How to Choose a Ceiling Fan

Ceiling Fan Illustration

How to choose a ceiling fan

In addition to cooling your space, a Hunter ceiling fan adds that decorative touch that ties the room together. Hunter designs a variety of ceiling fan styles with whisper-quiet motors and high-performance features to ensure maximum airflow. With so many ceiling fan sizes and styles to choose from, you may be wondering how to choose a ceiling fan for your space.

Whether you're upgrading a fan in a single room, renovating your entire home, or installing a new fan into a commercial property, this ceiling fan buying guide can help you pick a ceiling fan with confidence.

How to choose a ceiling fan infographic

Step 1.

Where will you install your ceiling fan?

Stingray ceiling fan in restaurant

Residence or Business

When choosing a ceiling fan size and design for your space, location matters.

Residential Ceiling Fans

Hunter creates residential ceiling fan styles to go with every lifestyle. Innovative features and a variety of styles ranging from traditional to modern are ready to instantly upgrade the look of your home.

Industrial Ceiling Fans

Our industrial ceiling fans are designed to increase airflow while reducing energy consumption. These high-volume, low-speed (HVLS) fans are incredibly lightweight and circulate air more than any other type of traditional ceiling fan on the market. Hunter industrial fans provide super-quiet performance and our impressive fan warranties are among the best in the industry.

How to choose an indoor/outdoor ceiling fan

valda ceiling fan in kids playroom

Indoors

When temperatures rise in the summer, a ceiling fan can keep your home feeling cool. During chilly weather, a ceiling fan can distribute heat throughout your home, too. While some outdoor fans can be used indoors, indoor fans cannot be used outdoors.

An indoor fan, which is sometimes referred to as a dry-rated, fan makes an ideal fit for a living room or bedroom. Rated only for indoor use, some dry-rated fans cannot withstand direct water exposure or moisture, so they may not be the best choice for bathrooms and laundry rooms. And, definitely do not place them outside.

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Havoc ceiling fan in pergola near the water

Outdoors

When choosing a ceiling fan for an outdoor space, pick a model with the appropriate Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Electrical Testing Laboratories (ETL) rating. Otherwise, technical difficulties with the fan can arise. For example, if the fan isn't rated for the proper type of outdoor use and it's exposed to humidity or rain, pieces of the fan could rust and impact operation.

UL and ETL ratings can be broken down into two general categories: damp rated and wet rated. Use the following information to help you determine which outdoor ceiling fan may best suit your outdoor space.

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Damp-rated fans

Damp-rated fans are designed for use in covered outdoor spaces, like covered patios or porches, or inside places like bathrooms and laundry rooms that aren't directly exposed to water but may come in contact with humidity. These fans withstand exposure to moisture and all hardware is constructed with rust-resistant stainless steel.

Wet-rated fans

Wet-rated fans are designed for use in outdoor spaces that may be exposed to elements like heavy snow or rain. Ideal for gazebos and pergolas, our wet-rated fans are engineered to withstand direct contact with water and moisture. These fans are built with moisture-resistant motors and all-weather blades for long-lasting and safe performance.

WeatherMax technology logo

WeatherMax® fans

Hunter WeatherMax fans are built for the outdoors with features and technologies that go beyond the average wet-rated models. WeatherMax designs are corrosion- and salt air-resistant, perfect for beach properties or homes that get a lot of salt from snow trucks, while also featuring our SureSpeed® Guarantee for high-airflow-velocity performance.

Step 2.

What size ceiling fan do you need?

For maximum efficiency, choose an appropriate ceiling fan size for each room. Installing a fan that's too small for the space won't circulate air effectively to make the room feel cool. Alternatively, if you install a fan that's too large for the space, it could overpower the room, even on a lower setting. Use our ceiling fan size guide to determine what size ceiling fan you need for your room.

How to choose a ceiling fan size

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rustic style home office

Fan diameter for room size

The amount of air circulated by a ceiling fan is determined by its diameter. Larger rooms require fans with larger diameters, while smaller spaces require fans with smaller diameters:

Small rooms

100 square feet or less work best with a small ceiling fans that range from 30 inches to 48 inches. Small diameter fan sizes are ideal for home offices and laundry rooms.

Large rooms

400 square feet or less work best with medium ceiling fans that range from 48 inches to 54 inches. Medium diameter fan sizes are ideal of living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens.

Great rooms

Over 400 square feet work well with large ceiling fans 56 inches or larger. Large diameter ceiling fans are ideal for open-concept living areas or lofts with ample space.

Ceiling fan size guide

This ceiling fan size guide can help you choose the right size fan for your room.

FAN SIZE ROOM SIZE ROOM TYPE
Less than 29" Less than 5x10
Hallway
Laundry Room
Walk-In Closet
39" Up to 8x10
Breakfast Nook
Large Bathroom
42" Up to 10x10
Bedroom
Office
Kitchen
52" Up to 10x20
Master Bedroom
Dining Room
Patio Area
Greater than 56" Up to 20x20
Living Room
Great Room

Step 3.

What ceiling fan style do you want?

Selecting the right ceiling fan style for your space is just as important as getting the ceiling fan size you need. Shop by ceiling fan style to find an option that will integrate with your existing design and use the following information to learn more about our style options.

How to choose a ceiling fan style

Ceiling fan style video

Design style

When choosing a ceiling fan style, use your existing furnishings and finishes as inspiration, or explore our ceiling fan options and build the rest of your decor around your choice. We offer reversible blade finishes that allow you to change the style of your fan throughout the year to keep your look fresh.

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Bureau ceiling fan in modern entryway

Blade and housing finishes

Ceiling fan colors and housing finishes set the tone of your space. For example, white ceiling fans complement most ceilings and instill a classic finishing touch in any room. Black ceiling fans make a bold statement, bringing an edgy and sophisticated look to spaces. Brass finishes and brushed nickel complement other hardware in your room. Finishing touches like ceiling fan glass shades and fan caps and finials also help refine the look of a fan and tie the overall design scheme together.

Step 4.

Lights or no lights?

Kennicott ceiling fan in bathroom

Fans without lights

If you plan to install your new fan in a room with good natural lighting or ample light from other sources, a ceiling fan without lights is a good option.

If you decide that you need more lighting in the future, many ceiling fan models can be easily modified after installation with the appropriate light kit.

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hardwick ceiling fan in living room

Fans with lights

For spaces with limited natural lighting, purchasing a ceiling fan with lights is a great option to consider. Ceiling fans with light kits can be supplemented with other fixtures to provide sufficient illumination in darker spaces.

When looking for ceiling fans with lights, check for integrated light dimming features. Ceiling fans with dimmable lights allow you to set the mood in your space. Our wall controls and handheld remotes make the process of adjusting your lighting easy, too.

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Types of bulbs

Today's fans offer a wide array of lighting sources, including several energy-efficient options. Here's a breakdown of some of the most common types of lighting bulbs to consider:

LED

With an average life span of 50,000 hours, LED bulbs are the most energy-efficient option on the market. There are also a variety of LED bulbs found in ceiling fans today: more traditional bulbs, Edison bulbs with glowing filaments, and integrated LED discs that are designed to never need changing.

Fluorescent

These light bulbs have an average life span of 10,000 hours and use less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Halogen

With an average life span of 1,500 hours, halogen bulbs emit a warm light and use around 15-percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Number of bulbs

The number of bulbs a ceiling fan features influences the lighting ambiance of the space. For example, ceiling fans with single bowl light kits are ideal for larger spaces that require medium-level ambient lighting such as bedrooms, offices, kitchens, and living rooms.

For spaces where no other lighting is provided, fans with multi-arm lighting are a great option. These ceiling fans often feature three to four bulbs depending on their design. Their multiple bulbs spread light across the space, brightening the entire room.

Purpose of lighting

With so many different types of ceiling fan lighting options available, designing the ideal lighting scheme for your home can seem confusing, so it's helpful to consider the intent of your lighting, or how you plan to use it.

Task vs. ambient lighting

Task lighting provides smaller, more concentrated light that's meant to increase visibility for projects like reading, working, and cooking. Ambient lighting produces a soft glow that illuminates a space enough for you to see while maintaining a warm tone.

Functional, single-source lighting vs. decorative lighting

Functional, single-source lighting provides a space with overall illumination. In rooms where lighting is limited, a ceiling fan that provides the main source of functional lighting is fundamental to a lighting scheme. In spaces where your primary goal is to accentuate decorative elements, a ceiling fan with an integrated downlight kit creates a clean and sophisticated look that won't overpower the other lighting in the room.

Step 5.

Which mount-type works best for your space?

Ceiling fan mounting and downrod options

Downrod guide

Ceiling fan downrod length guide by ceiling height

Step 6.

How do you want to control your fan?

Control your fan based on your preferences by choosing a control system that's convenient and works best for you. Simple ceiling fan controls rely on a wall switch that lets you turn the fan on and off and adjust its speed with a pull chain switch. Hunter's more advanced ceiling fan control systems allow you to control the fan's settings from a wall control or handheld remote.

Ceiling fan remote and controls

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Step 7.

What airflow/efficiency do you need?

When factoring how to choose a ceiling fan for your space, start by learning how energy-efficient fans can help your energy costs. Energy-efficient ceiling fans can help keep your space cooler in the summer and warmer during cold winter months.

Since a ceiling fan can help make a room feel six to eight degrees cooler in the summer, your air conditioner won't have to work as hard to cool your home. In the winter, by running your fan in a clockwise position on low speed, warm air will be pushed down and recirculated without creating a cooling effect.

SureSpeed faster cooling power logo

Airflow you can feel

With optimized motors and precision blades, Hunter SureSpeed fans produce powerful air velocity while remaining whisper-quiet and wobble-free. The contoured, aerodynamic design of the blades on a SureSpeed fan produces a more uniform flow of air to effectively cool you. This means more of the high-speed cooling airflow can be felt throughout your space.

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Ceiling fan airflow illustration

CFM

CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute and refers to the measurement of how much air is moved by a ceiling fan. More energy-efficient ceiling fans produce higher airflow while consuming less energy than standard fans. Hunter fans typically have higher CFM ratings than other models because we pitch our blades at the maximum possible angles and custom-engineer our motors.

Step 8.

What's your budget?

Rustic bedroom

Fans for every space and budget

Hunter designs ceiling fans for every space and budget. Shop our fans by price to find a fit that's perfect for your needs and budget, or explore a variety of stunning luxury designs in our Casablanca line of ceiling fans.

The innovative designs and pioneering technology of Hunter bring new life into any space. Committed to excellence, we conduct twice the amount of industry-standard testing on each ceiling fan to ensure best-in-class performance. The above guide will help you navigate how to choose a ceiling fan that perfectly suits your preferences.

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