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What Size Ceiling Fan Do I Need?

Get the Most Out of Your Ceiling Fan by Selecting the Right Size


Small ceiling fans for small rooms and large ceiling fans for large rooms, or so they say. While this may sound like an ancient proverb, choosing the right size ceiling fan ensures maximum performance, style, and above all – comfort. Here’s how you can select the correct ceiling fan size for any room in your home. Are you unsure of which type of ceiling fan best suits your home’s structure and style? Read Del Mar Fans & Lighting’s guide to selecting the right type of fan.


Find the Square Footage of the Room


Measure the square footage to get right size ceiling fan for your room.A ceiling fan’s size is proportional to the room size. To determine the room size, use a tape measure to measure the width and length of the room. Multiply the width and length dimensions to find the total square footage (e.g. 12’ x 12’ = 144 square feet). Keep this measurement handy when shopping for a new ceiling fan. The room dimensions are listed on the mounting system details.


Consider the ceiling height as well as the square footage. If your ceiling height is less than 8 feet, choose a low profile ceiling fan.


If your ceiling height is more than 10 feet, choose a ceiling fan downrod that will allow the fan blades to hang at least 7 feet above the floor. See Del Mar Fans and Lighting’s selection of ceiling fan downrods.


How To Measure a Ceiling Fan's Blade Span


Once you know the total square footage of the room, determine the ceiling fan size by measuring the blade span on an existing fan. The blade span, also known as the blade sweep, is the diameter created by the fan blades while rotating. Use a tape measure to determine the fan blade span.


Measure the radius and double the measurement to obtain the blade span.
For ceiling fans with an odd number of blades:
Measure distance from the center of fan to blade tip.
This is the ceiling fan radius.
Double the radius to obtain the diameter (blade span).
Measure the diameter, or total distance between opposing blades, to obtain the blade span.
For fans with an even number of blades:
Measure the distance between opposing blades.
This measurement is also known as the diameter or blade span on the fan.
Fan Size by Room Types

Ceiling fan blade spans range from miniature 24-inch blade spans to massive 84-inch blade spans; however, most popular ceiling fans have a 52-inch blade sweep. Here are some recommended ceiling fan sizes for most rooms in your home.

Room Sizes and Recommended Fan SizeAdditional Ceiling Fan Sizing Tips

Determining the correct ceiling fan size assures functionality and comfort as well as style. Here are some additional tips to consider when selecting a ceiling fan.

  1. The minimum recommended distance between the fan blades and the ceiling is 8 - 10 inches. This allows enough space for the fan to draw air through the blades and circulate the air efficiently. The greater the distance between the ceiling fan and the fan blades, the greater the airflow in the room.

Minimum distance between fan blades and ceiling

  1. The recommended distance between the fan blades and any walls is 18 inches. Verify the fan blades are also the same distance from any cabinets and doors.

Minimum distance between fan blades and walls.

  1. The recommended minimum distance between the fan blades and the floor is 7 feet. This ensures the safety of anyone on the floor.

Minimum distance between the fan blades and the floor.

  1. The recommended distance between the ceiling fan blades and a light fixture is 39 inches.

Minimum distance between the fan blades and a hanging light fixture.

  1. Large ceiling fans weighing over 35 pounds require additional support. The National Electric Code (NEC) requires that the outlet box is rated for ceiling fan use and can support the fan's weight. Choose a mounting system or support brace from the same brand as your ceiling fan to ensure compatability. See Del Mar Fans and Lighting’s selection of ceiling fan mounting systems, which support ceiling fans up to 70 pounds.

Ceiling fans weighing 35 pounds or more require additional support.


Selecting the right size ceiling fan for your room secures the fan's performance and longevity as well as the comfort and safety of the room occupants. Choose a fan that is proportionate to the room size and provides a sufficient airflow for the room dimensions. The appropriate fan size enhances the look and feel of any room.

Shami Shinde
ideal distance between fan and lights????
October 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hi Shami, When installing a ceiling fan near a hanging light fixture, allow for a minimum distance of 39 inches between the fan blades and the light fixture. This will prevent the blades from colliding with light fixture. This will also ensure minimal movement of the light fixture.
October 16, 2013 at 3:34 pm
Paul N Christine Viana
ceiling fan is 3 to 4 inches from wall is that safe. could I trim the blades
November 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hi Christine and Paul, Ceiling fan blades are weighed and matched as a set to ensure balance. Trimming the blades will most likely cause your ceiling fan to loose balance and wobble. It seems like your current ceiling fan is too big for the space. We suggest purchasing a shorter blade set from the same manufacturer as your ceiling fan to ensure compatibility and proper distance from the walls. If you are unsure of which blade span to choose, see our room size and recommended fan size table above.
November 12, 2013 at 2:22 pm
James E Joyce
My room is 23 x 17 should I use 2 fans or 1 fan? If I use 2 fans do i still measure the same room size?
February 18, 2014 at 5:51 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hello James, Thanks for the question. A ceiling fan with a minimum blade span of 56 inches and a CFM rating of 5500 or higher is sufficient for a 23' x 17' room (or 390 square feet). However, if you want to install two ceiling fans, we recommend choosing two fans designed for half of the room size. In this case, two medium sized fans placed at equal distances from the wall. View our selection of medium size fans at http://www.delmarfans.com/ceiling-fans/44-inch-to-50-inch/. We hope this helps.
February 20, 2014 at 10:00 am
Bharwad Ashok
Hi My room size is 15'×25'( triangle) & 20' hight . which size fan & distance?
March 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hello Bharwad, Thank you for the question. A ceiling fan with a blade span of 60 inches and a CFM rating of 6999 or higher is sufficient for a 15’x25’ (or 375 square feet) room. A 3 or 4 foot downrod will help as well, unless you have an exposed second floor, then a 18” or 2 foot downrod would be best. Install the ceiling fan in the center of the room for optimal airflow.
March 27, 2014 at 9:26 am
Susan Papo Sipple
Hi. We are building a house with a covered deck. I already have it reinforced pre-wired for one ceiling fan in the center. It is 28' long but only 9' wide, what size ceiling fan do you recommend? thank you.
May 30, 2014 at 1:42 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hi Susan, Thanks for the great question. Your covered patio is roughly 250 square feet, so we recommend selecting a ceiling fan with a 52-inch to 54-inch blade span. Remember to choose a fan that is UL-rated for damp locations. We hope this helps!
June 2, 2014 at 11:08 am
Barbara Hedrick
I need a fan in my hallway for air circulation in summer and to bring down the heat from the ceiling in winter. The ceiling height is approx 10 ft, and the width of the hallway is 44 inches. What size ceiling fan should I purchase?
July 2, 2014 at 8:13 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hello Barbara, Do you know the length of the hallway? Knowing the length and width of the hallway would help us calculate the square footage of the space and help us determine which ceiling fan size is the best fit.
July 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm
Barbara Hedrick
Thanks so much for your reply to my question!! The hallway is approx 21 feet long, with the width at 44 inches. I just measured, and the ceiling is 9 feet. Another questioin: How long of a downrod would I need?
July 3, 2014 at 1:03 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hi Barbara, Thank you for the prompt response. For a 75-square-foot hallway, we recommend one or two ceiling fans with 28-inch blade spans. For a standard 9-foot application, we recommend a 6-inch downrod. We hope this helps!
July 3, 2014 at 3:05 pm
Donna Allbritton Furr
I am getting ready to put ceiling fans on screened porch - dimensions 35' x 15' - should I have 2 or 3 fans?
July 15, 2014 at 11:51 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hello Donna, Thank you for the great question. For a 525-foot screened porch, we recommend a damp rated ceiling fan with a 72-inch blade span or greater. If you prefer two ceiling fans, we recommend two damp rated 50-inch ceiling fans instead.
July 17, 2014 at 10:53 am
Chirag Dureja
Hi My office size is 11 by 6.5 nd height is 8 nd downrod size is 5"inches.. Nd it is cooling in side areas not downwards.. Plz suggest me dat which types of bladespan we use
August 8, 2014 at 5:43 am
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hello Chirag, Thanks for the question. Your office has a square footage of 71.5. For this space, we recommend a small ceiling fan with a blade span of 20 to 24 inches. You can use the downrod included with the ceiling fan. We hope this helps.
August 8, 2014 at 9:40 am
Michael Noel
My hallway is only about 34 inches wide and about 15 feet long. In the article above, you mention a recommended clearance of 18 inches between the blade and any surrounding wall. Seeing that the width of my hallway is narrow, what do you suggest?
August 26, 2014 at 3:03 pm
Vincent Rutt
Setting aside the odd need to put a ceiling fan in a hallway, I suggest mounting it to the long wall and bring some added Indiana Jonesesque excitement to those less than sober walks to the bedroom. For child safety, I would keep a minimum of 5 inches of clearance between moving parts and wee fingers.
August 26, 2014 at 3:08 pm
Michael Noel
Well, my AC unit is in the hall upstairs. Just want to get more of that cool air in my bedrooms. :)
August 27, 2014 at 4:15 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Michael Noel , thanks for the great question. Cooling a compact space like a hallway can be a challenge. In this case, we recommend two 14-inch to 15-inch ceiling fans like the Kichler Terna. We hope this helps!
September 3, 2014 at 9:49 am