The factors involved in choosing a ceiling fan can be enough to make any homeowner’s head spin.
It’s not simply about styles, materials, and finishes (though the number of options available for these can be overwhelming too). To start shopping for a ceiling fan is to enter a strange new world of technical considerations and potentially confusing jargon like “blade pitch,” “CFM and airflow efficiency,” “color temperature,” “downrod or semi-flush mount” – it’s easy to feel you’ve suddenly been swept up in a whirlwind!
To help make shopping a breeze – or, at least, a simpler and more effective process – here are four tips you can follow:
First, consider your needs and potential ceiling fan uses.
Where will you be hanging this ceiling fan and how do you plan to use it? Before you go shopping through all the options available, you should first figure out what are the space requirements for your new fan and how you will most likely be using it.
Is this a bedroom fan you plan to keep on a low setting every night, one that needs to complement your existing furniture and includes a lamp that can shine both bright and dim? Is this an outdoor fan you’ll use only seasonally, but that needs to withstand rainy conditions and also generate a strong cooling effect in the sun?
The more you know at the outset about what you’re looking to get from your fan, the easier it will be to navigate through all the shopping choices available.
Get the height and blade size right.
The next steps involve some simple math.
You need to ensure that your ceiling fan hangs at a height that both provides adequate head clearance, typically eight to nine feet off the floor.
If your space is low-ceilinged, you’ll be shopping for a flush-mount model (also frequently called a “ceiling hugger”). If your ceiling is higher than average, you may need an extension rod. If your ceiling is sloped or angled, you’ll want to purchase a fan that includes an adapter kit, and it’s important to check the precise angle to make sure the fan will be compatible. If your sloped ceiling is a high vault, extra downrods may be needed, and you’ll need to make sure they can accommodate your specific height needs.
Next, you need to figure out the blade size for your fan. Blade spans can range from 24 up to 80 inches. The American Lighting Association suggests the following guidelines:
Room Size Fan Size
Up to 75 sq. ft. 36 inches or smaller
75 to 144 sq. ft. 36 to 42 inches
144 to 225 sq. ft. 44 to 50 inches
225 to 400 sq. ft. 50 to 54 inches
Very large rooms with high ceilings or some outdoor spaces can accommodate even greater blade spans.
Once you know your height and size requirements, it’s time to consider your ceiling fan uses.
A fan’s ability to move air is determined by the pitch of the blades. Traditional ceiling fans typically have 3-5 blades, but some designs now include up to 9 blades for a real helicopter-like effect! Airflow is measured in terms of cubic feet per minute (CFM) and efficiency can be measured in of CFM/watts of electricity used. If energy efficiency is an important consideration, fans with DC motors typically use 3 to 5 times less electricity than those with AC motors.
If you want your ceiling fan to include lighting, you can choose among LED, incandescent, fluorescent and halogen bulbs of various sizes, temperature, and energy efficiency ratings. Again, how you plan to use the fan will determine which options will work best for you.
And what about how easy it is to turn on and off? Some fans can be controlled only by a wall switch, while others have a remote-control option or even an old-fashioned pull chain for an added design charm.
The universe of ceiling fan options is increasingly expanding! So, you don’t want to just settle for the limited selection that may be found in a brick-and-mortar store.
Shopping online makes it easy to compare multiple ceiling fans and their range of available features. For example, here at Going Lighting, we even have a digital “Ceiling Fan Finder” tool that will help you find exactly what you’re looking for by answering just a few questions:
And if you have any questions, our highly trained sales specialists are always happy to answer product questions and make sure you’re getting the right fan for your needs. Just call 1-800-677-6890.