Written by 9:35 am The Guides

Sourcing Ceiling Fans

Sourcing ceiling fans comes with a number of considerations, from ensuring the right size for prope…
Artemis LED Smart Ceiling Fan by Minka Aire Fans

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: 

RoomRoom SizeCeiling Fan Size needed 
Breakfast nooks 
Laundry, mud or other utility rooms 
Up to 75 square feet  29 – 36 inches  
Dining rooms 
Up to 175 square feet  42 – 48 inches 
Large Bedrooms 
Family Rooms 
Media rooms 
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 A low-profile 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: 

  1. The bottommost point of a ceiling fan should hang no lower than 7 feet above the floor. 
  2. 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. 
Ceiling fan in spacious dining room area.
52-Inch Haiku Monochrome Indoor Ceiling Fan by Big Ass Fans 

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. Blades, Lights, Style + More

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 altogether. 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.  

Sleek ceiling fan with short downrod
Maverick Ceiling Fan by Visual Comfort Fan

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, while decorative blade styles become a focal point to rival any chandelier.

Accessories: Far from the pull-chain of yesterday, smarter controls are the norm for many higher-end fan brands. It’s now possible to kit out every fan in your project with compatible add-on light kits, wall controls, remote controls and even smart hubs that control multiple fans via WiFi.

Try our step-by-step Fan Finder to discover the just-right design for your project.