How to measure ceiling fan size for any room

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If you’re buying a ceiling fan for the first time or replacing an old unit, you’ll need to determine the right size to get depending on the measurements of your room. In this guide, we’ll show you how to measure ceiling fan size quickly and easily.

After reading this guide, you’ll be ready to purchase and install your new ceiling fan

What to measure to get the right size for a ceiling fan

decorative ceiling fan in a wooden room

To get the correct measurements for your new ceiling fan, you’ll need to take note of the following:

  • Ceiling height

  • Square footage of the room

  • The sweep or blade span 

  • The distance of the fan blades to the nearest wall 

  • Length of downrod (for sloped or high ceilings)

If you don’t know how to get these measurements for your ceiling fan installation, no worries! We’ll guide you through the steps as well. 

How to measure a room for a ceiling fan

empty room with ceiling fan

The first step is to determine the room area that can accommodate the ceiling fan. 

  • Start with the ceiling height. Simply get a tape measure and measure from ceiling to floor. If you can’t manage to reach a ceiling on your own, you can get a local handyman to help you out. 

  • Next, measure the square footage of the room. To do this, get the length and width of the room in feet, then multiply these 2 numbers.

Remember to measure twice and to take note of each figure. This helps you stay accurate when measuring ceiling fan size.

Now, it’s time to learn about how to measure the size of a ceiling fan.

How to measure a ceiling fan

handyman installing a ceiling fan

How do you determine ceiling fan size? You’ll need to get the sweep or blade span, as well as the downrod length.

Step 1: Measure the sweep

  • For ceiling fans with odd-numbered blades: Measure from the center of the fan to the tip of a blade. Multiply this figure by 2 to get your sweep. 

  • For ceiling fans with even-numbered blades: Measure from one blade tip to another. The result is your sweep. 

Step 2: Get the downrod length

  • To do this, use a tape measure to get the height of the ceiling fan. This includes the motor housing and lighting fixture without the actual downrod. This figure will usually be between 8-12 inches. 

  • Next, calculate your required downrod length. You can do this by using the formula (CEILING HEIGHT - FAN HEIGHT) - DESIRED HANGING HEIGHT = DOWNROD LENGTH.

Pro-tip: Remember that your fan blades should have at least 7 feet of clearance from the floor, and 30 inches of clearance from the nearest wall, door, or window.

Now that you know the dimensions you’re working with, it’s time to go through the various ceiling fan sizes to check for their measurements. 

Recommended ceiling fan size based on room size 

Room size

Ceiling fan sweep size

Room type

Less than 75 sq ft. 

29-36 inches

Bathrooms, linen closets, porches

75-144 sq ft. 

36-44 inches

Small bedrooms

144-225 sq ft. 

44-54 inches 

Dining rooms, small kitchens

225-400 sq ft. 

50-72 inches

Master bedrooms, entertainment rooms

Greater than 400 sq ft. 

Multiple fans with 50-72 inches sweep size each

Living rooms, basements

Recommended ceiling fan downrod length based on ceiling height 

Ceiling height

Downrod length

8 ft. or less 

No need for downrod

9 ft. 

12 inches

10 ft. 

18 inches

11 ft. 

24 inches

12 ft. 

36 inches

13 ft. 

48 inches

14 ft. 

60 inches

15 ft. 

72 inches

As you can see, determining ceiling fan size is quite straightforward as long as you know how to measure the size of your ceiling fan and your room.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you want to see if a 52-inch fan is too big for a 12x12 room. Based on the chart, it is indeed too large since you won’t have enough clearance from the wall to the blade. Meanwhile, a 40-inch fan will be a more appropriate fit for the same room.  

If you have 12-foot-high ceilings and your fan unit is 1 foot tall, you can get a downrod of up to 4 feet long. This allows for enough clearance while still letting you feel the ventilation from the ceiling fan. Of course, you can always check with a local handyman if you’re unsure about how to proceed with your ceiling fan installation.

Additional tips to measure your ceiling fan

Still figuring out how to best manage a ceiling fan installation in your home? Here are some other handy tips that can help: 

  1. Check with an expert if your ceiling is strong enough to support the fan, and if the appropriate electrical junction box is installed. 

  2. Your ceiling shape matters. While some units can accommodate a slope of up to 30 degrees, you might need a bracket or angled ceiling mount adapter. 

  3. If you’re getting light kits with your ceiling fans, note that these will add inches to the unit’s height.

  4. When calculating clearance height and downrod length, account for the height of cabinets and doors. 

Feel the breeze in your home

Now that you know how to measure and pick out the right ceiling fan, it’s time to install it! Sounds complicated? Thankfully, you can leave this job to a top-rated ceiling fan installer near you - and you can book one on Airtasker right now! 

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