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The Benefits of Large Ceiling Fans with Oversized Blade Spans

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By Jeff Eller 2 months ago 1121 Views 4 comments

Fanimation Fans Stellar Ceiling Fan 84 Inch Span

The Benefits of Oversized Ceiling Fans with Large Blade Spans

Back when I started working in the residential ceiling fan industry a large ceiling fan to most people would have been considered a fan with a 52 inch blade span. I remember working at a local franchise of Dan's Fan City and I would have customers come into that store saying, "I'm building a new home and I have a really big great room that I am going to need ceiling fans for. What size do I need?" Back then, about the only advice I could offer was to buy two (more depending on the room size) 52" ceiling fans and hope they would do the trick. Eventually 56" models came on the scene, and folks thought those were big. My goodness, how times have changed!

Sizes Available Today

Now ceiling fans come so many sizes that are more suitable for large open floor plans. These days I would consider big ceiling fans to have at least a 60" blade span, but even that isn't big enough for many of the large great rooms seen in homes today. For this reason, ceiling fans are offered with blade spans of 65 inch, 72 inch, 80 and 84 inches, and even 99 inches in overall diameter. There are also several sizes offered in-between, and some even larger.

What Blade Span Is Best for What Room Size?

Rustic Ceiling Fan with Dual Motors

Different ceiling fan manufacturers have very different information as to which size fan is best for different room sizes. When looking at all of the different large ceiling fans available, I tend to believe that the larger the fan is, the better off you will be for keeping your area comfortable.

With the emergence of the industrial brand Big Ass Fans, it seems that what has carried over to residential design thought is, that when buying a modern industrial styled oversized fan for home use the bigger and badder the fan, the better the look. These fans create a certain "in your face" presence in the rooms they grace, so why not go bold? Otherwise, your fan is going to come off to your friends as if it tried to be awesome, but just didn't quite make it.

You will still have to be careful not to install too big of a fan, if your room size isn't designed for it. After all, you will need a certain amount of space from the tips of your fan blades to the nearest wall, or any other obstruction that may be in the way. The rule of thumb is that you will want to be sure you have at least two feet of space between a wall and the tip of your fan blades. The larger the ceiling fan size the more space you will want to have. Therefore, sometimes three of four feet of space between the two may be needed. This is due to the way ceiling fans operate in general.

A ceiling fan pushes air down to the living level by pulling from the air that it has above the blades to work with. The air is moved to the floor, and then recirculated back up to above the blades after it spreads across the room and moves back up the walls. Thus, moving back above the blades to repeat the process.

If a fan does not have enough space between the blades and walls, or any other solid obstruction, there will be a vacuum affect created above the blades, and there will be no air for the fan to continue to circulate. With no air to circulate there will be no breeze below the ceiling fan.

That said, here is a general guideline for what size fan may be needed based on room size...

  • Room is 12' x 15' to 15' x 15' = 60" to 65" Ceiling Fan
  • Room is 15' x 15' to 20' x 20' = 65" to 80" Ceiling Fan
  • Room is 20' x 20' to 20' x 25' = 80" to 84" Ceiling Fan
  • Room is 20' x 25' and Over = 84" to 99" Ceiling Fan

  • Which Brands Offer the Best Large Models?

    There is really no easy answer to that question. Many brands offer a variety of large, oversized ceiling fans. Most of the big name brand models are good, and some are even great in quality. However, hidden within some of the name brand companies selections are lower priced models that just do not get the job done.

    A lower priced fan in this class will usually be $500 or less. Most, if not all in that price range are promotional models.

    If I were to recommend name brands to consider for fans with large blade spans, my advice would be to stick with one of the models from TroposAir, Minka Aire, or Fanimation. All three companies offer some of the best quality big blade fans out there, and they tend to stay away from promo models, which could likely give the companies a bad name.

    Best Quality of the Many Choices

    When I am helping a person find the right ceiling fan for a large space, and an oversized fan is needed, I tend not to get too hung up on the name brand, but rather the quality build and performance of each individual fan.

    When I think of a fan, the heart of the fan is the motor, and the motor performance is my number one concern. If the motor is weak, so will be the ceiling fans performance. If the motor is strong and powerful, the rest follows. Think of it as a high performance sports car, such as a Ferrari 812 Superfast, or a Lamborghini Aventador, verses a Toyota Corolla in a race to the finish line. Although the Corolla is a practical car that will get you dependably from point A to point B, would you really want to bet your hard earned money on the Toyota in a race against two of the world's most high-end, high-performance cars? I know I wouldn't!

    What makes these supercars so fast begins at the engine, and a ceiling fan is no different. The better the motor, the higher performance output you will get from the fan, translating almost always to more airflow. And I'm sure airflow is one of the primary reasons a person would be considering a large ceiling fan to begin with.

    Motors

    Ceiling Fan Motor

    There are two types of motors used in ceiling fans today, and those are the traditional AC (Alternating Current) motors, and the modern, more efficient DC (Direct Current) motors.

    With either type motor they come in different sizes, from large to small. Typically with both, the larger they are the better they are for performance. However, with DC motors you will find that on average they are more efficient by using 1/3 the energy of the typical AC motor. Plus, they are usually twice as strong for turning the blades on the fan.

    This doesn't always mean a fan using a DC motor will spin faster than one that uses an AC motor, but it does mean the blades can be tilted on more of a pitch, plus longer blades can be installed on the fan to create better air circulation.

    Another quality advantage of a ceiling fan that uses a DC motor is the speed settings. Classic ceiling fans that use an AC motor almost always only have 3-speeds, whereas one that uses a DC motor will usually always have 6-speeds. Some of the new oversized ceiling fans from Fanimation are now using variable speed remote controls, giving the user any speed they want from low to high, and all in-between, for total customization and comfort.

    Not only do you get more speeds, but a DC motor is so much quieter, and I have never heard of one making the electrical humming noise that many folks have complained about from a traditional fan motor.

    Blade Materials

    Blade material is an important factor a person should consider when thinking of getting any ceiling fan, especially the huge ones.

    Fan blades may be constructed of wood, cheap pressboard, plastic, or aluminum. Wooden blades are not found as much on the larger model ceiling fans, but if you are in need of one for a more traditionally designed great room in your home, wood may the be way to go.

    Wooden Blade Types

    Wooden fan blades are made of layers ply-wood, with quality veneer being used as the finish layer. The grains of wood are layered in a criss-crossed pattern, usually consisting of 7 total layers. By using individual plies of wood, and criss-crossing the grains, it helps to prevent warping, or drooping of the blades.

    The higher-end and more expensive wooden fan blades found today are made of solid woods, and not plywood-veneers. These solid-wood paddles are much richer in look, mimicking high-end furniture and/or hand-finished hardwood flooring. They come in shapes from traditional straight designs, but with beveled edges for better look, to carved leaf shapes that are perfect for beach properties to add a tropical touch.

    All of the quality solid-wood blades I have seen have a groove routed out on the back side, with cross pieces of wood inserted into the routed area. This is done to prevent warpage, similar to the idea behind criss-crossing plywood layers on the more standard wooden fan blades. With either of the wooden blade choices you should be all set and not have to worry about issues for years after the time you install your new ceiling fan choice.

    Pressboard Blades - You Don't Want Them!

    Within lower-end models of all ceiling fans, including large models, you will find pressboard blades. This material can warp and bow downward extremely easy, and also absorb moisture if used outdoors, swelling up to look like a soggy sponge. I feel no need to explain in more detail about these cheap fan blades, except to tell you to stay way from them!

    High-end Plastic

    With large outdoor ceiling fans you will find a wide selection of fans that use plastic blades. Although plastic is durable, if buying a big fan with plastic blades, look for the better models that use ABS plastic blades (ABS meaning Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene).

    ABS is a type of plastic that withstands heat better than standard plastics. It would take a temperature of at least 212 degrees fahrenheit to even begin to cause any change of shape characteristics to an ABS ceiling fan blade. Therefore, as long as you look at a new fan with ABS blades, and not just standard plastic, you will be looking at good quality.

    Extruded Aluminum

    On the very high-end scale of larger model ceiling fans, blades are made of extruded aluminum.

    Aluminum blades will never warp, even if you happen to install your fan in a giant oven.

    They are also very corrosion and rust resistant, which makes extruded aluminum blades a great choice to be installed on outdoor ceiling fans.

    Although ABS plastic blades are good too, they can get very heavy. Whereas aluminum blades are very light weight in comparison. This allows the manufactures to design some of the aluminum blades with a downward curve in the design, giving more resistance against the air. This allows for more wind to come off from the blades.

    Since aluminum is lighter weight than the other blade materials it means less stress on the motor to spin them, meaning more of the motor’s power is being used to push through the air resistance, savings its energy to create a better cooling effect and be more efficient.

    Warranty

    When comparing quality, look at the warranty offered with the fan, paying attention to what the warranty covers.

    All ceiling fan warranties are limited to exclude some parts and circumstances that isn’t caused by faulty manufacturing.

    An example of a limitation that all fan manufacturers will have within all of their warranties is a fan breaking down due to a bad installation. I once had a customer that hung his fan directly to his sheetrock ceiling. No fan rated electrical box, no wood support or anything, just the sheetrock. The fan fell the same evening he installed it. This customer couldn't understand why the fan maker wouldn't warranty the damage of the fan falling. This is a great example of a common sense warranty limitation.

    That said, some warranties are more limited than others.

    Using Hunter Fan Company as an example, they limit their Lifetime Warranty to only cover the motor after the first year. If you read the fine print in Hunter’s warranty, you will find that labor is not covered in fixing the motor after the first year of ownership. Therefore, their will always be some cost involved in a "warranty" repair after the first year of ownership with one of their ceiling fans. Although very limited, Hunter has been in business for a very long time and should at least be around to honor what is covered.

    All ceiling fan companies will have warranty limitations, and do drop to motor only coverage after the first year of ownership. However, most do not limit labor to fix the motor after one year as Hunter does. With this in mind, you still need to be sure you're buying a fan from a company that has been around a while, so that you do not wind up with a ceiling fan from a company that looks to have a good warranty, yet they aren’t around to service it should you need to file a claim. What good will that do you?

    If I were purchasing a ceiling fan solely based on warranty alone, I would 100% for sure go with the brands TroposAir or Gulf-Coast Fans.

    The two companies are really one, sort of like Toyota and Lexus, or Nissan and Infiniti. TroposAir being the spinoff from Gulf-Coast. The main difference isn’t a quality difference, but more so from the standpoint of customization.

    Most Gulf-Coast ceiling fans have motors packaged separately from the blades, allowing purchasers to pick the motor style and color they like, and then add the blade shape, design, and finish they prefer to go with it. Also, most of the Gulf-Coast models are sold without lights. Yet, when a light is needed, they offer a wide selection of light kits that will complete the custom fan experience.

    The TroposAir brand on the other hand specializes in more modern ceiling fan designs. Most with remote controls included, blades and everything else being prepackaged inside the box with the fan.

    The thing both have in common is the best warranties in the industry. Basically, if one says it comes with a Lifetime Warranty, it will be a lifetime warranty. They cover the motor, bearings, blades, electronics, and pretty much everything else. The finishes are about the only thing they will not cover for life. The finishes hold up seemingly forever indoors, and they do hold up for a long time outdoors as well, but because the elements of nature are so hard to predict, this is why the finish limitation.

    Still, the warranty is so complete from both of these brands, if you should ever have an issue you will almost always be covered. Gulf-Coast been in business for quite a long time, starting out in 1973, and I predict they'll still be around if you ever need them.

    Brand Name Makers of Big Ceiling Fans

    Here is a list of the companies that make the best ceiling fans you'll find, and most have a vast selection of larger ceiling fans:

  • Minka Aire
  • TroposAir
  • Fanimation
  • Big Ass Fans
  • Casblanca Fan Co.
  • Hunter
  • Gulf-Coast Fans
  • Craftmade

  • Although there are more name brands than those listed above, these are the big name players in the industry when it comes to name brand fan companies that offer these big, oversized, industrial styled and high-performance ceiling fans.

    Many of the others you may find are simply store name labels, which are simply fans imported (usually from China) with low quality control, and then simply put in boxes with their store-brand labels, then sold only at their stores. Many times these fans look good on the surface, but they just do not stack up when the specs are compared to the better name brands.

    For example, Home Depot has Hampton Bay, and Lowe’s has the label Harbor Breeze. Sometimes not bad looking fans, but compare their performance and other quality features to the major names and you’ll be surprised how their performance isn't even close.

    Also, don't be fooled when you may sometimes see a promotional spinoff of a major name label at some stores selling for prices that are far off from what you may expect to pay. Fanimation, for example, makes a collection that they label "Studio Collection" that some big-box stores carry. Their quality, performance, and efficiency numbers aren't even in the same realm as the fans they are famous for, which are separated and considered their "Showroom Collection".

    Popular Brands and the Models Offered

    Listed here you will find the best of all of the ceiling fans from 60” and above in size, listed one brand at a time. They are categorized by their usage, whether they are indoor only, or indoor / outdoor models. Also, following the names of each fan, you will see the CFM rating, otherwise known as Cubic Feet Per Minute. The higher the CFM rating, the better they are for airflow.

    Minka Aire Ceiling Fans

    Indoor Only

  • 72” Great Room Traditional - 9,071 CFM
  • 60” Raptor - 7,039 CFM
  • 62” Roto XL - 7,567 CFM
  • 60” Kola-XL - 7,557 CFM
  • 60” Kaf’e-XL - 7,557 CFM
  • 68” Napoli II - 5,500 CFM
  • 60” Spectre - 7,230 CFM
  • 62” Gilera - 6,431 CFM
  • 62” Pancake XL LED - 6,500 CFM
  • 60” Santa Lucia - 6,936 CFM
  • 60” Force - 6,235 CFM
  • 60” Aviation - 6,604 CFM
  • 60” Aviation LED - 6,604 CFM
  • 99” Ninety-Nine - 13,350 CFM
  • 68” Cristafano - 7,885 CFM
  • Artemis XL5 LED - 9,160 CFM

  • Indoor or Outdoor Use

  • 60” Sunseeker - 6,783 CFM
  • 65” Xtreme H2O - 9,922 CFM
  • 84” Xtreme H2O - 10,841 CFM
  • 72” Xtreme - 10,203 CFM
  • 96” Xtreme - 13,080 CFM
  • 65” Slipstream - 8,778 CFM

  • TroposAir Ceiling Fans

    Indoor Only

  • 60” Excaliber - 7,307 CFM
  • 60” Northstar - 6,789 CFM

  • Indoor or Outdoor Use

  • 66” Titan - 9,325 CFM
  • 72” Titan - 11,230 CFM
  • 84” Titan - 14,352 CFM
  • 60” Vogue - 9,845 CFM
  • 60” Vogue Plus - 9,845 CFM
  • 60” St. Augustine - 7,140 CFM

  • Fanimation Ceiling Fans

    Indoor Only

  • 63” Levon AC - 6,492 CFM
  • 120” up to 600” Palmetto - CFM Varies
  • Up to 120” Punkah - CFM Varies

  • Indoor or Outdoor Use

  • 60” Spitfire - 6,641 CFM
  • 72” Subtle - 8,197 CFM
  • 63” Levon DC - 7,817 CFM
  • 60” Enigma - 5,796 CFM
  • 60” Drone - 8,877 CFM
  • 80” Big Island - 10,082 CFM
  • 72” Islander DC - 5,580 CFM
  • 72” Slinger II - 10,032 CFM
  • 84” Odyn - 11,190 CFM
  • 84” Stellar - 13,389 CFM
  • Up to 92” Caruso - 5,296 CFM x 2 Motors

  • For Outdoor Use Bigger Is Better

    When choosing a ceiling fan for outdoor use I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say, “I don’t care about performance. I am only wanting a fan on my covered deck because it looks good.” After all, in most states across the United States of America it gets really hot outside during the summer months. What kind of person would rather sit out on their covered patio or deck and sweat profusely?

    If looking for a fan for an outside living areas, why not put an insanely large ceiling fan up instead of some little wimpy model that will not do the job it is intended to do?

    A normal sized fan, 52-56 inches, will put off an average of about 6,000 cubic feet per minute of air on high speed. Inside of a home that may feel okay, but that is only going to give a wind chill effect of about two or three degrees. Performance like that is fine when a fan only needs to circulate air conditioned air.

    Since fans do not actually cool the air, as air conditioners do, feeling two or three degrees cooler when it's 90 degrees outside doesn't make a lot of difference. Plus, with most fans you need to be sitting almost directly underneath the blades to receive the benefit of the breeze.

    This reason is exactly why large ceiling fans have become so popular. The larger blade spans spread air across an area much better than standard sized blades do. Plus, with airflow ratings on a model like the 84" TroposAir Titan being over 14,000 CFMs, it helps much better than if you were to have two normal sized units installed. This is why buying a bigger model is much more practical for outdoor living spaces.

    modern large ceiling fans

    In Conclusion

    Large ceiling fans have made a huge splash in the fan industry. They make a much more bold statement, by bringing an up-to-date style to your home's décor, when compared to standard every day ceiling fans. They cool better by circulating more airflow into the room, and due to DC motor technology, which most use, they cost way less to run than traditional models. You simply can't go wrong in bringing your home up-to-date and into the 21st century by adding a new big fan.

    Modern Fan Outlet has many style fans, but when it comes to big fans we are the experts. If you have any questions at all, call us, we'll be glad to help. We will help you find the perfect larger sized model for your needs, while at the same time making sure you don't go too large for the area you plan on updating. We look forward to hearing from you.


    Choose A Category to View Different Ceiling Fan Design Choices

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    Lisa D. 2 months ago at 4:38 PM
    That looks like the Titan ceiling fan on the covered deck in the photo. I really like that. Can you please tell me what size blade is on it? I noticed on your website it comes as a 72" or 84" fan
    Jeff Eller 2 months ago at 4:54 PM
    That is the 72" Titan in Oiled Rubbed Bronze. It is a great fan and performs great. The photo is actually of my own covered deck, so I can definitely vouch for the fan's performance.

    Here is a link to the fan on our website http://www.modernfanoutlet.com/troposair-titan-orb-72a.html

    Hope this helps!
    Lisa D. 2 months ago at 4:58 PM
    Wow. Fast reply. Thanks for the help and I will be getting one from you soon. Your deck looks great btw.
    Jeff Eller 1 month ago at 11:39 AM
    Thank you!
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