Types of Ceiling Fans: Which One is Right for You?

Types of Ceiling FansCeiling fans are perfect for living spaces that require a combination of lighting and air circulation. They are ideal for keeping your home cooler in the summer months and warmer in winter, all while adding style and decor to your living space. Since different ceiling fans are designed for different applications, it’s important to consider these variations when choosing the best ceiling fan for your home. For this reason, we’re going to break down the different types of ceiling fans available, and cover their advantages and disadvantages to help you choose the best one for your needs.

Different Types of Ceiling Fans

Not all ceiling fans are created equal, and for good reason. Different options are designed for specific applications (for example, rooms with lower or higher ceilings or commercial/industrial spaces). Regardless of intended use, there’s an option that’ll match just about any interior design style you could desire. Below we’ll cover the most popular types of ceiling fans and what you need to know to pick the best one for your needs. If you need more information, check out our ceiling fan guide to learn more.

Standard Ceiling Fans

A standard ceiling fan is the most common, and also the most popular type of ceiling fan on this list. This versatile option usually comes with a built-in light and a fan with three to five blades attached to a motor housing/mounting system for securely connecting to the ceiling.

Though a standard ceiling fan may seem like a boring, one-size-fits-all option, they encompass many different designs and styles, leading to their long-standing popularity. 

Standard ceiling fans usually include 3 to 6 varying rotation speeds, and often include lighting features utilizing different shades and bulbs. They may also feature just one larger bowl for holding two or more bulbs. However, there are standard ceiling fan options available that don’t include any lighting for circumstances where it isn’t needed. 

They come in a variety of attractive finishes such as bronze, pewter, black, white, silver, brushed nickel ceiling fans, those featuring natural wood, and more.

With all the customizations available, a new standard ceiling fan can be a simple but attractive upgrade that complements your decor without destroying your budget.

Low Profile Ceiling Fan

Low Profile Ceiling FanUnlike the rest of the ceiling fans on this list that are attached to a downrod, low profile ceiling fans (also known as hugger ceiling fans or flush-mounted ceiling fans) sit flush against the ceiling. These fans are perfect for avoiding head injuries in homes with ceilings lower than eight feet tall. Also, low-profile ceiling fans may be an option for ceilings higher than 8 feet that’ll be used by uncommonly-tall individuals.

Since the blades will be much closer to the ceiling with this fan option, it does not provide the quality of airflow than other ceiling fans offer. That said, it’ll still help circulate air-conditioned or heated air throughout a room and provide savings on your HVAC bill by reducing how often you must run your air conditioning or heat.

Low profile ceiling fans come in a variety of options and customizations for all your lighting, blade design, and finish requirements. As an added bonus, you won’t have to worry about matching the fan’s downrod to the rest of the design since this type of fan eliminates them completely.

Energy Star Ceiling Fans

An Energy Star ceiling fan isn’t necessarily its own style of fan, as you can get it in both standard and low profile versions. Energy Star-certified ceiling fans must meet specific standards of efficiency depending on blade size. These fans must undergo testing to prove they use 20-30% less energy than what federal standards require, and they must be approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency. 

When shopping, you can easily find Energy Star fans that meet these requirements since they will be clearly marketed as such. Though these fans tend to cost more upfront, the savings they’ll provide in the long run can easily make up for this. By using less energy, you are helping both your wallet and the environment, which isn’t a bad deal at all.

Dual-Motor Ceiling Fans

With two adjustable fan heads, the dual-motor ceiling fan is both functional and stylish. The distinguishable characteristics of this type of fan are its two adjustable fan heads, which are held in place by a sturdy horizontal bar in the middle. They are known for their contemporary and trendy looks while efficiently increasing airflow and circulation.

A great feature of this style of ceiling fan is that each fan can be set at a different angle and speed, meaning it provides more precise air circulation for specific areas. It also is more stylish than most traditional ceiling fans, providing a fresh look and better airflow. Of course, if you’re looking for the best looks, you may be better served with something like a chandelier ceiling fan, as these fans are as much about looks as they are function. 

Covering a larger and wider area, dual-motor ceiling fans are often used in communal spaces. Also, certain fans can work either indoors or outdoors, giving them a great deal of flexibility. Just make sure to check that the dual-motor ceiling fan you’re thinking of using in an outdoor area is rated for such exposure and resistant to wet or damp weather.

Remote-Controlled Ceiling Fans

For those who are too short to reach a fan’s controls, or need a fan in a room that has particularly-high ceilings, remote-controlled ceiling fans are a great choice. Worried about potentially losing the remote? Not a problem. Most of these fans have an option for a wall remote, which can be extremely convenient. Newer models may include a dimmer for the lights, controls for blade speed and direction, and can be controlled right from your phone.

Since what makes these fans special is their ability to be controlled via remote, it’s no surprise that they too are available in a variety of styles. This even includes ceiling fans with propeller-style blades, which not only look great but move air efficiently as well.

Certain fans on this list may or may not have remote-control options, so if this is something you’d like for your space, make sure to keep this in mind during your search.

Outdoor Damp & Wet Rated Ceiling Fans

Ceiling Fan OutdoorsWhen you want ceiling fans outdoors, it is important to consider how the weather will impact them. Outdoor ceiling fans are made to resist damp, wet, and/or humid weather conditions, making them perfect for installation in areas exposed to excess moisture. These fans are available in a wide variety of styles, colors, and finishes to match any outdoor design you desire.

Wet-rated fans can be set up under a pergola or other place open on all sides and endure getting wet during heavy rains without problems. Damp fans, on the other hand, can withstand humid and damp conditions but need to be covered by a porch, sunroom, covered deck, or other ceiling to keep from suffering issues resulting from water exposure.

The motors of outdoor-rated fans are built with special coatings to make them resistant to wet weather. So are the blades, which are specifically constructed not to warp. This means installing an outdoor-rated ceiling fan could result in years of flawless performance and elegant looks with minimal maintenance required.

Commercial Ceiling Fans

For restaurants, offices, classrooms, or any other places of business that need enhanced air circulation, commercial ceiling fans could be just what you need. Made specifically for larger spaces or areas with ceiling heights of 10 to 25 feet, commercial ceiling fans are the best way to efficiently circulate large volumes of air.

These fans are larger than standard ceiling fans, but not quite as powerful as their industrial siblings. They, too come in an array of styles and finishes to complement any space where they’ll be installed. These fans can reduce the surrounding temperature by up to 8 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. In the winter, a commercial fan can spin in reverse to create an updraft that pushes warm air down from the ceiling back into the inhabited space below.

If you have a commercial space, you’ll have to decide if commercial offerings will work, as in the case of offices and stores. You might need tools like a DIY ceiling fan duster and perhaps a stepladder to keep these operating at peak efficiency.

Industrial Ceiling Fans

Similar to commercial ceiling fans, industrial ceiling fans are made for much larger spaces, such as garages, factories, and warehouses. These industrial fans are designed to provide airflow in very large, open spaces as efficiently as possible while meeting heavy-duty requirements for reliability, power, and durability

Evidence of these intentions can be found in the powerful motors and large blades these fans employ to efficiently push air around in an efficient, cost-effective way. Fans with curved blades can be mounted up to 25 feet high, and those with straight blades can be mounted even higher. 

Industrial ceiling fans are typically meant to be used continuously, which is useful for preventing condensation build-up on ceilings or lifting air to exhaust fans. This means efficient, reliable motors are most of the most important features to look at when considering their purchase.

Agricultural Ceiling Fans

Agricultural ceiling fans are designed to provide proper ventilation in settings like barns that feature moist and/or wet conditions. These fans provide more comfortable living and working conditions for farmers and animals alike by providing suitable temperatures, drying out smelly soiled bedding, reducing mold and mildew growth, and providing an optimal environment for plant and crop growth.

With large blades and powerful sealed motors, agricultural ceiling fans prevent dust or moisture accumulation that can lead to machine failure, allowing them to run continuously like their industrial-oriented counterparts.

Distinguish the Different Types of Ceiling Fans

Standard Ceiling FanNow that you know the main types of ceiling fans available, you are closer than ever to choosing the one that best meets your needs. Of course, which fan will work best relies on the space in question. Some spaces may be suitable for a variety of different ceiling fan types, while others will require specific features not found in every offering. Knowing the different types of ceiling fans available will make it easier to choose the best one for your application.

How to Choose the Best Ceiling Fan for Your Space

There usually isn’t just one “right” answer for the best ceiling fan in your space, so keep these factors in mind when considering the best ceiling fan for your needs:

  • The height of the room your ceiling fan will be in
  • The size of the space the ceiling fan is meant to cool down or heat
  • Whether the ceiling fan will be indoors or outdoors
  • What type of weather the ceiling fan will be exposed to
  • If the look and aesthetic of your ceiling fan matches your home
  • If a remote control or pull-cord ceiling fan will be needed
  • Any energy-saving requirements for your ceiling fan

Some ceiling fans on this list may be suited for more than one kind of space or share features with other fan styles, so there will be some overlap to sort through. By narrowing down your list of “must-have” features, styles, and customizations, you’ll find to easier to locate the ceiling fans best suited for your requirements.

Interior design taste depends on what look you are going for in your home. Since ceiling fans are such a visible part of your home, their style must match the rest of your home’s decor. A few of the most popular ceiling fan styles are listed below.

  • Farmhouse: Farmhouse style ceiling fans usually have a rustic look, with darker wood blades and a black rod with exposed lightbulbs, such as Edison lights.
  • Cottage: For a cottage-style home, typically the decor is light and airy, with lots of white. A cottage style ceiling fan should be all white, including its motor, rod, and blades.
  • Modern: This more contemporary style features metallic finishes such as bronze, nickel, matte black, or a chrome finish.
  • Rustic: A rustic ceiling fan should take inspiration from the outdoors, using natural woods mixed with nickel or bronze hardware.

Perhaps the most popular residential ceiling fan style is the modern or contemporary style. This typically entails a sleek design that looks interesting and fits into the surrounding aesthetics. These vary from seamless brushed-metal designs to wooden units with leaves or airplane propellers for blades and are easy to clean with quality ceiling fan dusters

Get the Best Ceiling Fan for Your Home

Installing Home Ceiling FanThere are a dizzying number of types and styles available on the market when it comes to choosing the best ceiling fans for your home. Just keep in mind what will work best for your space, and which features are most important to you. From standard designs to more compact options, Energy Star-certified or remote control models, there is an attractive ceiling fan out there ready to meet your needs and provide years of flawless service. So, consider your space, your needs, and what kind of aesthetic you’re going for and get shopping! Best of luck with your adventure in choosing a new ceiling fan.