Building codes stipulate that the blades from a ceiling fan must be at least 7 feet from the floor. Most standard mount fans that hang from a downrod will put the blades about 12" from the ceiling making them appropriate for rooms with ceilings that are 8 feet or higher. Hugger fans are designed for rooms with ceilings that are lower than 8 feet. But what you must be aware of is that the closest the blades are to the ceiling with any hugger fan is about 5". So if your room has a ceiling lower than 7.5 feet, you cannot install a ceiling fan. Because each hugger fan hangs at a different height, it is important to look at the actual distance the blades are from the ceiling in order to determine if any particular flushmount ceiling fan is appropriate for your room. Read more Tips and Facts About Hugger Fans below!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Because building codes require fan blades to be at least 7 feet from the floor, it is not possible to install a ceiling fan on a 7 foot high ceiling and still meet safety standards. People with 7 foot ceilings will often install fans that are as close to the ceiling as possible (see below), but it is not recommendation due to the safety standards.
Which Fans are Closest to the Ceiling?
The Harbor Walk from Kichler (with a flush mount adapter) and the Universal Hugger from Craftmade both have blades that are 5.25" from the ceiling, which is the closest to the ceiling you can get. These fans can be installed safely on ceilings that are just over 7.5 feet high.
The answer depends on your particular needs and what you consider to be most important. The best flush mounted fan for you may be the one that is closest to the ceiling (see the above examples), or that runs very quiet, or provides the most light...or any combination of criteria. So we have chosen several flush mount fans that we consider the best in several categories so you can decide which is the best hugger fan for your particular needs. If something is missing here, please feel free to give us a call or send me an email so that I can add an additional category that may be important to you. Send Email To: email@example.com
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What is a Flushmount Ceiling Fan or Hugger Ceiling Fan?
Flushmount ceiling fans (often referred to as "Hugger Ceiling Fans, "Ceiling Hugger Fans" or "Low Profile Ceiling Fans") are fans where the motor casing mounts directly to the ceiling instead of hanging from a downrod.
For What Ceiling Height Are Flushmount Fans Recommended?
Flush mounted fans are designed specifically for low ceilings. A ceiling is considered a low ceiling if it is "less" than 8 feet high. National safety standards require that ceiling fans be mounted such that the blades are at least 7 feet from the floor. Most standard mount ceiling fans will have the blades mounted 12" from the ceiling in order to meet this standard without hampering the airflow (read below). So any ceiling that is less than 8 feet will require a flushmount fan and since there are no flushmount fans with blades any closer than 6" from the ceiling, the lowest ceiling on which you can install a flushmount fan is 7 1/2 feet.
Can I Install a Flushmount Ceiling Fan on A Higher Ceiling?Although you can install a hugger fan on an 8 foot or higher ceiling, we do not recommend them for any ceiling that is much higher than 8 feet because they will not move nearly as much air as a traditional ceiling fan that hangs from a downrod.
Can A Flushmount Fan Be Installed on an Angled Ceiling?
No, flush mounted ceiling fans have no way of hanging level without being attached to a flat ceiling. Ceiling fans that hang from a pole can tilt to accommodate an angled ceiling because the pole is mounted to a ball that hangs in a metal socket on the ceiling. Flush mount fans mount directly to the ceiling and cannot operate when they are slanted.
Do Flushmount Ceiling Fans Move Less Air?
A ceiling fan that is mounted flush to the ceiling will typically move less air than a fan with the same motor and blade specifications that hangs down from a pole. This is because the closer the blades get to the ceiling, the more restricted the airflow is between the blade and the ceiling. Ceiling fans operate most efficiently when the blades are least 12" from the ceiling. The blades of a ceiling hugger fan are anywhere as close as 10" to 5.25" from the ceiling. As the airflow around the blades becomes restricted, the air has a tendency to bounce up and down between the blades and ceiling rather than flow smoothly around them. The closer the blades are to the ceiling, the more pronounced this effect will be.
More About Airflow - The EPA Says Hugger Fans are NOT Ceiling Fans!
Recently, the EPA began requiring ALL ceiling fan manufacturers to test the airflow of their ceiling fans. Three criteria are required to be published and printed in catalogs and boxes of ceiling fans; CFM airflow (cubic feet per minute of airflow, Watts used by the motor and the efficiency (defined by the EPA as CFM/Watts or the amount of air a ceiling fan moves per watt of electricity consumed). This information makes comparing the performance of ceiling fans a lot easier by consumers. However, because flushmounted ceiling fans move so much less air than those that hang from the ceiling and they are installed in a different manner than those that fit the standardized testing facilities (see picture at right), the EPA does not currently recognize flushmount ceiling fans as ceiling fans at all, so they are exempt from the testing and data publishing requirements. For this reason, not all manufacturers test their hugger fans or have any published airflow information. With that said, some manufacturers do in fact test their hugger fans published the data even though it is an extra cost that is not required by the government. So you may notice that some of the cheaper hugger fans sold at home centers will not have any airflow information. We strongly recommend only considering a hugger fan if the CFM data is available so you know in advance whether or not it is going to move any air.
EnergyStar Qualified Hugger Fans!
Currently there is no such thing as an EnergyStar qualified hugger fan. As mentioned above, a flush mount fan is not even considered to be ceiling fan according to the EPA. Even more, the EPA mandated method by which ceiling fans are to be tested does not accommodate hugger fans (see picture at right). Notice there is no ceiling to mount a hugger fan to in the testing apparatus. As of this year (2016) there is legislation in the process that intends to change the testing method so that hugger fans can be included in the definition of ceiling fans. Once this legislation is inacted, the EPA will likely develop EnergyStar standards for hugger fans.
Do Flushmount Fans Wobble Less Than Fans That Hang From A Pole?
Whether a fan wobbles and makes noise or runs smooth and quiet depends more on the quality and precision to which the components are made than whether or not it hangs from a pole. Many people buy a flushmounted ceiling fan where a standard mounted ceiling fan would be a better choice because they believe that hugger ceiling fans will not wobble or make noise since they are attached directly to the ceiling. This is actually not true. A flushmounted ceiling fan can wobble and make noise just as bad or worse than one that hangs from a pole. Although the mounting hardware may be more rigid, any vibration or noise generated from the fan transfers directly to the motor housing and ceiling where it can be reverberated like a loud speaker. Even more, rather than slowly wobbling like a traditional fan does when it is out of balance, a flushmount fan will vibrate and "Shudder" because there is less give in the mounting hardware. So a cheap poorly made ceiling hugger fan shudder and make more noise than a traditional fan of similar quality. The important take-away here is that quality is important when considering a flush mount ceiling fan if you do not want to be annoyed when you turn it on.
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