’s Experts: What Makes One Ceiling Fan Better Than Another?

Educate’s Experts: What Makes One Ceiling Fan Better Than Another?

Have you been searching for the very best overhead fans for your home? Del Mar Fan and Lighting offers the best of the best while using an easy-to-read rating system to help you accurately compare ceiling fan options. We comb through each fixture and rate each individual factor to help with the overall decision. Most people look at the design, airflow, and efficiency to ensure the fan is the best fit for them. The motor quality, blade quality, and current ceiling fan regulations are also very important factors we take into consideration while rating each ceiling fan. We use each and every component to make the most accurate decisions when deciding the Top Ceiling Fans by Category and the Top Ceiling Fan Brands .

Many homeowners rely solely on style and price when choosing a ceiling fan; however, the most important qualities that form a fan are not visible. Although these are important factors when determining the best ceiling fan for your room, there are others factors to consider also. Del Mar Fans & Lighting uses industry knowledge and first-hand experience to identify the most important elements for selecting a fixture. We rate ceiling fans based on motor, blades, airflow, design and efficiency. The grade or performance of each element determines the overall rating in stars with five stars being the best ceiling fan rating available.

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Ceiling Fan Rating System

Making the decision about the best ceiling fan for your needs is difficult. The rating system will make it easier to determine which is right for you. Gathering the correct information to make an educated purchase has been made easy for you. Gauges are used to represent the energy information like product airflow, electricity use, and airflow efficiency. They are designed to resemble a gas gauge, with numbers included that represent the exact statistic.

Product Rating Gauges

User Reviews

star ranking

The star ratings are decided by customers who have purchased the specific ceiling fan and have decided to rate it. The stars represent a number from 0 to 5 in half star increments. The rating is based on their individual experience with the product. The ability to designate the pros and cons of the ceiling fans helps potential customers understand the use of the fixture. The comments section provides a space to get further details and information.

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Airflow rating, or flow rate, is the most effective way to measure the efficiency of a ceiling fan. The amount of airflow a ceiling fan can produce per minute is most commonly measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM. CFM is the most common form of measurement when speaking about ventilation, heating, and cooling.

To calculate a goal for cubic feet per minute (CFM) you will find the product of your room’s cubic footage and the desired frequency of air change. This function is represented as CFM=(LxWxH)(Fc) where CFM is the CFM goal and Fc is the desired frequency of air refreshment. To determine the cubic footage of your room multiply the height of your space by the square footage CuFt=(H)(Sq.Ft). To calculate the square feet of a room, multiply the length of the room by the width; SqFt=(LxW). If you’re still wondering how to size a ceiling fan correctly, check out the tables and see where your room fits in.

Airflow image

There are other important factors when rating the airflow of ceiling fans. Wind speed is a valuable component to deciding where fixtures should be mounted. When a ceiling fan has a high wind speed, measured in MPH, you should not install it directly over a work station.

Although both CFM and wind speed are sharing the amount of work a ceiling fan can do, they are two separate measurements. Wind speed, in miles per hour, will tell how fast the air is moving within a specific cylinder directly below the fixture. Cubic feet per minute is the way of explaining how much air this specific fan can circulate every minute that it runs.

Wind speed is calculated by measuring how quickly on average air can get from the ceiling fan blades down to the floor and is commonly reported in miles per hour (MPH). An instrument called an anemometer is used to calculate the wind speed by placing it in the direct flow of the wind, allowing the propeller or cups to spin through the wind.

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Watts are used to measure and explain the amount of electricity being used by an electrical product. According to Wikipedia, The watt is a unit of power used to express the rate of energy conversion or transfer with respect to time. Ceiling fans relate to watts while they are being used and consuming electricity. The watt allows us to measure the amount of electricity a ceiling fan uses at any given point in time. The amount of electricity being used is vital to deciding the airflow efficiency.

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Airflow Efficiency

This stable valuation provides a solid platform for our efficiency calculations. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines efficiency as being the amount of air a ceiling fan moves divided by the cost of operating the fan. Ceiling fan efficiency can be represented simply as Efficiency = CFM/Watt.

The other ratings are needed in order to calculate the airflow efficiency of a particular ceiling fan. By diving the product airflow, or CFM, by the electricity use (watts) we get a clear understanding of have efficient the ceiling fan is.

There are many ways to save energy and efficiently heat and cool your home . Installing and correctly utilizing a quality ceiling fan will help save you money on your energy bill. Our calculator will help you compare which fans can save you the most money.

Shop Energy Star Ceiling Fans

Motor Rating

A ceiling fans motor is the most important component of an overhead air circulating fixture. It is responsible for proper airflow movement throughout your room as well as smooth, quiet operation.

There are a wide variety of motors in the ceiling fan industry. Larger, higher quality and better performing motors earn more stars due to their heightened functionality. The size, quality, power, and efficiency of a ceiling fan motor are what decide which platform will fit your needs the best.

Every motor falls into either a Direct Current or Alternating Current category. The two motor styles convert electrical energy into mechanical energy in different ways. There is a lot of information available to learn how dc motors work if you would like to know the differences in the types.

See the review for the most common motors below:

Flywheel motor


  • The flywheel is a high performance AC motor that has been in production since 1979.
  • Built around thick steel laminations, surrounded by copper wiring.
  • Some of the largest sealed precision ball bearings in the industry.
  • Quiet operation, due to the rubber flywheel disc absorbing shock.
  • Example: Casablanca Stealth Fan by Casablanca Fan Company

Shop Casablanca Ceiling Fans

Oil Bath Motor

Oil Bath

  • The oil bath motor is the first ceiling fan motor technology used.
  • AC motor created by Hunter Fan Company.
  • Iron is heavy, but sway and vibration is reduced.
  • Oil check is required every 1-5 years.
  • Example: Hunter Original Fans by Hunter Fan Company

Shop Hunter Ceiling Fans

DC Motor


  • DC motors are the most energy efficient motors available in the industry.
  • Magnetic field is stationary, unlike AC motors.
  • Up to 300% more efficient than standard fans.
  • Most fans with this motor have six speeds instead of the standard three speeds.
  • Examples: DC by Monte Carlo Ceiling Fans ; Midway Eco by Emerson Ceiling Fans

Shop DC Ceiling Fans

Ball-Bearing Motor


  • The ball bearing motor is a shaded four-pole motor with permanently sealed bearings.
  • AC motor that usually moves in only one direction.
  • 1/15th - 1/10th horsepower.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Example: Acqua Fan by Matthews Fan Company

Shop Dual Ceiling Fans

Direct Drive

Ultra-Performance Direct Drive

  • The ultra-performance motor is a type of direct drive AC motor.
  • High quality bearings and copper wiring.
  • The largest stacks of laminated steel in any direct drive motor.
  • Provides excellent airflow.
  • Example: Edgewood Fans by Fanimation Fans

Shop Fanimation Ceiling Fans

Stack Motor

Stack Motor

  • The stack motor is a type of direct drive AC motor.
  • High quality bearings and copper wiring.
  • Taller stack of laminated steel than standard direct drive motors.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Example: Altus Ceiling Fan by Modern Fan Co

Shop Modern Fan Co Ceiling Fans

large direct drive motor

Large Standard Direct Drive Motor

  • The large standard direct drive AC motor contains a wide stack.
  • High quality bearings and copper wiring.
  • Produces more torque than standard motors.
  • 172mm or bigger size motor.
  • Example: Mia Ceiling Fans by Craftmade Ceiling Fans

Shop Craftmade Ceiling Fans

standard direct drive motor

Standard Direct Drive Motor

  • The standard direct drive motor is a common ceiling fan AC motor.
  • High quality materials.
  • Mainly used in contractor / builder grade ceiling fans. Produces great airflow.
  • Example: Builders Specialty Fans by Savoy House Fans

Shop Savoy House Ceiling Fans

Although all fan motors are designed to remain quiet, there will always be noise being created by the electricity and movement of the ceiling fan. There are distinctive noises that may indicate there is a problem going on within the fixture. Generally, a simple ceiling fan troubleshooting process can quickly diagnose what the issue is and lead you to a solution. There is most commonly an irregular whirling sound that goes along with the fan blades as they rotate. This can usually be fixed by adding small weights, from a ceiling fan balancing kit, to balance the ceiling fan and keep the circulation and movement steady.

Blades: Number, Pitch, & Blade Span

According to Wikipedia, blade pitch is defined as turning the angle of attack of the blades of a propeller into or out of the wind to control the production or absorption of power. This angle, or pitch, is measured in degrees. Each fixture has its own standard referring to the size, shape, and pitch for maximum efficiency and air movement. Ceiling fan blade pitch usually holds in the range between 11* and 16*.

The blade size, shape, design, number, and material all play a large part in the final CFM rating and quality. Blades are available in different style types to match your area perfectly. They are commonly manufactured in real hardwood, metal, MDF, or particleboard. There can be any number of blades for a single fan. Some fixtures can have up to 9 blades, while others only have one. The shapes of the fan blades range from a very basic paddle blade to intricately detailed accessories. Ceiling fan blade shapes can be flat or curved. Some of the ceiling fan categories include blades that resemble old iron work while others are very wide and are designed to simulate a large, wide leaf from a tropical island.

ceiling fan blades

The blade length, or blade span, is usually measured in terms of the fan’s diameter. Small ceiling fan blade sizes are diameters up to 42”. Common small blade spans include 26”, 30”, 32”, and 42” options, though there are many sizes available. Medium fan blades size from 44” up to 60”. Large ceiling fan blade sizes are the most common incorporating 52” diameters up to 60”. The largest size ceiling fan blades are in the great room category. The great size fan blades includes any ceiling fan models than span over 62”. The size of your room will determine what size ceiling fan will circulate air the best.

Read Ceiling Fan Size Guide

Artisan/Design Section

The aesthetic and artisan design is a large part of ratings for many consumers. We consider how intricate and detailed a fixture is when deciding which ceiling fans rank best for each category. There are factors we use to decide the final rating. These components will either help increase or decrease the overall rating.

Factors that Increase a Fan Rating

  • Good Design Award Recipient
  • Original Design
  • Accredited Designer Fans
  • Decorative & Elegant Motor Housings
  • ¾” Diameter Downrod & Canopy
  • Matching Canopy, Downrod, & Housing
  • Premium Finishes & Coatings
  • Furniture-Grade Wood Veneer Fan Blades
  • Hand-Carved, Woven & Rattan Fan Blades

Shop Unique Ceiling Fans

Factors that Decrease a Fan Rating

  • Builder Grade Ceiling Fans
  • Basic & Standard Finishes

Shop Builder Grade Ceiling Fans

Best Ceiling Fans by Category


When shopping for outdoor ceiling fans the most important factor to consider is the location. Whether the placement requires a UL listed wet rating or a damp rated fan can change which fixture is best for your purpose. Your deck area may be covered, or remain exposed to the elements. This creates a large grey area, so it is better to educate yourself about outdoor ceiling fans.

Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans


When it comes to choosing the best indoor ceiling fan, it is a highly subjective choice. What it really comes down to is choosing the best ceiling fan for your room type. Whether you’re searching for one for your living room, bathroom, or kitchen, there are a variety of options to choose from.

Best Indoor Ceiling Fans


If you are looking for a small and short ceiling fan, but not necessarily a flush-mount ceiling fan, there is something key to note; All hugger or flush-mount ceiling fans are low-profile fans, however, but not all low-profile fans are huggers or flush-mounts. Hugger ceiling fans are defined as ceiling fans which include no downrod and are mounted flush to the ceiling. This is why they are often interchangeably referred to as flush-mount ceiling fans and are a great choice for low ceilings or small rooms.

Best Hugger Ceiling Fans

High Airflow

What is a high CFM ceiling fan? We have compiled a list of the best high CFM ceiling fans for residential use with varying CFMs up to 12,000. For our list, we have taken special consideration of not only CFM, but other elements such as efficiency, size, and style. Enjoy and be prepared to be blown away!

Best High Airflow Ceiling Fans


The purpose of a ceiling fan is to help create a soothing, comfortable atmosphere wherever placed. Chances are you want a fixture which is quiet, stylish, and able to cool the room down to your desired atmosphere. The noise level, design, and functionality of a ceiling fan are even more important to consider when being placed in a bedroom.

Best Bedroom Ceiling Fans

With Lights

Are you looking for a stylish and functional lighting option with a ceiling fan? The best ceiling fans with lights are broken down into ten categories. Whether you are looking for the overall best ceiling fan with light or the top fan with a certain light option, you will find the best option here.

Best Ceiling Fans With Lights

Without Lights

Are you looking for a simple addition to your home without the bulk or hassle of a lighting kit? Whether you need something to get the air moving in a room with a high ceiling or need something stylish that will fit in a room with a low ceiling, we've simply selected the best options by category.

Best Ceiling Fans Without Lights

Best Ceiling Fans by Brand

If you are tired of buying low-quality ceiling fans from big box stores that malfunction a year or two after you take the time or spend the money to install them? Either it's a small broken part, a wobbly or noisy fan, or a lost remote connection. That's why we offer only the highest-quality ceiling fan brands that you won't find at Home Depot, Lowe's, and other home goods stores.

Best Ceiling Fan Brands

Comparing Ceiling Fans

Comparing ceiling fans to find the perfect fixture to fit your needs may be overwhelming. There is a lot of information available on Del Mar Fans & Lighting to help you come to an accurate final decision. When comparing ceiling fans for indoor locations there are a few major influences for a final decision. To learn more about how to buy a ceiling fan read more.

These factors include:
  • Budget
  • Location
  • Size
  • Lighting Options
  • Styles & Finishes
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Controls

Ceiling Fan Buying Guide

While these are important in every location- it is especially true for indoor ceiling fans. Outdoor ceiling fans require weather protected components which mean the motor and blades need high, UL listed ratings along with the efficiency to circulate plenty of air. These ratings will keep the outside space cool for your family and friends. There’s plenty of important information available when you need to know how to buy an outdoor ceiling fan .

Indoor vs. Outdoor Ceiling Fans

When you prepare to purchase a fan for a small room, the ceiling height is a big consideration. Knowing how to calculate the right size ceiling fan for you room is the best way to land at an educated decision before purchasing a fixture.

What Size Ceiling Fan Do You Need?

Another common factor when deciding which fixture will fit best in your favorite room is the ambient lighting. Ceiling fans can block existing illumination, or need the light to be removed altogether. Great tips on how to choose the best ceiling fan lighting options can be found in our helpful guide.

Ceiling Fan Lighting Options

Ceiling Fan Regulations

The ceiling fan energy conservation standard rulemaking docket EERE-2012-BT-STD-0045 contains all notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents pertaining to this rulemaking. The strict federal regulations require testing and quality control that makes the manufacturing process more costly, but assures the highest quality product and environment for you and your family.

Ceiling fan regulations have undergone few changes since the inception into Electronic Code of Federal Regulations in January of 2007. Consumers get the peace of mind from knowing that ceiling fans are tested and pass governmental energy requirements. The other regulations are:

(i) Fan speed controls separate from any lighting controls; (ii) Adjustable speed controls (either more than 1 speed or variable speed); (iii) The capability of reversible fan action, except for – (A) Fans sold for industrial applications; (B) Fans sold for outdoor applications; and (C) Cases in which safety standards would be violated by the use of the reversible mode.

There are other regulations to qualify for well-known certifications like UL listings, ETL listings, and EPA’s Energy Star rating. Each qualification has its own set of criteria to meet.

UL Listing: Electric fans, ceiling fans included, go through extensive testing to check that a fixture meets all of the Underwriters Laboratories prerequisites. There are additional elements to standard 507, the standard for electric fans , that separate ceiling fans into indoor, wet, and damp ratings.

Indoor: Only meets approval standards for indoor locations. Wet: Meets or exceeds standards for use while in direct contact with wet weather. Damp: Approved for use outside and near weather, but without direct contact to wet elements.

ETL Listing: The ETL mark is property of the parent company Intertek. Products with the ETL stamp have been proven to be in compliance with North American safety standards. They have been through a battery of tests to ensure the best quality for consumers.

Energy Star Approval: Receiving an Energy Star Approval on a ceiling fan is a tedious process to ensure your product passes certain criteria. Energy Star Qualification requires specialized testing with equipment to measure a number of factors like airflow, temperature, amps, watts, barometric pressure, humidity, and others to take the most accurate readings. These tests translate into better and more trusted products.

Energy star rating image ETL rating image UL rating image

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May 25, 2020
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