How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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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. And since both the NEC and IRC specifically require following the manufacturer’s installation instructions, that makes it a code standard.
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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