What Factors Affect Your Ceiling Fan Airflow?

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Did you ever get overwhelmed by the features of a ceiling fan and were unable to make a comparative study while deciding to buy one? Well, there are four pillars on which the airflow of the ceiling fan depends. These four pillars are blade shape, blade pitch, distance from the ceiling, and the motor. The efficiency of these four factors determines the efficiency of the airflow, i.e. how much air your fan can circulate to cool the room. Avoid trading off efficiency with style. Look for getting good ROI.

Shape and Size of the Blades

Blade shape is the last thing that comes to mind while buying a ceiling fan, unless of course, you are looking for some categorically specific design. We measure its efficiency by cubic feet/minute movement of the fan. With more air movement, a fan is rated higher than its competitors.

It’s a proven fact that fans with sleek, slender, and longer blades circulate more air thus lowering the temperature of a room. Large ceiling fans with longer, narrower blades work best for a spacious large room, while a small room would be better off with a ceiling fan with shorter blades. However, when you shop for big ceiling fans, make sure that they have the backing of a powerful motor. Stay away from those that only use long blades without upgrading the motor. Though this may make the product look affordable, you’ll end up buying a bulky model that doesn’t circulate the air properly.

Blade Pitch

Blade pitch is the angle of the blades. It determines the fan movement. An angle of 14 degrees or higher is best for seamless movement of fan. It requires a very strong motor to move the fan. With a high speed due to the motor, a fan with a flatter pitch will become wobbly, and noisy. At the same time, a fan with steeper pitch will burn out easily if the motor isn’t powerful enough to move the blades. The blade pitch and the motor should be aligned with each other to ensure they work in sync.


The size of the motor is directly proportional to the performance of a fan. From the point of air circulation, the more powerful motor you get the better. However, a larger motor consumes more electricity. So, the best way to save on the motor energy is to get a medium-sized motor for an aerodynamically built high pitched blade.

Distance From the Ceiling

The height of the fan from the ceiling determines how much air your fan can move. For optimal performance, the blades should be at a distance of about 10 inches from the ceiling. If they are placed too far from, or too close to, the ceiling, your fan won’t be able to move the air properly. In case of vaulted ceilings, it’s better to have a longer downrod so that the fan is about 8-9 feet from the ground.


RPM refers to revolutions per minute, i.e. the number of times the fan moves for completing a 360 degree revolution. A more powerful motor gives higher number of revolutions, helping the fan circulate higher volume of air.

You should choose a fan that offers an appropriate combination of all of the above factors to suit your living space.

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