What is the appropriate size fan for an area?

Kalka outdoor ceiling fan

We were recently asked about one of our ceiling fans and its ability to cool a large outdoor area so we thought we’d look into it.

Ceiling fans work most effectively when the blades are 2100 to 2700mm above the floor and 200 to 250mm below the ceiling. Standard fans in Australia generally come in three sizes for the residential market: 1220mm, 1320mm and 1420mm—and whilst larger fans are available, they are typically for use in commercial purposes.

The smallest of these fans would be acceptable for a room up to 4.500 x 4.500m (approximately 20m2)—or a reasonable size living area. The largest size would accommodate rooms up to 5.500m and for rooms longer than this, multiple fans would be required.

It should be noted that fans work best when located centrally in a space. In a larger areas, we recommend installing one fan per grouping of furniture, for example living/dining areas. Fans are the cheapest cooling option and have the lowest greenhouse impact, although fans only work by cooling people—not by cooling the room so in order to save energy, it’s best to turn the fan off once you leave the room.