(BPT) - Savvy interior designers know that items that are both fashionable and functional are in high demand. One of the best examples of a stylish, hardworking home fixture is also one of the most overlooked: the ceiling fan. In 2014, more homeowners are realizing the potential this classic technology has not only on their comfort levels, but also on their interior's design aesthetic.
It's no surprise that approximately 82 percent of American single-family homes have at least one ceiling fan to help keep cool in the summer. Invented by the Memphis-based Hunter Fan Company in 1886, ceiling fans are a multi-functional and aesthetically appealing addition to any space. But many homeowners are unaware of how installing a ceiling fan can save money while improving comfort and home design.
In addition to customizable features and finishes available on ceiling fans today, homeowners who install ceiling fans enjoy:
* 45 percent energy savings. An average home uses some form of cooling system heavily for about 125 days out of the year. At eight hours a day for 125 days, central air in these homes costs roughly $207 a year. Using a ceiling fan under the same cooling conditions costs only $111. And, on average, you'll feel eight degrees cooler using a ceiling fan instead of just AC alone. Many fans now come with LED light kit options as well. To get a better idea of what your energy savings could be, visit www.hunterfan.com/energysavings.
* Variety of designs. With a little research, it's possible to find a design suited for every room and decor, from traditional to industrial to modern. There are companies that offer custom design options, and companies like Casablanca provide the consumer with more than 8 million unique combinations so they can perfectly match their fan to their interior design style.
* Easy install. Most fans are easy to install with a few quick steps or can be installed by an electrician. Some fans even install in as little as five minutes.
* Scalable systems. Fan size matters; the wrong size can have an impact on both your comfort and cooling efficiency. Fans are measured by their diameter, with the most common size sold being 52 inches. In a small room, a 36-inch fan may be fine, but bedrooms and living rooms sometimes need 54-inch or larger models. Got a long room? You may need more than one fan to keep air flowing. Check out the American Lighting Association's guide to ceiling fan size at www.americanlightingassoc.com/Lighting-Your-Home/Ceiling-Fans.aspx.
* Simple maintenance. With dust-resistant technology, maintaining the performance of ceiling fans has never been easier. Use a soft cloth or brush to clean the blades and motor housing, and remember to remove the light globe to clean by hand. Finally, use a vacuum to remove dust from the vent to keep it running at its best. Innovations like Hunter's Dust Armor repels the microscopic water droplets that dust particles stick to, reducing dust build up by as much as 58 percent.
A lot has changed over the ceiling fan's 128-year history. To see just how versatile today's ceiling fans are, visit your local home center, specialty lighting store or www.hunterfan.com.