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How to Buy a Ceiling Fan

A Guide to Choosing Your Next Ceiling Fan



Ceiling fans are often purchased solely on one factor (such as, only cost, style, color or ect.), and little consideration is given to the many other important factors. Save yourself from the frustration of buying the wrong fan. Ask yourself the following questions before you buy to ensure you buy the perfect ceiling fan for your living space.

1. LOCATION | Which Underwriters Laboratories (UL) fan do I need?

In real estate they say it’s all about location, location, location. You should have a similar thought process when you buy a ceiling fan. The location will tell you if you need a UL Dry, Damp or Wet fan. Getting the UL rating right can ensure you a longer life span for your ceiling fan.


UL Dry Rated ceiling fan


UL Dry. These ceiling fans are built for use inside your home in completely dry areas protected from moisture, humidity and water. They work well in bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens.


UL Damp rated ceiling fan


UL Damp. This rated fan is designed for living spaces with high amounts of humidity, but no direct contact with water, rain or snow. It would be great in your bathroom, garage or covered patio.


UL Wet rated ceiling fan


UL Wet. Use this outdoor ceiling fan to cool off places that are directly exposed to water. Also check out our How to Buy an Outdoor Ceiling Fan guide. These fans work well protecting from the motor damaging salt air of beach houses. Try this ceiling fan on exposed decks, porches or patios.

2. CEILING TYPE | How tall is my ceiling and is it at an angle or slope?

You certainly do not want to buy a ceiling fan that hangs too low and obstructs your walking path, or is too high and doesn’t cool properly. You also don’t want to get your ceiling fan and realize it can’t be installed onto your ceiling.


Typically a ceiling fan should be eight to nine feet from the floor. If your room is less than eight feet tall you need a low profile or hugger ceiling fan. If you have a high ceiling use an appropriately sized (see infographic or read our What Size Downrod Do I Need guide) downrod.


Downrod Length


If your ceiling is sloped or angled look for ceiling fans that are compatible with sloped or angled installation kits. You may have to buy the kit separately. Read our Calculate the Angle of a Sloped Ceiling guide for more information. 

3. ROOM SIZE | What size ceiling fan do I need?

Once you know where you want your ceiling fan calculate the square footage of the room. (12ft long x 12ft wide = a 144 square foot room) or your could go check out our What Size Ceiling Fan Do I Need guide. You don’t want a fan that produces lackluster cooling because it’s too small for the room, or a fan that is too close to the walls, creating an annoying inefficient blow. Use the graph below to determine what size ceiling fan you need.


Ceiling Fan Room Size Infographic

4. STYLE DECOR | Which style of fan does my room need?

Are you looking for a ceiling fan with a light? Do you need a specific color fan? Does your room need a tropical, antique or modern ceiling fan? Decide which style or styles of ceiling fans you’re looking for before you begin the buying process. This will help you avoid being overwhelmed by all the options, and will ensure you pick the right fan for your room. If you scroll down Del Mar's Shop Ceiling Fans' page just below our brands you will see on the left side navigation where you can filter your choices by style.


Del Mar Styles side nativation


If your room is a little more on the plain side look for a unique ceiling fan that will spice it up. However, if you have another eye catching piece in your room like artwork or an accent wall, you should go with a more contemporary style so you won’t draw the attention away.


5. FINISHES | What finish does your room need?


Choosing the right color could be the difference between a fan that clashes with your room and a fan that compliments your space. Here's some general rules of thumb to follow when picking finishes.


Fan blades typically match floors, doors, furniture wood and/or cabinet wood so consider choosing finishes that go with these looks in your home. See the example below.


Finish matching doors


As in the example below, traditionally your fan's hardware will match door knobs, hinges, cabinet hardware and appliances within the room you're decorating.


Ceiling Fan Decor Match


Additionally, if you change your decor often try going with neutral finishes, like black or white, so your fan will never clash with your room.

6. MOTORS | What kind of motor do I need?


Your ceiling fan's motor will be the heart of your machine. Your motor along with your blades will be central in determining the airflow of your fan. Below is an example of our motor efficiency and airflow chart that is on each of our product pages with an explanation of how to read it.


Ceiling Fan Chart


Product Airflow. This measures your ceiling fan’s cooling airflow in cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air moved. Your CFM depends on your motor, blade pitch or angle, and the blades’ shape and size. The infographics below show what to look for in a product’s airflow based on your fan’s size.


Ceiling Fan Energy Airflow and Efficency Chart


Electricity Use. This is to show you how much energy your ceiling fan will be emitting each hour. The infographic below puts into perspective what the average energy usage per hour is for both air conditioners and ceiling fans. Using a fan for a cooling breeze will help save the environment and you on your energy bill.


Air Conditioner versus Ceiling Fan Energy Per Hour Watts


Airflow Efficiency. Your airflow efficiency is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is the amount of air your fan moves divided by the cost of operation, or CFM/Watts. Use the infographics below to determine which efficiency is best for your home.


Ceiling Fan Airflow Efficiency Chart


7. COMPARE | How can I compare multiple ceiling fans all at once?


We offer a feature that allows you to compare up to four ceiling fans at once. You can compare things like blade span, blade pitch, motors, warranty, CPM, airflow efficiency and more. To use this feature simply click the "compare" box on products you'd like to see comparisons for.


Ceiling Fan Compare Feature


Next, a box like the one below will pop up asking you to remove all, compare or continue shopping. Press continue shopping to add more fans or press compare to get your results.


Ceiling Fan Compare Feature


Finally, hit compare to see how your choices match up. Use this as a tool when you're feeling stuck between different fans. You can see exactly how everything breaks down each time.


Need help choosing your next type of ceiling fan? With so many options we completely understand. See Del Mar Fans and Lighting's guide on different fan types.


Am I looking to conserve energy?

If so you could consider buying Energy Star rated fans. These fans meet strict energy efficiency guidelines that will save you on your cooling costs and are more environmentally friendly. These ceiling fans help prevent greenhouse emissions. We offer a huge selection of Energy Star ceiling fans you could choose from.


What is my budget?

Knowing your price range when you buy a ceiling fan will help determine if you should be compromising on some features for more important ones.