In India, ceiling fans are the largest end-use appliance in the residential sector. For so many of us from before the ‘coolers and air conditioners’ era, the ceiling fan was as ubiquitous as the wall—or the ceiling—in the house. It was a generic product that we did not think twice about. It was just, well, there (unless you were a poet or a writer who could conjure up many alternate visions for the ceiling fan whirring on a drowsy Indian summer afternoon). Who really compared the performances of ceiling fans?
Come to think of it, a comparative test on ceiling fans may seem to be a waste of resources and time, since it would have a foregone conclusion. After all, isn’t it a standard product serving a very basic function? Yet, just to give an example, with the millions of ceiling fans sold annually in India, think of the huge amount of electricity being consumed and think of the potential savings in electrical energy that can be realized with energy-efficient motors.
The tests conducted by the Consumer Voice team only considered ceiling fans with five stars (energy-efficiency rating assigned by Bureau of Energy Efficiency, BEE, as per which five stars denote highest efficiency and one star the least). Thus, with energy efficiency as the basic starting point, the tests evaluates 10 leading brands of ceiling fans on parameters that decode their goodness in terms of performance, quality and safety.
A Consumer Voice Report
The test program was based on IS: 374–1979 – specifications for electric ceiling-type fans and regulators. The standard sizes of ceiling fans covered here are 900 mm, 1,050 mm, 1,200 mm, 1,400 mm and 1,500 mm. The test program, though, was limited to 1,200 mm fans – the most commonly used fans – with BEE ratings of five stars. These fans are the regular, non-decorative models with three blades. The tests were conducted at an NABL-accredited laboratory.[stextbox id=”info” caption=”Protection against Electric Shock”]All the fans were so constructed and enclosed that there was adequate protection against accidental contact with live parts.[/stextbox]
The following report will tell you a thing or two about important criteria like air delivery, service value, power consumption and electrical and mechanical safety. We also considered parameters like silent operation, net weight, and design.
[stextbox id=”info”]The fan, in fact, does not lower room temperature at all; it works by creating a breeze that makes the room feel more comfortable. It helps to circulate the air properly and rotate the air from the top.[/stextbox]
In April this year, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a JV of PSUs under the ministry of power, launched a pilot project called National Energy Efficient Fan Programme in Andhra Pradesh. Under this project, two energy-efficient fans are provided to each consumer at Rs 60 a month per fan on EMI basis. The EMI amount will be added to the consumer’s electricity bill for two years.
With the usage of these 50 watts, BEE 5-star-rated ceiling fans, it is estimated that a consumer’s electricity bills will reduce by about Rs 700 to Rs 730 per year. Therefore, the cost recovery of purchasing these fans is less than two years. These fans are 30 per cent more energy-efficient as compared to conventional fans, which range from 75 watts to 80 watts.
[stextbox id=”info” caption=”Key Findings”]
- Based on the overall test findings, lesser known brand Lazer is the top performer followed by Usha and Marc.
- Lazer is also the value-for-money brand.
- All the brands were found to be energy-efficient, consuming between 48.88 watts and 51.25 watts.
- Nine out of 10 brands tested didn’t meet requirement of BEE on air delivery – the key performance parameter.However all brands meet requirement of Indian standard.
- Air delivery was found to be less than 210 m3/min except in the case of Lazer. In order to qualify for BEE’s star rating, it is required that air delivery be not less than 210 m3/min. Higher the ‘air delivery’, better the breeze.
- As per the test results, only Lazer met the requirements of five-star rating in terms of service value (4.46 ), power consumption (48.88 watts) and air delivery (218.03 m3/min). It may be noted that higher the ‘service value’, better the energy efficiency and air delivered. Also, lower the ‘power input’, less the electricity bill.
- All the brands passed in the service value test.
- Only two brands, Lazer and V-Guard, had the ISI mark. However, while both met the requirement of Indian Standards, V-Guard did not meet the requirements of BEE’s five-star rating in terms of air delivery.
- None of the 10 brands provided a standard speed regulator compatible with the fan, often leading to usage of sub-standard regulators by users and thereby possibly affecting the fan’s performance.
- Orient was the heaviest at 3.586 kg; V-Guard weighed the least at only 2.936 kg (motor with blades).
Let’s take a look at the test results and