A ceiling fan can really go a long way towards making your home more comfortable year-round. It can create cooling breezes in the summer that cut your air conditioning costs and let you raise the thermostat by up to 4℉. In the winter, you can reverse the direction of the blades on most fans to blow warm air back down from the ceiling, keeping you cozy.

Your choice of ceiling fan can also make or break your decor. With ceiling fans available in so many different styles these days, it can be hard to choose the right one for your home aesthetics. But, on the other side of the coin, you should be able to find something that will blend into your room if you look hard enough. Consider your primary decorating style, the wood and hardware colors in your space, the height of your ceiling, and the size of the room in which the ceiling fan will be installed.

Consider Your Decorating Style

Fans are available in contemporary, traditional, rustic, tropical, industrial, and many other styles. Consider your primary decorating style when choosing a ceiling fan to blend into your decor. If your home is decorated with a farmhouse aesthetic, look at rustic ceiling fans with dark wood blades and cast-iron hardware. If you have a lot of antiques in your home, choose a vintage-style fan with lots of decorative embellishments. If your style is more modern, a fan with sleek, clean lines and no embellishments will fit right in. If your style is more eclectic, choose a fan that contrasts with the room’s most dominant style.

Match Your Dominant Wood and Hardware Colors

The days of your grandma’s old ceiling fan with the wicker blades are over. Today’s fans use a range of wood and hardware finishes. Take a look around your home at the dominant wood colors and hardwood finishes, and choose a fan that matches. If you have a little bit of cherry wood but a lot of oak wood in your furniture, molding, and floors, choose a fan with oakwood blades. If your cabinet pulls, doorknobs, and lightswitch plates are brushed nickel, choose a fan with brushed nickel hardware.

Grab the Right Size Fan

When it comes to choosing the right size fan, you have two factors to consider — the height of your ceiling and the size of your room. A large ceiling fan can easily overpower a small room, and even if the fan is technically sized appropriately for the square footage of the room, a low ceiling can throw everything off. If, on the other hand, your room has especially high ceilings, you may need to buy a fan that’s larger than the recommended size for your room’s square footage, because smaller fans can disappear in a high ceiling space and may not be able to move enough air to make your room feel cooler.

Fans are sized according to the diameter of their “sweep,” or the circle the blades create when in motion. Fans with an even number of blades are measured all the way across from one blade-tip to the corresponding blade-tip. Fans with an odd number of blades are measured from the tip of a blade to the center of the motor housing, and this number is then doubled. In general, you should follow these guidelines for sizing a ceiling fan to your room:

  • For rooms under 75 square feet, choose a fan no bigger than 36 inches.
  • For rooms up to 144 square feet, choose a fan 36 to 42 inches.
  • For room up to 225 square feet, choose a 50- to 56-inch fan.
  • For rooms larger than 225 square feet, choose a fan 56 inches or larger — or install multiple fans.

Your room’s ceiling height should determine the profile of your fan — flush-mounted or downrod-mounted — and how long the downrod should be if you’re using one. Flush-mount fans don’t use a downrod, but instead sit flush with the ceiling — these models are appropriate for rooms with low ceilings under nine feet high. Rooms with average nine-foot ceilings should use a ceiling fan with an average downrod, which lowers the fan three to five inches. For rooms with higher ceilings or with sloped ceilings, you can buy a longer downrod kit to lower your fan to the appropriate height of seven to nine feet off the floor.

A ceiling fan is a great addition to any home, especially when you’re trying to lower your energy costs and live more sustainably. The right fan for your home will complement, rather than clash with, your decor, and keep your family cool and comfortable for years.