What To Consider When Choosing A Ceiling Fan

by Electrical Product Information, General Electrical

White Ceiling Fan No Light BedroomCeiling fans are an effective way to help improve air circulation in your home.  In Queensland, they are a common feature and go a long way to making hot summers more bearable.  Not only that, they operate at a low cost using less power to run than a standard light bulb.

While the cost benefit advantages of ceiling fans are clear, what can get a little confusing is selecting the right fan for your situation.  There are many different options available but there are a few standard features to consider when choosing a ceiling fan.  Each of these is discussed below.



Ceiling fans can have 3 to 6 blades with 4 bladed fans being the most common.  The blades can be made of metal, plastic or timber. While timber blades are the quietest, they are aren’t as efficient in producing air flow.  Metal fans give the best circulation but can be noisier, so there is a bit of a trade off.

Also keep in mind that as the number of blades increases, the more energy is required to run the fan.  For example, 5 blade fans are more expensive to run than a 3 blade fan.

The pitch of the blades will also influence air flow.  A blade that is parallel to the floor won’t move much air compared to a blade that is pitched on an angle.  It is important to select a fan with the blades pitched at an optimum angle (12 to 20 degrees).



The size of the fan will influence the amount of air it can move so it’s important to choose the right size for each room.  This ensures maximum energy savings and comfort.

For example, if the fan is too small, it won’t provide a high enough level of air circulation.  As a result, it will cost more to run as you try to achieve the desired amount of air flow.  Similarly, if the fan is too big, it will make the room uncomfortable and provide a greater air flow than required.  So, getting the fan size right is important (and this is where your electrician can help).

The size of the fan is determined by blade size and can range from 900mm (36”) up to 1400 mm (56”).   The bigger the room, the bigger the blade size required.


Reversible Feature

Most fans come with a reversible feature which means the rotational direction of the blades can be changed to anti-clockwise.  This feature allows the fan to be used during winter months to keep rooms warmer.  It works by pushing warm air from heaters down along the walls and helps to reduce the cost of running heaters.

Once the weather warms up, it is easy to switch the fan back into the clockwise direction and push air down into the room for cooling.


Fan Controller

Fan controllers are available as a wall mount or remote control.  The remote control option makes the operation of the fan easy and convenient, however is not always deemed necessary.  There are also different levels of control available with some fans providing three levels of control, while others may provide more.



A ceiling fan will be a dominant feature in any room so the look of the fan becomes important.  As already mentioned, fans can be made in a range of materials – wood, plastic, metal – but there are also many different finishes and features that can be included.

In selecting the right fan, it will be necessary to balance budget with aesthetics as more design features will mean a higher cost.  Simple and plain fans will do the job economically and in many cases are more than adequate.

Another consideration is whether or not the fan will need a light.  This will depend on its positioning within the room relative to the lighting.  A ceiling fan with a light is not always required but there are plenty of options available.  Often a ceiling fan will replace an existing light and become the primary light source for the room.

To choose the right fan for your home, consider each of the features above.  Once you have a checklist of features, selection of the right fan will be much easier.  Consulting with your electrician can also help and they can supply and install it for you (all ceiling fans must be installed by a licensed electrician).

If you would like a quote on ceiling fans for your home, click the button below.

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