If you’ve spent any amount of time living in a hot climate, you know what a big difference a ceiling fan can make to your comfort on a hot day. A ceiling fan can make a room feel four degrees cooler in the summer, so you can turn your thermostat up and save some money on cooling costs without drowning in your own sweat. In the winter, you can set your fan blades to turn clockwise, which pushes warm air down from the ceiling and can make your home feel warmer on the chilliest days.
But there’s a lot to consider before you buy a ceiling fan. You need to make sure you’re getting the right size fan for the space you want to hang it in, that it has the power to create the breezes you need, and that it comes with the features you want in a fan. You should choose a fan that matches your decor, and if you’re planning to hang it anywhere where it might be exposed to moisture or the elements, you need to make sure it’s built to stand up to that exposure.
The Size of the Room Where You’ll Hang the Fan
The size of the room in which you plan to hang your new fan determines what size fan you’ll need. A fan that’s too small simply won’t be able to circulate air effectively – you might not even be able to feel the breeze it creates. A fan that’s too big creates breezes that are overpowering.
Determine the length and width of the room and use those numbers to calculate the square footage of the area. If the square footage is less than 75 square feet, you need a fan no larger than 36 inches in diameter. If the square footage is 76 to 144 square feet, shop for fans that are 36 to 42 inches in diameter. If the square footage is 145 to 400 square feet, look for fans that are 44 to 50 inches in diameter. And if the room is larger than 400 square feet, you’re going to need a fan that is at least 60 inches in diameter, if not larger. You may even need more than one fan to create noticeable airflow in the space.
Airflow ratings tell you how much air a fan can move in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The higher the airflow rating, the more air the fan can move, and the stronger the breeze it creates will feel. You want to get a fan with an airflow rating of at least 4,000 to 5,000 CFM, but if you’re buying a fan for a larger space, look for airflow ratings above 6,000 CFM.
Ceiling Fan Lights and Other Features
What kind of features do you want on your fan? You probably want a fan that offers a range of blade speeds, so you can customize the level of airflow according to your climate control needs. You might also want to get a fan that has a built-in light fixture, especially if you’re installing the fan to replace a light fixture that you already have in your ceiling. Fans with LED light fixtures use a lot less electricity than incandescent lights, but create the same number of lumens as a traditional incandescent light. They also stay cool to the touch, so when you need to change the bulb, you don’t have to worry about burning yourself.
Lights and fan speeds are pretty standard ceiling fan features, but these days, you can get fans with smart features, too. For example, you might want to be able to connect your fan to your smart home device so you can control it with your voice, or through an app on your smartphone. You can also choose fans with remote controls or wireless wall-mount controls, which can come in handy if you’re too short to reach a pull cord for a fan that’s nine feet off the floor.
The Design of the Fan
There are so many different styles of ceiling fan these days that you can’t help but find one that will suit your taste and match your home decorating palette. If you want something fancy, go for a chandelier ceiling fan. If you want a more industrial look, consider a dual motor fan with two heads or an industrial design with a single fan head inside a cage. If you’re shopping for fans for your beach house or country cabin, look for palm leaf or other rustic fan designs. Remember, you’re going to be looking at this fan for years, so it’s worth the time it takes to pick out one you really like, and one that will bring the room together.
Damp, Wet, and Dry Ratings
If you plan to hang your fan indoors in an area that doesn’t get much humidity or moisture, like a bedroom or living area, you can purchase a dry-rated fan. If you’re shopping for a ceiling fan for your kitchen or bathroom, where it will be exposed to moisture and humidity, get a damp-rated fan.
If you want to hang a ceiling fan outside on a covered porch or patio, where it might be at least indirectly exposed to the elements, you need to get a wet-rated fan. Wet-rated fans are made with materials that can withstand ice, rain, and snow. If you live in a coastal or island environment, though, you should buy a marine-rated fan that can withstand the corrosive effects of sea salt air.
Purchasing a ceiling fan is a big decision, because a ceiling fan is a permanent fixture in your home that has the potential to deeply impact your level of comfort in your abode. Shop carefully and get a fan that offers everything you need, so you don’t regret your decision every time you look up at your ceiling.hing you need.