Look for the Energy Star. Fans that earn the Energy Star label move air 20 percent more efficiently than standard models. And Energy Star fans with light kits are 60 percent more efficient than conventional fans with light kits and can save you more than $15 per year on utility bills.
Select the right size. Though 52-inch fans are the most popular, that size—give or take a couple of inches—works best in rooms that are 225 to 400 square feet. Choose a 42- to 44-inch model for 144 to 225 square feet. Opt for a larger fan if your room size is on the borderline, and run it on a slower speed, which will be quieter.
Suit your style. From basic to ornate, ceiling fans can bring back memories of “Casablanca” or have a Jetsons-like futuristic vibes. Motor-cover finishes include brass, bronze, and pewter. Basic fan blades have a paddle shape, but variations include oval and leaf shapes or wickerlike textures. Finishes include cherry, oak, maple, and painted.
Read up on the installation requirements. Install a ceiling fan in the center of a room at least 7 feet above the floor, 8 to 9 feet for optimal airflow. Generally, blade tips should be no closer than 24 inches to a wall and drapes. Check the manufacturer’s directions for specifics. If you’re replacing a light with a fan, be certain that the electric box in the ceiling can support the weight of the fan. Not sure? Check the installation instructions or call an electrician.
Check the wet/damp rating. If you’re placing a ceiling fan in a bathroom or outdoors, you need to find one that meets UL’s wet/damp rating. If the fan is indoors in a moist room, look for a UL damp rating. If it will be placed outdoors on a porch, look for one with a UL wet rating. Energy Star says that fans with these ratings have such features as sealed moisture-resistant motors, rust-resistant housing, stainless steel hardware, and all-weather blades.