How long of a down rod should I choose?
The down rod, commonly referred to as the pole or pipe of a ceiling fan, is very important for both proper circulation, and overall room aesthetics. In addition, the down rod has a direct effect on the amount of air you feel from your ceiling fan.
Proper circulation helps ensure the maximum efficiency from your ceiling fan. Your fan blades need to have at least a 3 inch clearance on either side and an 8 inch clearance between the blades and the ceiling. For every 2 inches less than the recommended 8 inches there is a 25% loss in airflow. In some extenuating circumstances where these dimensions are not possible, ceiling fans will still provide benefits, but not at 100% levels.
Conversely, having your ceiling fan too low can result in a crowded and distracting room space. Originally, it was recommended that ceiling fans sit between 8-10 feet off the floor for both form and function. With today’s newer homes and the higher, more open ceiling spaces, it is recommended to set your ceiling fan blades between 9 and 11 feet from the floor (the closer, the more effective). This height specification allows for the benefits of both optimal airflow and aesthetic balance. As ceiling height and overall volume in the room increased over time, it was important to adjust the placement of the ceiling fan blades in order to adequately turn the air over on both the upside and downside of the blades. These newer recommendations are a direct result of that.
The third impact the down rod has is on the realized airflow from the ceiling fan. The general rule is the more space between you and the blades, the more room for the airflow to dissipate. For example, if your ceiling fan is 9 ft. off the floor compared to 14 ft. off the floor both the ‘cooling’ effect and overall feeling of air movement will be considerably more.
Some other items to keep in mind pertain to tray, or recessed, ceilings. If the tray allows for at least 3 inches of clearance on either side of the blades, adhere to the above recommendations. However, if the tray does not allow for at least 3 inches of clearance on either side of the blades it is recommended that you drop the ceiling fan blades below the tray to ensure both proper circulation and optimal airflow.
The following is a general guideline relative to Dan’s Ceiling Fans: