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Ceiling Fan Statistics and Facts

Ceiling fans are both a practical and economical investment in your house because they save up to 30% of your energy cost and they’re highly efficient. But when picking the right ceiling fan for your house, there are many things you need to consider because whatever fan you choose will make or break your room.

According to recent research, more than 80 percent of all homes in the U.S. have ceiling fans. Since we’re in summer, let’s break down some important facts and statistics about ceiling fans because if you educate yourself then you’ll end up saving some money and time. This is the ultimate guide to ceiling fans because we offer you some facts and statistics that you might find interesting and also informative.

When was the first ceiling fan invented?

Let’s begin with some facts about when ceiling fans actually started. For over 100 years, ceiling fans have been America’s best friend during the heat of summer. Back in 1860s and 1870s, the ceiling fans in the U.S were not powered by any electric motor, instead, they used a stream of running water along with a turbine to power a system of belts that would turn the blades.

And then in 1882, Philip Diehl invented the electrically powered ceiling fan with an electric motor and 2 paddle-blades. And since fans were becoming a huge thing, Diehl improved his invention by adding a light kit.

How do ceiling fans work?

The moment you turn your fan on, the electrical wiring transmits electricity to your fan’s motor and then the blades begin to rotate. With constant rotation of the blades, the airflow in the room is improved as well. So, the fan works by rotating the blades in 2 modes:

  • Downdraft
  • Updraft

The downdraft is used to move the fan in reverse (clockwise) so that the warm air gets circulated. On the other hand, the updraft mode is used to cool down the room in forward direction (counter-clockwise).

There are certain parts that make the ceiling fan operate:

  • Base Plate
  • Downrod
  • Housing Cover
  • Motor
  • Blade
  • Pull Switch

Optional ceiling fan parts:

  • Uplights (aesthetic purposes)
  • Light kit (downlights)
  • Decorative light bulbs

More often, fans with an alternating current power source (AC) are used since they are more affordable, however, contemporary ceiling fans have direct current (DC) motor and they’re much more efficient and economical and they have up to 7 speeds.

Types of ceiling fans

Fans come in different shapes in sizes and it all depends on the size of your area. Whether you want to get a ceiling fan for indoors or outdoors, there are several types of fans to choose from:

  • Standard ceiling fans
  • Low profile ceiling fans
  • Outdoor ceiling fans
  • Ceiling fans with lights
  • Dual motor ceiling fans
  • Ceiling fans with remote control
  • Wall fans
  • Energy-star ceiling fans
  • Desk fans
  • Damp and wet ceiling fans
  • Industrial and commercial ceiling fans

So, you need to consider the place you want to put your fan, the ceiling height, and the type of lighting that you want. For instance, the bigger the space, the larger the fan should be. The dimensions of the area and the size of the fan are:

  • 52-inch fan works in a 400 sq ft room
  • 44-inch fan works in a 225 sq ft room
  • 42-inch fan works in a 144 sq ft room

If your room is bigger than 400 sq ft room, then a commercial fan would work great, but you can also put two or more fans in that area.

Which ceiling fan brands produce the best quality fans?

Nowadays there are different brands that sell ceiling fans, but the ones that stand out the most have high quality fans, positive customer reviews, and their return rates are low. Key manufacturers in ceiling fans market (in no particular order) are:

How important is the material and color of the ceiling fan?

Ceiling fans are made of different materials, colors, patterns, styles, and textures so that they can match any room design. If you have an outdoors fan, it’s a well-known fact that it’s important to find a ceiling fan which is weather-proof in order for the fan not to get damaged.

Ceiling fans are made of:

  • Plastic
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless Steel
  • Hardwood
  • Particleboard
  • Fiberboard
  • Vinyl

When searching for a ceiling fan, it’s important to pick one that blends with the interior of your room, which is why the color also plays an important part. Traditionally, a white ceiling fan is the safest choice because you can’t go wrong with that, however, some other trendy color options include:

  • Matte black
  • Satin nickel
  • Brushed nickel
  • Pewter
  • Wood tones
  • Oil rubbed bronze
  • Brass

Another great thing about modern fans is that they include reversible blades with 2 colors. For instance, the blades are white on one side and a pewter color on the other side, so you can change the blades based on the décor of your room or your preferences.

What determines the efficiency of a ceiling fan?

The main 5 factors that determine the efficiency of a ceiling fan are:

  1. Fan blade pitch
  2. Motor speed
  3. Motor Design
  4. Fan blade design, material, and length
  5. Number of blades

Cubic feet per meter (CFM) is what determines the efficiency of the ceiling fan. CFM is the amount of airflow that gets circulated around the room. An average fan has an airflow capacity of 4,000 CFM, whereas the most powerful ceiling fans have a capacity of 10,000 CFM.

A fan’s electricity is measured in watts (only the fan, not the light). The average fan measures 65-75 watts, so anything higher than this is more powerful and anything below means less airflow is being circulated.

The wider the fan blade, the more airflow is operated. The most important thing is the motor that powers the fan, because 2 blades can be just as effective as 4 or 5 blades.

What’s the perfect downrod length?

Depending on the type of your ceiling, some rooms need a downrod in order to hang the fan from the ceiling. For ceilings that are lower than 8 feet, it’s recommended you get a low-profile ceiling fan, however for higher ceilings a downrod is essential.

Rooms that have a high ceiling up to 9 feet or higher, need a downrod to hang the fan for the right height. The guide of downrods according to your space is:

  • Nine-foot ceiling: six-inch down rod
  • 10-foot ceiling: 12-inch down rod
  • 11-foot ceiling: 18-inch down rod
  • 12-foot ceiling: 24-inch down rod
  • 13-foot ceiling: 36-inch down rod

What size fan is the right choice for your room?

The right size of the fan depends on the size of your room because a large fan doesn’t work in a small room, and a small fan does nothing for a big room. The guide to choose the right size for your room is:

  • 100 ft2 = 30-48 inches blade span
  • 400 ft2 = 50-54 inches blade span
  • >400 ft2 = 56 inches blade span

Interesting facts about ceiling fans

We mentioned that ceiling fans are the most energy-efficient fans, however, here are 4 facts that are rather unknown:

  1. Ceiling fans don’t cool the room, they cool our bodies
  2. The bigger the blades, the better
  3. The lower the speed, the more efficient the fan is
  4. Ceiling fans can cut your head if you replace the motor and blades with a stronger motor and sharper blades

How is the ceiling fan industry growing?

Let’s continue with some statistics and numbers. Ceiling fan brands are coming out with creative ceiling fans that have a rustic or modern design in order to improve the interior of a house. They are also selling custom-made ceiling fans, so that more customers are intrigued by fans. There’s a rapid increase in the quality of ceiling fans, with upgraded light fixtures and interchangeable blades.

Social media has a huge impact on the growth of ceiling fans too, especially through Pinterest, where people share their home ideas. Globalization is another factor in this growth since products are easier to be distributed and they offer a variety of product selection.

According to the “Ceiling Fans Market Forecast to 2027 – COVID-19 Impact and Global Analysis by Product, Fan Size Industry, End User, and Geography” report, the international ceiling fan market was:

  • Valued at US$ 10,189.33 million in 2019
  • Estimated to reach US$ 16,172.19 million by 2027
  • Predicted to grow at a CAGR of 6.0% from 2020 to 2027

’The Global Ceiling Fans Market Insights and Forecast to 2027’’ report shows that the price, assembly, rate of growth of each product is divided into:

  • AC Ceiling Fans
  • DC Ceiling Fans

The report also focuses on the status of consumption (sales), huge applications/end users, rate of increase and market share for every application, including:

  • Home
  • Commercial

Additionally, the report covered the consumption by region in 2021:

  • North America
  • U.S
  • Canada
  • Europe
  • Germany
  • France
  • U.K
  • Italy
  • Russia
  • Asia-Pacific
  • China
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Australia etc.

Energy-Savings Potential

According to The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the average energy consumption per ceiling fan is 346 kWh per year. NRDC predicts that the energy consumption of ceiling fans can decrease for over 60% if blade design, motors, and lighting are improved.

Market Assessment

The report Residential Lighting Fixture Market Assessment: Ceiling Fans and Outdoor Lighting displays some statistics:

  • Lighting accounts for about 10 to 15% of the entire energy consumption in a U.S home
  • Around 87% of house lighting sources use incandescent technologies
  • The U.S Department of Energy consider that up to 31.7 billion kWh, or 35% of electricity that is used for lighting could be saved by using CFLs
  • 0nly 8.9% of households in the U.S use CFLs

Ceiling Fans Market Characterization

The report on Market Characterization further shows more ceiling fans statistics:

  • Around 15 to 19 million ceiling fans are sold yearly
  • Approximately 95% of the ceiling fans that are sold yearly have lighting or have the capability to include lighting
  • 60% of the energy that is consumed by ceiling fans is because of lighting
  • Around 80% of ceiling fans are sold via big retailers, with 45% to 60% of sales happening home improvement centers
  • The biggest single retailer of ceiling fans is Home Depot, with around 4.5 million annual ceiling fan sales
  • Around 50% of ceiling fans have integrated lighting or include a lighting kit, only 45% of ceiling fans are lighting adaptable


Back in 1999, around 19 million ceiling fans were sold alone. The statistics in this figure display a huge increase of 26% in sales from the past years.

Source: Appliance Magazine, Annual Statistical Review.

Fan Motors

Many engineering studies have predicted the possibility for reducing energy consumption through using BLDC motor. For instance, an experimental Taiwanese study displays how the energy consumption of a ceiling fan that uses BLDC motor is around 50% of a fan that uses split-phase induction motor.

Another experimental study from Australia shows how BLDC motors reduces ceiling fan energy consumption by a factor of 3 at low speed and a factor of 2 at high speed.

According to industry experts, if you use a BLDC motor, that can decrease ceiling fan energy consumption by 60% in the U.S.

Fan Blades

When it comes to fan blades, a study was conducted by Parker and Hibbs, in which the statistics stated that:

  • The cost of manufacturing efficient ceiling fan blades in the U.S is said to be around US$ 2.25 vs US$ 0.25 per conventional flat blade
  • The gradual cost of manufacturing an efficient blade vs a conventional blade in India is around INR 60 for 3 blades, whereas in the U.S it’s US$ 0.36 per blade.
  • The cost of manufacturing overall is not very high (~5 %) compared to the total retail price of a ceiling fan