What is the minimum height of a ceiling fan above the floor?

Monday, July 2, 2018

A minimum safe height for ceiling fan blades is not listed in either the National Electrical Code (NEC) and the International Residential Code (IRC). But fan manufacturers like as Hunter Fan Company, along with the EPA EnergyStar program, specify not less than seven feet.

    The ideal fan location is at the center of a room and at least 18-inches away from any wall, although 3-feet or more is recommended. Also, a ceiling fan needs a minimum of 8-inches of clear space above it in order to produce its rated full volume of air. Blades closer to the ceiling reduce air volume and fan efficiency. So a ceiling fan in a room with less than a seven-foot ten-inch ceiling, will have to sacrifice either air flow or safety of the room occupants.  

    We call out the bottom edge of fan blades below seven-feet as a safety defect in a home inspection report, and they occur most often in budget mobile homes with a ceiling height below eight-feet and their aluminum porch additions, like the one shown below. The blades were at 5’-10” above the porch floor and would give a crew cut or whack in the head to someone not paying attention that walks under it while the fan is on.

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Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about SAFETY:

What is the best place to install carbon monoxide alarms (CO detectors) in a house? 

Why is it important to use "cabinet screws" to mount the upper cabinets in the kitchen?

Is the door between an attached garage and the house required to have a closer (self-closing device)?

Can the smoke sensors in a home security/fire alarm system replace the smoke alarms required by the building code?

Should I get a lightning rod system to protect my house? 

What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home?

What is aging in place? 

How do I safely remove a dead rodent (rat, mouse or squirrel) from the attic?

Does pushing the test button on a smoke alarm test the smoke sensor device inside? 

Should a smoke alarm be installed in the kitchen? 

Why is a double cylinder deadbolt lock on an exterior door a safety hazard?

Why are rubber washing machine hoses a safety risk?

What can I do to avoid kitchen accidents and injuries?

Where are smoke alarms required to be located? 

Are carbon monoxide alarms required to be installed in homes in Florida?

Are old vinyl tile floors dangerous?  

How can I use safety checks to limit my tenant liability for a rental house?

Do you inspect for trip hazards around the home? 

When should I replace my smoke alarms?

• Why is an anti-tip device now required behind the range? 

• What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic? 

• What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?

     Visit our SAFETY and HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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