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
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 in 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.
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).
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.
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.
Additional 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The recommended minimum distance between the fan blades and the floor is 7 feet. This ensures the safety of anyone on the floor.
- The recommended distance between the ceiling fan blades and a light fixture is 39 inches.
- 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 compatibility. See Del Mar Fans and Lighting’s selection of ceiling fan mounting systems, which support ceiling fans up to 70 pounds.
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.