A ceiling fan is a great, sustainable home upgrade that can keep you feeling cool in the summer and warm in the winter. But if you’ve visited your local big box store or shopped online for ceiling fans, you’ve probably noticed by now that there are tons of options on the market. How do you choose the best fan for your home?
There are several factors you need to consider, including the size of the room where you plan to hang the fan, the features you want, and the style of the fan. You could choose a fan with a ton of fancy features, or get something more basic. You could buy a cheaper fan with an AC motor, or pay more for a model with a DC motor. Here’s what you need to know to choose the best ceiling fan for your home.
You Need the Right Size Fan for Your Room
The first thing you need to know before you buy a ceiling fan is that you should get the right size fan for the room in which you plan to hang it. Measure your room to find its square footage. If the room is smaller than 100 square feet, you need a ceiling fan that is 29 to 36 inches wide. If the room is 100-150 square feet, you need a fan that is 36 to 40 inches wide. If the room is 150-250 square feet, you need a fan that is 42 to 44 inches wide. If the room is 250-350 square feet, you need a fan that is 44 to 50 inches wide. If your room is more than 350 square feet, you should buy a fan that is at least 54 inches wide, if not 60 inches or wider.
Choose a Fan Style that Goes with Your Decor
Think about your decorating style and shop for fans that coordinate. Look at palm-leaf fans to go with your coastal aesthetic. Shop for vintage-style fans to blend in with your traditional style. Fans with eight or nine blades produce gentle breezes and can accentuate a steampunk look. With so many fan designs available, you can definitely find one that blends in with your home decorating style – or stands out, if that’s what you want.
Hang the Fan at the Right Height
A ceiling fan should hang at seven to nine feet off the floor – eight feet is a good compromise as it’s high enough that no one can hit their head but low enough that you can easily feel the breeze. If you have high ceilings, you’re going to need a fan with a downrod – and you might need to buy a downrod extension kit, depending on how high your ceilings are, or if they are vaulted. If you have low ceilings, look at flush-mount fans that will hug the ceiling and not take up too much vertical space.
Get the Best Fan Motor You Can Afford
The quality of your fan motor will make a big difference to how quietly and well your fan performs. AC fan motors are the most common, but DC fan motors offer more speed settings, last longer, and operate more quietly. They’re perfect for rooms where you don’t want to deal with fan noise, like a bedroom. If you can afford it, a fan with a DC motor is going to give you much more service and more power than one with an AC motor.
Buy Indoor Fans for Indoors, and Outdoor Fans for Outdoors
You can’t just hang any fan anywhere. Some fans are dry-rated, and only for use indoors in rooms where they won’t encounter humidity or moisture. If you’re going to hang a fan in your kitchen or bathroom, where humidity might occur, choose a damp-rated fan. If you’re going to hang your ceiling fan outdoors, search for wet-rated ceiling fans that are appropriate for outdoor use.
Shop for the Best Fan Features
Modern ceiling fans offer homeowners a wide array of different features. Smart fans are the most feature-heavy. They can connect to your home wireless network and communicate with your smartphone or smart home device, so they’re easy to control using an app or your voice. You can buy programmable fans so you can set your fan to turn itself on and off on a schedule. You can even get fans with built-in temperature sensors that will turn themselves on when the room gets too hot.
Choosing a ceiling fan can be a big decision – you’re going to live with this fan for years, after all. Take your time and choose a high-quality fan with all the features you need to enjoy your new fixture for years to come.