Top Rated Ceiling Fans »

How To Choose A Ceiling Fan

How to Choose A Ceiling Fan Pic

Westinghouse 7214100 Harmony Ceiling FanBuying a ceiling fan isn’t as easy as closing your eyes and choosing one or picking a pretty design. There are measurements you have to know and the type of fan you need, among other factors, before you can buy a ceiling fan. This article will guide you through the necessary information on how to buy the best ceiling fan for your area. To start things off, below are three things you must know about the area where the the fan will be installed.

3 Steps

Step 1: Installation Area

1: Location      Before you can pick a design or style, the number one thing is to think about the location the ceiling fan will be installed; indoors or outdoors for starters. This is important due to the amount of moisture or wetness the fan will be exposed to.

  • Indoor ceiling fans probably won’t be rained on. So, choose a fan made to be used indoors only. They are a bit cheaper than outdoor fans and made with materials that can’t handle the outside environment. An exception is if installed in a kitchen, bathroom, indoor pool or other places where the moisture and humidity is high, then a damp rated fan is required.
  • Outdoor ceiling fans demand the motor be sealed from the weather. They come in 2 types: damp rated and wet rated.
    • Damp rated fans can handle moisture. Install in a closed in porch a garage or similar.
    • Wet rated fans can handle direct water contact. Install in a open porch a gazebo or other areas where water may get to it. Tip: UL wet rated ceiling fans can be rinsed off with a hose for cleaning.


2: Room Size      The purpose of a ceiling fan is to either cool you down or help disperse heat evenly around the room. The second important tip when choosing a fan is to think about the rooms dimensions. In order for proper function, you have to match the fan to the room size. To determine room size: measure the rooms length times width and you will get ft².

  • Up to 75 ft² – Use a fan with 29 – 36″ diameter.
    • Example Areas: bathrooms, hallways; breakfast nooks, laundry rooms
  • 76 – 144 ft² – Use a fan with 36 – 42″ diameter.
    • Example Areas: small bedrooms and small kitchens
  • 144 – 225 ft² – Use a fan with 44″ diameter.
    • Example Areas: standard kitchen and living rooms
  • 225 – 400 ft² – Use a fan with 50 – 54″ diameter.
    • Example Areas: standard bedrooms, family rooms; great rooms, large areas
    • Suggestion: To evenly distribute the air, install two or more smaller fans.


Del Mar Fans Downrod Length Chart


3: Room Height      There is a minimal height requirement for a ceiling fan in a room. After all, how do you think getting hit by a high rpm motor with blades would feel? Not good.

  • Minimal Ceiling Height – 7 feet 6 inches is the bare minimal the room’s height you can install a ceiling fan in. This requires a specific type of fan, hugger (also known as low profile and flush mount). Ceiling fans can not be under seven feet from the ground according to national building codes.
  • Recommended Height – between 8 and 9 feet from the ground is the recommended maximum effectiveness of a ceiling fan.
  • Best Space Between Ceiling and Fan – 12 inches is the closest you want to install the fan to the ceiling for maximum airflow. 6 inches is the bare minimum of space you can install a ceiling fan to the ceiling.


Now that you know where you will be installing the ceiling fan, next section on how to choose a ceiling fan will be focusing on the type of fan.


Step 2: Fan Function

Based on the room’s measurements, you should know if the fan needs to be UL rated, the size of the fan (Span), and if you need a low profile, use downrods or not. Now you will need to consider the function of the ceiling fan. Will it be used more as a decorative fixture or will it be used daily for air circulation. The difference is how good of a motor you need and what pitch of the blades is best.

Durability of the Motor      Motors are extremely important for the longevity of ceiling fans. Look for Heavy duty motors that are sized correctly for the job. Undersized fans are less efficient and may emit a humming or clicking sound. Heavy duty motors will usually have a lifetime warranty backing them up. Tip – Heavy duty motors are a must for ceiling fans with more blade pitch.

The body housings are either die cast or stamped steel. Stamped steel are less expensive and are more likely to wobble and make noise. Die cast offers a long lifespan due to the lower operating temperatures. They run quietly and smoothly with less vibration and adds to the stability of the fan.

Ceiling Fan Motor Comparison



Blade Pitch      Ceiling fans should have a blade pitch (angle) of 14 to 20 degrees to maximize their efficiency. Fans with a blade pitch less than 14 degrees do not circulate air very efficiently and must only be used in confined spaces or as decoration. Remember, steeper the pitch the more important a heavy duty motor is required. Ceiling fans with a blade pitch greater than 20 degrees are prone to malfunction even with a heavy duty motor, because of the increased friction that the blade and motor experience.

Energy Star Rated      Ceiling fans, like many other cooling devices, are turned on most of the time to maximize their function. For this reason, it is best to look for energy star rated ceiling fans. Energy star rated ceiling fans are proven to be at least 50% more efficient than the average ceiling fan and requires less electricity to operate saving you money.

Ceiling Fan Lights      Think about where the fan will be. Do you need light in that area? If so, choose a ceiling fan that uses led or fluorecent bulbs. The fan will use less electricity.


Step 3: Fan Design

Now is the fun part. What will the ceiling fan look like. This all depends on your personal taste and style, but you don’t want to clash against the room’s decor. Start by asking yourself what decorating style you have used in the room. Whether it’s contemporary, traditional, minimalist, rustic, tropical or other. Ceiling fans styles are categorized the same way, so select a fan in the same style as the room. Amazon easily allows you to sort by styles, color, size, brand etc….

Now you have narrowed the overall style of the fan down, the color and material is next.

Fan Body Color/Material      Choose a fan body with a finish that matches the predominant metal in the room. For example: knobs on drawers and doorknobs.

Fan Blades Color      Choose blades that match the wood in the room. For example: the color of wooden floors or the wood in furniture or moldings.

When it comes down to it, the ceiling fan should reflect you. A well picked fan will add to the design of the room and enhance it.

Keep these tips in mind while you are buying your next ceiling fan. Design element is secondary to a properly installed fan. Safety and function should be priority over any ceiling fan installation.