Savoy House Casual Lifestyles Ariel Byzantine Bronze 58W Ceiling Fan with Light
Buying Guides

Ceiling Fan Buying Guide

Ceiling fans do so much more than just cooling your house in warmer months. With a variety of styles ranging from rustic to modern to traditional, a ceiling fan can be a stylish accent or a bold statement piece. Buying the right ceiling fan can also lead to major savings off your home’s energy bills. We’ve complied this guide covering fan sizing, placement, and features to help you buy the best ceiling fan for your needs and your space.

Monte Carlo Fans Butterfly Brushed Steel 54 Wide Indoor Ceiling Fan with Light

Monte Carlo Fans Butterfly Brushed Steel 54 Wide Indoor Ceiling Fan with Light

Ceiling Fan Sizing

Because the size of the fan is determined by the size of the room, your ceiling fan should be selected with a specific room in mind. It’s crucial to measure the square footage of the space where you’ll be installing your fan so that you can ensure your fan will fit in your space. Once you know the size of your room, look for a fan with a complementary blade span, which is how ceiling fans are measured. Blade span, is the the diameter of the circle that you see when the fan blades are rotating. Here is an easy guide to follow when sizing up your space:


Ceiling Fan Placement

Consider the layout of your space when choosing where to install your fan. The closer you are to the ceiling fan, the more airflow you’ll be able to feel, so make sure the fan is not too far away from high traffic areas and seating arrangements. When placing the fan always allow at least a minimum of 8 to 10 inches between the fan blades and the ceiling. If the fan is hung next to a lighting fixture, allow at least 38 inches between the fan blades and the lighting fixture. Whether or not you’re using a downrod, always leave a minimum of 7 feet between the fan and the floor.

For rooms more than 18 feet long, consider using two medium-sized fans. Be sure the blade tips are at least  24 inches away from the walls.  Fans mounted too close to a wall or a slopped ceiling may not circulate as much air. 

Ceiling Fan Features

Ceiling Adapters: If your ceiling is sloped or angled, you’re going to need an adapter for your fan. Because not all fans can be adapted for a sloped ceiling, make sure to check the angle of your ceiling to see if it is compatible with the fan before you purchase. If your fan is adaptable, make sure to check if the adapter is included, otherwise you’ll need to purchase one.

Downrods: Downrods are a very popular ceiling fan feature, recommended for rooms with vaulted or high ceilings. Downrods help to lower the fan, ultimately bringing it closer to the main space. The graph below shows the recommended length of a downrod for the height of your ceiling. If your ceiling fan has a light kit, reduce the length of the downrod by a foot.


Blade pitch: A ceiling fan’s blade pitch is the angle at which the blades are set relative to parallel to the ground.  Many believe that a good fan will have a blade pitch of 15 or more, but blade pitch doesn’t solely determine the airflow of a ceiling fan. The motor’s power, and the size, shape, and material of the blades are also huge factors contributing to airflow.

Savoy House Casual Lifestyles Ariel Byzantine Bronze 58W Ceiling Fan with Light

Savoy House Casual Lifestyles Ariel Byzantine Bronze 58W Ceiling Fan with Light

Controls: There are many different options for ceiling fan controls available on the market right now: traditional pull-cord controls, wall mounted controls, digital controls, and wireless remote controls. Wall mounted and pull-cord controls often offer limited settings for speed, but are well suited for commercial installations where a controller might get lost. Digital and wireless controls can enhance the performance and flexibility of your fan, allowing you to control all of the fan’s functions: on/off status, speed, direction of rotation, and any attached light fixtures.

Understanding Ceiling Fan Ratings

The two most important certification ratings to look for when shopping for ceiling fans, are the Energy Star and UL ratings.

Energy Star: Energy Star certified ceiling fans can save you tons on heating and cooling costs over the life of the fan. They’re typically 20% more efficient than fans without the rating.

UL Ratings: Every ceiling fan on our website has a UL listing which tells you which environment the fan is best suited for: dry, damp, or wet. It’s important to look at a UL listing on a ceiling fan before purchasing because each location in your house is exposed to different weather elements, which can affect the performance and life of the fan. These ratings can help you choose the right fan for an indoor space, a covered porch, or a semi-covered outdoor patio.

  • UL Dry:  A fixture with a UL dry rating may be used in any indoor space, away from moisture, humidity, or water. UL dry rated fans work well in bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and offices. When the listing simply reads “UL” it is also classified as a dry rated fan.
  • UL Damp: A fixture with a UL damp rating can be exposed to some humidity or moisture, but should not be put in direct contact with water. UL damp rated fans are perfect for laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and covered porches.
  • UL Wet:  A fixture with a UL wet rating can be exposed to moisture, water, and humidity. Designed for durability, UL wet rated fans are perfect for open-air decks, patios, uncovered porches, gazebos, and outdoor walkways.

It’s perfectly okay to use an outdoor fan indoors. The most versatile fan of the three, UL wet rated fans can also be installed in dry or damp areas.

Ready to shop? Browse our wide selection of ceiling fans here. Need more inspiration? Check out our ceiling fan board on Pinterest.