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Does your home feel too warm in the summer and too cold in the winter? Are you struggling to pay your heating and cooling bills? You should get a ceiling fan.

Today’s modern ceiling fan designs are so much more appealing than the old-fashioned, wood-and-rattan bladed fans of yore. You can choose a dual motor fan with twin fan heads, or a sleek contemporary model with clean lines and only two or three blades. The style and type of fan you choose should depend both on what you need from the fixture, and on what looks best in your home.

You Need the Right Size Fan

Whether you’re choosing a fan for an indoor or outdoor space, size is crucial. A poorly sized fan just won’t look right in your space. Furthermore, a fan that’s too small won’t create the airflow you need while a fan that’s too big could create too much airflow.

To determine what size fan you need, measure the space where you’re going to hang it. Determine the width and length of the space and multiply those two measurements together to find the total square footage of your room. Then follow these guidelines to size your fan accordingly:

  • If your room is smaller than 75 square feet, choose a 29- to 36-inch fan.
  • If your room is between 76 and 144 square feet, choose a 36- to 42-inch fan.
  • If your room is 145 to 400 square feet, choose a 44- to 50-inch fan.
  • If your room is larger than 400 square feet, go with an oversized 60- to 80-inch fan.

In general, the larger the room, the larger the fan you’ll need. If your room is very large, you might even want to consider hanging two or more fans. Ceiling height is also a consideration – if your ceiling is eight feet or lower, you should buy a hugger mount fan. If your ceiling is much higher than the standard nine feet, or if it’s vaulted, you may need to buy a downrod extension kit.

Match Your New Fan to Your Decorating Style

Choosing a fan that goes with your decor can be the most challenging aspect of installing a new ceiling fan, simply because there are so many design options available to homeowners today. Do you have a coherent decorating aesthetic? If so, choose a fan in the same style. If you have a more eclectic taste, choose a fan that contrasts with the dominant style in the room.

You’ll also want to choose a fan that goes with the hardware and finishes in your room. If your room is done all in the same finish – for example, all in oak or cherry wood – choose a fan that matches that finish. If you have multiple colors of wood in the room, choose a fan that matches the predominant color. If the finishes in your room are mostly white, you can choose a fan with a white finish or one that contrasts with the white to add an interesting focal point to your room.

f2 How to Choose a Ceiling Fan to Coordinate with Your Decor

Choose a Fan with the Features You Need

Modern ceiling fans come with a range of features, and some of them are pretty high-tech. You can buy a ceiling fan with LED lights that will provide the same level of illumination as a 100-watt incandescent bulb, but only use 16 to 18 watts of electricity. LED light fixtures in fans will also stay cool to the touch and will last much longer than incandescent bulbs.

You may also want to consider how many blades you want on a fan. These days, the number of blades a fan has is mostly an aesthetic consideration. Fans with two, three, four, or five blades will all move about the same amount of air and create the same climate control effects. Larger fans with eight or nine blades may create more subtle airflow in the room. However, you can largely select the number of fan blades based on your personal preference – maybe you like the modern look of a swooping two-blade fan, or maybe you prefer the steampunk look of a nine-blade fan. Check the fan’s airflow rating to determine how much of a breeze it can create. You’ll want at least 4,000 to 5,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of airflow out of a fan, but 5,000 to 6,000 CFM is more powerful and, for the largest rooms, a CFM of more than 6,000 might be preferred.

Finally, think about what kind of controls you want on your fan. Do you want the standard pull cord, or do you want a wireless wall control? What about a remote? Do you want a smart fan that you can control using your phone or smart home device? Features like these have brought ceiling fans into the 21st century.

A ceiling fan is a fixture that will be a part of your home for years, so it’s important to choose one carefully. Get a fan that matches your home, so you can focus on enjoying the breeze.