How to Install Ceiling Fans in a Great Room

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Within the last decade, the great room has become a staple of home design. Most new construction houses and many renovated older homes now feature a wide-open shared living space, which typically includes the kitchen, dining room, living room, and kids’ play area all in one massive interior zone.

When the trend first arrived, great rooms seemed like a perfect solution for many concerns, such as entertaining large groups of guests or managing the various needs of young families. However, now some homeowners are noticing the occasional difficulties that arise from great room design — such as difficulty maintaining a comfortable temperature. Great rooms tend to be massive open spaces with tall ceilings and many windows, so they can quickly become drafty in the winter and sweltering in the summer.

Many homeowners with great rooms want to install ceiling fans, which are well-known to be affordable, efficient and functional fixtures for maintaining a comfortable space. However, how does one go about installing a ceiling fan in such a large interior area?

Choose the Right Fan Size

Aside from the actual installation process — which most homeowners should outsource to a licensed handyman or electrician, who will have the proper tools and expertise for the job — the most important step in installing a new ceiling fan in a great room is choosing a fan in the right size. Fans come in different sizes to account for the size and airflow needs of different spaces; because of a great room’s great size, it tends to need a much larger ceiling fan than smaller rooms, like bedrooms and offices, to ensure that an appropriate amount of air moves efficiently to keep the interior space comfortable.

Fortunately, there are charts online to help homeowners choose the right size of fan for their space. Homeowners should measure the square footage of their great room before beginning their hunt for the perfect ceiling fan.

Consider Using More Than One Fan

Not all great rooms are huge, simple rectangles. In older homes, great rooms may be crafted by removing the walls of adjoining rooms, which means that a large, shared living space may have several squares, rectangles, and other shapes jutting off of it. In this case, a single ceiling fan may not be enough to produce the desired airflow through the entire room. Instead, homeowners might consider installing several smaller ceiling fans above distinct areas of their great room, such as their dining area, their sitting area, their play area, and more. In addition to improving efficiency, this strategy can also give homeowners more control over the air circulation and temperature in different parts of their homes.

Choose the Right Fan Height

Not all great rooms have extra-high ceilings — but many do. To make a great room feel especially grand, many homebuilders choose to raise ceilings up to 12 feet or higher, and many homeowners renovate their great rooms to create vaulted ceilings and the like. However, ceiling fans do not have unlimited capacity to move air around a room; at most, they should be about nine feet from the floor, or else the air circulation they produce is unlikely to be noticeable to those in the home.

Therefore, homeowners typically need to install down rods with their ceiling fans in their great rooms. The length of the down rod will depend on the exact height of the ceiling, and there are many options to ensure that homeowners get their ceiling fans at the exact right height.

Choose a Suitable Fan Style

Contrary to popular belief, ceiling fans can be chic additions to interior décor. Though the traditional five-blade fan is what most homeowners imagine when they consider installing this fixture in their homes, the truth is that ceiling fan style is extremely diverse. It isn’t difficult to find remarkably avant-garde ceiling fans, which may feature only a single blade, blades of unique shapes or other intriguing and artistic features.

However, such unconventional fans are rarely as effective at moving air as homeowners expect, especially in wide-open spaces like great rooms. Instead, homeowners interested in both form and function should look for fan styles that are better at circulating air in large areas, like windmill ceiling fans. With more blades than a traditional ceiling fan, windmill fans tend to be visually interesting, and their longer blades can help move air around great rooms with ease.

The great room is a great addition to a home — if a homeowner understands how to make it functional for their family. With the right ceiling fan in place, a great room can be comfortable year-round, so homeowners should look into installing ceiling fans around their great rooms today.

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