How to Choose a New Ceiling Fan

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Whether you’re replacing an existing ceiling fan with a newer model or upgrading your home with new, cheaper to operate and more sustainable features, you need to know what to look for in a ceiling fan. Today’s ceiling fans come in sizes ranging from 29 inches in diameter to 80 inches or more, and they have all kinds of new features that your grandma’s ceiling fan didn’t offer. Plus, homeowners these days can choose from a smorgasbord of fan designs to please every aesthetic. 

So what do you need to know about choosing a new ceiling fan? First of all, you have to make sure you get the right size fixture for the room. Then it’s just a matter of getting the features you need from your new fan and choosing a fan design that works with your decorating scheme. 

Get the Right Size Fan

The one thing you need to be certain of when you buy a new ceiling fan is that you’re getting the right size fan for the room where it will hang. If the fan is too small, it won’t be powerful enough to generate the airflow you’re counting on. If it’s too big, it will generate too much airflow and overpower you. 

How can you properly size a ceiling fan? You should start by calculating the square footage of the room where you want to hang the fan. Do this by measuring the width and length of the room with a measuring tape, and then multiplying those two numbers together. Then use the following guidelines to choose a fan size:

  • For rooms under 75 square feet, a fan should be 29 to 36 inches
  • For rooms 75 to 144 square feet, a fan should be 36 to 42 inches
  • For rooms 145 to 224 square feet, a fan should be 44 to 48 inches
  • For rooms above 225 square feet, a fan should be at least 50 inches

For the largest rooms, you will need one of the largest ceiling fans, or you can hang multiple ceiling fans for airflow customization.

Get the Features You Need

 You can buy a ceiling fan with lights, a pull chain, and two or three speed settings – these are basic features. But modern ceiling fans offer a much wider range of features. Choose a ceiling fan with LED lights that don’t get hot. Look for fans with five or six speed settings. You can even buy smart fans that will connect to your wifi, so you can control them with your smartphone or smart home device. You can also buy fans with wireless wall controls so you can turn the fan and lights on and off and set the speed and direction of the blades without wiring up a control panel.

Ceiling fans with smart connectivity or wireless wall controls, or both, eliminate the need to awkwardly grab for a pull chain every time you want to adjust the fan. You may also want to choose a fan with a DC motor – they’re quieter, more powerful, and last longer than fans with AC motors.

Get a Fan Design You Like

Last, but certainly not least, you should buy a fan that will complement your decor. The right fan will tie your whole room together and could even serve as a fascinating conversation piece.

There are fan designs available to please every home decorator, no matter what kind of decor you like. Think about what your overall decorating style is – is it contemporary, ultra-modern, steampunk, traditional, cottagecore, or eclectic? You might want to choose a leaf-blade fan to go with the coastal decor at your beach house, for example, but a more industrial, nine-blade fan for your city loft apartment. If your decorating style is more eclectic, you may want to choose a fan that clashes with the dominant style, but if you’re going for a more unified look with your decor, you should choose a fan that blends in with the most dominant style you have going on. 

One thing to keep in mind is that it’s usually a good idea to match the wood finish or hardware finishes on your new fan to those in your room. If most of the woodwork and furniture in the room has a mahogany finish, choose a fan with a mahogany blade finish. If your light switch covers, outlet covers, and door knobs are brushed nickel, choose a fan with brushed nickel hardware. Don’t choose a fan that matches your ceiling – unless you have low ceilings and don’t want the fan to dominate the space.

Choosing a new ceiling fan can be intimidating, but it’s really just a matter of getting the size right, choosing the features you want, and picking out something that will look good in your house. Take your time to choose the right fan, because you’ll be relying on it for a long time.


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