Ceiling Fan Airflow Efficiency

ceiling fans move the most air?

We're here to show you what gives a fan power, airflow efficiency, and why.

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Feeling overwhelmed by all the factors that go into buying a ceiling fan? Well, we’re here to show you which fans are the most efficient at moving air, and why. There are four main areas to look at to determine how much air your fan can circulate: Blade Shape, Blade Pitch, Distance from Ceiling, and Motor.

You may choose to trade a bit of efficiency for the style of your choice. Go ahead and do that, just know what your choice affects.

The easiest way to discover air efficiency is the CFM, which stands for Cubic Feet per Minute. A higher number means more air movement. Here we’ll go into why some fans are rated higher than others.

The first thing to be aware of is the shape of the blade. Fans with a traditional, oar-shaped blade will move the most air. A wider, larger blade may look like it would be more powerful, but the added size drags through the air, slowing the motor down.

Blade pitch also affects air movement. 14 degrees and above is the best, because it requires a bigger, stronger motor to move the fan. This is a good general rule, however there are some notable exceptions. Emerson’s Crown and Premium fans have a 12 degree pitch, but because their motor is so strong, still move air comparable to steeper pitched fans—if not better.

The distance you hang your fan from your ceiling impacts how much air it can move. Flushmounted, or hugger, fans are significantly less effective at cooling rooms. Even the shortest downrod makes a major improvement in air-flow.

To see what size downrod you should put with your fan, check out our video on downrod lengths.

To make sure you really need a flushmounted fan, here’s our video examining the differences between flushmounts and a standard downrod.

The MAIN thing that affects air efficiency is the motor. A weaker, direct-drive motor, no matter what else you put with it, will NOT move as much air. However, a strong, whisper-quiet motor will move more air for many years to come. Emerson’s K555 motor and Casablanca’s XLP motor are both excellent examples of top-quality motors. Watch our video comparing the full benefits of a quality motor here.

However, style, ceiling height, and many other factors play into the ceiling fan decision along with efficiency. Many fans, while not providing as strong a breeze, still circulate the air efficiently—and look fantastic while doing it.

If you have any questions, please visit us at CeilingFan.com. We have ceiling fan experts standing by who would love to help with whatever ceiling fan issues you have. Check out our other videos, where we cover these topics and more.

If you'd like to know more, please call us at CeilingFan.com: 877-332-6700.