Sourcing ceiling fans comes with a number of considerations, from ensuring the right size for proper airflow, to meeting codes, to simply choosing one that best fits the design style. When the project calls for a ceiling fan, here are the 5 factors to think about to get it right:
1. Fan Size
The size of a ceiling fan is typically referred to as blade span, measuring the distance across the fan from blade tip to blade tip. The smaller the room, the smaller the fan needed:
|Room||Room Size||Ceiling Fan Size needed|
Laundry, mud or other utility rooms
|Up to 75 square feet||29 – 36 inches|
|Up to 175 square feet||42 – 48 inches|
|Large Bedrooms |
|Up to 350 square feet||52 – 56 inches|
|Great Rooms |
Other Large Spaces
|350+ square feet||60+ inches|
2. Ceiling Considerations
|If working with a ceiling that is…||Choose:|
|8 feet or lower||A hugger or flushmount fan|
|~9 feet high||Close-to-ceiling fan, which will have a short downrod|
|9+ feet high||A ceiling fan with a downrod, ensuring the total hanging height is no lower than 7 feet above the ground|
|Sloped||1. A fan that specifies “sloped-ceiling adaptable” to ensure the downrod can rotate to a certain angle and that the fan hangs straight. |
2. A separate sloped-ceiling mounting kit.
3. Hanging Height
Two tips on ensuring a ceiling fan hangs safely and properly:
- The bottom-most point of a ceiling fan should hang no lower than 7 feet above the floor.
- To determine how much downrod is needed, aim to leave a minimum of 8 inches between the ceiling fan blades and the ceiling for maximum airflow.
4. Airflow: Cubic Feet per Minute
To ensure the ceiling fan brings the breeze, look at CFM: Cubic Feet per Minute.
This is how much air a fan moves. It is affected by the fan’s motor, blade pitch and the span of the blades. The higher the CFM number, the more air a fan moves.
5. Style, Blades & Lights
With function comes form, and there are also considerations to make to ensure the right fan is chosen without sacrificing design:
Number of blades: While there is a bit of physics involved, the difference between a 3-blade, 4-blade or 5-blade fan is slight in terms of performance and air movement, and these are the most common choices for a residential space. A higher number of blades on a ceiling fan can be slower and circulate less air.
Light Kit: Some fans come with an integrated light for overhead illumination; some include a cover that can be used over the light itself for a no-light look while still having the option. And others forgo the light all together. The choice is really about preference; if forgoing the light, be sure the room still has the right layers of light to create general illumination for the whole room.
Style: The finishes and overall look of a fan can play into the design of the room; a white finish can help a fan disappear into the ceiling. The breadth of modern fan styles reaches far and wide to ensure the just-right one fits the design.