How to Choose the Right Ceiling Fan for Your Room

With so many options available, here’s what to know when choosing the right ceiling fan for your home.

Ceiling fans are a popular choice for keeping a room comfortably ventilated, while also stylish. But with so many options on the market, it can feel overwhelming to choose the right one for your space. Factors like size, style, and special features can play a role in which fan feels like a good fit in each room. Let’s break down the various types of ceiling fans available and the things you should consider before installing a ceiling fan in your space.

cottage style contemporary living room with blue curtains
Brie Williams

Different Types of Ceiling Fans

There are several types of ceiling fans available on the market, which can make searching for the right one a bit overwhelming. But, the most common indoor ceiling fan options can be narrowed down to 6 different types: standard, low-profile, energy-efficient, dual-motor, smart, and oversized. Each is designed to suit specific needs and preferences.

Standard Ceiling Fans

Standard ceiling fans cover most of the fans you might already find in a home. Standard ceiling fans come in a variety of styles, but their most common feature is four or five blades. They may come with or without a light. These fans typically extend from a downward cylindrical rod that connects the ceiling fan's motor housing to the mounting bracket installed on the ceiling. The downrod allows these fans to be mounted and leveled on both flat and sloped ceilings.


  • Affordable and simple to suit most rooms.
  • Simple to install and maintain.
  • Available in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors, making it easy to match any decor.


  • May not be as efficient as other types of ceiling fans.
  • May not circulate air as effectively in large rooms or on high ceilings.
  • Additional features like remote control or variable speed settings may not always be available.

Low-Profile Ceiling Fans

Low-profile ceiling fans are meant to accommodate lower ceiling heights of eight feet or less. These fans are installed directly onto a mounting bracket in the ceiling, rather than on a downrod. These are available in the same styles and finishes as a standard ceiling fan, but they typically only have three blades.


  • Space-saving design creates a minimalist look.
  • Quieter than standard fans.
  • Can be used outdoors too.


  • Airflow might be slightly reduced because of its proximity to the ceiling.
  • Specifically meant for rooms with low ceilings.
  • Mounts flush to the ceiling, so it would look odd on a sloped ceiling.

Dual Motor Ceiling Fans

Dual motor ceiling fans have a central motor attached to two horizontal rods supporting individual, adjustable fan heads. Because each fan has its own motor, these fans have a more industrial look. Each fan can be customized individually, so a high-wind option can blow in one direction and a gentler breeze can flow in another. These fans also can come with or without a light.


  • Increased air circulation, as compared to a standard ceiling fan.
  • Ideal for larger rooms.
  • Flexible blade design and placement.


  • More expensive than standard or low-profile fans.
  • May require more maintenance with the additional motor and moving parts.
  •  Dual design may not suit all room styles.

ENERGY STAR Ceiling Fans

ENERGY STAR ceiling fans are an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly option for cooling your room. An ENERGY STAR ceiling fan is certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and meets their energy-efficiency criteria. ENERGY STAR ceiling fans are up to 60% more efficient than conventional fans. ENERGY STAR fans are usually standard or low-profile styles.


  • ENERGY STAR ceiling fans reduce your environmental impact.
  • Generally better performance, as they are designed to circulate air more efficiently and consistently.
  • Lowers the cost of energy bills.


  • More expensive than non-certified fans, due to their materials and features.
  • Fewer options for styles and designs compared to standard varieties.

Smart Ceiling Fans

To control the airflow and features, smart ceiling fans have a wireless connection to your smartphone, tablet, or a remote control. Smart ceiling fans can be incorporated into a home automation system, like Alexa, an alarm system, or other energy efficiency trackers. Depending on the product, you may be able to upgrade your standard ceiling fan with smart features.


  • Remotely controlled through an app, voice commands, or smart home system.
  • Can be programmed to run at specific times for specific durations.
  • Some have motion sensor technology to detect when to turn on or off automatically to save energy.


  • More expensive than traditional fans. Smart features may have a subscription fee.
  • Require a stable Wi-Fi connection to work effectively.
  • Installation is more complicated, due to wiring and smart control set-up.

Oversized Ceiling Fans

These are almost always seen in industrial or warehouse spaces, but oversized fans have long thin blades meant to circulate air through large rooms that may not have windows. In custom-built modern homes, oversized fans might be installed in a large foyer, home gym, or outdoor hosting space. They are also ideal for homes with dramatically high ceilings, like lofts. 


  • Can avoid the need to install multiple standard ceiling fans.
  • Sleek design is eye-catching.
  • Remotely controlled by default.


  • Hard to install and hard to reach for maintenance.
  • Requires more energy than a standard ceiling fan.
  • More expensive than standard ceiling fans.
white living room remodel black fireplace
Seth Smoot

Things to Consider Before Selecting a Ceiling Fan

Considering ceiling height, budget, and style, there are many factors to consider when selecting the ideal ceiling fan for your space.


Where you’re planning to hang your ceiling fan is important to consider. Whether outdoors or in a room with a low ceiling, location informs the search for the right product.

Fan Size

Select a fan that will match the room’s size. Manufacturers outline the ideal square footage and ceiling height for each fan’s capacity to circulate air and regulate temperature. Be sure to measure not only ceiling height, but also wall diameter to determine which sized fan will fit.

Mounting Type

Mounting type and downrod length are also determined by ceiling height. Flush, meaning mounted directly to the ceiling, versus downrod is an important distinction to make. The ideal ceiling fan height, from the floor to the blade, should be eight feet to maximize airflow. Keep in mind the slope of your ceiling. If it isn’t flat or level, you’ll likely need downrod.

Fan Style

There are so many different ceiling fans available, meaning there are many styles to choose from. Blades are offered in a variety of finishes, such as natural, white, oak, black, and more. Blades also come in different shapes and materials, like palm leaf, metal, or wood. You can also opt for one with or without lights. Lights come in a variety of color tones, included glass frosted or not. It’s best to match the ceiling fan to the style of the room.

Fan Features

Aside from its basic functions, there are also many features to consider. Does it include a remote control? Is the fan wall-controlled? Is there a pull chain? Is there a light? Consider the ideal functionality that will help you enjoy this room.

Airflow and Efficiency

If airflow and efficiency are at the top of your list, look at ENERGY STAR certified fans. Otherwise, look at its motor, either DC or AC: AC motors are heavier than DC motors, which produce less heat and consume less energy.


Prices vary widely, with even the smallest shift in features. Keep in mind the budget you have to work with and that the lifespan of most ceiling fans is 10 years.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles