I was thinking about this last night, and like Balthisar, I have a follow-up question.
It regards ceiling fans. While the speed controls on a ceiling fan follow the same pattern as floor or desktop fans – namely, off to high to medium to low – it is done via a chain or cord hanging from the fan itself.
I don’t know about everyone else, but every ceiling fan I’ve seen is actually turned on and off via a wall switch. The ceiling fan itself remains on the speed it was last set to. For example, my bedroom ceiling fan is currently set on low. It’s been such a cool spring and moderate summer around here that I haven’t had a need to increase its speed.
So each night when I turn on the ceiling fan via the wall switch, it starts turning at the low speed. This practice (which I perceive as commonplace) completely invalidates the engineer’s concerns about current draw.
Could the original reason for the speed control sequence be no longer applicable, and is only continued out of habit or custom?
[Tevye, from Fiddler On The Roof]