In this report
July 2009 Recommended
July 2009 Ratings
July 2009 Canadian Ratings
Doing it right
Central air: Most & least reliable
Split ductless
Add a ceiling fan
Also in This Issue
This article was featured in the July 2009 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

Add a ceiling fan

Last reviewed: July 2009
Ceiling fan

This article is the archived version of a report that appeared in July 2009 Consumer Reports magazine. Visit our air conditioners page to see the very latest information on air conditioners.

Ceiling fans cool you, not the room. They don't remove humidity, but they're generally inexpensive to buy and run, whether you use them alone or with air conditioning. And with a little help, you can install one yourself. A 52-inch-diameter fan is ideal for rooms that are 225 to 400 square feet. Pick a 42- to 44-inch fan for 144 to 225 square feet. If your room size is on the border, choose a larger fan and run it on a slower speed.

The higher the cubic feet per minute, the more air movement, but don't sweat small differences. Ceiling fans with the most airflow were the noisiest in our tests, although it was wind noise and fluttering, not a whirring motor. And fans with blades that have ridges, bumps, or other surface texture were often noisier on high than those with smooth blades.