Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Ceiling Fan

So you’re interested in ceiling fans.

You may be wondering what size ceiling fan you need, or you may be looking for ceiling fans that have the most air circulation. We’re not here today to tell you which fan is right for you. Instead, we are here to equip you with all the information you need to make the decision on your own.

White Ceiling Fan With Lights In Bedroom

There’s a lot to go over. You’ll need to understand the different parts of a ceiling fan, what to look for in a ceiling fan, the benefits of having a ceiling fan, as well as the various types of ceiling fans.

Once you have a better grasp on this technology, you will be able to sift through the hundreds of different ceiling fans with ease.

Remember, knowledge is power. And without power, your fan likely won’t work.

Let’s start with the parts of a ceiling fan.

Ceiling Fan Parts

There is much more going on in a ceiling fan than you might think. It’s a little more complicated than a desk fan, and because of that, more care and consideration should go into your decision. Let’s take a closer look at the different parts of a ceiling fan so you can understand what you are looking at when you begin your research:

The Motor

This is the muscle of your fan. You need sufficient power from your motor, and it should be capable of functioning at three different speeds. It should be an electric motor and is covered in a motor housing. The motor is directly connected through wires to your switch. A real fan will offer a lifetime warranty on the motor as it is the one piece that is obliged to last a long time.

Fan Blades

The actual blades of the fan are critical. Their aerodynamic quality will determine how much air is pushed down. They can be made of alloy, plastic, metal, wood, and even ceramics. The quality of your blade depends on its material. The size of the blades is also important.

Smaller blades will not work in larger rooms. Large blades will create much more force than smaller ones. Fan blades are also where you have creative freedom. The blades are often the most decorative pieces, so don’t settle for an ugly set of blades

Black Ceiling Fan Blades On White Surface

The Rotor

The rotor is one of the two ways of fastening the fan blades. It’s a single piece that is similar to your tire rotors. It connects directly to the motor and works to solve the balancing of blades. You attach the blades into the rotor, which is a good step up. They didn’t use rotors in ceiling fans until a little over 20 years ago. The alternative is the blade arms.

Blade Arms

The blade arms or blade brackets are the other way to fasten the fan blades to the motor. They are individual, so there is more room to mess up the installation. If you install different arms at different levels, you will find problems in balancing. These do however have more room for style as they come out a little more and can be more decorative.

Blade Arms Ceiling Fan

A Mount

There are various types of mounts. Essentially, these are what connects the fan to the ceiling. The most common versions are the ball and socket as well as the J hook. The ball and socket are essentially just as they sound. There is a ball on the end of the downrod that fits into a socket allowing the fan to be moved at different angles.

The J hook version is more simple in its function in the fixture than other options. The fan will hang from a metal hook fastened to the ceiling. Other mounts are directly screwed into the roof and then fastened throughout the fan. Know which mount will work for you in the room you are planning to add a fan.

A Flywheel

A wheel is attached to the motor. This flywheel is also what the blades can attach to for fluid movement. These usually go along with blade arms to offer more support and direction. A rotor will often replace the flywheel and blade arm system. You can find a flywheel in metal or rubber. The weaker ones are known to break so make sure if your fan has a flywheel it is of tougher material.

White Flywheel From A Ceiling Fan

Light Fixture

A light fixture is not needed if you don’t want one. But most ceiling fans will include a light option. If you can get the same quality fan with a light option, you may as well take it. There are several types of light fixtures, and if you do need your fan to provide your room with most of its light, then check to see that the light is formidable enough.

Often these fans carry weaker lights that are meant to add to the light of the room only. They aren’t supposed to provide all of the light.


These are a part of the mount. If you need your fan to be even lower, you can purchase a downrod. This is mostly for rooms with extremely high ceilings. You can get a short downrod or ones that stretch for a few feet. If you know you need a fan to come down much lower than your ceiling than knowing you will need a downrod. Most times, a downrod won’t be included with your fan.

Arrow Showing A Downrod For A Ceiling Fan

Now you understand the parts of the fan. This will help you better understand the types of ceiling fans which is what we will be discussing next.

Types Of Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans have been around for generations. Since it’s creation in the late 1800’s, there have been several variations and innovations for the ceiling fan. They were created to satisfy specific niches as well as desires.

Understand the different types of ceiling fans to learn better which is suited for your room:

Standard Ceiling Fans

This is the kind of ceiling fan you are used to seeing. It’s the fan in most households. These usually are connected by a downrod to the ceiling. A standard ceiling fan needs to be at least 7 feet above the ground. These can have any variation of other features.

They can have from 3 to 8 fan blades. Most of you will be looking for a standard ceiling fan. Just know you should not have to pay more than 200 hundred dollars for a good standard fan.

Low Profile Ceiling Fans

These are also called ‘huggers.’ They are better for rooms with low ceilings. They fasten directly to the mount, so they don’t use any downrod. These fans usually come about 2 feet down from the ceiling from head to toe. These are suitable for shorter rooms, and help since you need to have at least 7 feet of separation between you and your fan.

There is a chance that because there is no downrod present, these fans make more noise, than their alternative. You will find some of these fans wobbling too. A downrod is preferable, but not always an option.

White Ceiling Fan With Lights

Ceiling Fans With Lights

Not all fans have lights. If they do there are different variations still. Most will come with a lighting bowl with light bulbs inside. The next most common style has separate sleeves for light bulbs. An example would be a fan that had four different single lamp shades.

Each would carry its bulb. Some have LED light capability which offers the ability to dim lights. Most of these fans come with a light bulb set that isn’t perfect. Head to the store and upgrade your light bulbs.

Outdoor Ceiling Fans

You can put an outdoor fan inside, but you can’t put an indoor fan outside. Outside fans are made of a different material that is better suited to deal with humidity. You can get some fresh variations with outdoor fans. Some of them are even made of bamboo. They are either damp resistant or wet resistant.

The question is how much moisture they can and need to handle. A wet fan can handle very humid conditions and some mist. A wet fan can handle rain. These fans are built to last a long time and are warp resistant.

Energy Star Fans

Energy Star fans are a recent innovation. They are a little more expensive at first, but down the road, they will save you money. These fans are ingeniously made to save you on your power bill. They use energy efficient motors and have aerodynamic blades that create the least drag possible.

This means you use less energy to power these fans. If you plan on running your fan all day for weeks at a time, you may as well invest in an energy star fan. These can save you anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of the energy used on your fan.

Dual Motor Fans

A dual motor fan can come in an outdoor or indoor version. The name tells it all, as these fans have two motors. They are better for horizontal circulation. They carry two sets of smaller fan blades on each side. Each will be attached to its motor as well.

These look the most different, and you can use them to spice up your room. These may also carry light fixtures. A dual motor fan will certainly cost the most energy as it has two high-performance motors inside.

Remote Controlled Ceiling Fans

Most fans can be programmed to respond to a remote. That being said, not all come with a remote. A remote gives you the convenience of adjusting lights and fan settings from the couch or your bed. These remotes come with the ability to dim your light as well. Some of these remotes try to get too fancy and hi-tech.

I prefer a remote that is straightforward and easy to use. If it has more than 6 or 7 buttons, it’s probably a little too complicated. A fan with too many additional settings is likely overcompensating for weak construction.

White Bladeless Ceiling Fan In A Room

Bladeless Ceiling Fans

These are a rather new invention. They have no blades, as the name gives away. These look more like an air conditioning unit than a fan, but they don’t cool air. They use a technology similar to an air pump to funnel air down quickly. These are hi-tech, and I would only recommend them for a room with a low ceiling that is also featuring many other high tech contemporary pieces.

Desk Fans

This isn’t a ceiling fan, but it’s important to know what a desk fan is. You should already know that they are a horizontal based fan. These are good at spraying you with the refreshing wind, but they don’t circulate air in a room the way a ceiling fan does. A lot of desk fans is no replacement for ceiling fans. Know that a ceiling fan should be used only for targeted cooling.

Wall Fans

Imagine an old barbershop. In the corner of the room is a fan hanging on the wall. If you can afford a ceiling fan, don’t bother with a wall fan. You may think they look cool or novel, but they don’t get the job done the same way. They are more similar to desk fans than they are ceiling fans. You can’t properly circulate air. Circulating air is the magic of ceiling fans.

It doesn’t matter what type of fan you decide is best for you. The most important thing is that it can circulate air in your room. Consider the next segment to learn more about this. Whether it is summer or winter, a fan can help circulate air and save you on power bills.

Ceiling Fans In The Winter/Summer

Perhaps you’ve heard of the different settings for fans before. A fan can go clockwise or counterclockwise. The standard setting is for the fan to go forward. Forward means counter clockwise.

The counterclockwise setting is what you use in summer and on hot days. This creates a downward force that pushes colder air downwards. Constantly pushing cooler air down will make you feel more relaxed, and you won’t need to spend so much on air conditioning. This will also push the hot air around, so you won’t have certain areas in your room that are hotter than others.

Cieling Fan Used In Winter

What most people don’t realize is that the ceiling fan has great utility in the winter time as well. There is usually a switch on the motor that allows you to switch the fan to its reverse setting. This puts the fan into a clockwise setting.

The reason you put the fan in reverse during cold days is simple, but it is important that you keep it on a low setting. If you put it on a high setting, it will overpower the circulation effect.

The clockwise fan will gently draw the cold air up. Cold air sinks to the bottom since it is heavier than hot air. A gentle clockwise rotation will lift that air up like a tornado and spread it up and outwards. This creates a circular motion where the cold air is circulated to the top and outsides while the warmer air is pushed downward. This will prevent cold spots from forming and will allow you to save big bucks on heating.

If your fan doesn’t have a reverse setting, you are missing out greatly. It’s a must have featured in a ceiling fan, but it’s not the only one. Consider the next segment where we include a checklist of essential ceiling fan functions.

What To Look For In A Ceiling Fan

Let’s look at some of the things that you might appreciate about your ceiling fan.


We just went over this. If your ceiling fan does not have the option to reverse, you are wasting it for winter times and cold days. There will be no purpose for your fan during an entire season, so don’t let your purchase be inefficient.


This is a huge factor. The strength of the motor will determine the speed of your fan. The speed of your fan will determine how much air gets pushed down. If you live somewhere boiling, you will want a very powerful fan. Maybe you don’t live anywhere scalding, and don’t need a strong motor. If that is the case, don’t spend a lot of money on a powerful motor.

But if you are looking for maximum efficiency in a hot area, it is worth it to get a strong motor. It may be more expensive, but it will save you much more in air conditioning.

Speed Options

Fans are being made recently that only have the one-speed choice. I don’t understand this. You need at least three speeds. The traditional fans got it right, but some of this new aged fan technology insists on a consistent rate.

It’s some of the more expensive fans that don’t offer you variety, so instead of getting suckered in by their unnecessary features, buy a fan that provides you the essentials. Without a quiet setting, you won’t even be able to take advantage of the reverse setting in winter.

Ceiling Fan On High Speed

Pull Chains

As fans modernize, they try to stay away from old applications like the pull chains. They want the fan to be sleek and modern, and these people thing that pulls chains are too tacky. This is something we firmly disagree with.

For starters, wiring your light configuration and fan can be tedious. If you wire them both to the same switch, your light and fan will turn on together. Without a pull chain, you won’t be able to toggle one of them on and off. Also, when your electricity isn’t being reliable, the pull chains help you manually get your desired speed.


This is the most important feature to me. There is nothing more annoying than trying to fall asleep to the humming sounds of a fan. A real innovation in ceiling fans is the quietness. Some motors were made in an advanced way to spin quietly. These motors are a little more expensive, but in my opinion, they are worth it.

The second way to reduce noise is an advanced mount. These mounts are a little harder to set up, but they eliminate wobbliness and noise. Keep your eyes peeled for a quiet fan.


Before you pick a fan, decide what size fan you need. Fans come in all sizes. If you’re placing a single fan in a large room, you need at least 52 inches of the fan. But this same fan, won’t be ideal for a small kitchen. If you want to get a set of 3 fans in a row for a long room, then get smaller fans. Determine the size and the angle, as this will greatly play into your decision.


Check reviews to see how long your fan will last. You don’t want a fan that starts wobbling after a year or two. Customers will make it available information if a fan starts to die after a few months. A good fan should last you over a decade.


Now you better understand the world of ceiling fans. You know the different parts of a ceiling fan, so when you are doing your research, and you see that a comment says the flywheel is a bit flimsy, you know that the fan is not worth it.

You know all the different types of fans, and if you have a room in mind, should already have considered which type is best for you.

Brown Ceiling Fan With Lights

Hopefully, we helped you understand how a fan can help you save money. A ceiling fan is an investment. So when you buy one, make sure you’re making a sound investment.

Make sure to use our checklist to see if your desired fan fulfills all the necessary components.

And lastly, there’s no need to get a boring fan. Feel free to spice things up and get a unique or exotic fan. A good fan can stand alone as an art piece if you let it.

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