Is A Ceiling Fan In The Kitchen A Good Idea? (It Depends On….)

Whether to install a ceiling fan in your kitchen or not depends on several factors about the kitchen itself.

If the kitchen is spacious enough and has a functioning range hood in place, there is no point in adding a ceiling fan.

The main job of a ceiling fan is to move the air in the space and improve ventilation.

Because the range hood takes over the job of expelling kitchen odors, smoke, and grease outside, a ceiling fan would be redundant

Another factor that may influence your decision making is how your kitchen is designed.

There is absolutely no good reason for adding a fan in a large amply-spaced kitchen, more so one with a range hood.

Small kitchens (like those found in manufactured homes),  however, require a fan even if you already have a range hood in place – you just want the two to complement each other and expel as much hot air and smoke as they can to the exterior.

Three Kitchen Ceiling Fan Considerations

Here are the things to consider when deciding whether to add a fan in your kitchen or not:

1. Ceiling height

How high is your ceiling? If the ceiling of your kitchen is considerably low, you probably need a ceiling fan.

Many building codes require the blades of the ceiling fan to blow from at least 7” above the floor.

It should also be installed at least 18” from the closet wall. However, if the height allows, you are free to mount the fan between 8” and 9” above the ground.

Although the effectiveness of the ceiling fan tends to increase with increased ceiling height, large kitchens with ceiling heights over 8” don’t deserve a fan.

Also, if the kitchen is more than 18” in breadth, there is no good reason for mounting one.

2. Ceiling fan vs. Exhaust fan

Whether or not to add a ceiling fan in the kitchen only becomes a dilemma when your mind is fixated on nothing but ceiling fans.

If you look at the ventilation problem at a wider perspective, however, you will realize that there are other fans you can consider besides ceiling fans.

One such type of fan is the exhaust sort which is mounted at the top corners of your kitchen instead of the middle of the ceiling as it’s the case with ceiling fans.

Exhaust fans are more effective in kitchen applications because, unlike the ceiling fans that simply move the air around, they are strategically located close to the corner vents and windows to push the air outside.

While cooking, hot air and smoke tend to rise fastest over the oven and tend to slow down as it approaches the ceiling.

Because the corners of your kitchen are far off from the oven (this depends on the configuration of your kitchen, let’s assume the oven is centrally located but close to the wall), we expect the smoke and hot air to escape towards them because they are regions of low temperature.

Therefore, mounting an exhaust fan would be wiser than opting for ceiling options. An exhaust fan would even be a better option if you added ceiling registers close to the corners.

However, note that installing an exhaust fan on an old home with a ceiling in the region of 12” will cost you about three times the cost of installing the ceiling alternative.

Just because exhaust fans are best situated for the job doesn’t mean ceiling fans would be entirely inappropriate, it just depends on how you set up your kitchen.

Related: Is It Safe To Leave Ceiling Fans On All The Time?

3. Number of blades

Certain types of ceiling fans are more recommended for your kitchen than others. This is where the blade factor gets in the mix.

With all other factors held constant, three-blade fans are better suited for kitchen application than the four or five-blade options.

The reason is just straightforwarda fan with few blades exerts less drag on its motor. This means it can rotate faster and blow more air.

The more blades a fan has, the higher the drag and lower the effectiveness.

You would rather remodel your kitchen with a three-blade fan than any other option with more blades.

So, mounting a ceiling fan in your kitchen would be a perfectly good idea if your kitchen met this criterion:

  1. The ceiling will permit the blades to blow over a distance of 7” from the ceiling
  2. The breadth of your kitchen permits it to blow at a radius of at least 18” between the center of the ceiling and any closet window
  3. You are willing to spend your money on a ceiling fan instead of an exhaust fan
  4. The range hood is not available

If your kitchen met the above criterion, you might want to try out one of these appropriately designed options:

Best Ceiling Fans for The Kitchen (3 Blades vs 4 Blades)

1. Three-bladed options

Hunter Minimus 44 in. Low Profile Integrated LED Indoor Matte Black Ceiling Fan with Light Kit and Remote – Cost: About $200.00

This three-blade ceiling is impressively quiet, thanks to the WhisperWind motor and the fact that it comes with three blades.

No strings or switches, use the remote control to adjust speeds when your hands are busy stirring food.

Hugh 44 in. Integrated LED Indoor/Outdoor Black Ceiling Fan with Light Kit and Remote Control – Cost: About $330.00

This is yet another three-blade remote controlled ceiling fan that is great for your kitchen.

It is mounted flush i.e. directly on the surface of the ceiling instead of hanging on a cord.

It comes with an 18-Watt LED light kit that removes the need for a separate light fixture.

Clarity Max 56 on. LED Indoor/Outdoor Brushed Steel Ceiling Fan with Light Kit – Cost: About $300.00

Another three-blade ceiling that supports up to 4-speeds.

This one too removes the need of installing a light fixture in your kitchen as it comes with a 15-Watt integrated LED downlight.

The best thing is that the blades can tilt to about 12 degrees to produce optimal blows.

Casablanca Commodus 54 in. Integrated LED Low Profile Indoor Noble Bronze Ceiling Fan with Light Kit and Remote Control – Cost: About $340.00

The most likable thing about this three-blade fan is its noble bronze finish that can add the appeal factor in your kitchen.

The 4-speed direct drive motor is reversible and guarantees silent operation.

It comes with a remote that lets you make adjustments as you go about your usual kitchen chores.

It beeps every time you press a key on the remote.

2. Four-bladed options

If your kitchen is large, consider installing one of these:

Home Decorators Collection Dinton 52 in. White Color Changing Integrated LED Matte Black Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan with Light and Remote Control – Cost: About $190.00

Besides coming with a LED module light kit, this four-blade fan lets you select from three color temperatures: soft white, warm white, and daylight. It is fully remote controlled.

The most likable feature is its matte-black modern design. It is one of the most affordable four-blade fans out there perfect for kitchen application.

Home Decorators Collection Dinton 52 in. White Color Changing Integrated LED Matte Brass Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan with Light and Remote Control – Cost: About $160.00

The beautiful gold finish on this four-blade fan can boost the décor and aesthetics of your kitchen.

It is a member of the Dition family of matte-brass fans from the Home Decorators Collection. It is remote controlled and offers three reversible speeds.

Merra 52 in. LED Indoor Brushed Nickel Ceiling Fan with Light Kit and Remote Control – Cost: About $166.00

Another modern four-bladed fan perfect for your kitchen. The steel 4-speed reversible guarantees quiet operation.

A convenient remote has been added to help you control the device from anywhere in the kitchen.

It is probably the cheapest kitchen ceiling fan on this list.

Related: Can You Run an Air Purifier and Ceiling Fan at The Same Time?


To install a ceiling fan in the kitchen or not? You may install the fan in your kitchen under certain circumstances.

You will probably decide against the idea because, if your kitchen often gets smoky because you don’t have a hood range, the smoke particles will damage the ceiling as often as you wish to replace.

Related: Can You Use a Ceiling Fan and Humidifier at The Same Time?

Whether to mount a ceiling fan in the kitchen or not can depend on several factors.

The presence of a functional hood range removes the need of the fan because it gets rid of the smoke particle, grease, and doors. All you need is to open a window and everything and the kitchen will feel comfortable.

Most codes require a fan to be installed at a minimum of 7” from the floor. Also, the fan should be mounted at a radius of 18” from the closet wall.

You should only consider installing the ceiling fan if you are unable to mount an exhaust fan because the latter is the best-suited type for kitchen application.

If you must install the ceiling fan and you’ve confirmed that all the factors at play have been met, you are guaranteed of getting the most out of the device without experiencing setbacks.