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Getting a new house or replacing an old fan? Before you decide on a model, does it matter what type you get?

Or whether it has 3 blades or 5 blades? There are even ceiling fans with lights available in Malaysia! As well as newer invisible ceiling fan designs.

Here’s what to look for and how to choose a ceiling fan.

Table Of Contents:

How To Choose A Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans (like air conditioners) are a permanent fixture so some measuring is needed before you install them!

Ceiling fans are unlike air coolers or stand fans that you can move from room to room! Once they’re installed, you probably not change them out anytime soon.

1. Room Size Vs Size Of The Fan

For a fan to do its job (i.e. circulate air) well, you have to pick the right sized fan for the respective room so measure the room first!

Allocate at least 18 to 24 inches of clearance all around the fan too.

Note: And if there is a light fixture nearby, it should be minimum 39 inches away from the fan!

Then, use this quick guide to estimate what fan size you need:

  • 52-inch fan can cool up to a 400 sq ft room
  • 44-inch fan can cool up to 225 sq ft room
  • 42-inch fan can cool up to 144 sq ft room

If you think you’re going to need 2 fans, here’s a guide on how to make precise measurements.

2. Ceiling Height & Downrod Length

For standard ceiling fans, don’t forget the height of the fan (plus downroad) too! This matters especially if you have unusually low ceilings in your home.

Make Sure The Downrod Is Long Enough For Your Space
Make Sure The Downrod Is Long Enough For Your Space

There should be at least 7 ft of vertical height between the floor and the fan!


  • 9 ft ceiling – 6” downrod
  • 10 ft ceiling – 12” downrod
  • 11 ft ceiling – 18” downrod
  • 12 ft ceiling – 24” downrod

Ultimately, if there’s ample space above (e.g. 12 inches) and below the fan, you’ll get better air circulation!

Note: The model of fan you choose may have an optional downrod of a different length too.

More Blades Are Not Necessarily Better
More Blades Are Not Necessarily Better

3. Airflow & Energy Efficiency

CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and this is how airflow is measured. As for efficiency, this is measured in CFM/W (per Watt).

The higher the value, the better!

Ceiling fans with Energy Star ratings have at least 75 CFM/W.

Stay in a dusty area?

4. 3 Blade Vs 5 Blade Ceiling Fan

These days, a 3-blade fan can be just as efficient as a 5-blade fan (i.e. comparable CFM). It’s now a matter of aesthetic preference over efficiency!

Our personal preference is 3-blade fans so we have less blades to clean!

More Blades Means More Cleaning
More Blades Means More Cleaning

5. AC Motor Ceiling Fan Vs DC Motor

It may surprise you that DC motor ceiling fans are actually quieter and better at saving energy than their AC counterparts! They can also be more compact and have more speed settings that you can choose.

On the other hand, AC motor ceiling fans have a lower upfront cost and decent energy efficiency!

Between them, DC fans are the newer technology and thus, you won’t find as many models available.

But if you have a large shop, warehouse, or restaurant, you should really consider getting DC fans for the energy-saving benefits!


6. Fan Controls

There are 3 available types though you’ll see the last 2 more often than the first now! Pull chain fans are more of a novelty now.

  • Pull Chain – put fans with these in a room that is not often used (i.e. guest room) so the chains don’t wear out as fast
  • Remote – suitable for high ceilings and bedrooms or for anyone with mobility issues
  • Wall Switch – good for preventing kids from fiddling with the controls

7. Other Favorable Features

  • Low noise output
  • Long warranty
  • Built-in lights
Some Ceiling Fans Double As Lights
Some Ceiling Fans Double As Lights

Note that features like reversible direction are more for seasonal climates (e.g, clockwise during winter months).

Types Of Ceiling Fan

Aside from the features mentioned above, here are the different types of ceiling fans available in Malaysia.

For most homes, a standard ceiling fan will do.

1. Standard Ceiling Fans

These are the ones you’ll think of whenever you hear “ceiling fans”. There are usually 4 or 5 blades that come in a variety of finishes like bronze, black, silver, etc to match your home interior!

And the fan hangs down from a “downrod” which is connected to the mount which contains the motor.

Ceiling height: 8ft and above (slated or flat)

Antique Ceiling Fan Design
Antique Ceiling Fan Design

2. Low Profile Ceiling Fans

Similar to the standard ceiling fans but without a downrod. Other names include flush mount or hugger fans. Not as powerful as the standard ceiling fans.

Ceiling height: Less than 8ft (flat)

3. Ceiling Fans With Lights

Self-explanatory. Why not get a ceiling fan with a built-in light if your room lacks natural light or other light sources?

Note: If your fan has lights, you may have the option of choosing LED (most energy efficient of the lot), fluorescent or halogen.

4. Damp & Wet Ceiling Fans

You can’t just stick a ceiling fan anywhere you like! There’s a specific type for the outdoors or wherever the humidity is higher.

Because the motor and blades need to be weather-proofed with resistance against warping. There are 2 ratings to consider, UL damp or UL wet. Where the latter can withstand rain!

5. Industrial, Agricultural & Commercial Ceiling Fans

Huge and imposing with many blades, these fans can be mounted 10ft to 25ft high! Built to be running continuously with minimal maintenance!


It’s not just the brand, pricing or appearance that matters when choosing a ceiling fan for your home. Pick a model according to your room size and ceiling height. The number of blades does not matter!

Although if you are looking to keep within a certain budget, AC motor fans have a lower initial cost than DC motor fans.

See our suggestions for the best ceiling fans in Malaysia.