Ceiling Fan Basics

Choosing the Right Size

Ceiling fan blade spans range from 29 – 54 inches - the most popular being the 52-inch model. To determine which size you need, measure the room where the ceiling fan will be installed and follow these guidelines:

Room Dimensions Suggested Fan Size
Up to 75 ft2 29 – 36"
76 – 144 ft2 36 – 42"
144 – 225 ft2 44"
225 – 400 ft2 50 – 54"

* Reference: American Lighting Association, 2003

Choosing the Appropriate Mounting System

Ceiling fans should be installed, or mounted, in the middle of the room and at least 7 feet above the floor and 18 inches from the walls. If ceiling height allows, install the fan 8 - 9 feet above the floor for optimal airflow.

  • Standard mounts come with a 3 – 5 inch downrod, which is the metal pipe that extends from the ceiling bracket to the top of the fan. Downrods are usually either 1/2 or 3/4-inch in diameter.
  • Extended mounts can be used to hang the ceiling fan at the desired 8– 9 feet from the floor for tall ceiling heights. Downrods can be purchased from 6 inches (9 ft ceiling) to 120 inches (20 ft ceiling). Check with the manufacturer or sales associate to determine the right downrod length for you.
  • Flush mounts anchor the fan directly against the ceiling. Most standard fans can be installed as a flush mount however, many manufacturers sell “hugger” or “low profile” ceiling fans that are specifically designed for this purpose. Hugger fans are ideal for rooms that have ceilings under 8 feet in height or in situations where a fan with optional light would hang down too low. Hugger fans will not move as much air as a regular fan because the blades are closer to the ceiling.
  • Sloped mounts are used for angled or vaulted ceilings.

See Ceiling Fan Installation and Usage Tips for more information about mounting the ceiling fan.

Wet/Damp Rating. Placing a ceiling fan in a bathroom or other humid locations? Purchase a fan that has been UL listed with a “damp” rating. For fans that may come in direct contact with water, like on a patio or front porch, look for a UL “wet” rating. These fans include features such as sealed/moisture resistant motors, rust resistant housing, stainless steel hardware, and all weather blades.