How to pick the right ceiling fan for your room
Since it’s a fixed part of your home—and kind of a pain to swap out once you’ve installed it—it’s important to pick the right ceiling fan for your space.
The first thing to figure out is the size of the blades that you need to move air around your room. If you plan to actually use the fan to help your room feel cooler or warmer based on the season, it needs to have blades large enough to effectively move air.
Though not perfect for every situation, here’s the basic guide to figuring out how large of a ceiling fan you need for your space:
200 square feet or smaller: 44 inches or smaller
300 square feet or smaller: 52 inches or smaller
400 square feet or smaller: 62 inches or smaller
500 square feet or larger: larger than 62 inches
If you’re replacing an existing fan, you can simply measure the blades of the one you have and adjust from there. If you do not currently have a fan where you plan to install one, it’s important that you figure out whether the fan will bump into any sloped ceilings and whether there’s enough structural support at the light fixture to support the fan’s weight.
The second thing you need to figure out is how you’ll mount the ceiling fan, and at what height. If you have a standard eight- or nine-foot ceiling, then you can likely use a flush or semi-flush mount, but you may want to have a low-profile fan that will leave you plenty of headroom so you’re not bumping into the pull chains or accidentally stretching and hitting a fan while running.
If you have larger ceilings—like 10 feet or higher—then you’ll likely want to use a downrod. A downrod is a hollow rod that typically attaches to a ball joint at the ceiling. It extends down, anywhere from four inches to several feet, and the ceiling-fan motor hangs off of it.
In huge rooms like that, you want your ceiling fan to have at least 10 inches of clearance above the blades and nine to 10 feet of clearance below, so you’ll need to figure out your downrod length to hit that sweet spot. You’ll also definitely want a fan that can be controlled by a remote if it’s that high up.
Meet the tester
TJ is the Executive Editor of Reviewed.com. He is a Massachusetts native and has covered electronics, cameras, TVs, smartphones, parenting, and more for Reviewed. He is from the self-styled "Cranberry Capitol of the World," which is, in fact, a real thing.
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