Choose a Ceiling Fan Based on the Square Footage of the Room

As the cost of energy continues to rise, ceiling fans are becoming an increasingly popular way to make homes more energy efficient. As we wrote earlier, ceiling fans can not only keep your home cool in the summer— with or without air conditioning —but they can also help keep your home warm and fresh in cold weather.

But when it comes to choosing a ceiling fan, it’s not just about finding one that matches your decor: you also need to consider the area of ​​the room to make sure the fan can do its job. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Buy the Right Size Ceiling Fan for a Room

First, you need to figure out the area of ​​the room where you are going to hang the ceiling fan.

Find the area of ​​the room

You can use an online square footage calculator or do the math :

  • Measure the length of the room (in feet)
  • Measure the width of the room (in feet)
  • Multiply the length by the width to calculate the area of ​​the room.

Finding a fan with the correct span

Once you have the square footage of the room, you can choose a ceiling fan that is sized to fit the space, based on the width of the fan span.

The span of a ceiling fan is the length (in inches) between the tip of one blade and the tip of the opposite blade (i.e. diameter). If the fan has an odd number of blades, measure the distance from the tip of one blade to the center of the fan (radius) and then multiply by two.

Now select a ceiling fan with the correct span for the room :

  • Rooms up to 100 square feet: 36″ span
  • Rooms up to 200 square feet: 42″ span
  • Rooms up to 400 square feet: 52″ span
  • Rooms larger than 400 square feet: either one 60″ fan or two 52″ or 56″ fans.

Regardless of the size of the room or fan, make sure the distance from the walls is at least 18 inches.


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