Stepping into your garage to work or have some fun can be a shocking experience. You could be warm and cozy in your home, but then chilled to the bone the instant you step into the garage. The opposite can also be true. Some garages turn into space heaters, especially in the summer months.
How can you control the temperature extremes that can be found in the average garage? By installing one of the best garage ceiling fans. Whether you install it directly over your working space or you install the fan centrally to provide a whole-room benefit, ceiling fan technologies make it easy to take back the useable space in your garage.
Which Garage Ceiling Fans Are the Best?
Garage ceiling fans are unique. Because they are responsible to move a greater capacity of air in many instances, they tend to be more similar to a box fan or oscillating fan than a ceiling fan. The unique structure of the garage, like the placement of garage door rails, changes the special dynamics of the fan as well.
These top-rated options prove that you can still feel comfortable, even if you sometimes need to step outside the box when it comes to design.
How to Find the Best Product for Me
Garages come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are detached. Others have work pits under the main garage floor. You’ll find vaulted ceilings and you’ll find low ceilings. There is no “one” garage ceiling fan that is the best because it fits every situation.
It is up to each homeowner to find the right ceiling fan for the space their garage provides.
One of the first steps to take is to find the correct size of fan for your garage. If you’re looking for an Energy Star certification with your ceiling fan, then here are the generic guidelines to follow regarding fan diameter.
- Garages 75 square feet or smaller: 36-inch fan or smaller.
- Up to 144 square feet: 36-inch to 42-inch fans.
- Up to 225 square feet: 44-inch fans.
- 400 square feet or less: 54-inch fans or smaller.
You’ll also need to consider the height and shape of the ceiling in your garage. Because of the various accessories that are installed on a garage ceiling, almost every ceiling fan comes with a down rod of some length. The only exception to this are the wall-mount or corner-mount ceiling fans in this category.
If you have a 9-foot ceiling in your garage, then a down rod of 6 inches will often be enough to help you manage your space. With a 10-foot ceiling, you can work with a 12-inch down rod. For every additional foot of ceiling height, add 6 inches to the down rod length for best results. A 20-foot ceiling would therefore require a 72-inch down rod.
Extra-tall ceilings often require a down rod that is sold separately from the ceiling fan.
Are Garage Ceiling Fans the Same as Industrial Ceiling Fans?
The same ceiling fans you’ll find in the garage category are sold in the industrial category, but they are not the same. Industrial ceiling fans are designed to run in ultra-high capacity situations. They are usually wet-rated and capable of withstanding tough manufacturing environments.
Garage ceiling fans are closer to the standard residential ceiling fan in design. Some are damp-rated or wet-rated, but many are not. The primary goal is to provide immediate air movement for greater comfort.
When installed correctly, you can expect to see these benefits begin to come your way.
- Lower energy costs. A ceiling fan in the garage can help to lower electrical costs by up to 40%. Most of the energy loss a home experiences comes from the garage, especially when heating the structure. You can enhance your cost savings by finishing the garage or adding the proper R-value insulation to the attic area of the space.
- Better illumination. Many garages have a handful of fixtures or lights that can be turned on, but many do not. Some rely on the single light from the garage door opener. By installing a fan with a light kit, you can improve the lighting and usability of the space.
- More value. The ceiling fan will circulate warm air down to ground level. It will also pull warm air away and push cool air down toward you. Make sure your fan has a reversible setting to accomplish both actions if you feel they are needed.
Why Are There Different Design Options?
Garages are a unique space. They become recreational areas. They are working areas. In some homes, they are even a spare bedroom or a home office. Because of this versatility, the ceiling fans in this category must be just as flexible.
You’ll find unique designer options that are specifically meant to coordinate with an existing decoration scheme. There are high-capacity airflow models that can immediately change the perception of temperature within the garage so its occupants can be more comfortable. You’ll find models made from non-corrosive metal for high-moisture environments that may include salt exposure, either from coastal living or applications placed on icy roads.
The numerous design options do make it somewhat difficult to find the perfect unit right away. This variety also means that given enough time, you really can find the perfect investment.
Pricing in this category is surprisingly affordable. If you’re looking for a designer ceiling fan for a recreational space, most models are priced at $100 or less.
For those looking for a high capacity shop fan, several models are available in the $150-$225 price range. This category includes wall-mount, corner-mount, and ceiling-mount options.
Commercial-grade ceiling fans are also available in this category, though they may be overpowered for what some homeowners may need. Expect to pay at least $200 for a ceiling fan listed as being commercial or industrial quality.
We really liked the canopy system that comes with this particular ceiling fan. It allows you to install the ceiling fan in garages that have angled or peaked ceilings. Even if your pitch has a 12:12 ratio, you can still benefit from what this Progress Lighting ceiling fan can provide. It does a great job of getting the basics right. The fan isn’t noisy when you operate it at a higher speed. The blade wind and noise don’t interfere with what you’re working on. You can use it all year long and enjoy its low-maintenance ownership experience thanks to its triple-capacitor motor.
What makes this fan so powerful is its high-efficiency motor. Rated at 2.4 amps, it provides a consistent performance that can give your space the airflow it needs all year long. This power does come with added noise, however, as the fan is rated to produce a total noise output of 76 decibels at its highest speed. Installing this fan is pretty easy. Just install the mounting bracket onto one of your wall studs. Be sure to use a stud finder if your garage or workshop is finished.
The weight of the ceiling fan was our primary concern. Many electrical boxes in the garage are rated to hold 30 pounds, which is suitable for many ceiling fans. This specific model weighs just over 30 pounds. Our scale registered it at 30 pounds, 4 ounces. That technically exceeds the specs of the electrical boxes that most homeowners already have. Don’t fudge on this and just install the fan anyway. It could be a coding violation. Keep in mind that this is a 2-pack purchase instead of a single ceiling fan as well.
Although this is a single-speed ceiling fan, we compared how it would perform with some of the 84-inch ceiling fans that are in this category. The airflow that it can achieve is comparable. It really does produce a good breeze to the point that an installation above a workbench could be bothersome or move lightweight items in the bench area. Because of its design, there is a noticeable addition of blade wind that is experienced underneath the fan. That noise pollution may be disturbing in smaller garages or workshops that have this ceiling fan installed, but isn’t bothersome for most garages.
It performs well when there is high humidity present and the added moisture doesn’t affect the finish. In areas where there is a high salt content to the air, there could be tarnishing or corrosion in nicks or scratches with the finish. Some have tried to market this fan as being an oscillating garage fan, but it doesn’t have the mechanism to do so. You can turn this fan in the direction you’d like to have the airflow pointed, however, so there is some flexibility. The fan base rotates and it will tilt on its pivot point as well.
The best garage ceiling fans might not always mount on the ceiling, but that’s okay. What matters the most is that you receive the temperature regulation benefits that your space requires. Each of these fans offers that to you in its own unique way.