Learn More About Fans

Fans for Cooling and Ventilation

Throughout the year fans help circulate the air inside and outside of living spaces. This circulation helps balance the temperature of the nearby area, whether that be bringing in warmth during the winter or ushering in cool air during the summer. Ceiling fans are perhaps the most common, finding themselves in multiple rooms of the home to balance the temperature set on the thermostat, but wall fans and standing fans are also popular options.

Types of Fans

There are many different kinds of fans. Ceiling fans alone come in many variations, allowing for versions with lights for additional illumination in the room, downrods to lower the fan for increased circulation and style or technical choices such as low-profile flushmount fans or smart ceiling fans that can be controlled through a phone. Wall fans provide more directionality, while desk and task fans can be focused to specific spaces. Guaranteed there is a fan for each need that crops up.

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are the most common type of fan for the home. They mount to the ceiling and contain a number of blades (from two to ten and potentially more) to circulate the air throughout the year. For more on ceiling fan choice, check out our guide How to Choose a Ceiling Fan and to determine the direction the fan should be turning for the season, read Ceiling Fan Direction for Summer + Winter.

Ceiling Fans with Lights

A ceiling fan with lights provides additional illumination throughout the room while circulating the air. The number of lights range from a single light providing downward illumination to several adding directional light. This light source typically accents the layering of the room, but can be used as the main source of light if the spread is long enough.

Low Profile Ceiling Fans

Low profile ceiling fans bring the comfort of circulated air while blending into the surrounding space. These fans are designed for low ceilings without a lot of room or for spaces that desire function without the form.


Flush Mount ceiling fans mount close to the ceiling, an ideal feature for spaces with low ceilings that don’t have a lot of room to spare.

Smart Ceiling Fans

Smart ceiling fans are the latest in technology with integrated Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. This integration allows the fan to be controlled from a phone or similar smart device, meaning it can turn on and off on a precise schedule, and settings can be adjusted outside the home.

Ceiling Fan Downrods

Downrods allow the ceiling fan to mount lower in the room. Ceiling fans with downrods can be extended down into the room and circulate the air lower, so the benefits of an even temperature can be experienced. Otherwise, some ceiling fans would just circulate the air at the top of a tall ceiling, providing little, if any, benefit.

Wall Fans

Wall fans mount directly to the wall, providing an angled breeze that can cool down a specific area of the room. Mounting to the wall can save space elsewhere in the room and many wall fans are adjustable to allow a change in where the breeze goes.

Desk and Table Fans

Desk and table fans are designed for task-oriented spaces that need to be cooled down. Smaller in size, they sit on desk and table surfaces and provide a directional breeze. These fans can also be adjusted at a moment’s notice and are often portable.

Floor Fans

Floor fans sit on the ground and circulate the air from a stationary point. Often they oscillate, switching back and forth between directions to bring a full breeze to the room. Some of these fans have legs for a higher point of circulation, while others sit directly on the ground.

Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans mount into the ceiling and suck air out of the room and into the outdoors. These fans are typically used in bathrooms to remove moisture and heat to prevent the growth of mold. Each of these fans mount flush to the ceiling, being mostly out of sight.

Outdoor Fans

Outdoor fans encompass all of the fans mentioned above. An important distinction for outdoor fans is that they all have damp or wet location ratings. These location ratings are required for the fan to hold up to moisture outdoors.

Damp-Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Damp-rated outdoor ceiling fans can be placed in the same location as moisture, but cannot be in direct contact with water. These fans are great for spaces that don’t see a lot of direct contact with moisture such as under a covered patio.

Wet Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Wet rated outdoor ceiling fans can be directly exposed to water. These types of ceiling fans are best when mounted in places where direct contact can occur, such as under a patio not completely covered.

Outdoor Ceilings Fans with Lights

Outdoor ceiling fans with lights bring all the comfort of a ceiling fan with additional illumination for covered patios, decks, balconies and other spaces.

Low Profile Outdoor Ceiling Fans

For an outdoor ceiling fan that provides function to the room in a subtle manner, look to low profile outdoor ceiling fans. These fans provide all the same functions but blend in with the surroundings, allowing other aspects of the décor to stand out instead.

Large Outdoor Ceiling Fans

When even more air needs to be circulated, consider a large outdoor ceiling fan. These fans provide increased circulation for larger outdoor spaces or spaces that have more traffic and generate more heat.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fans

What are the benefits of using a fan?

Fans will circulate the air throughout the year, ensuring a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. Ceiling fans with lights, can provide an accent glow as well.

How to clean a fan?

Check your model's manual for cleaning instructions. Keeping the blades clean by removing any dust will help the fan circulate the air throughout the room efficiently.

How to choose the right size fan for a room??

A 40" to 48" fan will work for small rooms such as dens and offices. Rooms larger than 400 square feet will need a 52" to 56" fan.

Can fans help reduce energy costs?

Fans help save energy by circulating the air and creating a cool breeze. This breeze may prevent the need of an air conditioner, saving energy and costs.

Are tower fans more efficient than regular fans?

Tower fans are used for direct cooling needs, whereas regular fans target the entire room evenly.

Are there fans that can be controlled with a smartphone?

Yes. Some fans, called smart fans, can be controlled with an app for control outside the home.

What are the differences between AC fans and DC fans?

DC fans use up to 70% less energy than AC fans, making them a worthy choice for an energy-conscious household.

Can fans cause allergies or spread dust?

Fans can only spread what is already around. Ensure a clean living space and clean fan blades regularly to prevent this.

What are some energy-saving tips when using fans?

Some fans can have a schedule set to turn on and off automatically, and only use a fan when it's needed. For those that are not automatic, you can also save energy by turning them off when they are not in use.

Choosing the Best Fan for Your Home

To find the best option, the first thing to do is determine the location and decide if portable or ceiling-mounted is preferred. Refine options by category and look through styles that appeal to the home. Properly measure the installation space and choose the appropriate size. Fans are useful outdoors too, creating comforting breezes. The streamlined look of contemporary ceiling fans adds a sense of speed to the modern decor while facilitating a cool breeze. If energy efficiency is desired, the innovation of DC ceiling fans is a requirement.