What To Know Before You Install A Ceiling Fan


How Much Difference Does a Ceiling Fan Make?

Ceiling fans help you stay comfortable. We’ve all been in rooms that are either too hot or too cold, or ones that feel as though air isn’t circulating. Put a ceiling fan in that room, however, and there will be a huge difference in the amount of air moved (otherwise known as CFM or cubic feet per minute).

In summer, ceiling fans create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel 6 to 8 degrees cooler than the actual ambient temperature. In fact, CFM – which ranges from 2,000 to 10,000 – may be more important than motor size. Here’s a good rule of thumb for your customers to follow: Choose a 48”- to 52”-wide fan with about 4,500 CFM.


There are ceiling fans available in all sizes now that can accommodate every space. Some traditionally sized fans may be a better fit for smaller spaces, based on the airflow needs and overall aesthetics. In addition, mini fans – some with just a single blade and small powerhouse motors – can fit in areas as small as closets.

When it comes to selecting the right size fan for a space, use the following measurements:

  • Small Room (0-75 sq. ft.): 36″-diameter fan
  • Small/Medium Room (76-144 sq. ft.): 42″ to 50″-diameter fan
  • Medium Room (144-225 sq. ft.): 52″to 54″-diameter fan
  • Large Room (225-400 sq. ft.): 54″ to 72″-diameter fan
  • Great Room (400+ sq. ft.): 52″ to 72″-diameter with more than one fan installation

Using the Ceiling Fan Year Round

Everyone is aware of the benefits of ceiling fans in summer, but there are many who still do not know the advantages to running a ceiling fan in colder months.

In summer, the ceiling fan should be moving counter-clockwise. (An easy way to check – and point out to your customers – is to stand directly under the ceiling fan to be sure they feel a cool breeze.) The airflow produced creates a wind-chill effect, making you “feel” cooler.

In winter, they should move the reverse button on the motor to operate the ceiling fan clockwise at low speed. This produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space. Remind consumers to adjust their thermostats when using their fans for additional energy and dollar savings! Source: Energy Star

Ceiling Fan Tips


You Want to Put a Ceiling Fan Where?

Make sure customers are aware of the UL-listing for the ceiling fans they are considering. The label details the location the fan is designed for: indoor, damp, and wet.

If they want to put a ceiling fan in a place where it comes into direct contact with water, that fan needs to have a “wet” UL-listing. Fans that are made for wet or damp locations are built with all-weather blades, moisture-resistant motors, and other special features. Indoor-rated fans should only be used indoors. Even if an outdoor area seems safely covered, humidity can negatively impact the motor and the blades. However, putting an outdoor-rated fan inside is perfectly fine. Source: Hunter

Have a tall or cathedral ceiling?

Many Kichler ceiling fans work with 8- or 9-foot ceilings. If your ceiling is higher, you’ll need a downrod. The rule of thumb is that fans should have a minimum of 7-feet and a maximum of 9-feet of clearance between the bottom of the fan blades and the floor in order to circulate the air efficiently.

You might find a customer or two who has heard that leaving ceiling fans on all the time can cool rooms even while they are away from the house for a few hours. Unfortunately, that is a myth. Ceiling fans should be turned off when people leave the room. There’s no point in creating a breeze when there’s no one there to feel it. Would you play music in an empty room? No, you’d turn it off. Do the same with ceiling fans. Source: Fanimation

High or Sloped Ceilings, Big Problem?

Some consumers aren’t aware that there are simple solutions for installing ceiling fans in lofts or rooms with cathedral or sloped ceilings. The rule of thumb is that ceiling fans should have a minimum of 7 feet and a maximum of 9 feet of clearance between the bottom of the fan blades and the floor in order to circulate the air efficiently. If the customer’s ceilings are higher than 9 feet, downrods are available through the manufacturer. Not all models of ceiling fans can be used in sloped ceiling applications, so make sure the model the consumer selects offers that capability. Source: Kichler

Ceiling Fans & Industrial Décor

With the trends for Industrial and Retro design remaining super-hot, consumers want options in keeping with the design scheme instead of installing a plain white or black fan, hoping it’ll fade into the ceiling.

Fortunately some ceiling fan manufacturers have enough versatility to accommodate a variety of looks. Matthews Fan Co. offers a Modern Industrial to Urban Primitive vibe with an assortment of finishes and blade types that can help create the look they want.

For example, its Irene-H ceiling-mount fan has rough hewn CNC-cut solid wood blades that can instantly look more traditional in style if a motor housing in a Bronze finish is chosen.  If a Modern edge is desired, that same motor housing can be finished in Polished Chrome or Brushed Nickel. 

With the Eliza fan family, White or Brushed Nickel finishes add a Contemporary touch that can be tempered by the selection of Walnut or Gray Ash blades.  These woodtone-finished blades can make an otherwise very modern and minimal style fan (like Eliza) appear softer in texture and more traditional in style. Source: Matthews Fan Co.

Choosing the Right Light

When looking online for ceiling fan styles, customers have probably seen the words “integrated light” and “light kit” and may not be sure what they mean. 

  • An “integral light” is part of the overall style of the fan, so it is seamlessly incorporated into the design and is typically tight to the surface of the fan.
  • A “light kit” may be put on/taken off depending on the customers’ need in the room. A light kit provides maximum flexibility in case the consumer wishes to later move the fan into another location that either does/does not need additional illumination.

Source: Monte Carlo Fans








7 thoughts on “What To Know Before You Install A Ceiling Fan

    1. Your best bet would be to stop in at your local lighting showroom or fan shop in your community to get expert advice on installing a ceiling fan in your home. Thanks for writing in!

  1. My fiance and I are considering installing a ceiling fan for our bedroom as it can get stuffy in there. I am not sure if we have the proper electrical connections to get a fan, so we are hoping to find a reliable electrical service to help us. However, I did love learning that we should switch the direction of our ceiling fans in the winter! That could definitely help us save some money on our electrical bill!

  2. It’s interesting that you explained that a ceiling fan can help a room feel at least 6 to 8 degrees colder in temperature. My wife and I want to install a ceiling fan in our bedroom because it gets really warm during the afternoons when the sun is shining directly through our windows. I think it would be best for us to hire an electrician to install it for us so that it can be done properly.

  3. Our vents are located above our ceiling fans. We’ve noticed that the ceiling fan lowers the temperature in our bedroom no matter which way it’s turning. So we are not benefiting at all during the colder months. Any suggestions?

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