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May 16, 2018

What Is CFM in a Ceiling Fan?

by Shaya Meyer

What is CFM in a Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans are the most economical solution when it comes to cooling your house during a scorching summer. Partially replacing your air conditioner cooling with a ceiling fan can significantly lower your energy bills every month.

It is always advisable to let a ceiling fan do the cooling until you reach a point where air conditioning seems to be the only solution. However, as simple as they seem, there are many factors to consider when buying ceiling fans. When shopping online you may notice that a factor usually listed in the product description is CFM.

What Is CFM?

CFM is short for cubic feet per minute. It shows you the amount of air that your ceiling fan can move in a minute when running at maximum speed. Among many other factors (RPM, Blade Size & Pitch, Motor Type etc.) that decide how good or bad a ceiling fan is, CFM is the most important one. (Keep in mind that this measurement of air flow is crucial when you buying air conditioning units and heating systems too.)


Importance of CFM

While energy efficiency remains a constant focus of modern consumers, knowing the CFM of a fan is also equally important if not more. It does not matter how energy-efficient your ceiling fan is when it is not cooling the temperature in the room. The CFM can be described as the sum total of all the other elements of the fan

Factors Affecting CFM

There are basically three factors that affect the CFM.

  1. RPM: The RPM stands for (Rotations per Minute) and refers to the number of times the fans make a full rotation every minute.

  2. Blade Size: The bigger the blade size the more airflow. Standard fans range between 40" – 65" although basically any size needed can be found on the market.

  3. Blade Pitch: This refers to the angle of the blade tilt, the greater the tilt the more air is moved. Most fans have a blade pitch of at least "13.


How much CFM do I need?

The amount of CFM necessary depends on the room size.

Room Size


Small Space (under 200 sq. ft)

2000 - 3000

Standard Bedroom, Kitchen etc. (200 – 300 sq. ft.

3000 - 4000

Large Bedroom, Living Room etc. (300 – 450 sq. ft.)

4000 - 6000

Very Large Spaces (450 sq. ft. and up)

5000 - 9000


For very large spaces, it may be worth considering more than one fan.

All of the ceiling fans listed on Todays Fans should have the CFM rating listed on in its specifications. Be sure to look at these ratings before you purchase a fan if your primary purpose of buying is comfort and to fight the heat of the summers. Looks can be top priority if you are buying the fan for decoration purposes.  

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May 16, 2018


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