What Matters When Selecting a Ceiling Fan?

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When buying a ceiling fan, there are several factors you need to consider so you can choose the right fan for your needs. Do you need a damp or wet rating? What is CFM? Knowing about the different specifications of ceiling fans allows you to pick the perfect one for your home.


Cubic feet per minute, or CFM, is also referred to as airflow. In short, it’s how much air the ceiling fan moves at its highest speed, using the volume of air and the rate at which the air moves.

Taking this number and dividing by the wattage equals the fan’s efficiency. Higher CFM means the fan is more efficient, moving more air per watt. Good CFM values start at 4,000, but the best CFM values are above 6,000. An efficient ceiling fan must have at least 75 cfm/w.

For example, windmill ceiling fans might have a CFM of about 6,500, use about 34 watts, and have a cfm/w of 192, making them very efficient with high airflow.  

Blade Pitch

Blade pitch is the angle of the fan blades. A flatter pitch, between 10 and 12 degrees, does not move as much air but also does not require as big of a motor to reach a higher speed. At high speeds, a flatter-pitched ceiling fan will start to wobble and still won’t move as much air as a steeper-pitched fan. A blade with a steeper pitch but a less powerful motor will wear out the motor faster but provide more airflow.

Number of Blades

Fewer blades mean the ceiling fan can turn faster given the same motor, but the fan may be a bit louder as it circulates air. Generally, the number of blades in modern fans only matters in industrial applications. While residential fans typically have between three and five blades, fans with a non-standard amount of blades will still perform well thanks to their design, balance, and shapes. For example, you can find Minka Aire fans with three blades for indoor use or up to eight blades for both indoor and outdoor use.

Damp and Wet Ratings

If you are buying a ceiling fan for an outdoor space, you will need to look at its area rating because it really matters. If you’ve found your ideal ceiling fan from a selection of Casablanca fans, but it’s only rated for damp areas and you need it for a fully exposed deck, you’ll want to consider another option.

Damp ratings mean the fan can handle some moisture but cannot be directly exposed to water, rain, or snow. Wet-rated ceiling fans, however, can face snow, wind, rain, and salty sea breezes and keep moving air.

Do not use dry-rated fan outdoors. It will rust, which could, in turn, expose wires and possibly cause fires. The fan blades are also more likely to warp.

About LightsOnline

LightsOnline offers a wide selection of premium lighting solutions in a variety of styles for every room in your home. They’ve been making lighting dreams come true since 2009 through their friendly customer support, expert guidance, and a vast selection of lights and ceiling fans. On their site, you’ll find a variety of classic designs along with contemporary styles to fit any interior scheme. They are proud to carry some of the best brands in the business, including Casablanca fans and Savoy House. Whether you’re looking to update your existing fans and lights or want to finish your dream home, LightsOnline is the place to go.

Shop the entire LightsOnline collection at www.lightsonline.com

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