So you want to keep cool with a ceiling fan that looks … cool. Style’s a great place to start, but to enjoy maximum comfort, some measurements and practical features will need to be nailed down. From ceiling fan sizes to mounting systems and blade pitches, these are the details that every shopper should know.
Ceiling fan size is determined by its blade span or diameter. There are two ways to get this measurement:
- Odd number of blades: Measure from the center of the fan to the blade tip, and double the number
- Even number of blades: Measure from the end of one blade to the end of its opposing blade
To find out which ceiling fan size would be best for your room, multiply your room’s length by its width to get its square footage.
|Room Square Footage||Suggested Fan Size|
|Up to 75 Square Feet||29-43 Inches|
|76-144 Square Feet||44-51 Inches|
|144-300 Square Feet||52-55 Inches|
|300-400 Square Feet||56-60 Inches|
The National Electrical Code requires that ceiling fan blades be at least 7 feet above the floor. For proper airflow, you should also leave about 8 to 10 inches between the blades and the ceiling. Keep in mind that for proper air circulation and energy efficiency, a ceiling fan should be at least 18 inches away from walls or tall furniture.
It’s also important that your ceiling matches up with a fan’s mounting type.
- Flush mount ceiling fans, also known as hugger or low profile, are an exception to this ceiling-distance rule. They’re specially designed for low-ceilinged rooms (e.g. under eight feet), and are installed directly on the ceiling, rather than hung from it with a downrod. Their airflow, measured by CFM (cubic feet per minute), is lower than standard fans.
- Standard mount fans typically come with a 3- to 6-inch downrod for flat ceilings.
- Extended mounts are designed for high-ceiling rooms. You can also buy extension rods for your ceiling fan separately.
- Sloped ceiling fans can be installed on vaulted ceilings. The fans for sloped ceilings at Hayneedle include brands such as Fanimation, with some fans accommodating angles up to 30 degrees.
When installing your fan, make sure it’s anchored to a ceiling joist or mounting bracket, and is connected to an appropriate electrical box (a proper UL-listed box will be marked “For Use With Ceiling Fans”).
An important factor that distinguishes high-end ceiling fans from less expensive ones is the blade pitch. A blade pitch of approximately 12 to 15 degrees will move more air at lower speeds with less noise.
Another blade feature you should look for is forward and reverse spin, a.k.a. clockwise and counterclockwise.
- In summer, a counterclockwise spin creates a cool breeze
- In winter, a low-speed clockwise spin helps circulate warm air that’s risen to the ceiling, providing energy savings for your home.
As you shop our selection, keep an eye out for these useful features:
- Multi-Speed Fans – A must for customized climate control
- High-Efficiency Fans – High-efficiency ENERGY STAR® rated fans for great utility savings
- UL Rated for Moisture – For specialized locations, a suitable UL Listing of either “wet” for outdoors or “damp” for humid bathroom use
- Indoor Fans with Lights – Ceiling fans that pull double duty – serving to both circulate air in the room as well as provide overhead lighting
- Remote Control – Remote control capability so you don’t have to leave your chilled-out seat
It may seem odd to put a ceiling fan outdoors – a place that, as a general rule, doesn’t have a ceiling. But you’d be surprised to learn just how useful an outdoor ceiling fan can be, and more importantly, how much better it can make your outdoor entertaining space. Whether you’re looking to circulate hot, muggy summer air on your covered veranda or patio or add a breeze in your gazebo, outdoor ceiling fans are, well, a breeze.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Ceiling Fans
There’s one major component that sets outdoor ceiling fans apart from their indoor brethren – water resistance. Outdoor ceiling fans are usually made of materials that are not affected by outside temperatures, weather, water, or humidity. That’s why the first thing to look for when shopping for an outdoor ceiling fan is the rating. Ceiling fans come with ratings that indicate whether they can be used outdoors. Look for a fan with one of the following ratings:
- A damp rating indicates a fan that is okay for use in a covered outdoor area, such as a covered porch or patio, where the fan will be protected from direct contact with rain. While damp-rated fans use materials that prevent rust and corrosion from outdoor elements and can handle the moisture that comes with outdoor air, they aren’t built to withstand direct contact with water, rain, snow or other liquids.
- A wet rating indicates a fan that is water resistant and suitable for all outdoor conditions. Wet-rated fans have motor casings and blades that are water and weather resistant to protect against snow, ice, and rain. The finishes used in wet-rated fans also help prevent corrosion and rust. Wet-rated designs are ideal for an open gazebo, cabana pool area, or wherever the fan might be in direct contact with the elements.
Just like traditional indoor fans, outdoor ceiling fans come in a wide variety of styles, so you can spruce up your outdoor entertaining space however you see fit. If you’d like to seamlessly integrate your indoor and outdoor space, we recommend choosing a style similar to what you’ve installed inside.
In the event you’d like to switch it up a bit, there are plenty of outdoor options. From modern and traditional to transitional or even a tad tropical, choosing the ideal fan for your outdoor space is simply a matter of personal taste. You can also opt for an outdoor fan with lights to keep your outdoor space well-lit long after the sun sets – perfect for parties that linger into the evening and after hours.
Materials and Finishes
Because outdoor ceiling fans often have to withstand extreme weather and temperature outdoors, they’re usually made of stronger, more resilient materials, such as plastic or resin. No matter what the base material, you can still choose a finish to suit your style. Choose from a variety of finishes, including black, bronze, oil-rubbed bronze, or satin-nickel, to add an elegant touch to any outdoor space.