A ceiling fan can add visual interest and drama to any room, tying the furnishings together and helping everything appear more finished.
Yet, it's important to keep scale in mind.
A small, low-profile fan can disappear into a soaring, 12-foot ceiling, while an oversized one usually looks out of place in a small bedroom. Whether your style is bohemian, traditional, eclectic, or modern, balance is key.
Today, we're sharing a quick guide to choosing the right ceiling fan size, so you can get it right every time!
Why Does Ceiling Fan Size Matter?
When we talk about ceiling fan sizes, we're describing a range of factors, including downrod length and blade span.
For instance, small fans often sit flush to the ceiling, with a blade span that usually starts around 24 inches and can extend to 49 inches. On the other hand, large ceiling fans include a downrod for 8 to 9 foot ceiling, and longer downrods are available for taller ceilings. They can have a blade span that stretches up to 90 inches or more!
It's worth taking the time to research your options and choose the right fan for your ceiling. When you do, you maximize your fan's performance efficiency.
If you install a small fan in a large room, it will have to work twice as hard to keep you cool. As a result, you will not save on your utility bill as you may have hoped, and the fan motor is bound to burn out more quickly. This means you'll have to replace it prematurely.
Conversely, a large ceiling fan may be too big in a smaller space. Not only can this look non-aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but if the blades do not clear the wall space by enough it will actually negatively effect the airflow. Its large blades could also pose a safety threat if your ceiling is too short, especially for industrial designed models the may use extruded aluminum blades.
When you choose the right size, you can also make sure your fan looks just right in your space and will fit perfectly for years to come.
Key Ceiling Fan Measurements
With so many fan options on the market, how can you determine the exact size you need?
When researching the right ceiling fan for your space, there are a few key measurements to keep in mind. These include your ceiling height, blade span, and cubic feet per minute.
For your ceiling fan to deliver optimal airflow for summer use, it needs to hang around eight to nine feet above your finished floor; for winter use we suggest it being closer to the ceiling. However, for optimal year round usage I always suggest splitting the difference and hanging it at a hight someone in between.
If you have tall ceilings, this means you'll need a downrod. This is a straight piece of hardware that extends from the ceiling mount to the fan's motor, lights, and blades.
Downrods come in many different sizes depending on your needs. When you use one, you can suspend your fan away from the ceiling. Large ceilings with extended downrods are often used in family rooms, tall kitchens, and spacious outdoor patios.
Conversely, without a downrod, your fan will sit almost flush, with only around eight inches of space between the fan and your ceiling. These low-profile fans, also called flush-mount or ceiling hugger fans, work best in rooms that have shorter ceilings of less than 8 feet. Common examples include guest bedrooms and home offices.
The blade span of a ceiling fan is the diameter of the imaginary circle that its blades create as they spin around. You can also think of this as the measurement from the tip of one blade to the next.
Usually, fans with larger blade spans include downrods. The larger size makes them ideal for more spacious gathering areas. Smaller fans with shorter blade spans are found in other areas of your house, such as a kid's bedroom.
Cubic Feet Per Minute
Each fan you review will have a CFM measurement listed. In short, this is the amount of air that it can move per minute of runtime.
As expected, larger fans have higher CFMs than smaller fans. If you're looking to cool a large family room with 12-foot ceilings, you'll not only need a large fan, but one that has a high CFM, too.
Finding the Perfect Ceiling Fan Size
Keeping the above measurements in mind, let's take a look at how to measure the perfect size fan for any room in your house.
Measure By Square Footage
Start by measuring the square footage of your room.
You can find this by measuring the width of the room by its length. For instance, if your room is seven feet long by nine feet wide, the square footage is 63 feet.
Below is a comparison of the most common ceiling fan blade spans, categorized by room square footage and CFM.
- 120 square feet or fewer: 44-inch blade span or smaller: 1,000 to 4,000 CFM
- 120 to 200 square feet: 48-inch to 52-inch blade span: 3,800 to 7,000 CFM
- 200 to 300 square feet: 56-inch to 60-inch blade span: 5,000 to 9,000 CFM
- 300 square feet or more: 62-inch blade span or greater: 6,500 to 16,900 CFM
Consider Ceiling Height
As mentioned, ceilings that are shorter than eight feet tall work best with a flush-mounted fan. If yours are taller, you'll need a downrod, and maybe even need to purchase a longer one separately.
Use your square footage calculation to determine the size of fan you need. Then, consider your ceiling height to discern if you require a downrod or not.
What if you have short ceilings but large square footage? For instance, many homes have 8-foot ceilings throughout.
In this case, you may need multiple ceiling fans to fill the space, because most really large ceiling fans tend to come with longer donwrods than what can be used on an 8' ceiling height. For instance, if your space is 15' x 30' (450 sq. ft.) and you have a 10-foot ceiling you may want just one 84-inch ceiling fan in the center; but, the same size room with only 8-foot ceilings may require two 60-inch fans due to ceiling height restrictions.
Find the Ideal Ceiling Fan Size For Any Room
Do you want to install a new fan in your family room? What about a guest bedroom, home office, or back patio?
Either way, you'll need to make sure the ceiling fan size you choose matches the dimensions of each space. Thankfully, it isn't difficult to calculate these measurements with the above guide.
As you search for the perfect fan for your home, we'd love to help. We offer a wide variety of ceiling fans designed to fit any taste. From ornate models to rustic, farmhouse ones, we've got you covered. Browse our full selection and contact us with any questions.
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