No longer do you have to choose between comfort and design when it comes to your home. Once thought of as purely utilitarian, today’s ceiling fans offer sophisticated styling, designer finishes and glamorous accents.

According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), ceiling fans are a unique home cooling option, as they blend aspects of both form and function to improve comfort while enhancing home décor. Indeed, there are many ceiling fan models available that can serve as an eclectic centerpiece for any room, without sacrificing cooling air movement.

Modern features, such as single-blade fans, allow homeowners to get the necessary performance while having an array of style options that can be seamlessly entwined with their home’s interior design. Whether modern with clean lines and minimal ornamentation, traditional with classic features, or something in between, the newest and most popular fans on the market today include the latest technology capable of moving the maximum amount of air around a room.

“The better fans are quieter, more efficient and have better airflow, and are offered in the most on-trend finishes,” says Sean Lavin, chief design officer for Generation Brands, parent company of Monte Carlo Fan Co. “Most popular with consumers are hugger fans, which are mounted close to the ceiling, as eight-foot ceilings become more of the standard ceiling height. Also, as consumers continue to learn about the light performance and energy benefits of LED lamping, they’re looking for fans that use LEDs.”

“Whether a fan is very simple or more ornamental, the consumer is looking for fans that are able to provide comfort by moving air,” adds Joe Rey-Barreau, education consultant for ALA and an associate professor at the University of Kentucky’s School of Interior Design. “The functionality of a fan is not affected by its style, although there are other factors that must be considered in terms of a fan’s ability to move air.”

Room size is key to selecting the right size ceiling fan. An ALA-trained professional can determine the perfect size fan to move the maximum amount air in a particular space. Also important is the type of light needed on a fan to enhance a room’s activity or ambience.

In addition to offering a wide array of choices for your aesthetic tastes, ceiling fans provide significant energy savings. Nathan Frampton, president of Fanimation, says “Ceiling fans use less power to deliver a localized wind chill effect, allowing you to turn your thermostat up while remaining cool.”

In fact, running a ceiling fan can reduce how cool you feel by as much as eight degrees. Conversely, in the wintertime, a ceiling fan can be reversed to move warm air downward, making you feel warmer.

The bottom line is ceiling fans save energy and provide comfort without sacrificing style. There are literally hundreds of ceiling fan styles with many different blade materials and light fixture designs and colors. To find the perfect ceiling fan for your home, talk to a professional at an ALA-member retailer or visit

Photo by Monte Carlo Fans