Understanding Different Types of Ceiling Fans

While most of us are familiar with ceiling fans, are we familiar with the different types of fans available and their utility? Not really. Ceiling fans come in all sorts of designs, colors, a number of blades, with/without lights, ornate or plain and hundreds of other combinations.

It can be very bewildering for a layman to choose the correct ceiling fan to purchase. While the look and style are a matter of personal choice, there are certain factors that will determine which is the best fan for you. 

Ceiling Fans for Outdoors

The first factor to consider is the location for the fan – is it going to be indoors or outdoors. Yes, you read that right – there are different fans for indoor and outdoor purposes. For a farmhouse chic decorated home, Jeff Eller from Modern Fan Outlet suggests a rustic ceiling fan to tie the room together. Fans placed outdoors, away from the protection against the elements, are designed to handle all types of weather conditions and wind. They are made to handle moisture, strong winds, and intense sunlight. They also come with a stronger motor – as they are needed to cool open areas. 

Factors to Consider

When purchasing a ceiling fan for outdoors one of the key factors to consider is the damp /wet rating. Fans that are to be located in areas where they can get wet due to rain /dew have to be wet rated. Damp-rated fans, on the other hand, can withstand moisture and dampness, but not getting wet.

Wiring, however, for both types are made with special protectants. One important point to remember – while outdoor ceiling fans can be used indoors, the same cannot be done with indoor ceiling fans. Exposure to moisture or water may and probably will cause a short circuit in the wiring. This can lead to a potential fire hazard. So if you are planning to install a ceiling fan in the laundry or bathroom, it would be a better idea to put in a damp rated outdoor ceiling fan.

Ceiling Fans for Indoors

Indoor fans – there are so many designs, styles, and colors to choose from. Indoor ceiling fans are also available with wooden blades to add a touch of class to your room.  However, even with indoor ceiling fans, there are certain factors to consider before buying one. How high is the ceiling? Normally, an indoor ceiling fan should be at least 7 feet above the floor; 9 feet is better. If you have a house with vaulted ceilings, you will need to attach the fan to a down rod to bring it to the required height. 

Understanding Fan Blades

Blade size & shape: A longer or wider blade is not necessarily effective – there is a limit on the size and shape of the blade that can be used on a ceiling fan. 

Blade pitch: While a greater pitch will provide more airflow, it will also require a more powerful motor to function optimally.

If your home has low ceilings, it might be better to buy a flush mounted fan. However, remember that the airflow with flush-mounted or hugger fans is less than the normal ones.


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