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What Size Ceiling Fan Do I Need?


ceiling fansAs it gets warmer outside people start to think about staying cooler inside. Many will buy ceiling fans to help feel cooler. But what size ceiling fan should you buy for a particular room? The answer is: it all depends.

Ceiling fans are sold in a variety of sizes for a variety of rooms. At home centers, you can find them in 32", 42", and 52", but specialty stores have them from under 30" to 60". Many retailers suggest the following:

Room Dimensions              Fan Size

8' x 8'                                32" Fan

12' x 12'                             42" Fan

15' x 15'                             52" Fan

Generally, people used to think that a small fan was for a small room and a large fan for a large room, but you need to take into consideration the volume of the room as well as where people spend time in the room.

Check the cubic feet per minute (cfm) of the fan. You should find this information on the box. The cfm will typically range from 2000cfm to 8000cfm. This cfm rating is the fan's maximum output. Next you want to calculate the volume of the room, and this is a change from the old school of thought. The volume takes into consideration the height of the ceilings. In a room with tall ceilings, the temperature at the ceiling can be 15 degrees warmer than at the floor. Multiply length x width x height for the volume of the room. For example, if your room is 12' x 12' with 10' ceilings, the volume would be 1,440 cubic feet. A fan rated at 2000 cfm or slightly higher should do the job. The cfm of the room would probably be served using the fan's medium setting.


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