FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Spinifex FAQs answers many commonly asked questions about ceiling fans. Additional information on ceiling fans is available in our Resource Library, which we encourage you to review before committing to a brand or model of ceiling fan. Also feel free to contact the Spinifex team if you would like to speak to someone about how best to integrate ceiling fans into your architecture.
- How do ceiling fans work?
- Why aren’t Spinifex ceiling fans available in retailing lighting showrooms?
- Where can I see the Spinifex range of ceiling fans on display?
- Why isn’t Spinifex included in the choice ceiling fan review?
- Are all Modern Fan Co. and Period Art Fan Co. fans in Australia?
- What are Spinifex ceiling fan blades made from?
- Can ceiling fans be used outside?
- Where are Spinifex Fans made?
- What makes a great ceiling fan or ceiling fan with light?
- Which is the best ceiling fan for a low ceiling?
- What is the difference between 3, 4 and 5 bladed ceiling fans?
- Are bigger more powerful motors better?
- What blade diameter is best?
- Are timber or metal blades better?
- Are LED light options available on Spinifex Ceiling Fans?
- Can I add a light after a ceiling fan has been installed?
- Are ceiling fans energy efficient?
- Why should I use ceiling fans?
- How much electricity do ceiling fans use?
- How high should a ceiling fan be hung?
- Where can I find the installation manual for a Spinifex ceiling fan?
- Can ceiling fans be mounted onto sloped ceilings?
Trouble shooting, repair and maintenance
- My ceiling fan isn’t working properly, how can I fix it?
- How can I fix a noisy ceiling fan?
- How can I fix a wobbling ceiling fan?
- My ceiling fan causes my lights to flicker, how can I fix it?
- How do I maintain my ceiling fan?
- Are replacement blades available for Spinifex Fans?
Where can I find the installation manual for a Spinifex ceiling fan?
The Spinifex manuals can be found on the product page for each fan. To open a pdf version of the manual:
- Go to the product of interest
- Click on the more information icon
- Click on the manual icon
- Save the file to your computer
Are replacement blades available for Spinifex Fans?
Yes, Spinifex has a full range of replacement blades and other accessories for our ceiling fans. Please review the accessories section of our website for more information.
Why isn’t Spinifex included in the Choice Magazine’s Ceiling Fan Review?
Choice’s original ceiling fan review published in March 2009 was completed prior to Spinifex launching in Australia. Spinifex then submitted our products for review by Choice for its updated September 2012 ceiling fan review, however disappointingly our products were not included because “Spinifex does not have a large enough bricks and mortar retail presence”. This is disappointing because we are confident that our fans would perform well in the Choice testing. It is also our hope that Choice expands its approach to more actively support online sales channels and are increasingly popular with Australian consumers.
To help us ensure Spinifex is included in the next Choice review please complete Choice’s request a test form.
Where are Spinifex Fans made?
To ensure our ceiling fans and accessories are of the highest quality, Spinifex has partnered with American and Taiwanese companies with decades of experience designing, engineering and manufacturing ceiling fans. Chinese assembly supervised by Taiwanese engineers keeps our fans affordable whilst maintaining the highest quality standards.
Are all Modern Fan Co. and Period Arts Fan Co. fans in Australia?
Unfortunately no. For each new design Spinifex brings to Australia the fan has to be reconfigured for a 220 to 240 volt power system as well as undergoing extensive safety testing. While Spinifex will continue to expand our range, as a specialist in architectural ceiling fans selling relatively small volumes of high quality products we are unable to stock all the models we would like to be able to offer.
If there is a particular model you are interested in please contact Spinifex as we still may be able to assist.
What is the difference between 3, 4 and 5 blade ceiling fans?
Air movement: The number of blades has very little impact on the amount of air a ceiling fan moves. Generally speaking a greater number of larger blades is more efficient at slow speeds and fewer narrower blades is more efficient at higher speeds. The reason for this is that as the speed of rotation increases, fans with more blades find their blades tracking through the turbulent air of the preceding blade, adding little to the volume of air moved while inefficiently consuming electricity. A good example of this is seen in the design of wind turbines for electricity generation, which generally have three narrow blades.
Aesthetics: This is probably the more critical consideration given air movement is not a significant factor. We suggest selecting something that is going to complement your design, bearing in mind that if you have low ceilings it is generally preferable to minimise the bulk of the fixture by selecting fewer narrower blades. Learn more about Ceiling Fans For Low Ceilings.
Are timber or metal blades better?
Timber blades are generally quieter because they have a better cross sectional profile to generate non-turbulent airflow. Metal blades with a sharp leading edge create more turbulence resulting in a whirr reminiscent of a helicopter. The thicker leading edge of a wooden blade is also less likely to cause injury if it were to strike an object or person.
The advantage of metal blades is mainly price. When constructed from high quality 316 stainless steel they are also resistant to corrosion; although injection moulded plastic is increasingly replacing stainless steel for this application.
Can ceiling fans be used outside?
YES. In America, there are two types of outdoor ceiling fans, damp rated fans and wet rated fans. As America is the home of ceiling fans these two terms are frequently used in Australia.
Damp rated fans are designed for outdoor areas that are not exposed to water, be it windblown rain, sprinklers or splashing from a pool. Damp rated fans are typically used for covered patios or porches, roofed gazebos, indoor pool areas, bathrooms and laundries.
Wet rated fans are used when the fan is going to be directly exposed to water.
All Spinifex fans are ‘damp rated’.
Are bigger more powerful motors better?
NO. There are two reasons why over-sizing the motor of a ceiling fan is poor engineering.
Sustainability: Bigger motors use more electricity and require more raw materials to produce.
Noise & efficiency: A bigger motor may turn a fan faster, however faster turning blades are generally inefficient and noisy. This is because blades that have not been aerodynamically optimised, produce more turbulence as their speed of tip rotation increases. A faster rotating fan also tends to produce uneven air movement, with an overly strong current of air directly beneath the fan and dead spots around the edges of a room. If your architecture allows it a better solution is nearly always to install a greater number of appropriately engineered fans. Learn more by reading Noise: Air Turbulence.
So why do people quote motor size? This is a fallacy of US marketing departments applying the ‘bigger has to be better’ mindset.
Can ceiling fans be mounted onto sloped ceilings?
Most ceiling fans incorporate a hanging bracket that allows a fan to be hung from a sloped ceiling. Spinifex’s fan can accommodate a ceiling rake of up to 33 degrees and with a ceiling slope adaptor to 45 degrees.
What blade diameter is best?
The answer to this question depends on the space in which the ceiling fan is to be hung. A general rule of thumb is:
- 107cm (42”) diameter: Rooms smaller than 3.0m x 3.0m or where architectural features limit blade size
- 132cm (52”) diameter: Rooms larger than 2.5m x 2.5m
- 147cm (60”) diameter: Grand rooms with high ceilings. If ceiling height is less than about 3m then multiple smaller fans are often preferable. For more information read ‘Are bigger more powerful motors better?’.
What are ceiling fan blades made from?
The blades of Spinifex fans are constructed from either engineered plywood or injection moulded plastic. Both are reliable stable materials for high quality blades and add to noise reduction characteristics. We do not use MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) because it is prone to warp; nor do we use metal because of increased noise and risk of injury.
Can a light be added to a Spinifex fan after it has been installed?
YES. There are two parts to retro-fitting a light to a Spinifex fan. The first part is adding the light to the fan. This is very simple involving a couple of screws to attach the lamp holder and glass plus clipping together two wires.
The second part is adding an additional live wire for the light. If there is good access to the ceiling space and wall conduits for the cabling then running the extra wire is a simple process for your electrician. If access if difficult then a remote can be used which takes the existing single live wire at the ceiling and splits it to power both the light and the fan. No additional wiring is needed when a fan is controlled by a remote control which may significantly reduce installation cost. Additionally the Spinifex remote control has full dimming functionality when used with dimmable globes as well as three fan speeds.
What Is Blade Pitch
Is the angle of the blade from the horizontal plane across the shorter width of the blade. Typically ceiling fans have pitch of between 10 and 25 degrees. Larger pitch can move more air per rotation of the fan but also can result in more turbulence which generates increased noise and loss of efficiency of air movement as the speed of rotation increases.
What Is Blade Sweep
Is the diameter of the ceiling fan as measured across the arc of rotation of the blades (i.e. 2 x blade tip to centre of the ceiling fan).
What Is Winter Mode
Reverses the direction of rotation of a ceiling fan so it draws air from beneath it and pushes air down the walls of the room, mixing the air without the cooling draft under the fan. All Spinifex ceiling fans have a ‘winter mode’ setting with the switch recessed into the body of the fan to minimise visual impact.