Modern ceiling fans awaken coastal breezes.

By Jacquelyne Froeber
August 02, 2005
Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Ceiling fans combat sweltering summer heat and add panache to beachhouse decor. Cost-effective and versatile, they can make a roomfeel degrees cooler―saving energy in the process. More than14 million ceiling fans are sold annually. Recent models cater tocoastal locations in both style and performance. Palm, bamboo, andrattan blades provide the look, while torque motors andwater-resistant coverings hold up against seaside conditions.

To suite a range of tastes and budgets, many manufacturers offermix-and-match options for blades and lights. Want a barely-theredesign? Try matching the blade color to the ceiling. Brendan Byrne,senior vice president at Hunter Fan Company, says traditional whitemodels are a common choice.

Before buying, analyze the fan's future home. For porches, besure to choose one designated for outdoor use. The AmericanLighting Association recommends blades of real wood or plywood withMylar-type coating for moisture and warping resistance―checkthe UL listing found on the packaging. Also, remember scale. Fanscome in varying sizes to accommodate large and small spaces. Formaximum air circulation, manufacturers recommend a blade pitch of14 degrees and a mounting position at least 7 feet from the floor.In rooms with high ceilings, most fans can be surface-mounted orsuspended with extension tubes.

See our slideshowof ocean-inspired fans to bring seaside breezes your way.