icon How to Choose the Right Ceiling Fan Size for Your Living Room

How to Choose the Right Ceiling Fan Size for Your Living Room

Once you’ve had a ceiling fan, you won’t go back to anything else.

Quality ceiling fans not only pull living rooms together but also offer a refreshing breeze during the summer and warmth throughout the winter.

You can find ceiling fans in an endless selection of styles and sizes. Each fan style can offer both decorative and practical uses. Whichever style of fan you choose, you need to know how to find the right ceiling fan size.

Taking the time to find the right ceiling fan for your living room will ensure you have an inviting space that’s comfortable and safe.

Are you planning to add a ceiling fan to your living room? Here’s how you can choose the right ceiling fan size for your living room.

Why We Love Ceiling Fans

We love adding ceiling fans to our living rooms because they offer so many purposes.

The main reason we love them is they can influence the temperature of a room. Most people use ceiling fans to make a room feel cooler. The spinning blades circulate the air and force it downward. The air moving across our skin makes us feel cool.

Most ceiling fans have a way for you to reverse the blade direction. Reversing the blade direction allows the fan to continue circulating the air by creating an updraft that forces the warm air lower.

Silver ceiling fan with a person reaching up to turn it on

Using your ceiling fan in addition to your home’s heating or air conditioning can help you cut energy costs. You can set your heating or cooling system to a cooler or warmer temperature respectively. When you turn on your ceiling fan, it will help make your room feel warmer or cooler as desired.

Ceiling fans use significantly less energy than your heating and cooling system. Besides lowering energy costs, your home will be more environmentally friendly.

People love ceiling fans because they look great. The right ceiling fan can be the focal point of a room. Choose a ceiling fan complete with lights to enjoy an eye-catching light fixture.

The only way you can enjoy these benefits to their full potential is by choosing the right size ceiling fan.

How To Measure a Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans come in many different sizes, styles, and blade numbers. The majority of fans have three, four, or five blades. This selection gives people the flexibility to fit a ceiling in any sized room in their house.

Large open floor plan living room and kitchen with a ceiling fan

Despite the various ceiling fans available, people continue to pick the wrong sized ceiling fans for their living rooms. Choosing large ceiling fans for small rooms will make the rooms feel cramped, crowded, and even smaller than they appear. A small ceiling fan will make a large room feel empty and unbalanced.

Step One: Location

The first step to finding the right-sized ceiling fan is determining the location of the fan. If you’re looking for a ceiling fan for your living room, you’ll need to decide where in your room you’re going to install it.

Will the fan be on one side of your living room? Then you’ll need to consider what items the fan will be near. The living room walls, doorways, and crown molding may influence the fan’s size

Will your fan will be in the center of the living room? If yes, you’ll have the flexibility to choose a larger ceiling fan.

Is the living room or area indoors or outdoors? Three-season great rooms and covered patios are becoming popular living spaces. If the living room you’re planning to add the fan is partially outdoors, you’ll need a ceiling fan that’s safe for outdoor use.

Step Two: Living Room Size

The living room size will have the greatest influence over the size of the ceiling fan you choose. Again, larger living rooms can fit a larger fan while smaller rooms will look better with a smaller option.

Don’t try and guess what sized fan will best fit your living room. Before you purchase a ceiling fan, measure the size of your living room. You can measure it by using a tape measure to measure the length of at least two of the walls.

Living rooms come in a variety of shapes and sizes which can make it challenging to measure your room. If this is the case, try to measure along two walls to create a square or rectangular section to get an idea of the size.

Multiply the two numbers you measured to find the total square footage of the room. You’ll find some fan brands will base the ideal fan size on the total square footage of a room. Others may use the length and width measurements of the room.

Measuring your room will give you the most accurate size and help you find the best-sized fan. You can use this same process to find the right-sized fans for home offices, bedrooms, and other living areas in your home.

Step Three: The Ceiling Height

Another aspect of the room that will influence your fan size is the room’s ceiling height. A living room with a very high ceiling may require a fan with a downrod. Lower ceilings will need a flush mount.


Ceiling fan experts can mount ceiling fans flush to the ceiling or have them hang lower. A downrod or mounting rod is the rod that connects a low-hanging fan to the ceiling. These are also ideal for vaulted ceilings.

Downrod ceiling fan, wooden blades, single light source

Downrods come in many lengths, up to 72 inches. Your ceiling height will determine what size downrod you’ll need for your fan. Most experts recommend the following downrod and ceiling height combinations:

  • 3 to 6-inch downrod for 9-foot ceilings
  • 12-inch downrod for 10-foot ceilings
  • 18-inch downrod for 11-foot ceilings
  • 24-inch downrod for 12-foot ceilings
  • 36-inch downrod for 13-foot ceilings
  • 60-inch downrod for 14-foot ceilings
  • Up to 72-inch downrod for 15-foot ceilings

These measurements and pairings can vary on preferences. Talk with your local ceiling fan experts to find the right downrod length for your living room fan.

You generally want to keep the fans around nine to ten feet above the floor. This ensures you and your family will feel the air movement. Ceiling fans placed any higher will circulate the air but it’s unlikely you will feel the breeze.

Flush Mounts

Lower ceilings, however, will benefit from a flush mount. A fan that hangs too low will end up hitting you, your family, or guests in the head. A fan running at a high speed may cause a person to end up in the emergency room!

Flush mount ceiling fan, with wooden blades, 4 light bulbs

Let’s avoid this situation by installing a low-profile or hugger fan that mounts flush to the ceiling. There are a variety of styles to choose from and they’ll ensure you and your family are safe from unwanted ceiling fan injuries.

In most cases, you’ll be able to tell whether your ceiling fan will need a downrod. Any ceiling taller than nine feet will need a downrod to maintain efficiency. If you’re unsure, ceiling fan experts can give you the best advice for your ceiling fan needs.

Step Four: How To Measure and Find the Ceiling Fan Size

The fan blade span, or diameter, will determine ceiling fan size. If the fan you’re looking at doesn’t have a size on it, you will need to manually measure it. The size of the fan is often the full diameter of the fan.

For even-number bladed fans, this measurement will run end-to-end from one fan blade and to the other blade. This diameter is the size of the fan.

You’ll need to measure fans with an odd number of blades a little differently. To find the diameter, measure from the center of the fan to the end of one of the fan blades. Multiply that number by two to get the fan size.

Keep note of each fan blade length. Some manufacturers will use this number to share the fan size.

Step Five: How To Choose a Ceiling Fan Size That Fits Your Room

What size ceiling fan for your living room is best? To find the answer to this, you’ll need to know what fan sizes are best for specific living room sizes. Here are the best fan and room size pairings.

Extra Small Ceiling Fans

Extra small ceiling fans range from 20 inches to 36 inches and are best for rooms that are 8x10 feet or smaller. Small fans like these are best for small rooms such as:

Tip: Most small fans have a damp or wet rating making them safe for wet and humid areas. Look for these types of fans for bathrooms and any other humid areas.

Small Ceiling Fans

Small ceiling fans are ideal for home offices and small bedrooms that are 10x10 feet or smaller. Look for ceiling fans ranging from 40 inches to 48 inches.

Tip: Whisper-quiet ceiling fans don’t make noise making them ideal for most bedrooms or quiet studies.

Medium Ceiling Fans

Medium ceiling fans range from 50 inches to 58 inches and are best for larger bedrooms and small living rooms. These fans work great in any room ranging from 100 square feet to 256 square feet.

These fans are ideal for:

Tip: Choose powerful fans within this size to cool these larger rooms. Underpowered or undersized fans will struggle to fully circulate the air in these rooms. Consider whisper-quiet fans for these rooms.

Large Ceiling Fans

This includes large ceiling fans of 60 inches to 72 inches. Large powerful fans like these are best for larger rooms ranging from 290 square feet to around 400 square feet. Rooms this size include:

  • Living rooms
  • Great rooms
  • Large dining rooms
  • Open concept living areas
Neutral living room with a fireplace in the background, wooden ceiling fan

Tip: Larger ceiling fans like these will require more power. Pay attention to the fan’s power and airflow to ensure it will work efficiently.

Fans For Extra Large Rooms

Most ceiling fans have a maximum diameter of 72 inches. Anything larger than this will require more energy and careful installation due to the added weight. If you have a large room or space greater than 400 square feet, you’ll need to use multiple 50-inch to 58-inch fans.

These extra-large rooms include open-concept spaces, outdoor patios, large living rooms, and large dining rooms.

Tip: Make sure the fan has a powerful motor to ensure plenty of airflow.

Tips For Outdoor and High Ceiling Living Rooms

Is your living room or patio outdoors or have high ceilings? Choose a ceiling fan that’s one size larger than the recommendations above. Fans with larger blades will circulate the air more efficiently.

If you have a unique shaped room, talk with your local ceiling fan experts. They’ll give you the best advice on finding the best ceiling fan size for such a room.

The above tips and recommendations aren’t ceiling fan laws. They’re simply guides to help you select the best ceiling fan for your room. If you don’t like a specific size, feel free to experiment with other sizes until you find what you like.

Consider the CFM

CFM or cubic feet per minute are a method of measuring the amount of air moved by a fan. A larger CFM means the fan can move more air.

The CFM gives you an idea of how well the fan will work in a specific-sized room. A fan with a low CFM will not provide you with enough power and airflow to cool a space. A small room with a high CFM rating will be too powerful and make the room feel like a wind storm.

Unless you’re using your fan for purely decorative purposes, you’ll want to choose a fan with an appropriate CFM for your space. 

Choose The Right Ceiling Fan Size For Your Living Room

By following these tips and recommendations, you’re sure to choose the best ceiling fan size for your living room. Once you know what sized ceiling fan you’ll need, you can have fun looking at the many fan styles and materials.

Finding the right ceiling fan style for your living room can be an overwhelming process. If you need help, let me know! I’d love to help you with any of your interior design needs.

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