In the world of ceiling fans the saying goes, one should buy small ceiling fans for small rooms and large ceiling fans for large rooms. While this may sound like an ancient proverb, choosing the right size ceiling fan ensures maximum performance and comfort. Take our word for it ceiling fan size matters.
The right size ceiling fan will do more than just keep you cool; it will also save you money. Ceiling fans only cost pennies to run when compared to air conditioners, allowing you to save money on your monthly electric bill. However, before you pick out the perfect fan, you need to know how to size a ceiling fan for your room.
A small ceiling fan in a large room will have to work twice as hard to cool the room, which will cause the motor to burn out quickly. A large ceiling fan in a small room will create a massive amount of airflow and will ultimately be unsafe. So choose a ceiling fan that is proportional to the room size.
The size of a ceiling fan is determined by the size of the room. In order to determine the square footage of the room or the area, multiply the length of the room in feet by the width of the room in feet. Your totals from this calculation is the size of your room in square feet. For example, if your room is 8’ by 8’, the square footage is 64 square feet.
Check out the Ceiling Fan Sizes table to help understand how area relates to ceiling fan size. We also have a section below that discusses how to size your ceiling fan to understand whether you have the correct size or need an upgrade.
Ceiling Fans are commonly installed in the following areas – click to learn more:
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Ceiling Fan Sizes
There are four common ceiling fan sizes that you will find when searching for the perfect ceiling fan for your room. They are small, medium, large, and great. The sizes and blade spans are shown below in the table. This table is a general guide for ceiling fan sizing based on your room’s dimensions. There are other factors for determining the best ceiling fan size for your room including the room type and layout.
|Room Size (In Sq. Feet)||Room Type||Recommended Blade Span||Recommended CFM Rating|
|Under 144||Bathroom, Breakfast Nooks, Utility Rooms, Small Bedrooms, Porches||Under 42" Fans||1,000-3,000|
|144-225||Medium Bedrooms, Kitchens, Dining Rooms, Dens, Patios||44-50" Fans||1,600-4,500|
|225-400||Master Bedrooms, Family Rooms, TV Rooms, Small Garages, Gazebos||Fans Over 50”||2,300-6,500||Over 400||Great Rooms, Large Garages, Basements, and Open Floor Plans||Fans Over 62”||5,500-13,500|
The amount of air a ceiling fan can move per minute is measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM. When searching for a fan within your desired CFM range, the blade span can give you a general idea of a fans CFM range. Motor type and blade shape can account for a more widened range. Product airflow information gives instructions for correctly calculating your room's cubic footage.
If your main focus is to find a fan with a high CFM, we recommend taking a look at our list of The Best High CFM Fans for Residential Use.
Ceiling Fan Size By Room
One of the most important places to have a ceiling fan is in your bedroom. The right ceiling fan provides a soothing circulation of the air to keep the climate cool. It also works to create a quiet hum and block out some of the noises that can interrupt sleep. For a list of the top bedroom fans make sure to visit our blog, “The Best Ceiling Fans for Bedroom by Size & Fan Feature.”
There are two common size options for bedrooms. If you have a regular sized bedroom of 144 to 225 square feet, then a medium ceiling fan with a blade span of 44 to 50 inches will be a great fit. You will want to check your fan to ensure that its CFM rating is anywhere between 1,600 and 4,500. The higher the CFM rating on your fan, the more air you fan will move.
A common place to entertain guests or to simply relax is often the living room or family room. When searching for the perfect ceiling fan for your living room emphasis is often placed on the style. While this is certainly a valid focus of the decision, the look of the fan does not account for the size of your fan or the CFM required to cool the room.
Living rooms, great rooms, and family rooms range vastly in size. To find the right size ceiling fan for your living room it is essential that you focus on the square footage of your room and follow the table above. By finding the appropriate blade span and CFM for your living room you will ensure that your room is cooled effectively.
Getting down to business, sometimes it is easy to wonder whether or not you should even install a ceiling fan in your office. Common thoughts include “will it mesh well with my vibe,” “will it blow all of the papers off of my desk,” and “will a ceiling fan even fit in the office.” These thoughts are all normal, however the ideal office ceiling fan will fit in your office while providing a gentle circulation, and bringing a sleek style to your office. Follow the table above, and figure out the size and CFM for the perfect office ceiling fan.
The bathroom is often where you begin your day getting ready and end your day removing make-up, showering, and preparing for bed. A fan in the bathroom will provide both form and function. Adding a touch of elegance to your powder room while also offering circulation to cool things down after a hot shower is a great choice.
Bathrooms can vary in size from half-baths to large, spa-styled lavatories. It is important therefore to measure the square footage of your bathroom and determine the best size bathroom fan, by using the table above. Other important considerations for your bathroom fan are wet and damp ratings. Depending on the area which you will be installing your ceiling fan, you will want to check your fans moisture tolerance.
The perfect space for work benches, storage, and other activities, your garage should offer a cool climate for any time that you may be spending within its walls. Whether you are going to the garage for a little bit of fun or to get some overdue work accomplished, you should be comfortable. Like other rooms which are exposed to moisture, you will want to make sure you look at ceiling fans with UL wet or damp listings. In our "Indoor vs. Outdoor Ceiling Fans Where to Use Guide” it is recommended that ceiling fans being installed in carports and garages carry a UL damp listing.
When sizing your damp-rated ceiling fan for your garage, most standard garages will require a large ceiling fan with a blade span of 50 to 60 inches. For a large garage with square footage over 400, a great-sized fan with a blade span of over 62 inches is recommended. Make sure to check the table above before deciding on your new fans size.
Whether it be an outdoor kitchen, pergola, or patio, outdoor living spaces with an outdoor ceiling fan bring a relaxing way to be outside while staying cool. Outdoor ceiling fans allow you to enjoy cool air circulation and avoid pesky flies and mosquitoes. Learn about the most popular outdoor ceiling fans, and make sure to check out our blog, “Outdoor Whirled: The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans.”
For outdoor living spaces, the necessary fan size will depend on the size and type of outdoor living area in which you are looking to place your fan. As you will see in the table above, porches up to 144 square feet may only require a small ceiling fan while large gazeboes ranging in square footage from 225 to 400 may require a large ceiling fan with a higher CFM rating to do the job.
If you are noticing that your existing ceiling fan isn’t moving the air in your room to your expectations there is a chance it is due your ceiling fan blades and their size. A ceiling fan’s blade span is an important indicator of its CFM and the room size that it should be placed in.
Knowing how to measure your fan will help determine whether your fan is the correct size and CFM for your room. Alternately, if you are happy with the performance and proportional look of your existing ceiling fan and you just want to know the current measurements, it is helpful to know how to measure a ceiling fan.
As you can see in the graphic above, there are two separate ways to measure your fans existing blade span. If your fan has an odd number of blades, you will measure the distance from the center of the fan to the blade tip and then multiply the number by two. On the other hand, if you have an even number of blades, you will measure the distance between opposing blades, or blades that are symmetrically placed in front of one another on opposites sides of the motor housing.
How High Is Your Ceiling?
Hanging your ceiling fan at the appropriate height ensures that friends and family members won’t hit their heads on low-hanging ceiling fans. It also guarantees that they'll be able to feel the airflow the fan produces since fans cool people, not rooms. There should be a 7-foot minimum distance between your ceiling fan’s blades and the floor.
If you have a ceiling between 8 and 9 feet, you will need low-profile (aka hugger or flush mount) ceiling fan, which measure at least 12 inches from the ceiling to the lowest point of the fixture and are built to be hung on ceilings as low as 8 feet. They should not be hung on ceilings higher than 9 feet as they would then be less efficient in air circulation.
If your ceiling is less than 9 feet, check out our recommended hugger ceiling fans in our "The Best Huggers are Actually Fans" blog post or click below to shop all flush mount ceiling fans.
If you ceiling is over 9 feet, you will need to install a downrod ceiling fan and the length of the downrod will be determined by the height of your ceiling. Downrods, or ceiling fan mounting rods, allow a ceiling fan to be mounted on either a vaulted or flat ceiling and are available up to 72 inches long. Please visit our “What Size Downrod Do I Need? Guide” to determine what length downrod you need based on your ceiling height.
- The Best Huggers are Actually Fans
- The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans
- What Length Downrod Do You Need?
- Vaulted Ceiling Slope Adapter
- Outdoor Ceiling Fan Buying Guide
- The Best Ceiling Fans for Bedroom by Size & Fan Feature
- Blown Away: The Best High CFM Fans for Residential Use