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Low RPM Ceiling Fans

Originally Published 9/27/2013 - Updated 4/25/2022
by: Greg Tillotson

We recently received the following comment sent from our "Ceiling Fan Suggestions" page:

"Idea: The point about having a reversible motor of course is to direct the hot air/ cooler air as seasonably appropriate. Trouble is, for winter the fan speed even on the lowest speed, gives you way too much of a breeze to be comfortable; it needs low speed needs to be much lower. a lower speed would be better for the summer,too, just for air distribution, not necessarily a constant breeze. My ceilings are 12 feet high, by the way. So a very slow slow-speed option would be infinitely more useful."

Here is my response to this suggestion:

"There are in fact quite a few ceiling fans where the RPM range is wider (higher and lower) than typical ceiling fans. Almost all ceiling fans that have more than 4 speeds (6 or 7 speeds) have the lowest set top operate at a lower rpm than the average ceiling fan. However, it is not actually RPM at low speed that is critical to minimize the breeze during winter operation, it is the actual airflow. This is because 2 different fans running at the same low RPM can produce quite different wind speeds due to the shape, size and pitch of the blades. It is the speed of the wind that causes the "wind-chill" effect that you want to avoid in the winter. So what you really want to compare is the "wind-speed" at each speed setting...and our website is the "only" place where you can do such comparisons.

If you are more concerned with air distribution during the summer and destratification during the winter than the actual wind-chill effect of a fan, you should consider a larger ceiling fan. Larger fans will distribute air over a larger area, so the wind-speed or intensity of the airflow (which is what creates wind-chill) is typically less than that of a smaller fan...and yes, they generally run at a lower RPM because there is more drag on the motor."

Below are the search results from all 12 major brands of ceiling fans on our site compared to the average performance of over 3,000 ceiling fan models. The search has been filtered to show only fans that meet the following criteria:

  1. The fan has more than 4 speeds
  2. The Airflow data is available for at least High and Low Speed
  3. The blade span is at least 50"

The results are sorted by the lowest LFM at low speed. LFM is the calculation of wind speed in Linear Feet per minute, which is the best way to compare the airflow intensity of ceiling fans with different size blades. The highlighted columns are the critical data for comparison. Look for the fans with the Highest LFM on High Speed to cool you off best during the summer and the Lowest LFM on Low Speed to minimize the wind-chill effect during the winter. Be sure to consider the blade span as well to make sure you get a fan that will fit the size of the room. Keep in mind, the largest fan that will fit into the space is most likely the best to meet your considerations. Also, look at the differences in RPM so you can verify what I have said.

Top 30 Results Sorted by Lowest Wind Speed on the Lowest Speed Setting

As Of 4/25/2022

Image Model Details Span HI CFM
Low CFM
HI RPM LOW RPM HI MPH LOW MPH
AVERAGE CEILING FAN DATA 52" 5564.67 2156.96 200.57 85.87 4.38 MPH 1.77 MPH
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Hydra120" Modern Forms Hydra12076NA1330035001.690.45
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Big Ass Fans Haiku60" Big Ass Fans Haiku60177NA669810703.020.48
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Minka Aire Java Xtreme84" Minka Aire Java Xtreme840NA8200220000.54
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Hydra96" Modern Forms Hydra9695NA1295030002.490.58
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Windflower80" Modern Forms Windflower80115NA10647.522002.860.59
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Minka Aire Chubby58" Minka Aire Chubby580NA5000135400.65
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Minka Aire Chubby II58" Minka Aire Chubby II580NA5000135400.65
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Cervantes56" Modern Forms Cervantes56164NA657713003.350.66
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Roboto52" Modern Forms Roboto5216440519411373.010.66
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Hydra80" Modern Forms Hydra80115NA11308.0725003.040.67
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Minka Aire Curl60" Minka Aire Curl60152317411148700.67
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Woody60" Modern Forms Woody60153NA726815003.270.68
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Wynd52" Modern Forms Wynd52176NA6567.5812003.80.69
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Stargazer52" Modern Forms Stargazer52176NA6032.1512003.490.69
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Mykonos52" Modern Forms Mykonos52176NA523612003.030.69
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Wynd52" Modern Forms Wynd52176NA6567.5812003.80.69
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Osprey56" Modern Forms Osprey56164NA6277.5314003.190.71
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Nautilis56" Modern Forms Nautilis56164NA7013.4314003.570.71
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Emerson Lindbergh Eco60" Emerson Lindbergh Eco6019050705016373.180.74
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Big Ass Fans Haiku Low Profile52" Big Ass Fans Haiku Low Profile52177NA562913013.260.75
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Fan Cirus50" Modern Fan Cirus5022551661812293.830.76
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Kichler Lehr80" Kichler Lehr807831774428642.080.77
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Minka Aire Sabot52" Minka Aire Sabot52179514941134400.78
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Fanimation Subtle72" Fanimation Subtle729229819724872.670.81
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Vortex60" Modern Forms Vortex60153NA772018003.480.81
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Morphius II60" Modern Forms Morphius II60153NA702718003.170.81
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Modern Forms Windflower60" Modern Forms Windflower60153NA8457.518003.810.81
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Minka Aire Dyno XL60" Minka Aire Dyno XL6015549598718072.70.81
Low RPM Ceiling Fan - Emerson Lindbergh Eco72" Emerson Lindbergh Eco7215550949725673.090.84