In the world of ceiling fans, you truly do get what you pay for. When shopping for ceiling fans there are many things to consider: style, size, airflow, motor quality, and energy efficiency.
Although the style of the fan does not directly affect its functionality, it is important to get a fan that works for your individual space. There are many different manufactures producing ceiling fans, and they all offer their own unique spin (no pun intended) on their fans. It is important to look at styles you like and then compare the specifications of the fans to decide which fan is the perfect match for your space.
The size of the fan is generally determined by the square footage of your room. Below is a chart to help better determine the best fan size for your space. As always, there can be exceptions to the rule. For example, if you have a larger room (100-150 square feet) paired with a high ceiling (10’-12’+), you could choose anywhere between a 52”-60” fan.
What size fan does your room require?
To achieve maximum airflow, allow a minimum of 18” from the blade to the wall and ceiling. To guide in the selection, consider the following chart:
|Room size||Room type||Blade Sweep|
|90 square feet or less||Small bedroom or office
|90 to 100 square feet||Over a kitchen table
Small screened-in porch
Intimate dining room
|44″ and 46″|
|100 to 150 square feet||Most bedrooms
Most larger kitchens
Formal dining room
|52″ and 54″|
|Over 150 square feet||Great room
Large outdoor patio
|56″ to 70″ or multiple fans|
There is now a standard unit of measuring the airflow and efficiency when it comes to ceiling fans, and it is most often displayed in the catalog in the same format as below:
The airflow CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) rating is a U.S. government-mandated standard that quantifies how much air a ceiling fan will move. The higher the CFM rating, the more efficient the fan. We tend to say that any fan over 4,000 CFM should be your target fan.
The power usage is measured in Watts to allow consumers to easier compare one fan to another. This listing excludes the wattage used by the light on a fan, but is measured for the fan being on high. In this case, the fan listed above uses 76.4 watts per hour. If you were to run this fan on high for 5 hours, it would cost less than 4 cents for the 5 hours span. (Based on $.10/kilowatt hour) A good portion of the fans today are energy star rated, meeting the strict energy codes set forth by the government. In comparison to the conventional ceiling fans, energy star rated fans are said to be around 60% more efficient.
In addition to energy star rated fans, the Direct Current (DC) motor has been developed to be 3 times more efficient than a typical ceiling fan motor and only uses a maximum of 33 watts of energy. If you compare the cost to operate the 33 watt fan vs. the 76.4 fan, it would be less than 2 cents to operate that fan for 5 hours. In addition to the financial savings for energy consumption, you will also find that the fan itself will last longer and will operate quietly much longer than a conventional fan, while also giving you six speeds vs three speeds.
Below is a chart that helps show the appropriate downrod extension needed for your room based on your ceiling height. Although the chart shows that a 20’ ceiling would take a 72” downrod, we suggest going no lower than 48” so that you are able to utilize the reverse function in the winter time, pulling the hot air down.
Although this is a lot of information to absorb and apply toward your next ceiling fan purchase, you can take comfort knowing that any fan with an energy star rating will be very efficient, and the above charts will help you better choose the appropriate size for your room. Now, your hardest decision will be which style of fan to choose!