The latest trend in ceiling fans is BIG!
In the not to distant past, the most popular size of a ceiling fan was 52". In the last 3 years that has dramatically changed as there has been a huge influx of larger diameter residential ceiling fans hit the market. Fans ranging from 60" to 96" or more are becoming extremely popular. This year Minka Aire introduced The Ninety Nine (pictured above), a 9 blade fan with a 99" blade span (diameter). Wow...now that's a big fan. Click Here to See Big Pictures of Big Fans!
So What Size Fan Do I Buy?
The popularity of large diameter fans is causing the fan industry to rethink the whole size recommendation thing altogether and most of the size recommendation charts you find are based on what was available over 20 years ago. We say: "Ignore the size charts and buy the biggest fan with the highest wind speed that will fit reasonably in the space!". Leave at least 2 or 3 feet of space between the end of the fan blade to the closest wall to determine the largest size fan you can put in a room (3 feet for ceilings 9 feet or less, 2 feet for higher ceilings). For example: a small 10' x 10' room could accommodate a 48" to 72" fan. Would we then recommend a 72" fan for this room? Probably not. More likely we would suggest a fan 48" to 54". But it could be quite striking visually if the ceiling is 10' high. So a little common sense and personal taste needs to be factored into the equation.
A larger fan can provide better airflow throughout the room as well as create a dramatic design statement. Plus, most of the large fans have relatively low profiles and small motor to blade span proportions, so they are not as overbearing as you might think. Keep in mind that although larger fans typically have much higher CFM ratings, the actual wind speed may be lower because they spin slower. So you can expect less direct wind chill effect, but the gentle breeze will cover a much larger area. Read more about the importance of Wind Speed here!
In a recent ceiling fan training webinar produced by the ALA (American Lighting Association), Joseph A. Rey-Barreau AIA, IES (Associate Professor, College of Design, University of Kentucky) confirms what we are saying in this quote:
"The reality is that we are moving in to a point in time where people are using bigger fans in even smaller spaces, and this is the recommendation that I give to my own clients...is that the smaller fans typically are not going to help you a lot if you are not immediately under the fan. So if you're really trying to move air within a large volume of space, or even within a smaller room, the larger fan is typically going to do the job very very efficiently. But, generally speaking in a great room it was historically 60" or larger, although that number is now becoming the norm for many other even smaller rooms."... "Of course, there are limits to where that size should be. So I would not typically recommend a fan where the fan blades are probably closer than about 2 feet from the edge of the room. That would be from a design point of view, my own personal barrier where I would stop."
Still not sure what size fan to buy? Give us a call at: 1-800-201-1193 or email a picture of your room along with the dimensions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Available Ceiling Fan Sizes
Ceiling Fan Size Recommendations: The recommendations shown below are to be considered loosely as there are many factors to consider (some of which are purely subjective) when trying to determine the best size ceiling fan for any particular application. Learn more about Ceiling Fan Sizes below
For rooms approximately 15' x 15' and larger.
Fans that have a blade of 60" and larger are for larger than average rooms. Particularly if the ceilings are higher than 10'. Be aware that the larger the ceiling fan the more the air gets spread out, so the breeze may feel less concentrated (and therefore not cool you off as much as you want). So size alone is not going to give you more air. Be sure to check the CFM rating for larger ceiling fans because some brands are poorly designed and do not move enough air to do the job. For larger rooms, look for fans that produce at least 7,000 CFM. For very large rooms, 2 standard size fans with high CFM ratings will move more air than any single large fan.
For rooms approximately 12' x 12' or so.
Fans that have a blade span from 50" to 55" are the most popular size and can be used in most rooms. This is standard size that is most commonly used blade span for living rooms, dens, and a medium size home office. For larger than 15' rooms, you should probably consider using 2 fans like this.
For rooms approximately 10' x 10'.
Fans that have a blade span from 42" to 48" are most often used in guest bedrooms and kids rooms, as well as smaller home offices.
For spaces approximately 6' x 6' or less.
Fans that have a blade span from 24" to 36" are most often used in very small rooms such as bathrooms, walk-in closets, kitchens and hallways. We do not recommend fans this small for kids rooms since they can normally use a medium sized or large sized fan for better circulation.
Ceiling Fan Size Recommendation Calculator
This calculator is based on the current trend to use Larger fans in Smaller rooms. Based on this new trend, we recommend this: "Choose the largest fan with the highest wind speed that will fit into the space without overwhelming it visually". In rooms larger than 10 x 10, leave 2 to 3 feet from the blades to the shortest wall to determine the largest size we would recommend visually.
How to choose the right size ceiling fan!
"Choose the largest fan with the highest wind speed that will fit into the space without overwhelming it visually."
To calculate the size of the largest fan that will fit the room, just leave 2 to 3 feet between the closest wall and the tip of the blades (3 feet for ceilings 9 feet or less, 2 feet for higher ceilings). Of course. If you do not go larger than that, you are OK on the maximum size from a performance standpoint. Visually, the choice is more personal as some people simply do not like the looks of a fan so large...although the trend today is just that...BIG!
The vast majority of the cooling effect you feel from a ceiling fan is in the column of air directly beneath the fan blades. The further you get away from the fan, the less airflow you will feel. There is a significant drop off in airflow just outside of 2 feet from the tip of the fan blades. This is a real surprise to many consumers who install a fan in the center of a room when their seating area is 4 or 5 feet away. Our calculator will give you a range of sizes that may be appropriate for your room, but the largest is the size we recommend most.
Ultimately, the right size fan for a room is not determined by the size of the room alone. You must also consider the layout of the room, where the fan will be positioned in relation to the area where the airflow is most needed as well as how high the ceiling is. Because we are not aware of any limiting factors you may have in your situation, we cannot say for sure that the largest fan we recommend will actually be appropriate for your room. Just keep in mind that the larger the fan blades are, the more area the fan will cover and the closer you are to the fan, the cooler you will feel.
Here's a scenario to consider: Let's say you have a small room that has a normal height ceiling. If you have walnut furniture and choose a bronze colored fan with walnut blades that matches the decor in your room, the fan will look and feel like it is barely missing your head as you walk under it, so you better purchase a smaller fan to help alleviate this feeling. However, the smaller size fan may not move enough air if it gets really hot in that room. So a good alternative would be to purchase a normal size fan that blends in with the ceiling. So if your ceiling is white, purchase a white fan. If your ceiling is acoustic, purchase a textured white fan. The fan will feel like it is higher up over your head, so you can purchase a slightly larger fan that has better performance features.
Some people might say..."Just put a hugger fan in so it doesn't hang down so low". Our response to that is that most hugger fans don't move much air, and really don't save but 2 or 3 inches in head room. There are some exceptions to this, but you really need to know the fan business to know what they are.
So each room has its own considerations when it comes to choosing the right size and style of ceiling fan that fits best. If you have any questions that we have not answered here, just give us a call and one of our ceiling fan experts will be happy to help you choose the right size fan.
For Live Expert Help Call: 1-800-201-1193