What Are the Best Ceiling Fans for Your Home?

The best ceiling fans will keep a room cool and be a budget-friendly stand-in for pricey air-conditioning. They look nice, too! While they don’t actually lower the temperature or remove humidity from a space, as air-conditioning does, they can make a substantial difference in warmer climates, thanks to something called the “wind-chill effect.” This is when your hair follicles register air movement which, in turn, makes you feel colder. The increased air flow also helps to evaporate sweat, another cooling sensation.

But choosing the best ceiling fan for your home can be a daunting task, especially with so many options out there. You want to buy something reliable that still fits perfectly into your budget. Before you head to the hardware or decor store, take a look at this guide on ceiling fans, with tidbits to help make buying one a whole lot smoother.

All about blades

You can choose a modern ceiling fan with one blade or shell out close to $1,000 for a tricked-out 10-blade model. But according to Consumer Reports, spending big bucks doesn’t guarantee a better fan—just a more elaborate design.

When deciding on the number of blades you need, keep this rule of thumb in mind: The more blades a ceiling fan has, the more weight there is pulling on the motor. “This pulling results in a fan that spins slower, but it’s also quieter than a two- or three-blade fan,” says Kelly Phillips of Advancedceilingsystems.com, a source for ceiling fan information.

Large blades with texture also make more noise than smooth blades.

Here’s what else to keep in mind in the blade numbers game:

Number of blades: Since fewer blades mean a lighter fan, one with two or three blades allows the motor to move at a high speed and move the air with greater force. “Fewer blades may be perfect for those who need stronger air circulation, despite the increased noise,” says Phillips. This makes three-blade fans perfect for spaces with high ceilings, or outdoors, where noise is less of an issue.
Four blades plus:
 The most common ceiling fan you’ll find in households is a standard four- or five-blade fan, says Phillips. These fans move at slower speeds than their three-blade counterparts, which results in less noise. “They do a great job at circulating air in a living or bedroom,” says Phillips.

Best ceiling fans for each room

No matter which style you choose, the most important thing is to choose a fan that fits the room you install it in. Here’s the size that will work best for the various rooms in your home.

29- to 36-inch fan: A smaller fan is great for bathrooms, laundry rooms, or breakfast nooks.

42- to 48-inch fan: Perfect for average-size rooms like bedrooms, kitchens, or dining rooms.

52- to 56-inch fan: Use for cooling your larger rooms—think a living room or master bedroom.

60-inch fan: This size will work best for great rooms or other large areas.

Know your fan’s CFM

The airflow produced by ceiling fans is measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM, and should be noted on the manufacturer’s website. While 4,000 CFM is the average for a ceiling fan, the higher the CFM, the cooler you’ll be, says Perez.

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