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How to Pick the Right Ceiling Fan

Choosing a new ceiling fan can be a headache for any homeowner. You need to find something that will go with your decor. Your new fan needs to be the right size for the space it’s going into, and it needs to have the right features so you can enjoy full functionality from it.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the range of choices available, by the many sizes and styles of fans on display in any home store. But don’t panic. Choosing a new ceiling fan for your bedroom, living room or porch isn’t as hard as it seems, as long as you know how big your room is and how high your ceilings are. Here’s what you need to do.

Measure Your Room

Before you go to the home store or start shopping for ceiling fans online, you need to know the dimensions of the room in which you’re planning to hang the ceiling fan. If your ceiling fan is too small for your room, you won’t feel a difference in the temperature of the room. If it’s too large, on the other hand, you’ll feel like you’re about to blow away in the stiff breeze it creates.

  • For a small room, like a laundry room or mudroom that is less than 50 square feet, you need to look at small ceiling fans that are 29 inches wide or smaller.

  • A room larger than 50 square feet but smaller than 75 square feet requires a fan that’s about 36 inches wide.

  • A 75- to 100-square-foot room - like a living room - requires a fan of about 42 inches in diameter.

  • A room 100 to 225 square feet needs a fan about 52 inches in diameter.

  • A room larger than 225 square feet requires a fan of about 56 to 80 inches wide – the larger fans should be reserved for rooms larger than 400 square feet.

Take a Close Look at Your Hardware and Trim

Ceiling fans are available in so many styles and even colours that you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that matches your decorating scheme. You can match the style of your new fan to the style of the rest of your furniture and decor.

If you have a coastal aesthetic, choose a fan with leaf-shaped blades. If you have a traditional, cottage-core aesthetic, choose a more traditional white or wood-colored fan with wicker blades. If you have modern decor, choose a minimalistic, two-bladed fan design with swooping lines.

No matter what style of fan you choose, you should make sure it blends into your room. Take a close look at the hardware and trim in your home, and especially in the room where you plan to hang the fan.

Get a fan with hardware that matches the hardware in your home, and match the color of the fan blades to the type of wood in your home’s trim and furniture – so if you have oak trim and furniture, choose a fan with oak-look blades.

Get the Down-rod You Need

A ceiling fan needs to hang at a height of about eight to nine feet off the floor for maximum effectiveness. If you have nine-foot ceilings, you can use the down-rod that comes with your fan. However, if your ceilings are higher, or you want to hang your fan from a slanted ceiling, you’re going to need a longer down-rod to lower your fan to the right height.

If you’re hanging your fan from a slanted ceiling, you need to make sure it’s hung low enough that the blades don’t smack against the ceiling.

Buy an Outdoor-Rate Fan for Use Outdoors

Are you planning to put your new ceiling fan outdoors, perhaps on a covered porch, pergola, or gazebo? Outdoor fans are exposed to the elements, and therefore need to be rated for use in wet areas. A wet-rated fan is made with materials that can withstand moisture. The motor housing will be watertight to protect the inner workings of the fan from the wet.

Don’t try to hang an indoor-rated fan in an outdoor area – it won’t last long. And if you’re hanging a fan outdoors in a coastal region, go ahead and get a marine-rated fan. It will last much longer than an ordinary wet-rated fan.


When it comes to choosing a ceiling fan, it’s important to get it right. Your new ceiling fan will be a permanent fixture in your home, and it needs to look and feel like it belongs. With the right ceiling fan, your home will be so much more comfortable, no matter what time of year it is.


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