How to Buy a Ceiling Fan – 4 Things You Need to Know

Before you buy a new ceiling fan, consult Lamps Plus’ exclusive guide to ensure you pick the right fan for your space.

Here, four things to consider when it’s time to get a new ceiling fan:

  1. Ceiling Fan Location: Indoor or Outdoor
  2. Ceiling Fan Size
  3. Ceiling Height and Mounting Type
  4. Ceiling Fan Controls

Ceiling Fan Location

Do you need an indoor or outdoor ceiling fan?

What’s the difference between damp listed and wet listed fans?

Indoor Ceiling Fans

All ceiling fans can be used indoors. If you need a ceiling fan for an indoor bedroom, living room, foyer, kitchen, or closet, you can purchase nearly any ceiling fan on the market.

But, if the indoor area is subject to humidity, go for a damp listed ceiling fan.

Damp listed fans are ideal for indoor humid areas such as laundry rooms and bathrooms.

Tip: For extra protection, install the fan at least three feet away from a water source.

Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can also be used outdoors, as long as you purchase the right kind of fan.  Outdoor ceiling fans with special ratings are created to withstand the outdoor elements.

There are two types of outdoor ceiling fans:

  1. Damp Listed Ceiling Fans
    A damp listed ceiling fan is recommended for outdoor areas that are covered and not directly exposed to water. Examples include covered porches and covered patios, since these areas are completely protected from water.
  2. Wet Listed Ceiling Fans
    If you have an outdoor area directly exposed to water, buy a wet-listed ceiling fan to avoid weather damage. Examples of outdoor areas that require wet-listed fans include uncovered gazebos, open air patios, and open-air decks.

To determine, you’ll need to first know the size of the room in which it will be installed.

How to Measure the Size of a Room

To measure your room, take the length and multiply by the width. This also known as the square footage of a room.
Length x width = Room Size (Sq. Ft.)

Once you have the square footage, use the size of the room to select the proper span:

Ceiling Height and Mounting Type

Along with ceiling fan blade span, you’ll need to select the right mounting type and determine if you need a downrod.

In order to pick the proper mounting type and figure out the length of the downrod, you will need to know your ceiling height.

How to Measure Ceiling Height

To measure the height of your ceiling, you will need to measure from the highest point of the ceiling to the floor.

Ceiling Height and Mounting Type

With your ceiling height on hand, you can select the appropriate mounting type and downrod length.

Things to know about hanging ceiling fans:
Ceiling fan blades need to be at least 7 feet above the floor.
Ceiling fans with metal blades need to be at least 10 feet above the floor.

You have a:

Standard Ceiling
A standard ceiling is between 8 to 9 feet high. If you have a standard ceiling, you will be pleased to know that most ceiling fans include a downrod for standard ceiling heights of 8 or 9 feet high.

Low Ceiling
If your ceiling height is between 7 ½ feet and 9 feet high, you have a low ceiling. For low ceilings, you can use a hugger fan. Hugger or flushmount ceiling fans mount directly to the ceiling without the use of a downrod.
If you have a low ceiling, you can also use a low profile fan. Low profile fans are standard fans with a dual mount feature which allows you to mount close to the ceiling.

High Ceiling
If your ceiling is higher than the standard height of 8 to 9 feet, you will need a longer downrod to mount the fan.
How long does your downrod have to be? Use this chart to find out:

 Ceiling Fan Controls

How do you want to control your fan?

Ceiling fans are controlled by handheld remotes, wall controls, or pull chains.
It’s important to note that not all ceiling fans have all three controls. The point? Pick a fan with the control or controls you want and need.

Here, a breakdown of ceiling fan controls and the advantages of each.

Handheld Remote Controls

A convenient option if you have high ceilings and if you want the option to control the fan from any location within the device’s range.

Wall Control

Wall controls are convenient to turn on as you enter a room. This option is also great for families with kids and multi-purpose rooms.

Handheld and Wall Remote Compatible

Combines the advantages of both types of controls.

Pull Chain

The most basic fan control, pull chains are easy to operate. Pull chain ceiling fans can also be upgraded to remote control systems or wall controls, offering the flexibility to change the control in the future.

For a great recap of all of this information, check out our comprehensive fan buying guide.