Home    Learning Center    Buying Guides    Ceiling Fan Buying Guide

Ceiling Fan Buying Guide



Heating bathroom ceiling fans

What type of fan is right for me?

A fan, to most people, is something on the ceiling of their bedrooms that keep them cool in the summer. While this is a main purpose, many fail to realize that fans have a variety of functions and purposes. Ceiling fans help to cool down warm rooms and circulate/create air flow, while ventilation fans remove air from areas, and can come with heaters to warm up cold rooms. Fans come in variety of shapes and sizes; whether the need is to cool off a small bathroom or remove the smoke and steam from an industrial sized grill there is fan to do the job.

When deciding to purchase a ceiling fan it is important to understand the type of job it will be performing. These functions are determined by deciding where the fan will be used, be it the bathroom, the kitchen, a standard room, or for commercial use.

Bathroom Ventilation Fans


The basic function of a bathroom ventilation fan is to provide air flow for a bathroom that may or may not contain a window. Ventilation is important for quickly removing any steam that may have built up during a shower or any unwanted smells. Bathroom ventilation fans come with a wide variety of features that can include a light and a heater.

Heating bathroom ceiling fans Bathroom ventilation fans with heaters serve the purpose of providing warmth to the bathroom while circulating the air flow with a fan. A warming ceiling fan cuts down the shiver you get when stepping out of a hot shower and into a cold bathroom. Having a heater is also beneficial as it helps you to maintain a constant temperature in the rooms of your house during the colder months. Most fans run 1250w to 1500w, sit less than 3" from the ceiling, and fit in standard 4" ceiling fan holes.


Ventilation fans with a light allow customers to quickly remove steam or stale air from a bathroom. The light feature also allows you to only use one switch to control both the light and the fan aspect, if desired. Fan engines run on limited energy 17w, while most lights only requires two 18w bulbs. These fans will sit about 3" from the ceiling and many come with a night light function. The night light feature allows a customers to use the bathroom without fully illuminating it at night, while also helping them find their way to the bathroom when it is extremely dark. These ventilation fans are also available without the light, saving depth from the ceiling (less than 1") and additional energy use.

Kitchen Ventilation Fans


Kitchen ventilation fans are intended for use in the kitchen and generally installed over a range, stove, or island.

Kitchen ventilating side discharge Kitchen ventilation fans (side discharge) are placed above or near a stove to help remove cooking fumes and smoke from the kitchen. Due to the quality of this device it can also be used in laundry rooms to remove humidity or in game rooms to remove tobacco smoke. Fans generally fit a 3.25" x 10" duct and a built in damper prevents back draft of odor or smoke. Side discharge units run at a higher price because these fans can more effectively discharge what they are taking out of a room.

Kitchen ventilating vertical discharge fans Kitchen ventilation fans (vertical discharge), which are normally referred to as range hoods, are generally placed above a stove to help remove cooking fumes and smoke from the kitchen. Vertical discharge fans are generally lower in price then side discharge fans because vertical discharge is not always as effective in clearing air in household situations, but are usually more effective in commercial applications.


Ceiling/Wall diffusers Ceiling/Wall diffusers are small and can be placed inside a chimney, cooking hood, or wall. These devices release compressed air to help get rid of odors. Diffusers are generally sold in packs of six.



Standard Ceiling Fans

Standard Ceiling fans are usually installed in bedrooms and living rooms. These fans hang from the ceiling and help to lower room temperature and circulate the air. They can be purchased in a variety of sizes and also can include additional features such as dual fans or a light.

Ceiling/Wall diffusers Standard Ceiling fans with a light vary anywhere in blade diameter from 13" up to 55", depending on the room size. The number of blades used on these fans is generally between 3 and 5 blades, and fan speeds can be set from 1000 to 1500 rpm. Each fan generally requires one 100w bulb, while some run off of two 75w bulbs. From the ceiling most fans will hang between 10" and 16". The most popular colors for these fans are white, walnut, oil rubbed bronze, brushed nickel, bronze, brushed stainless steel, and pewter, while many other colors are also available.

Ceiling/Wall diffusers Gyro duel fans wield duel twin turbo fans that rotate on the assembly 360 degrees. The speed of the two fans can be set from 1000 to 1500 rpm, while the fans can be positioned individually to maximize the air coverage. Most units have a diameter of 42" and can be purchased with or without a light. This type of fan is for those truly looking for a unique addition to their home style.


Commercial Fans

Commercial fans are used for doing the heavy duty air clearing from factories, offices, or very poorly ventilated areas.

Ceiling/Wall diffusers Commercial exhaust fans do not circulate air or pump in fresh air they simple remove the bad air. Each commercial exhaust fan is equipped with a 80 CFM, 2.5 sones blower engine. These exhaust fans are usually fire equipped, meaning that the material they are built out of is fire resistant for 1-3 hours depending on the local fire code. On most units, if air passing through the exhaust exceeds 165 degrees then the vent automatically shuts, preventing the spread of fire.

For more information regarding these fans and others please don't hesitate to Contact Us here at PlumberSurplus.com
Shop for Ceiling Fans