Written by 4:46 pm The Guides

What is a Ceiling Fan’s CFM?

CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and tells you how much air a fan moves. This is measured by th…
Minimalist Max Ceiling Fans in an open living room.
Minimalist Max Ceiling Fan by Visual Comfort Fan

One of the main reasons to have a ceiling fan is to help reduce energy costs—but that’s only if a fan is efficient. To determine a ceiling fan’s efficiency, you need to know its CFM. 

What Does CFM Mean? 

CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. Also referred to as airflow, the CFM is how much air a fan moves. When the ceiling fan is at its highest speed, the measurement is taken using both the volume of air and the rate at which it moves. The number depends on a few things: the fan’s motor, the blade pitch and the length and/or shape of the fan blades. Ultimately that means the greater the CFM, the more air a fan moves. 

52-Inch Haiku Bamboo Indoor Ceiling Fan in a living room.
52-Inch Haiku Bamboo Indoor Ceiling Fan by Big Ass Fans

CFM + Measuring Airflow Efficiency 

CFM is key when determining a fan’s airflow efficiency. Airflow efficiency is the CFM divided by the watts/amount of energy used to run the fan at its highest speed. A CFM of 75 is the minimum number to make a fan efficient. 

You could have a fan that moves a lot of air (with a high CFM) but does so at a high wattage, making the fan inefficient. Look for fans that operate at a high CFM and low wattage to increase the efficiency of the power usage in your home. Also, consider a ceiling fan with a light powered by an integrated LED kit for further efficiency. 

How to Determine CFM + Efficiency Metrics 

Instead of handling calculations yourself, we make that part easy for you. You’ll find the airflow, power usage and airflow efficiency metrics listed in the product details for each of our ceiling fans. If you have any additional questions about CFM as it relates to a ceiling fan you are interested in, please call our fan experts at (877) 445-4486. 

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