Ceiling Fan Size FAQ

Ceiling fans circulate air flow that helps to make your home feel more comfortable inside. A sky high electric bill in summer is motivation enough to consider installing at least one ceiling fan. You can raise your thermostat setting in rooms because the air circulation created by the fan makes the inside temperature feel cooler. Before you make a purchase, understand the facts about ceiling fan size for the rooms you have in mind.

To get the highest energy savings and most comfort, you don't want a ceiling fan that's either too big for a room or too small. The wrong choice will appear awkward and off balance aesthetically and won't provide optimum efficiency.

What's the rule of thumb for fan size?

Ceiling fans can be purchased in a variety of different sizes. Generally, 52 inches is the most common size ceiling fan sold, but that doesn't mean that's the size needed. Measure the room where you wish to install the ceiling fan and follow the guide suggested for room sizes on the Energy Star Web site as follows:

  • Rooms up to 75 feet = a 29 to 36 inch fan.
  • Between 76 and 144 feet = a 36 to 42 inch fan.
  • Between 144 and 225 feet = a 44 inch fan.
  • Between 225 and 400 feet = a 50 to 54 inch fan.

What about large rectangular rooms?

If you have a room that is much longer on one side than the other, you should consider installing two or more fans evenly spaced on the ceiling. Your goal is efficient air circulation and, for odd shaped rooms, two smaller sizes will work better than one larger size and will also balance the room aesthetically.

Where on the ceiling should they be installed?

Ceiling fans should be installed in the middle of the ceiling with a 7 foot minimum clearance from the floor and no less than 18 inches away from walls. The optimum ceiling height for most efficient airflow is a room that allows installation of the ceiling fan 8 or 9 feet above the floor.

Isn't a bigger ceiling fan better?

Not necessarily. A ceiling fan that's too large for a room can create an overpowering airflow even when set on low. This can be problematic in bedrooms where sound and comfort are especially important so as not to disturb sleep patterns. On the other hand, a fan that's too small for the room won't give you the temperature benefits. You'll have to set it on high most of the time, especially when it's hot.

Do low ceilings require a 'hugger' fan?

Hugger ceiling fans allow for the shortest distance between the ceiling and the fan blades and were originally designed for low ceilings. While hugger fans are a good option for smaller rooms, the downside is that the limited space between the ceiling and the fan blades reduces circulation efficiency. This style fan is ultimately not as effective as standard mountings, but should be considered as better than no ceiling fan at all.

Do your research and go prepared to ask questions before you make a purchase. When you buy the correct ceiling fan size for your room, you'll see instant savings on your electric bill.

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