How Many CFM Is a Ceiling Fan (With Highest CFM Ceiling Fan)

Ceiling fan CFM is 1870 to more than 8000 CFM based on fan size and the power of the motor.

The average ceiling fan CFM is 2000 to 5500 for the most popular sizes found in most homes.

What’s on this page? The detailed information gathered from research data from 500 ceiling fans shows the CFM for different fan sizes from smallest to largest, ceiling fan CFM for the most popular sizes plus highest CFM ceiling fan using data from indoor and outdoor models.

CFM of Different Ceiling Fan Sizes

It is almost always true that the larger the fan size, the higher the CFM.

The exceptions are some small ceiling fans with high-powered motors designed to produce high CFM airflow relative to their size. They often have wider blades than normal or are shaped to push more air. And they may spin at a higher RPM than standard ceiling fans.

Once you consider fans larger than about 24”, the CFM generally gets higher, though the Ceiling Fan CFM Chart below shows that there are exceptions.

Fan SizeAverage Airflow (CFM)
18″1870 CFM
20″1750 CFM
21″1050 CFM
22″1680 CFM
23″1270 CFM
24″1300 CFM
25″1940 CFM
29″1470 CFM
30″1930 CFM
36″2460 CFM
42″2420 CFM
44″3550 CFM
46″3630 CFM
48″3620 CFM
52″4230 CFM
54″4700 CFM
56″5440 CFM
60″6770 CFM
62″6480 CFM
64″7940 CFM
65″8910 CFM
66″8740 CFM
68″10430 CFM
70″7110 CFM
72″8400 CFM
80″7740 CFM
84″10990 CFM
88″10100 CFM

Note: This data is based on 500 popular ceiling fans available for sale from Home Depot.

This data, from 500 models, covers all popular brands including Hunter, Hampton Bay, Monte Carlo, Minka-Aire, Atlas, Home Decorators Collection and many more.

Both indoor fans indoor/outdoor fans are included in the research.


*Fan Size is the diameter of the fan. To determine fan size, measure the distance from the center of the fan to the end of a blade, and multiply by two. This method works for fans with an odd and even number of blades.

*CFM is cubic feet per minute of air flow. A cubic foot is, of course, 1’x1’x1’ – a one-foot cube.

Most Common Ceiling Fan Sizes and CFM

The Fan Size & CFM Chart shows all common ceiling fan sizes. The most popular fan sizes are 42”, 44”, 48”, 52”, 60” and 72” fans. You’ll likely find the best selection in those popular ceiling fan sizes.

Fan SizeAverage Airflow (CFM)
22″1400 CFM
42″3120 CFM
44″3500 CFM
46″2640 CFM
48″4440 CFM
52″4050 CFM
54″4230 CFM
56″5190 CFM
60″10000 CFM
72″10590 CFM

Note: This data is based on 500 popular ceiling fans for sale from Home Depot.

Tip on fan size: Keep in mind that the right fan size isn’t always a larger fan. In small rooms, a fan that is too large will stir too much air. It will be noisy, disrupt papers and might prevent comfortable resting or sleeping.

  • Small rooms up to 12×12: Up to 42” fans
  • Rooms 12×12 to 15×15 rooms: 42” to 44” fans
  • 15×16 to 20×20 rooms: 44” to 54” fans
  • 16×24 to 24×24 rooms: 54” to 62” fans


*To ensure proper air circulation, ceiling fan blades should be at least 18” from any wall, and 24” is preferred.

*Rooms longer than 24” might need two fans centrally positioned around the room, or on each side of the room, to produce the level of air flow you prefer.

Two Ceiling Fans in the room

*How much is 4000 CFM? 4000 cubic feet per minute is the equivalent of a room 20×25 with 8-foot ceilings.

Highest CFM Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan (Greater than 10,000 CFM)

10,000 CFM is a lot of air. It is the equivalent of all the air in a room 20’x50’ with a 10’ ceiling.

Most high-velocity ceiling fans are too big for residential indoor settings, though they are a good fit for many commercial spaces.

However, outdoor ceiling fan sizing is a whole different issue. Outdoor settings can be much warmer and a lot more humid than indoor settings. Wind outdoors plays a factor too.

So having a high airflow ceiling fan, like one of the highest CFM indoor/outdoor ceiling fans on the list makes excellent sense. High CFM indoor/outdoor fans are a good fit for a porch or patio.

For most 10,000 CFM ceiling fans – or those with higher CFM, the volume of airflow is achieved with a combination of larger blades and a powerful motor driving them.

BrandModeCeiling Fan SizeCeiling Fan CFM
Home Decorators CollectionAM590B-MBK120″25000 CFM
Home Decorators CollectionAM613A-BN84″13000 CFM
Home Decorators Collection9998168″12420 CFM
MINKA-AIREF896-84-ORB84″11157 CFM
Modern FormsFR-W2101-72L-SS72″10890 CFM
Home Decorators Collection6800468″10770 CFM
Home Decorators CollectionYG493E-MBK72″10590 CFM
Generation Lighting3MAVR88BK88″10100 CFM
Progress LightingP250030-03196″10080 CFM
Parrot UncleBBHTD21117A72″10040 CFM
Hampton Bay2682960″10000 CFM

Note: This data is based on 500 popular ceiling fans for sale from Home Depot.

Most of the highest CFM ceiling fans on the list can be installed outdoors as well as inside your home. However, there are a couple of high airflow fans on the list that are indoor-only units. Here is the list.

  • Home Decorators Collection AM590B-MBK: Indoor/Outdoor fan
  • Home Decorators Collection AM613A-BN: Indoor fan
  • Home Decorators Collection 99981: Indoor fan
  • Minke-Aire F896-84-ORB: Indoor/Outdoor fan
  • Modern Forms FR-W2101-72L-SS: Indoor/Outdoor fan
  • Home Decorators Collection 68004: Indoor fan
  • Home Decorators Collection YG493E-MBK: Indoor/Outdoor fan
  • Fanimation FPD8159DZW: Indoor/Outdoor fan
  • Generation Lighting 3MAVR88BK: Indoor/Outdoor fan
  • Progress Lighting P250030-031: Indoor/Outdoor fan
  • Parrot Uncle BBHTD21117A: Indoor/Outdoor fan
  • Hampton Bay 26829: Indoor/Outdoor fan

Does a high CFM ceiling fan use more power?

Not always. Some fans with a high airflow volume are Energy Star certified. This means that independent testing shows that they use less electricity than many fans of the same size.

The fans you consider should have an energy label showing typical hours of use and what they cost to run per year.

And if the fan is Energy Star certified, that should be listed on the box or on the online information page where you are shopping.

Should a ceiling fan turn clockwise or counterclockwise?

The fan should turn clockwise in winter and counterclockwise in summer.

Rotating clockwise in winter, the fan doesn’t create an unwelcome breeze on those below. Instead, it pushes the warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down to the floor. It does this by drawing air upwards, moving it to the walls and back down to where people are sitting, standing and sleeping.

Rotating counterclockwise in summer, the fan does supply a breeze. Moving air on warm skin evaporates perspiration and cools the skin. As a result, you can set your home’s thermostat a little higher and still feel just as comfortable.

Do ceiling fans with more blades have higher CFM?

Yes, they usually do. But this is not always true. For example, a 3-blade fan might move as much or more air than a 5-blade fan if its blades are wider and shaped to move more air. 

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree and EPA & R-410A Certifications. Protection Status