of 3.5 stars. See the design variables below can raise or lower a rating:

Factors that increase a fan rating:
  • Good Design Award Recipient (+ 1.5 stars) - Award presented by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry since 1957.
  • Original Design (+ 1.0 stars) - Successful ceiling fan designs are copied by other manufacturers.
  • Accredited Designer Fans (+ 1.0 stars) - Fans created by designers like Jessica McClintock, George Kovacs, & Cristina Saralegui.
  • Decorative Motor Housing (+ 0.5 stars) - Unique ceiling fans with decorative touches on the motor encasing.
  • 3/4" Downrod and Canopy (+ 0.5 stars) - A larger downrod and canopy system that ensures optimal support and ease of installation.
  • Matching Canopy (+ 0.5 stars) - Fans with matching ceiling covers that create an overall harmonious look.
  • Premium Finishes (+ 0.5 stars) - Fand that are dipped, plated, painted, and finished with a clear coat for exceptional quality and durability.
  • Furniture-Grade Veneer Blades (+ 0.5 stars) - Blades made from laminated, high-grade veneer or hardwood that prevent warping.
  • Hand-Carved, Woven and Rattan Blades (+ 0.5 stars) - Unique, handcrafted blades made from the finest grade materials.
Factors that decrease a fan rating:
  • Builder Grade Fans (- 0.5 stars) - These fans are comprised of the basic, universal design characteristics of a standard ceiling fan.
  • Standard Finishes (- 0.5 stars) - Standard whites, blacks, antique and polished brasses lack the overall luster of a premium finish.

Efficiency Rating

The efficiency is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the amount of air a ceiling fan moves divided by the cost of operating the fan, or CFM/Watts. Homeowners can use this rating a comparison guide between using the fan and the level of comfort they expect to receive when using the ceiling fan. More Energy Star ceiling fans earn higher ratings.

50 inches and above
Efficiency
Rating
99.0+ CFM/Watt:
Five Stars
85.0 - 98.9 CFM/Watt:
Four and a Half Stars
75.0 - 84.9 CFM/Watt:
Four Stars
50.0 - 74.9 CFM/Watt:
Three and a Half Stars
49.9- CFM/Watt:
Three Stars
42 inches to 49 inches
Efficiency
Rating
80.0+ CFM/Watt:
Five Stars
60.0 - 79.9 CFM/Watt:
Four and a Half Stars
40.0 - 59.9 CFM/Watt:
Four Stars
39.9- CFM/Watt:
Three and a Half Stars
41 inches and under
Efficiency
Rating
70.0+ CFM/Watt:
Five Stars
50.0 - 69.9 CFM/Watt:
Four and a Half Stars
25.0 - 49.9 CFM/Watt:
Four Stars
24.9- CFM/Watt:
Three and a Half Stars