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For increased circulation and air movement in any space, consider installing a ceiling fan. Available in a wide range of sizes to suit very small rooms or large living areas, ceiling fans offer an easy solution to make your home more comfortable. In summer, they provide a welcome breeze and distribute cool air efficiently. In winter, they can be used to push warm air from the ceiling down into the room.
Ceiling fans generally range in size from a petite 30-inch blade span to 60 inches or more in diameter. The square footage of your room and ceiling height are the two most important dimensions to consider when selecting a fan model. In addition, you can also opt for a ceiling fan with an integrated lighting fixture to increase illumination in any room.
Move more air with one of these top ceiling fans available on the market now.
Best Overall: Hunter Fan Company Transitional 52-Inch Ceiling Fan
This popular ceiling fan is a top pick for any room that could benefit from more air movement. With three fan speeds and an airflow rating of 5102 CFM, this 52-inch fan from Hunter is sized right for mid-to-large rooms. In addition, it features an integrated two-light fixture with a frosted bowl. Dim the lights or turn them to full brightness for more illumination in your living room, bedroom, basement, etc.
Hunter fans feature a WhisperWind motor for quiet, efficient operation and a mounting design intended to reduce wobbling. Reviewers generally agree that this model is easy to install and is a relatively noiseless fixture. While the light was underpowered for some users, it is well-diffused and makes an excellent source of supplemental light in living rooms or soft light in bedrooms.
Best for Bedrooms: Casablanca Fan Company Durant Low-Profile Ceiling Fan
If you can’t stand the thump-thump-thump of a ceiling fan while you’re trying to sleep, definitely look for a model that is known for being quiet and well-balanced. Casablanca fans have an excellent reputation for build quality and durability, and the Durant model is popular as a bedroom fan.
With a span of 44 inches and a flush-mount design, this quiet fan is small enough to fit into rooms of limited sizes but moves a surprising amount of air according to users. It features an integrated light and the AC motor offers four fan speeds. The most frequent need of reviewers is to buy a separate remote or wall switch since the light and fan speed are controlled by means of two pull chains.
Best Design: Minka-Aire Light Wave LED 52-inch Ceiling Fan
This ceiling fan doesn’t just circulate air—it turns heads. The Minka Aire Light Wave is a stylish ceiling fan that fits right into homes seeking a beautiful, modern ceiling fan. The body and blades of this fan are finished to mimic Koa wood, and the resemblance to the real thing is so close that nearly everyone agrees no one will know the difference once the fan is installed.
With three angled blades spanning 52 inches and a maximum airflow of 4531 CFM, this fan is up to the task of circulating air in medium or large rooms. It does hang from a 6-inch downrod, so you’ll need to be sure that you have enough ceiling clearance to accommodate this fan. An integrated LED light provides illumination but tends to be focused in its output. While some people find the light to be too direct or harsh, you can dim the lighting with the included remote.
"It provides very good airflow on the two higher settings but does not seem to move much air on the lowest setting. We feel that other fans we’ve used at hotels or friends’ homes were more cooling, though potentially far more expensive as well."—Tierney McAfee, Product Tester
Best with Lights: Honeywell Carnegie Industrial Farmhouse LED Ceiling Fan
For a ceiling fan with lights and style, look no further than the Honeywell Carnegie. This model has an integrated drum light fixture that features three E26/B10 LED bulbs and is dimmable from 100-percent to 20-percent. Unlike some ceiling fans with lights that have frosted globes that obscure the light, this drum design provides illumination and a modern look for your living room, bedroom, office or anywhere else you decide to install this fan.
With a fan like this, you don’t need to choose between illumination and ventilation. The 52-inch blade span is sized for rooms ranging from 12 x 12 feet to 18 x 18 feet and provides reversible direction to adjust for circulation in summer or winter seasons. It also includes a remote control to make it easy to control the 3-speed fan motor and lighting function.
Best for Large Rooms: Home Decorators Collection Kensgrove 64-Inch Ceiling Fan
A fan that is too small for the room it’s installed in won’t do much to circulate the air. Many unhappy homeowners complain about a fan that they must stand directly under to feel the effect. If you have a big space of more than 500 square feet, avoid this dilemma by choosing a ceiling fan for large rooms. The Kensgrove fan from the Home Decorators Collection has an impressive span of 64 inches and can easily circulate air in rooms sized 20 x 20 feet or larger.
This model has a DC motor and includes three fan speeds, and in its highest mode, the airspeed is 7,241 CFM. For a residential ceiling fan, this is an impressive airflow rating and a sure sign that this fan is designed for large rooms. Reviewers describe it as both powerful and quiet. As an added bonus, the included remote controls the fan rotation, speed, and lighting function.
Best Hugger: Hunter Fan Company Low Profile IV Traditional Ceiling Fan
Even small spaces or areas with low ceilings can benefit from the circulation offered by a ceiling fan. The Hunter Low Profile IV is a popular choice, thanks to its flush mount design and efficient operation. The five blades are reversible so you can select the color that looks best in your space and the hardware is available in both pewter and bronze finishes.
This is a hugger ceiling fan that mounts to the ceiling without a downrod. It measures only 8.8 inches from the ceiling to the bottom of the fan housing, giving you plenty of headroom. Reviewers have mounted this small ceiling fan in basement, rooms with low ceilings of 8-feet (or less in some cases), and other areas where space was important to consider. The fan motor is capable of 3 speeds, and while the 2328 CFM rating is a bit low in comparison to other models, most people are satisfied with the fan’s ability to move air in a small room.
Best Outdoor: Hunter Fan Company Caicos Outdoor 52-Inch Ceiling Fan
Keep cool on your porch or patio with an outdoor ceiling fan. This type of fan is designed to weather the elements and offer a long life of service despite moisture and humidity. The 52-inch Hunter Caicos fan is a popular option for outdoor living spaces of all sorts. It offers additional airflow of up to 3537 CFM and has five plastic, weather-resistant fan blades.
Reviewers have installed this outdoor fan on a covered deck, back porch, and other similar spaces with great results. Most people find the fan to be easy to install and quiet, yet effective at moving air. In addition, this fan includes a remote control which allows you to adjust the airspeed, control the lighting function, or turn the fan off—without leaving your lounger or patio chair.
Best Budget: Harbor Breeze Armitage Ceiling Fan
While ceiling fans vary in price, power, and aesthetics, a budget version like the Harbor Breeze Armitage is a cost-effective way to increase circulation in any room and has an airflow of 2263 CFM. This ceiling fan costs about $50 and has a 52-inch blade span, which is sufficient to provide good airflow in bedrooms, living rooms, and other spaces up to 400 square feet in size. The Harbor Breeze Armitage fan also features a frosted globe light to provide illumination, though its only a single bulb fixture so it’s better suited for supplemental illumination.
Reviewers consistently comment on how easy it is easy to install this budget ceiling fan. It provides a clean, flush fit to the ceiling—making it a good choice even for low ceiling heights. The blades are reversible and offer both a light and dark woodgrain look. At this price point, you won’t get a fan with an included remote, but some users have purchased a remote and receiver separately and have had good results using it to control the fan’s speed and light function.
For an attractive ceiling fan that also boasts a two-light feature, we recommend the Hunter Transitional 52-inch Ceiling Fan (view at Amazon). It's incredibly quiet and has a reversible motor that's useful in the summer and winter. If you have a bit more money to spend, the Minka-Aire Light Wave 52-Inch Ceiling Fan is a great splurge option that has a sleek design and dimmable lights.
Which way should a ceiling fan turn?
Fan settings are set by the manufacturer so it’s always best to check your specific fan’s guidelines first. However, if you don’t have product information, the general rule is that in the hot summer months, blades should rotate counter-clockwise, which will create a breeze. In the winter, blades should turn in a clockwise motion, which will push air up and pull the warm trapped air down to improve overall heat distribution. You can also conduct your own test to make sure you have it set right for optimal energy savings.
What size downrod do you need with your ceiling fan?
Most standard ceiling fans come with a downrod, which is the piece of metal that connects your fan to the ceiling mount. There should be a minimum of 7 feet between the fan and the floor, so you’ll need a downrod based on your own ceiling height. For 8-foot ceilings, it’s recommended that you use a flush mount; for 9-foot ceilings, use a 6-inch downrod; for 10-foot ceilings, use a 12-inch downrod; for 12-foot ceilings, use a 24-inch downrod.
How do you balance a ceiling fan?
Wobbling is a common problem that can be fixed with a blade-balancing kit, which includes an adjustment clip and adhesive weights. Start by attaching the plastic clip over the center of any blade, turning the fan on, and observing the wobble. Turn off the fan and move the clip to the next blade until you have tested all of the blades, keeping track of which blade has the clip on when the ceiling fan wobbles the least. The clip should then stay on that blade nearest to the inner part of the fan. If that doesn’t fix the problem, move the plastic clip outward in small increments until you find the fan’s most balanced spot. Remove the clip and place one of the self-adhesive weight strips on that spot in the center, upper part of the blade where it’s not visible from the ground.
Ceiling fans are an often underappreciated household staple. Many people rely on air conditioning to stay cool in the summer, but ceiling fans can help—without using nearly as much electricity. While fans don’t lower the temperature or get rid of humidity, they do help circulate air throughout your home and make you feel cooler thanks to the “wind chill” effect. Plus, many ceiling fans are a stylish addition to your home.
Ceiling fans have been around since the late 1800s, and the technology behind them is relatively simple. Electricity powers the central motor in the fan, which causes the blades to spin. The blades are tilted at a slight angle—generally between 12 and 15 degrees—which pushes air down toward the floor. When the air hits your skin, it causes sweat to evaporate, leaving you feeling cooler, even though the room is technically the same temperature.
Moving air around may not seem like it would make much of a difference, but a ceiling fan can make a room feel up to 8 degrees cooler thanks to the wind chill effect. This allows you to raise the thermostat a few degrees, saving you significant money on energy. However, ceiling fans aren’t just a one-season wonder. You can also reverse them during the winter, which forces warm air down from the ceiling, helping you make the most of your heating costs.
To pick the right model for your space, consider things like the size of your room, the ceiling height, and your home decor style. It's also important to set a budget when shopping for a ceiling fan, as they can cost anywhere from $30 to $2,000, depending on the size and style.
Buying a ceiling fan isn’t as simple as picking one that matches your decor. You’ll want to mull over the following considerations before you go shopping.
First, determine where your new ceiling fan is going to be installed. There are both indoor and outdoor ceiling fans available. Outdoor fans are generally used on porches and patios or in garages. As a general rule, you can put outdoor fans inside, but you can’t put indoor fans outside. This is because outdoor fans are specially designed to withstand wet or damp conditions.
Ceiling fans come in a variety of sizes, with blade spans ranging from 29 inches to 56 inches or greater. When choosing the best fan size for your needs, you’ll want to consider the size of the room it will be placed in.
Here’s a breakdown of the fan size recommended for rooms based on square footage:
- Less than 80 square feet: 36 inches or less
- 80 to 150 square feet: 36-42 inches
- 150 to 250 square feet: 42-52 inches
- 250 square feet or more: 52 inches or more
If your space is on the cusp or you prefer stronger airflow, you can opt for a larger fan size.
The ceiling height is another important consideration when choosing a ceiling fan, as it will dictate the optimal downrod length. A downrod is the piece of metal that connects your fan to the ceiling mount, and using a shorter or longer downrod will raise or lower the fan, respectively.
In general, you’ll want at least 7 feet between the fan and the floor. With this in mind, the following are the recommended downrod lengths based on ceiling height:
- 8-foot ceiling: flush mount
- 9-foot ceiling: 6-inch downrod
- 10-foot ceiling: 12-inch downrod
- 12-foot ceiling: 24-inch downrod
As you’re shopping, you’ll want to consider how you plan to mount your new ceiling fan because you may need a special mounting kit. If you have low ceilings, you’ll probably need to flush mount your fan, so make sure the product you buy is compatible with this mounting style. Similarly, if you have higher ceilings, you’ll need to shop for a matching downrod of the appropriate length. If you plan to mount the fan on a sloped ceiling, you’ll need a special angled ceiling adapter, which attaches to the outlet box to ensure the fan hangs properly.
There are a few types of motors that power ceiling fans. Alternating current or AC motors, which have been used in ceiling fans for decades, are the popular option. This style of motor is affordable and reliable, and modern AC motors are relatively quiet, as well.
However, direct current or DC motors have gained popularity in recent years as more homeowners switch to energy-efficient appliances. While more expensive, ceiling fans with DC motors use up to 70 percent less electricity and are incredibly quiet. Further, these motors are lighter weight, which makes for easier installation.
Naturally, you’ll also want to consider the style of ceiling fan you choose. Aspects like the finish, blade style, and the number of blades can all impact how well the product matches your decor.
Today, you can find ceiling fans to match essentially any design style, whether your home is traditional, modern, eclectic, industrial, or rustic. In general, experts recommend matching the motor finish to other hardware in the room—so if your kitchen has brushed nickel hardware, find a fan with a brushed nickel motor. This will help to create a seamless aesthetic.
The number of blades on a ceiling fan also impacts its overall style. Traditionally, fans have four or five blades, but modern “helicopter-style” fans can have as many as nine! If you’re going for a more industrial look, you might consider a fan with a cage around it, while those with a bohemian style may like the look of “palm leaf” blades. If you’re unsure about what would look best in your home, some blades are reversible, giving you two designs to choose from—perfect if you like to change things up once in a while.
If you want your ceiling fan to have a light, there are a few options. First, you can simply buy a product that has an integrated light or a light kit included with the purchase. Alternatively, you can purchase a separate light kit and install it onto the ceiling fan you choose. This is a good option if you’re looking for a specific style of light fixture. Most light kits are universal, so they can be installed on any lighting-compatible fan. However, it’s always a good idea to double-check that the units you purchase will work together, as some brands only make their fans compatible with their own light kits.
Finally, think about how you want to control your ceiling fan. There are three common options: a remote control, wall switch, or pull-chain. Remote controls are arguably the most convenient option, as they let you control your fan from anywhere in the room. However, some people don’t want another remote to keep track of, in which case a wall switch may be a better option. If you have low-profile ceilings, you can always opt for a pull-chain. While these can be a little confusing to operate, they’re a simple option that may minimize installation costs.
It’s helpful to familiarize yourself with the various styles of ceiling fans, as this will help you narrow down your options as you shop.
Most people will ultimately purchase a standard ceiling fan for their home, but there are still a lot of products that fall into this category. Think of “standard” ceiling fans as “non-specialty” products. Standard ceiling fans come in a variety of sizes and styles, with or without lights, and with a variety of control and downrod options. They can cost anywhere from $30 for a basic model to more than $1,000 for a high-end one.
If you think a remote-controlled ceiling fan is the best option for your home, there are plenty of options to choose from, including a wide range of sizes and styles. These options are a little more expensive than a pull-chain model, but you can still find a good remote control fan for as little as $100.
If you have low ceilings and need a flush-mounted ceiling fan, look for products labeled “low profile.” This style of fan is mounted flush to the ceiling with no downrod, ensuring they’re as high as possible. Low-profile fans can cost anywhere from $30 to several hundred dollars.
Looking for ways to cut back on your energy bills? Then you might want to look for an Energy Star-certified ceiling fan. To earn this certification, products must move air 20 percent more efficiently than standard models, and if the fan comes with a light kit, the energy-conserving design is 60 percent more efficient. Despite their energy-saving benefits, Energy Star ceiling fans are still quite affordable, costing as little as $50.
As the name implies, dual motor or dual head fans have two separate fans on one mount. Typically, these fans can be angled in various ways, allowing you to optimize airflow, and certain models even oscillate the two heads and/or allow you to control them separately. This style of specialty ceiling fan is more expensive than a standard model, starting at around $200 and ranging up into the thousands. However, they’re often a good solution for larger rooms where you don’t necessarily want to install two separate ceiling fans.
If you already have smart home gadgets throughout your living space, you may want to consider a smart ceiling fan to further your home automation. Smart ceiling fans connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network, allowing you to control them via smartphone. This allows you to create schedules for the fan and control it remotely.
However, those with other smart home gadgets can reap additional benefits from a smart ceiling fan. Many smart fans are compatible with Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit, allowing you to control them with voice commands. Several popular models can integrate with products like the Nest Smart Thermostat, and the two devices will work together to keep your home at the ideal temperature while reducing energy costs. While admittedly high-tech, many smart ceiling fans are surprisingly affordable, starting at around $200.
Damp or Wet
If your fan will be placed somewhere that it might get wet, such as the bathroom or a porch, you’ll want to make sure you get a fan that’s made to withstand these conditions. You’ll find that outdoor ceiling fans are either “damp rated” or “wet rated,” and this signifies where they can be installed.
UL Damp Rated fans can be placed in covered damp indoor or outdoor location—anywhere they won’t be directly exposed to water or snow. They can resist a little bit of moisture, making them ideal for porches, garages, and even bathrooms, and you can find a damp-rated fan for as low as $100.
UL Wet Rated fans are even more hardy, and they can be directly exposed to the elements. This type of fan is best for pergolas, exposed decks, gazebos, and more. Despite their heavy-duty nature, wet-rated fans are still quite affordable, starting at less than $100.
Industrial or commercial ceiling fans are designed for huge rooms—think barns, showrooms, or warehouses. These products are typically much larger than standard fans, sometimes reaching up to 100 inches or more. If you’re looking for a ceiling fan for a large, industrial space, you’ll probably end up spending at least $400 on this type of heavy-duty fan.
There are several well-known ceiling fan brands you’ll likely encounter as you shop. Here’s what you need to know about each.
This brand has been around for more than 100 years, and its goal is to balance quality with affordability. You can typically find Hunter fans with many desirable and innovative features, all for a reasonable price.
This line, sold by the Minka Group, is one of the most popular ceiling fan brands available today. The high-quality fans are fashionable, reliable, and affordable.
Hampton Bay is Home Depot’s own line of ceiling fans and lights, and as such, you’ll have to buy them through this big-box retailer. Hampton Bay fans get top marks from customers and are available at a wide variety of price points, starting as low as $50!
A relatively new brand, Monte Carlo aims to provide “a comprehensive and trend-inspired product line.” Its fans are typically more modern and on the higher end of the price spectrum. However, this brand is a great option if you want a high-quality contemporary ceiling fan.
If you’re looking for an industrial or smart ceiling fan, you should consider products from Big Ass Fans. Not only does this company offer some huge commercial styles, but its Haiku line of smart fans are some of the top smart ceiling fans out there.
There’s nothing worse than buying a beautiful new home fixture, only to have it burn out within a few months. When shopping for a ceiling fan, it’s always a good idea to check the specifics of the warranty to see what’s covered and what's not.
Most ceiling fan manufacturers have their own warranty terms. For example, Hunter offers a limited lifetime warranty on the motors of its fans and will replace them for free if the motor fails due to a defect in the material or workmanship. However, other parts of the fans, such as electronic components and controls, are only covered by a one-year limited warranty. Glass, light bulbs, and control batteries are not covered at all.
You’ll want to review the manufacturer’s warranty on the ceiling fan you ultimately buy and be sure to check whether it’s still covered if you buy the product from a third-party retailer.