What are the Different Types of Ceiling Fans?

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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 06 October 2019
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Many homes and business use ceiling fans for functional as well as decorative purposes. Ceiling fans come in a variety of designs from simple to complex. With so many designs to choose from, you can find the perfect fan for nearly any space. Some fans have attached lighting elements, and there are also simple lighting kits available if the fan you select does not include lighting.

Simple designs can be turned on and off by pulling a cord or flipping a switch. Models that are more elaborate may have dimmers or even use a remote control to set lighting or change fan speed. If you choose a remote control, make sure the remote is compatible with the type of fan you are purchasing. Some remotes are universal, while others are recommended for use with only certain brands of fans.

Many ceiling fans offer at least three speeds, although some may offer four or more. While ceiling fans are frequently used to keep certain areas cool, most also offer the option of reversing the fan's motion to distribute heat in colder months.


In addition to typical ceiling fans, there are also fans specifically designed for damp and wet areas, such as kitchens and baths, pool and spa areas, saunas or patios. These use blades made from weather resistant materials, as well as protected motors and working parts that resist moisture and rust. When purchasing this type of fan, look for the Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) seal with a wet/damp rating.

Aside from functional differences, ceiling fans also vary in style. They may have three, four or five "paddles" or blades. These blades commonly range in size from just over two feet long (around 2/3 of a meter) to a little over four feet long (about 1.25 meters). The size and number of blades needed is dependent upon the size of the room the fan will cool. Check the manufacturer's guidelines or consult with a service representative at your local lighting shop or home improvement center to determine the configuration most suitable to your needs.


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Post 2

My husband and I recently remodeled our kitchen. I can’t count the hours I spent in stores trying to find the perfect light fixture. I wanted everything to be perfect since I was getting to redesign. I ended up choosing a beautiful tiffany style ceiling fan with lights. It also has three glass shades. I found this great peacock coloring that accents the tones in the room. I was surprised at the range in style and pricing for ceiling fans. They actually make a pretty good decoration on top of being practical.

Post 1

We have ceiling fans in every room of the house. We use a woodstove for heat in the living room. The ceiling fan in there really makes a difference in distributing the heat. They are all ceiling fans with lights. I like the dual functionality of the appliances.

We don’t have any kind of central air. We use a window air conditioning unit. The ceiling fans help keep the house cooler when used with that, too. Even though our ceiling fans aren’t particularly fancy, they have three little shades attached to house the light bulbs. I think they are pretty, and I definitely notice a difference when using them.

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