Selecting the Right Ceiling Fan

Selecting the Right Ceiling Fan

Don’t let the choosing process spin out of control

Choosing the right ceiling fan can quite often be daunting due to the wide and growing range of fans and variations available. While there are many guides and rules around that can be used to pick the perfect ceiling fan, it is important to remember that everyone’s needs are different. After all, the ceiling fan needs to suit you.

However there are several questions you may want to ask and consider when selecting a fan, which may help narrow down a long list to a few comparable options.

1. Where will the fan be located? Indoor and Outdoor (undercover) fans

Firstly it’s important to establish what classifies as an indoor setting. A location that is completely covered and protected by walls, and is not exposed to outdoor air and moisture is considered indoor. This is often a very important first consideration as some fans are designed to work and last in both exposed outdoor (undercover) and protected indoor locations, while some are only designed to work indoors. It is always important to make sure a ceiling fan that is installed outdoor (undercover) has an outdoor rating, or is recommended by the manufacture to be suitable is installed outside.

For a more in depth look at these differences read our Indoor vs. Outdoor Ceiling Fans post.

2. What is the size of the room and will there be obstructions or lighting in the way?

The size of the fan usually refers to the diameter from one blade tip across to the other. The size of the fan usually determines the area that it covers. However the size of the motor (power/wattage) and the pitch angle of the blades also plays a big role in its performance.

There are several fan sizes each with recommended room size:

  • <48” (122 cm) – smaller than 4 m 4 m area (16 m­2), e.g. small bedroom

  • 48” (122 cm) – 4 m 4 m area (16 m­2), e.g. common bedroom/small office

  • 52” (132 cm) – 5 m 5 m area (25 m2), e.g. common living area

  • 60” (142 cm) – 6 m 6 m area (36 m2), e.g. common living area/outdoor

  • >60” (142 cm) – larger than 6 m 6 m area (36 m2), e.g. large living area/outdoor

However there are a few fans that have varied sizes that are either bigger or smaller.

Read our entry The Perfect Fan Size for the Perfect Room for more information on sizing up the right fan and How Many Fan Blades are Best to get answers on the all too common question.

3. Does the fan require a light or is replacing an existing light fitting?

It is important early on to consider whether your fan should have a light or not. While this might seem trivial, the last thing you would want to happen is to replace a light fitting with a fan that does not have a light. Most fans come with a lighting option, either being built straight into the fan, or coming as an add-on accessory.

The second thing that is important to consider is what type of light would be suitable. Ceiling fan light options include globe holders that can be fitted with halogen, CFL (compact florescent lamps) or LED (light emitting diode). Some newer ceiling fans can come with an inbuilt LED light, which requires no additional globes.

4. How will the fan be operated? Wall control, remote control or pull cord?

There are three types of controllers for fans, wall control, remote control and pull cord.

The wall control is the most common and simplest, while a remote control has the benefit of being portable. Some fans, such as the traditional and classical design ceiling fans come with a pull cord which hang down from the fan. While most ceiling fans are remote control adaptable, meaning a remote can be added if desired, there are some of fans that come with a remote and cannot have a switch installed (i.e. remote only). It is always important to know which control type your fan comes with, and if a remote option is available. Below is a quick summary of the different controller types, for a more in depth look at the differences and how they can affect ceiling fan installation refer to our post on Controlling a Ceiling Fan, the Differences between Wall Control, Remote Control and Pull Cord.

5. Which design is best?

For this question there is no right or wrong answer, this is where you can get creative and make the fan match up exactly to your room exactly as you wish. Ceiling fans come in all shapes, designs and colours giving you many options to suit your own personal needs.

Need some more advice or have more question? Please feel free to contact us.

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