Whether you have an old light fixture you need to replace, or your living room’s ceiling is bare, you might wonder, “Should I put a ceiling fan in my living room?”
In this article, I’ll explore just that so you won’t have to waste time installing a fan that’s not right for you.
Should I Put Ceiling Fan in My Living Room?
Whether you should put a ceiling fan in the living room is up to you. They can have many benefits, including better air circulation, energy savings, and humidity reduction. But there are a few cons like them being noisy, having to dust them, their lights not being very bright, and needing to install them.
Is It Weird To Have a Ceiling Fan in the Living Room?
No, not at all. Many homes have ceiling fans in the living room, including mine.
Ceiling fans are great for living rooms because they’re often one of the largest (if not the largest) rooms in a house. There’s usually plenty of space for a ceiling fan width-wise and height-wise.
They’re also beneficial for living rooms since ceiling fans allow cool air from the AC to circulate more effectively, which would normally be difficult in a large space.
Pros & Cons of Ceiling Fan in Living Room
Circulates Air Throughout the Room
Rather than having to plug in fans all over the room, you can do the job with just a single ceiling fan. Being on the ceiling, they can push cool air downwards, which can be felt all over the room.
Saves You Money
Ceiling fans use some energy, but you might be surprised to learn that they can save you money.
As mentioned, ceiling fans make the AC more effective since the cool air is being directed towards you. Because of this, you can get away with turning the thermostat up a few degrees while being just as comfortable.
Ceiling fans are very convenient. With the pull of a pull chain, you can easily turn your ceiling fan on and feel more comfortable.
And if your ceiling fan has a remote, you can feel comfortable with the click of a button.
There’s no need to plug anything in or move a fan to get it in the right position — it’s always there when you need it.
When you think of ceiling fans, you might think of them for their practicality rather than aesthetics. But there are many stylish ceiling fans out there that can add to your living room’s decor.
For example, ceiling fans have different options for blade materials.
Wooden fan blades tend to have a more classic, homey feel that would work well for farmhouse-style rooms. Meanwhile, metal blades tend to have a more modern, industrial look.
If an average ceiling fan doesn’t suit your fancy, there are also some unique options, like ceiling fans with colorful mosaic light shades or ones with blades in the shape of leaves.
Works in the Winter
Like most people, I associate ceiling fans with hot summer days to stay cool. But what you might not know is that reversing the fan direction allows it to work in the winter.
Normally ceiling fans (when they run counter-clockwise) are designed to push cool air downwards. When this cool air hits your skin, your sweat evaporates in what’s known as a wind chill effect.
But ceiling fans with a reversed direction (clockwise) do the opposite. Rather than pushing cool air downwards, they push cool air up. The warm air then moves down, making you feel warmer.
Most ceiling fans, even older ones, are designed to be adjustable. This is usually through three speed settings — low, medium, and high.
Depending on the day, you may want to use a different setting.
For example, if you have a lot of papers out and your fan is powerful enough to blow them around, you’ll want to use the low setting. Or if it’s a really hot day and you need to cool down ASAP, then you’ll want to use the high setting.
Despite how convenient fans are on a day-to-day basis, there is one thing about them that isn’t convenient at all — cleaning. Fans need to be dusted regularly just like any surface in your house.
If you don’t have a fan duster on hand, you may have to stand on a chair to get all the dust off. Ceiling fans for tall ceilings require a long fan duster unless you’re willing to bring out the ladder.
Depending on how long it has been since you last cleaned it, you might end up with dust piles all over the floor that you’ll need to vacuum up.
For the most part, fans aren’t super noisy. Usually, they’re able to fade into the background as white noise.
But there are two reasons why the noise might be a con for you.
One is if your living room is usually very quiet. The noise will be more apparent in the living room, and it might even be distracting.
And the second one is if your fan is old (like if you buy it used). As your ceiling fan ages, it might sound creaky.
Fan Lights Aren’t Very Bright
Fan lights are considered “ambient lighting,” which is to say they’re not very bright. They’re not the best for dimly lit living rooms.
If light is important to you, a light fixture will usually be the better choice.
It would be nice if you could just buy a pre-assembled fan, pop it on the ceiling, and call it a day. Sadly, it’s a little more complicated than that.
Ceiling fans require electrical work to run, being an electric appliance and all. Even if you assemble the fan parts just fine, the wiring part can be complicated or even dangerous.
It’s usually not recommended to install a ceiling fan yourself unless you have some experience with electrical work. If you don’t, that means hiring a professional to do it for you.
Installation costs vary, but it’s estimated that homeowners spend around $248 on average for ceiling fan installations. Add that to the cost of the fan itself, and you’ll be out a few hundred dollars for
Where Should a Ceiling Fan Be Placed in a Living Room?
Ideally, ceiling fans should be placed in the center of the room. This leads to maximum air circulation.
Usually, the only time when you might want to put it elsewhere is if you have a very wide living room. In that case, you can have two ceiling fans on either side of the room.
Another case when you might want to put a ceiling fan off-center is when you want maximum air circulation above your couches. Some living rooms have a ceiling fan right about the couch so that the space feels cool and comfortable.
How To Choose a Ceiling Fan for a Living Room?
With Light or Without
Whether you want a ceiling fan with a light or not usually depends on two factors.
One is which look you like better.
Some people hate the look of ceiling fans with lights. Ceiling fans without lights won’t have bulbs or light shades that extend outwards.
Some even appear to be flat like a propeller, which has a much cleaner look.
Another is whether you actually need the light or not.
For large living rooms, the light isn’t going to be bright enough for the room. And if you already have plenty of lights, adding a ceiling fan light won’t do much for you.
The only real exception to this is if you want a source of ambient lighting at night, like if you enjoy reading in the living room.
If you aren’t sure whether you need it or not, it’s usually better to get it with a light. It’s better to have a light and not use it than have a ceiling fan without a light and wish you could have one.
As I mentioned earlier, living room fans come in so many different styles, from farmhouse to modern and everything in between.
Number of Blades
The number of blades affects two main parts of the ceiling fan — air circulation and noise level.
While it might seem like more blades can push more air, it’s actually the opposite.
The more blades a fan has, the slower the motor can go because there is more drag on it. So a three-blade fan will push slightly more air than a four-blade one so long as they have the same motor.
But one drawback to having fewer blades is that the fans tend to be noisier. This is because they usually aren’t as balanced as fans with more blades.
Of course, it should be mentioned that there are exceptions to this rule.
A four-blade fan with a very powerful motor will have better airflow than a three-blade fan with a weak motor, just as a three-blade fan that’s designed to be nearly silent will be quieter than a four-blade fan with an average noise level.
Fan blades aren’t the most important practical factor to consider — it usually comes down to personal preference.
The larger the fan, the more air it can circulate. If you have a living room that’s larger than 225 square feet, then it’s best to use a fan that’s 52 inches in diameter or larger. If you have a wide living room and you plan on having two ceiling fans, two moderately sized fans will work just fine.
Standard ceiling fans have three main types of control mechanisms: pull chains, wall switches, and remotes. Some fans have a blend of these, while others use one type exclusively.
Here is a rundown of all three types:
- Pull chains: These are only usable if your ceiling fan is reachable from the ground. They can’t be lost like remotes, but they can be a bit of a hassle to use since you have to reach up and pull it rather than being able to do it while you’re sitting down.
- Wall switches: Much like a light switch, this allows you to turn on and control the fan with the flip of a switch or the turn of a dial. Some wall switches allow you to adjust the speed, while others simply turn the fan on at whatever speed it was last — this is only true if there’s another mechanism to control the speed, like a remote control or pull chain. The main con is that they require more work to install, making them more expensive.
- Remote controls: These allow you to control the fan by pressing a button. They’re super convenient, but they’re also small and easy to lose. If your fan is exclusively remote-controlled, you might not be able to use it until you find the remote.
Most fans come in neutral colors like white, brown, black, or silver. These are great options because they fit with pretty much any room. Even if you decide to change your living room’s aesthetic later, the ceiling fan will usually still match.
Of course, you don’t have to go the conventional route. There are painted ceiling fans in every color you can imagine, like red, green, blue, and pink. Colored ceiling fans can make a dramatic statement in your living room.
Depending on the ceiling fan you buy, it could be a rattling, squeaking mess or a virtually silent one.
Usually, loud ceiling fans are either due to the fan’s age or manufacturing issues. Ones that don’t have problems might just have a loud motor due to the parts used in its construction.
Unfortunately, most fan manufacturers don’t list the dB rating for their fans in the specs list. But you can still check reviews of “silent” fans to get an idea of its quality and whether the noise level lives up to expectations.
No fan is actually silent since the motor generates some noise, but high-quality “silent” fans are usually unnoticeable in your day-to-day life.
Blade materials serve both an aesthetic and practical purpose.
Aesthetically speaking, fans with wooden blades tend to feel more classic, while metal blades look more modern. There are also plastic fans that can look either way depending on the design.
Practically speaking, the blade material will affect the blade’s durability and how easy it is to clean.
High-quality wood and metal blades are both very durable, but they can warp or rust (respectively) in humid environments. Plastic blades can also be durable depending on the type of plastic used, and they are very easy to clean.
These are a few of the most popular types, but there are also other blade materials to consider, including:
- Wood-plastic composite
There are two types of ceiling fan motors — alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).
AC fans are the most common type. With these motors, the power comes directly from the electricity in your home.
On the other hand, DC fans use a transformer to convert the current type from AC to DC, which then powers the fan.
Both types have their pros and cons.
AC fans are much cheaper since they’re easier to make. They also tend to have more control options than DC fans.
DC fans are usually more expensive, but they’re also quieter while being more powerful.
Smart or Regular
With the rise of smart appliances came smart ceiling fans.
While every smart ceiling fan is different, they usually connect to a smart system management app, allowing you to control your fan from your phone or other devices.
Here are some other features smart fans can have:
- Automation: Some smart fans only turn on when the temperature reaches a certain level, when people are in the room, or on a schedule. With automation, you won’t even have to control the fan to experience comfort.
- Energy efficiency: Along with turning on, smart fans can also turn off automatically if you leave them on by accident, saving you money on your energy bills.
- Voice control: If you have a device with voice control like Amazon Alexa, most smart fans allow you to control it using your voice.
- Light control: Some smart fans let you dim the lights or even change the colors from your smart devices or using voice control.
While all of these features are great, keep in mind that they will make the fan more expensive. You’ll have to weigh your budget against these convenience features to see if it’s worth it.
Ceiling fans also vary based on motor power. As you can probably imagine, a more powerful motor means a more powerful fan. If you live in a really hot climate, it can be beneficial to have this feature.
But there are some cons, too. Fans with more powerful motors tend to be louder and use more energy.
How Many Ceiling Fans Should Be in a Living Room?
Most living rooms just need one ceiling fan. Even if the room is larger, you can always buy a larger fan with a more powerful motor to circulate air.
But as I mentioned earlier, you may want two moderately sized fans if you have a wide living room since they can circulate air throughout the room rather than just in the center.