Selecting the Perfect Ceiling Fan

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While air conditioning is often the go-to solution for keeping homes cool during the summer, you shouldn’t dismiss a quality ceiling fan. After all, ceiling fans not only circulate the air, but also conserve energy and save you money.

The American Lighting Association reports, “During the summer months, a fan operating in the normal mode can reduce how cool you feel in a room by as much as eight degrees, allowing you to raise the air conditioner’s thermostat and reduce energy costs.”

And they’re not just for summer, either. Ceiling fans can help circulate warm air in the winter as well. Plus, today’s ceiling fans are visually interesting. You’re bound to find one that perfectly complements your space.

Here are some tips for selecting the perfect fan.

1. Understand how fan size will affect a room. You want the fan to balance the space, not overwhelm it. Here are some good guidelines, courtesy of the American Lighting Association.

  • Small rooms. For rooms that are 75 square feet or under (such as small bathrooms), select a fan that’s 36″ or smaller.
  • Medium rooms. Medium rooms are typically between 75 and 144 square feet. Opt for fans that fall into the 36″ – 42″ range.
  • Large rooms. For master bedrooms and living rooms (around 225 square feet), choose fans that are between 50″ and 54″.

2. Keep ceiling height in mind. Building codes mandate that fans must be at least seven feet above the floor. Optimal height is somewhere between 8 and 9 feet, depending on the space. Fan retailers sell downrods in various lengths to help you achieve the ideal height. And for rooms with low ceilings, hugger fans are great options.

3. Know your blades and motors. Fan blades circulate the air, and the motor keeps everything running smoothly. When it comes to blades, pay attention to the pitch. The ALA suggests a 12-15 degree angle for optimal air circulation. As for motors, don’t skimp on quality. The ALA recommends motors with “heavy-duty windings and sealed bearings that are permanently lubricated.”

4. Double check ratings. Not all fans are suited for outdoor use or for rooms where there’s a lot of dampness (like bathrooms). Always consult the safety rating and listing and know what type of environment your fan is going to be “living” in.

5. Check out different styles. The great thing about today’s fans is that there are just so many fabulous options available, including fans with lights and blades with different types of finishes. (Read our profile on The Modern Fan Co.) Shop around until you find a fan that you absolutely love.

Below, we’re highlighting several products from Minka Aire, a popular line of ceiling fans that you can see in person in our Allston and Waltham lighting showrooms and online as well.



1. Sundance. Classic, yet stylish, this 52-inch fan is indoor/outdoor rated and ideal for budget-conscious shoppers. The oil-rubbed bronze motor adds a bit of panache. This fan could work well in myriad locations, including porches, patios, gazebos, and courtyards.


2. Aluma. For a more contemporary look, you can’t go wrong with this sleek 52-inch fan, which includes four speeds, lighting dimming, and a brushed aluminum motor finish.


3. Artemis. For something incredibly distinctive, this 58-inch fan fits the bill. Enjoy three fan speeds (forward and reverse) and a light dimmer wall mount control. Choose from a variety of finishes, including high gloss pure red, maple, liquid metal, and more. The picture below features the distressed koa finish. 

Check out these fans in person since shopping online doesn’t always do them justice, especially those ceiling fans with lights. Stop by our Allston or Waltham showrooms soon or make an appointment now.


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