Fan Buying Guide - How to Buy a Modern Ceiling Fan

How To

Fanimation Odyn Wet Fan

Why should I buy a modern ceiling fan?

Temperature Comfort

The primary reason for installing a ceiling fan is temperature control. Modern ceiling fans offer the lastest in air circulation technology for achieving optimal temperatures inside a room or house.

Energy Efficiency

Modern fans use a great deal less energy than air conditioning units or central air conditioning, making them a more eco-friendly option for maintaining optimal temperatures at home or business office.

Light Source

Contemporary fans with a light source provide twice the functionality of a single device, aiding both the comfort level and ambience of a room.


Modern, energy-efficient fans are a long way from traditional ceiling fans, offering some of the best-looking and most sustainable selections in contemporary design.

Fanimation Torto LED 3-Blade Ceiling Fan
Matthews Fan Company Duplo Dinamico Fan
Fanimation Zonix Ceiling Fan

How do I select a modern fan?

There are two primary types of ceiling fans:

Standard Fans

Standard Fans are mounted to a downrod and can accommodate ceiling heights from 8 to 20 feet, as well as sloped or flat ceilings.

Hugger Fans

Hugger Fans, designed specifically for lower ceilings (8 feet or less), have a wider body and mount flush to the ceiling, provided the ceiling is flat. Most contemporary fans are usually available in each version.

Will your fan be indoors or outdoors?

Outdoor modern fans are required to be Wet or Damp Location specified. Damp Location fans may be used in partially open areas, like covered patios - where they act as mosquito repellents while providing cool breezes - but must remain out of direct contact with the elements. Wet Location fans can be used in pergolas and other outdoor locations where they may come in direct contact with the elements.

Once you've determined whether your fan will be located indoors or outdoors, the most important factors influencing your decision will be ceiling height and room size.

Ceiling Height

For all ceiling fans, the ideal distance from floor to fan blades is 8 to 9 feet from the finished floor, with 7 feet being the minimum distance. The more space between the blades and the ceiling, the more air ciculation will be provided. Knowing these dimensions will help you choose the fan body type.

Room Size & Blade Diameter:

Note that the larger the blade diameter, the more efficiently the fan moves air. Fan diameteres can be a little larger than recommended sizes, but be sure there is a minimum clearance of 18 inches around the fan.

Energy Star guidelines for room size and related fan diameters
Room Size Suggested Fan Size (overall diameter)
Up to 75 Sq Ft 29 - 36"
76 - 145 Sq Ft 36 - 42"
146 - 225 Sq Ft 44"
226 - 400 Sq Ft 50 - 54"

How do contemporary ceiling fans help save energy?

Ceiling fans may be associated with the warmer months, but, in fact, aid in temperature control year-round. During the colder months, fans facilitate a more even circulation and distribution of warm air, maximizing the effectiveness of a home's heating system. Winter thermostat temperatures may be lowered a few degrees with the inclusion of a ceiling fan, reducing energy consumption without comprising warmth.

Conversely, using a fan in conjunction with air conditioning during summer months produces a wind chill that allows for higher temperature settings on air conditioners while still providing the desired cooling effect commensurate with lower settings.

A fan's energy efficiency is related to its motor and light source. DC motors consume 70% less power than regular ceiling fan motors (with the added bonus of a smaller, lower profile form). LED light sources use less wattage than conventional light bulbs, further reducing energy consumption.

Determining a fans efficacy has never been easier - fan packaging and specs include an energy usage label. The label shows Airflow (measured in Cubic Feet Per Minute), Electricity Usage (measured in watts and excludes light source), and the Air Flow Efficiency (CFM/Watts) - the higher this number, the more efficient the fan. Keep in mind - the larger the blade diameter, the higher the Air Flow Efficiency number.

Fanimation Levon Ceiling Fan

What else should I know about modern ceiling fans?

Installation Requirements

Ceiling and wall mounted fans require Fan-rated junction boxes. Consult your local electrician for the appropriate junction box or boxes needed.

Fan Controls

Most contemporary fans include hand-held or wall-mounted controls for controlling both fan speed and lighting options. Smart phone or tablet-based controls - like Fanimation's FanSync - allow users to control their fans with their tablets and smartphones, providing the fan is within range of bluetooth connectivity (35 feet in this case).

Shop our featured modern ceiling fans and lighting

Our modern fan collection offers a range of sleek and refined choices for the design enthusiast who's interested in both form and functionality.

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