How to Choose the Right Ceiling Fan


Selecting the right ceiling fan isn't just about choosing the right color and style. There are some key factors that you must consider your decision in order to get the maximum efficiency and enjoyment from your fan.


Decide where you want to install the fan. Most fans are placed in the center of the room, allowing smooth air flow throughout the room. However, larger rooms may be better suited for 2 fans for optimal air flow. For safety reasons, do not install a fan over a bed.
Consider various room factors: Room Size
  • 30" ceiling fan for rooms up to 8' x 10' (small bedrooms, walk-in closets, smaller kitchens)
  • 42" ceiling fan for rooms up to 12' x 12' (medium bedrooms, kitchens, small recreation areas)
  • 52" ceiling fan for rooms up to 18' x 20' (large bedrooms, family rooms, great rooms, dining rooms
Ceiling Height
  • Low ceiling: Hugger mount or traditional- mount without down rod
  • Standard 8' ceiling: traditional- mount with down rod
  • 9' or Higher ceiling: Extended down rod
  • Sloped ceiling: Extended down rod
    You will need to check the floor to ceiling height of the blades. Make sure you take into account the distance that the fan hangs from the ceiling. For safety, a minimum height of 7’-9’ is recommended. If your fan does not meet the 7’ recommendation, you can look into a low-ceiling mount. Building codes in your area may require this.
    For optimum air circulation it is most efficient to have the fan blade 8' to 9' above the floor. For higher ceilings see the chart for recommended down rod length.
Think about electricity. Since fans require the same amount of power as most ceiling fixtures, the electrical circuit shouldn’t be overloaded. If the fan includes a light fixture, ensure that the circuit is able to handle both the fan and light. If your circuit will not hold this capacity then a new circuit must be run from the home’s main panel to the fan. If there was not a preexisting fixture, you will need to create a place to hang the fan. If your home is not wired properly, some fans do have swag wiring that can be plugged into a wall outlet, but ceiling installation is preferred. It is easiest to install ceiling bracing and electrical wiring during new home construction even if you will be installing a fan at a later time.Consulting an electrician is always your best option.

Choose a good quality fan. A cheap fan is more trouble than it is worth. Not only will a cheap fan wobble, but a poor-quality fan will not circulate as much air at a given RPM. While speed helps control how much air is moved, blade pitch (angle between blade and horizontal) and design also play a role. Good quality fans boast motors that have more power, so as to allow for greater blade pitch. Cheap fans, on the other hand, have motors that are not strong enough to handle the air resistance associated with greater blade pitch, requiring the manufacturer to lower the blade pitch to avoid burning out the motor. Also, cheap fans produce a humming noise. Remember that a good-quality fan will not always be priced unreasonably high. Even Hunter ceiling fans, which can be found at stores such as Lowes or Home Depot, are of decent quality for reasonable price.


  • Decide whether you want the fan to be a focal point or to blend into the ceiling.
  • Fans should run clockwise in winter (to move warm air off of the ceiling) and counterclockwise in summer (to create a cool breeze).
  • For exterior installation be sure that all fan components are weatherproof and rated for outdoor use.
  • Choose fans built for damp or wet environments if shopping for a bathroom, kitchen, or exterior space.
  • Ceiling fans will not remove humidity from the air.
  • Consult an electrician to ensure the ceiling can support the additional weight.
  • Look for the Energy Star label, which indicates that air moves 20 percent more efficiently than other models.
  • Unless the ceiling height does not allow for a traditional-mount fan (with a down rod) to be mounted with the blades at least 7' above the floor, avoid hugger-mount fans or traditional-mount fans without down rods. Because the blades of such a fan are extremely close to the ceiling, such a fan would not move as much air as traditional-mount fans at any given speed.
  • Consider a remote or wall control if you are installing a fan on a high ceiling.
  • Get a light kit for your ceiling fan if you want additional light in the room. Try to find fan bulbs, since the vibration can cause standard bulbs to burn out more quickly than normal.
  • Try to install a fan so that the blades are not between the light and the room.


Always mount a ceiling fan with the blades at least 7 feet above the floor, even if this requires a close-to-ceiling mount. A ceiling fan hanging too low can hit somebody's head and cause injury. Also, building codes in many jurisdictions prohibit ceiling fans from being mounted with the blades less than 7 feet.

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