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What Are Belt-Driven Ceiling Fans?

Photo credit: Fanimation 

You’ll find many options available for a new ceiling fan in today’s market. There are traditional designs, contemporary designs, and even specific designs for outdoor use is you need a new ceiling fan.

An emerging category of ceiling fans that shows a lot of promise in terms of design value is the vintage ceiling fan. Many vintage or antique ceiling fans look like they come straight from a steampunk demonstration.

One popular option from this category is the belt-driven ceiling fan.

How Does a Belt-Driven Ceiling Fan Work?

Belt-driven ceiling fans are a technology that has been around since the turn of the 20th century. These fans work from an independent motor. The motor spins to turn a belt, which is stretched to the ceiling fans that have been installed in the room. The motor can be attached to the wall or ceiling and is connected to your home’s electrical system.

Some belt-driven fans will turn a single set of blades, but it is not uncommon to see 3-5 ceiling fans connected to the same motor in some rooms. As long as each ceiling fan is about 15-20 feet from each other, it is possible to have full room coverage with multiple fixtures, but only one electrical connection.

How Effective Are Belt-Driven Ceiling Fans?

Belt-driven ceiling fans are designed for fashion more than function. Many of them will create air movement, but not at the same levels as a traditional ceiling fan. They can be effective in small spaces or if multiple fans are installed to cover a larger area. If you’re trying to create coverage for a room that is 15’x15’ in size, however, the CFM may not be enough to provide adequate comfort.

There is also the cost of purchase and installation that must be considered when looking at the best belt-driven ceiling fans. It is not unusual to have the ceiling fans in this category be priced above $1,000. Several models are priced above $2,000. The Fanimation 220v Bourbon Street Short belt-driven ceiling fan has an MSRP of $5,865.

For the average homeowner, an entire home can be outfitted with traditional ceiling fans for less than the cost of just one belt-driven ceiling fan.

When Is a Belt-Driven Ceiling Fan the Right Option?

Some homeowners may wish to install a fan in a room without any fixture connection access. Rather than remodel the home to run an electrical line behind the wall, a belt-driven ceiling fan might make more sense. The motor could be installed at the current electrical line and then the belt could be extended to the location where the fan would be.

Belt-driven ceiling fans are always a great option for those times when a specific look is desired. Many of the fans in this category have a “propeller” look to them.

If a vintage or antique look is desired, then take a closer look at this ceiling fan option. Although these ceiling fans come with a premium price, those who own them love the world-class experience that has been brought into their home.

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