How to Choose a Ceiling Fan for Your Home

Looking for a way to cut heating and cooling costs in your home? Not willing to sacrifice comfort? You can’t go wrong with a ceiling fan.

A ceiling fan can make a room feel as many as four degrees cooler, without the need to adjust the thermostat at all. In the winter, you can reverse the direction of the fan blades and feel warmer as the fan stops warm air from rising to the ceiling. But the right fan for your space will depend on factors like the size of your room, the height of your ceilings, your decor, the amount of airflow you want to feel, and what features you need. Let’s take a closer look.

The Larger the Room, the Larger the Fan

Fan measurements refer to the diameter of the fan blades, so they’re taken from blade-tip to blade-tip. They start at about 29 inches for small fans and go up to 60 inches in diameter or more.

You should choose a fan size that’s appropriate for the size of your room. An easy way to size ceiling fans for most rooms is to measure the room’s longest wall. If the wall is fewer than 12 feet long, you’ll need to choose from among smaller fans of 46 inches or less. A more average room with a longest wall 12 to 18 feet long will require a fan 48 to 56 inches. A very large room with a longest wall longer than 18 feet will require a fan at least 56 inches wide if not wider.

Choose Different Fan Profiles for Different Ceiling Heights

Fans either come with a downrod mount or a flush mount. Downrod mounts are appropriate for rooms with ceilings nine feet high or higher, while flush mounts are appropriate for rooms with ceilings lower than nine feet.

A standard downrod is three to five inches long, and it’s appropriate for a room with ceilings nine to ten feet high. If the ceiling is higher than ten feet, choose a longer downrod. Make sure to subtract 12 inches from your downrod length if you’re hanging a fan that has a light fixture. Either way, you need to suspend your fan seven to nine feet from the floor, so choose your downrod accordingly. If you want to hang your fan from a sloped, rather than flat, ceiling surface, choose a sloped downrod mount.

Match the Fan Style to Your Decor

Perhaps the most difficult thing about shopping for ceiling fans is choosing a fan that ties the room together instead of looking out of place. The old advice about buying a fan the same color as your ceiling so that it blends in no longer applies. These days, you want to buy a fan that reflects the wood and finish colors and styles present throughout the room. So, if you have heavy, traditional oak furniture, choose a traditional ceiling fan style with oak wood finishes. If you have brushed bronze fixtures and cabinet pulls in your kitchen, choose a fan with a brushed bronze finish on its trim and motor housing.

Check the CFM Rating

Of course, the whole point of buying a ceiling fan is so that you can feel a breeze, so you need to make sure you’re choosing an airflow rating that meets your needs. Airflow for ceiling fans is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), and you’ll see that most CFM ratings place the volume of air moved each minute in the thousands of cubic feet. A good fan should have a rating of at least 4,000 CFM, but you can buy more powerful fans with ratings of 6,000 CFM or more. Choose your rating based on how much air movement you need in the space, and how big the room is — fans will need to move more air to make a difference in a bigger room.

Get the Right Features

Modern ceiling fans are available with a range of features that make them easier to use. There’s the standard light fixture with pull chains for operating the light and fan motor, which works fine for a bedroom. But if you’re hanging the fan in a larger room or one with a higher ceiling, you might want a remote control or wall control. You might even want a smart fan that can be controlled via a smartphone app. And, of course, you’ll want features like reversible blades to make your fan useful all year round.

A ceiling fan can really make a big difference to the comfort of your home year-round. Save on energy costs and stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter with a stylish new ceiling fan.