How to Size Up a Ceiling Fan
A ceiling fan is a cost-effective way to cool off without cranking up the AC. Read on for tips on how to choose and install one
Cooling down doesn't always require a blasting AC and skyrocketing energy bill. We have the tips to make an informed purchase and savings boost a breeze.
Select a fan with the appropriate span: 36 inches for rooms up to 100 square feet, 42 inches for up to 200 square feet, 52 inches for up to 400 square feet, and either one 60-inch fan or two 52- or 56-inch fans for rooms larger than 400 square feet. When installing two fans, place one at each quarter point along the room's long axis. In all cases, there should be at least 18 inches of clearance from walls.
Hang fans about 8 feet above the floor for the maximum cooling effect. For rooms with high ceilings, purchase a just-the-right-size downrod by subtracting 8 feet from the ceiling height and adding back about 1 foot to accommodate the motor and casing. If your headroom is less than 9 feet, choose a hugger-style ceiling fan, which has a more compact shape. Sloped ceiling? Manufacturers sell adapters that let fans hang at an angle of up to 48 degrees.
Consult an electrician when replacing an existing light fixture, to verify that the ceiling can support the weight and that the electrical box is fan-rated. If installing from scratch, hire a pro to do the wiring, or see the guide How to Install a Ceiling Fan.