The 5 Things You Need to Know About Choosing a Ceiling Fan

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Ceiling fans are back in style, and it’s not hard to see why. They can save you money, they make cooling and heating your home more sustainable, and they can be stylish, too.

Before you buy a ceiling fan, though, there are some things you need to know. The most important is to make sure the fan is sized properly for the room where you’re installing it. You’ll also want to make sure the fan matches your décor. Get the right fan accessories and choose the right features, so you can get all the functionality you need from your new fixture.

1) Measure the Room

Before you go ceiling fan shopping, measure the room you’re going to install the fan in. You’ll need to know the square footage of the room in order to get the right size fan, so you’re not stuck with a teeny tiny fan struggling to cool a large room, or, perhaps even worse, a giant fan that threatens to blow down the walls of your small room every time you turn it on.

Fans come in sizes ranging from 29 inches to 60 inches or more, although your local big box hardware store might not carry very small or very large fans. Use the following guidelines to get the right size fan for your room:

  • For rooms up to 75 square feet, fan sizes of 29 to 36 inches are appropriate
  • For rooms from 76 to 144 square feet, fan sizes of 36 to 42 inches are appropriate
  • For rooms from 145 to 225 square feet, grab a 44- to 50-inch fan
  • For 226 to 400 square foot rooms, choose a 50- to 54-inch fan
  • For rooms above 400 square feet, choose a fan 60 inches or larger

2) Consider Design Elements

Most homeowners want to coordinate the look of a fan with the rest of their décor, and with so many different styles of ceiling fan available to consumers, it’s easy to find a stylish fan in modern, traditional, rustic, tropical, contemporary, minimalist, or any other aesthetic. You might choose a fan that matches your design aesthetic, or, if you have a more eclectic style or just want to spice things up with something a little different, you might choose a fan that contrasts your dominant aesthetic.

For some rooms, you might want to buy a fan the same color as the ceiling, so that it will blend in and not attract attention. This is a popular choice for bedrooms, but it’s also a good strategy if you have to buy a fan from the lower end of the budget scale and don’t want people to notice how it looks.

However, if you want to contrast your new fan with your ceiling, consider the dominant wood and hardware trim colors in the room. Choose a blade color that matches that dominant wood color in your room, with metal finish that matches your room’s hardware, lamps, and light fixtures.

3) Get the Right Accessories

You might need any of a number of accessories to install your new ceiling fan successfully. These can include:

  • A metal support brace if you’re unable to anchor your fan directly to a joist
  • A ceiling medallion to cover the hole from the old light fixture, if you’re not installing your new fan in the same location
  • Custom pull cords
  • A fan remote
  • A downrod to make sure your fan is properly positioned at about eight feet off the floor
  • New ceiling fan light shades, globes, or other covers

4) Shed Light on the Situation

Because many ceiling fans also have built-in light fixtures, installing a fan doesn’t mean giving up artificial light in the room. Of course, if your room has lots of natural light from the windows and/or other sources of lighting, like lamps, you might decide you don’t need a light fixture in your ceiling fan. But most homeowners like the option of turning on an overhead light, especially in great rooms and bedrooms.

5) Choose the Right Features

Ceiling fans come with a surprising range of features these days. If you live in a climate with hot summers and cold winters, you’ll want a fan that allows you to reverse the direction of the blades in the winter, to push hot air down from the ceiling in the winter and keep you feeling warmer. Other features you might want in your ceiling fan include wall controls, a remote control (especially for large fans in great rooms), or smart controls that allow you to turn your fan off and on remotely from your smartphone. Of course, you’ll also want to make sure your new fan has a cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating high enough to suit your needs.


There’s a lot you need to know to successfully choose the right ceiling fan for your space, but it’s not rocket science. As long as you buy the right size fan for your room, the rest is mostly a matter of what you need and prefer from your need fixture.

About The Author: Written By Clayton R.
Photo by Helen Shi on Unsplash

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