Ceiling fans circulate air from the ceiling down into your room to help it feel cooler in summer. Table fans also circulate air, but instead of pushing it down, they move it outward. In addition, table fans can be positioned near windows to pull in more fresh air. Both types of fans have several advantages and disadvantages, but the best choice for your home depends on your needs and space.
Short Ceilings and High Heads
When using a table fan, as long as you have enough clearance around the fan so the grill isn’t blocked and people can pass by without knocking it over, you can place it almost anywhere. Ceiling fans are a little different. The ceiling they’re installed in must be able to support the weight of the fan, and they’re usually only useful in rooms with ceilings that are at least 8 feet high. The blades should be 7 to 9 feet above the floor and 10 to 12 inches below the ceiling. If they’re closer to the floor, a tall person could easily run into the blades.
Versatility and Convenience
Table fans are small and compact, making it easy to move them from room to room. Depending on the size, they can be placed on floors, desks, tables, and countertops, and they’re usually ideal for localized cooling in a small space. Ceiling fans typically have larger blades and move more air than a table fan, but they’re permanently installed into your home’s wiring system. While they can be uninstalled when you move, you’re left with bare wires in the ceiling unless you install another fixture.
Style and Features
Ceiling fans come in a wide range of colors, materials, and styles. Some allow you to change the blades to create a whole new effect in your space, so they can suit almost any type of decor. Table fans are more limited in design. While they come in a range of colors and materials, you can’t switch out blades or covers. But table fans offer more flexibility in terms of features, such as adjustable heights and oscillation and multiple speeds. Ceiling fan features are usually limited to multiple speeds and reverse oscillation.
Heating and Cooling Savings
While they don’t actually cool the air, fans generate a breeze that makes you feel cooler. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can set your thermostat about 4 degrees Fahrenheit higher in the summer if you use a ceiling fan. In the winter set ceiling fans to run clockwise to push warm air that naturally rises to the ceiling back down to the room. You feel warmer as a result, and your furnace doesn’t work as hard to heat your home. While table fans aren’t as efficient at circulating conditioned air, they can be placed between rooms and in doorways to circulate the air.
Safety and Hazards
As long as they’re installed correctly, ceiling fans are safe to use. If you install a ceiling fan too low, there is the risk of running into it. But their location on your ceiling prevents children from poking their fingers into the blades, making them safer than table fans. Kids love fans and putting your face in front of the grill and making funny sounds with your voice is something almost every child has done. That harmless play, however, may also lead to inserting fingers in the grill to stop the blade or removing the grill. Some table fans feature child-safe grills, which have slats so small a child can’t fit a finger between them, but not all table fans have this feature.