FANtastic Fans

Amanda Harper


It’s easy to overlook the impact your ceiling fan has on your home’s décor. After all, you hardly think about it until you need it. But innovations in recent years have led to more appealing – and more functional – fans. So if it’s been a while since you’ve swapped out yours, maybe it’s time to think about whether it’s due for a change. It’s a fairly inexpensive swap that could mean big benefits...



We get it; thinking about the world of ceiling fans probably seems about as exciting as watching paint dry. But you’d be wrong if you just assumed not much has changed since you last had one installed. A fan isn’t just a fan anymore!

Smart technology has really changed the game for homeowners. No more teetering on a stepladder only to grab the wrong pullcord, then wonder if you just turned it “off” or on “high.” At a couple quick taps of your smart phone, you can have your fan running exactly how you want, no risk to life and limb.

How they operate has changed a lot in recent years, as well. Companies like Big Ass Fans (which, if you didn’t know, is based in Lexington) are applying lots of complicated science to develop new blades, more efficient motors and better overall designs. The benefit to you? Lower energy bills, more airflow, quieter operation and a more stunning look. No more shake, rattle and roar!

That increase in efficiency means three-blade fans are on-trend. The minimal profile means more opportunities to experiment with how the finish pairs or contrasts with your décor. Aside from the super sleek look, one of the biggest benefits is less time spent trying to clean the darn thing. Who doesn’t want that!?



Nothing says summer like spending time in the great outdoors. But whether you’re porch sittin’ or dining on your patio, you’re probably feeling the heat.

Outdoor fans are a time-honored Southern tradition. But gone are the days of drooping blades and inescapable squeaking! Manufacturers have heard our cries and are now offering ceiling fans specifically designed for covered outdoor spaces. 

Wondering how to find your new outdoor fan? Look for models specifically marked for outdoor use. Kentucky’s high-humidity summers can wreak havoc on the inner workings of fans not specifically designed for the outdoors. Damp-rated fans can’t handle much direct exposure to rain and snow, so they’re best for screened-in porches and patios. Wet-rated fans are best for open-air structures.

Pay special attention to the materials used on the blades. Thinner wood, composite and plastic blades can wilt under the heat and humidity. Sturdier natural wood, aluminum, ABS plastic and stainless steel are your best bets. If you want to go the rattan route, be sure the materials are supported by sturdy wire. But your best bet is faux made from ABS plastic; it’ll still achieve the look while standing up to the elements.


Clean Sweep

Ceiling fans are great and all... but they’re a bear to clean. Here are our handy tips!

Use a pillowcase!  Slowly slip a pillowcase around each blade, then gently press the pillowcase down with your hands, one on the top of the blade and one beneath. Pull your hands (and the pillowcase) towards you. Then take the pillowcase outside, turn it inside out, and shake all of that dust loose. 

Use compressed air!  Compressed air can help you clean the motor housing. It can also be used to clean any nooks and crannies you miss during regular dusting.

Wet or dry? Dry cleaning cloths can rain dust down on your space – but wet cloths can damage indoor-only fan blades. If you can’t handle all the mess of using a dry cleaning tool, make sure that your cloth is only barely damp, or use a wrung-out cleaning wipe.

A bright idea...  Does your fan have a glass globe or other light shades? Unscrew or remove those to clean them; you’ll be able to truly get all of the dust out without disturbing your fan too much – and without killing your arms!