Picking the right ceiling fan for you

Living in South Florida, it's pretty much always hot. As we near the end of a Summer marked by record breaking heat across the country, I thought a post about ceiling fans would be appropriate!

When it comes to choosing the right ceiling fan for you, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. While the aesthetic of your fan is important, even more important is fan size and its features.

Let's start with size first.  You'll need to consider both the size of the room, as well as the height of the ceilings. While the size of the room will help you to determine the size of the fan (fan blades), the height of the room will help you determine whether your fan can have lighting, as well as if it needs to be flush mounted or with an extender.

I use the following relationships as my guide for picking blade span sizes.
    Rooms 6x6 or less: use a fan with a blade span from 24-36"
    Rooms 10x10: use a fan with a blade span from 37-48"
    Rooms 12x12: use a fan with a blade span from 49-55"
    Rooms 15x15 or larger: use a fan with a blade span of 56" or larger
The reason to use different fan sizes based on the room size is really all about efficiency, in addition to its visual scale. If a fan is too small, it will be unable to properly circulate the air in the room...as well as run the risk of looking ridiculous in the space.

Ceiling heights are also very important. The last thing you want to do is have people knocking their heads on your new fan...especially if the blades are spinning!  I like to leave at least 7' of height under my ceiling fixtures; 8-9' is optimal for air circulation.  (One exception is with lighting above a dining room table)  So, once you've measured your room height, take away 7'. The number you're left with is the maximum height I would recommend for your new fan. If you have low ceilings, look at fans with low ceiling mounts.

The next thing to consider is whether you need or want additional lighting in your space. Ceiling fans are a great way to add lighting. From very simple flush mounted lights to highly decorative lighting fixtures, there are tons of options out there to satisfy your personal aesthetic.

The last thing to consider before you run out to pick out your new fan are it's features.  While lighting is certainly one of those features, there are others that are equally important, yet often overlooked. I always look for fans that are reversible. By that I mean, a fan with a motor that will turn either clockwise or counterclockwise by flicking a switch. Here in Florida, I usually have my fans set to counterclockwise, which pulls the heat up and away. However, there are one or two months a year when I flip the switch. Then the clockwise motion of the fan pushes the heat down. While Floridians may not need this feature, anyone living in seasonal climes would find it fantastic! I've seen studies that claim ceiling fans will help to reduce heating costs up to 2% for every degree the thermostat is lowered in winter.  Another way to save it to look for energy efficient models.

So now that you've determined your fan size (blade span and overall height) as well as the additional features you want, it's time to pick your fan!

Low ceiling mount fan
Standard ceiling fan with 3 shade lighting and extended ceiling drop

Decorative fan with single centered lamp
Ultra modern ceiling fan
There are so many fantastic and fantastical fans out there, that I just couldn't fit them all in this post. So stay tuned... there will be another post coming soon with some really weird and wild fans!!

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