Ceiling fans not only improve a room's decor, but they help reduce the cost of cooling your home during the hot months and the cost of heating your home in winter. Using only a fraction of the electricity required for furnaces or air conditioners, these appliances should direct the cool air or the warm air where it is needed most: on the occupants of a room.
Where Not to Use Fans
For the safety of the rooms occupants, ceiling fans should not be installed in rooms where the ceiling height is less than 7 feet. Ceiling fans can be used effectively in rooms with high ceilings by installing fans with down rods. These rods position the fan 8 or 9 feet above the floor level for optimal operation. Down rods also allow fans to be installed on sloping ceilings because they swivel to make the fan's stature perpendicular to the floor.
Living Rooms and Dining Rooms
Although many people place a ceiling fan in the center of a room, the most efficient location is in the areas where people gather. For a very small living room, centering a ceiling fan can work best, but for larger rooms, place them directly over the seating area. Center the fan in the seating area so that the warmed or cool air is directed evenly upon everyone seated in that area. In a dining room, the best place to put a ceiling fan is centered over the dining room table. Where dining rooms and living rooms are separate areas of the same large rooms, install two fans -- one over the dining room area table and the other in the living room's seating area.
For the average-size home kitchen, one fan centered on the ceiling works best. For larger kitchens, consider installing several fans evenly spaced throughout the kitchen area. Typically a 36-inch or smaller fan is adequate for a 36-square-foot area, while a 37- to 48-inch fan will cover a 100-square-foot area; use a 49- to 55-inch fan in a 144-square-foot area and a 56-inch or larger fan in a 225-square-foot area. The better approach would be to use several smaller fans placed throughout the kitchen rather than one larger, centrally located fan.
Common sense will tell you that the best place to install a ceiling fans in a bedroom is centered over the bed. In larger bedrooms that have separate dressing alcoves, install two ceiling fans, placing one over the bed and another one in the dressing alcove.
Ceiling fans are an asset in just about any room no matter what its purpose may be. In most other rooms, such as a laundry room or a crafts room, the best place to put a ceiling fan is in the center of the room.