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Large Ceiling Fans – Everything You Need to Know

Cooling your space efficiently is something you want done right in order to keep your environment comfortable for yourself and others.  And because of that need for comfort, the large ceiling fan (HVLS fan) is worth a look. The large ceiling fan will not only cool your space, but it will do it right – the first time. Big ceiling fans work in conjunction with your HVAC to cool or heat your space in a more efficient and effective way. They are perfect for large indoor and outdoor spaces. It is important to be informed of all that large ceiling fans have to offer.  So, let’s find out everything you need to know about large ceiling fans.

Large ceiling fan sizes


What sizes are big ceiling fans?

Big ceiling fans come in a variety of BIG sizes. You can find fans ranging anywhere from 8-24 feet in diameter, in comparison to smaller fans, which usually range anywhere from 29-54 inches, the most popular being the 52-inch model. This is a massive difference in size, which leads to a massive difference in performance. 



MacroAir offers a brilliant line of premium HVLS fans. In fact, they are the original inventors of HVLS fans. HVLS fans are built with industrial motors, so they offer extremely reliable and effective air movement at a low velocity to cover a massive amount of cubic feet. As you can see in the picture above, there are a variety of fans. Even though they may look similar, there is actually quite a difference. Let's break it down...

Fan overview (1080 × 540 px)

Direct Drive Fans

There are three direct drive fans in the MacroAir product line. A direct drive fan is a fan that uses a series of magnets to move the rotor without the use of gears. These fans are extremely efficient, ultra-quiet, and cost only pennies per day to run. They are great options for warehouses, shops, commercial spaces, gyms, and restaurants. They work great in indoor and outdoor spaces. 

1. AVDX - The Powerhouse

The AVDX is ideal for large spaces in need of major air movement. With 8-24 foot diameters, one fan effectively covers up to 22,000 sq ft at only $0.16 per hour. Its durability and reliability will enhance comfort year-round.

2. AVD3 - The Showstopper

The AVD3 combines powerful airflow with remarkable energy efficiency. With 8-24 foot diameters, the ultra-quiet AVD3 integrates function and style to deliver major cost savings. One fan covers up to 17,000 sq ft at just $0.05 per hour.

3. AVD370 - The Icon

The sleek AVD370 has got you covered! This fan offers quiet and powerful air movement to enhance both indoor and outdoor areas alike! Available in 6-12 ft, one fan effectively covers up to 4,000 square feet at only $0.05 per hour.

Gear Drive Fans

There are three gear drive fans in the MacroAir product line. A gear drive fan is a fan that uses a series of gears to create major torque at an unbeatable price point. These fans are extremely durable and deliver heavy-duty reliability for even the harshest of environments. They are great options for warehouses, shops, and agricultural applications. 

1. AirVolution - The O.G.

The AirVolution is designed to withstand even the harshest of environments. Sizes range from 8 to 24 ft, cooling up to 20,000 sq ft per fan at just $0.35 per hour. Efficient, reliable, and cost-effective. Includes a 15-year mechanical/7-year electrical warranty for a confident purchase.

2. AirLegacy - The Legend

The AirLegacy fan is designed to endure demanding conditions. It efficiently cools extensive areas of up to 20,000 square feet per fan at a very affordable price point. Operating at just $0.35 per hour on average, it ensures optimal airflow and comes with a 15 year mechanical/5 year electrical warranty.

3. AirLite - The Underdog

The AirLite is a cost-effective fan suitable for any budget. Its plug-and-play design allows easy installation for additional savings. With 8-14 ft diameter options, it's ideal for small and medium-sized barns or rooms. Fan operation is simple, and performance is stellar even in harsh conditions. Includes a 2 year warranty.


To put it simply, BIGGER IS JUST BETTER…and when it comes to big fans, MacroAir’s High Volume Low-Speed fans (HVLS) set the standard, as they invented the large ceiling fan industry. When a ceiling fan is larger, it is able to move air more efficiently. 

The energy efficiency of large commercial ceiling fans versus many smaller fans adds up to major savings. In fact, in as quickly as six months (depending on environmental variables), companies can see a return on the investment of an HVLS fan.

Due to its large size, one HVLS fan can replace several smaller fans. Moreover, an HVLS fan provides a large column of air that can travel a much greater distance than a small fan. Small high-speed fans dissipate air quickly and have more friction between the moving air and stationary air. Therefore, small fans simply can not create the same cooling effect as that of an HVLS fan. 

An average small industrial ceiling fan spins several times faster than a large industrial ceiling fan. MacroAir fans are designed to maneuver high volumes of air at low speeds. Therefore, you require fewer large fans to attain the same air movement and circulation than that of many small fans. In fact, it can take up to 34 small fans to circulate the air that ONE HVLS fan can circulate.

Is a bigger fan better

Number of Blades 

The original large HVLS ceiling fan was designed with ten blades, but over time the number of blades has decreased due to the airfoil design of the blades. This design optimizes the efficiency and performance of the fan. There are currently anywhere from three to six blade profiles on large ceiling fans. 


What size fan should I get

What Ceiling Fan Size is Needed?

In order to find what large ceiling fan works best for your space, you must factor in the size and shape of your facility. Determine the square footage by multiplying the length of the room in feet by the width of the room in feet. The total equals the square footage of your space. For example, if your room is 8’ x 10’, the square footage is 80 square feet. This is just one variable. There are many more items to consider, including ceiling height, ceiling slope (do you have vaulted ceilings?), room layout, and electrical. It is best to contact a sales representative to work with you through the needs. This way you are get exactly what you need. 


Big ceiling fans are generally very quiet in comparison to smaller fans.  Smaller fans can have a noise level of 80 decibels! In contrast, large ceiling fans generally have a noise level between 39-61 decibels depending on the size and fan type. Large ceiling fans often run on quiet, noiseless technology.  MacroAir ceiling fans offer a unique and beneficial direct-drive motor in a number of their fans, which cuts the noise down significantly. Direct-drive motors also weigh much less and have zero liquids like oils, eliminating the potential for a leak from a gearbox. They offer less friction, an overall quieter performance, and very low maintenance. Additionally, HVLS ceiling fans spin at a much slower rate, therefore they are quieter than small high-speed fans. 

Direct Drive motor in HVLS fan

Proper large fan installation also plays a key role in ensuring optimal performance and less noise. It is crucial to follow all guidelines provided by the manufacturer on how to properly install your fan.  Many manufacturers offer professional installation, especially in larger facilities where multiple fans are needed. MacroAir offers a guide to the 5 most common HVLS fan installation mistakes.

Blade Design

Fan blades and blade profiles play a massive role in the amount of air being moved. Fan blades come in a vast variety of shapes and materials. 

First off, materials vary from wood, pressboard, high-end plastic, or extruded aluminum.  The ideal material for an HVLS fan is extruded aluminum, which you can find in MacroAir ceiling fans.  With the vast size of large ceiling fans (6-24 ft), aluminum blades are a perfect choice.  The material is lightweight, corrosion and rust-resistant, and guaranteed not to warp (which is great with hot weather).

Which fan blade design works best

As for blade profile, airfoils represent the difference in HVLS fan engineering versus that of smaller fans. Airfoils (a thicker, rounded leading edge and a thinner trailing edge) produce a rounded column of air that flows down to the floor, then out in all directions. This is very similar to a modern airplane wing. MacroAir Fans is the original developer of the NASA-inspired airfoil blade shape. These specialized airfoils generate more airflow over the entire speed range of a large ceiling fan. Made of anodized extruded aluminum, the blades utilize open-ended airfoil caps to pull in air and cool the motor and electronics. Compared to other blades, airfoil blades require less energy and use less torque for optimal airflow. This makes the motor last longer. In addition, airfoil blades have an anodized finish, which repels dust accumulation and oxidation.  

Large Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Outdoor rated ceiling fan

Source: Nolita Hall, San Diego, CA

Outdoor Usage

With the addition of a large ceiling fan, you can enjoy any outdoor space. Let’s be honest, it is just not fun being uncomfortable whether it’s extreme heat, annoying bugs, or humidity in the air. Outdoor large ceiling fans will enhance your outdoor experiences so that you can enjoy your space. In addition, there are plenty of things to consider when deciding how to choose your large outdoor ceiling fan.  

Outdoor Sizing

The size of the ceiling fan needed for your outdoor area depends on the dimensions and type of outdoor space in which you are looking to place it. When picking an outdoor ceiling fan, remember why you want it! Most people obviously care more about having a fan that will circulate the air efficiently and will cool them off during those hot summer months. With that in mind, for those outdoor spaces, a bigger fan is better. The larger ceiling fan has a larger blade span, which spreads the air across the area much better than a smaller blade is able to do. Plus, you can get away with one BIG fan versus two or more smaller fans for the same space. Moreover, if you are the owner/operator of a commercial space, there are many benefits of outdoor restaurant patio fans. By keeping your customers and employees comfortable, you are ultimately breathing life into your establishment. Now, that is an investment worth making.

Outdoor rated large ceiling fan

What does outdoor rated mean?

Some large ceiling fans are outdoor rated, meaning they are made with outdoor conditions in mind. Unlike indoor fans, outdoor fans must be adaptable to damp and wet areas. They are built with finishes meant to withstand humidity, moisture, and rain while preventing corrosion and rust. MacroAir Fans offers some beautiful options for outdoor-rated fans, including the AVDX, AVD370, and the AVD3. On the contrary, some ceiling fans are only appropriate for indoor use and dry-rated areas. At MacroAir, that includes the AirVolution and the AirLegacy


Most large ceiling fans are made with extruded aluminum. As stated above, this material is resistant to corrosion and will never warp.  And because aluminum is lightweight, there is less stress on the motor, which ultimately provides long life for your fan. Additionally, large ceiling fans, whether indoor or outdoor rated, come with great warranties. 


Large Ceiling fan warranty

Individual manufacturers offer warranties for each specific large ceiling fan. Mechanical and electric warranties often vary between 5-15 years. In fact, some companies even offer lifetime warranties on their fans.  Additionally, there may be an installation warranty, which often varies between 1-3 years, give or take. In addition, MacroAir’s Product Warranties vary from 2-15 years depending on whether we are talking about electrical or mechanical warranties, and they are valid only when a ceiling fan is purchased from MacroAir or from a MacroAir Authorized Dealer. These large fans also must be installed “in compliance with MacroAir’s written installation instructions or by a MacroAir approved installation technician or licensed electrical contractor.”

Warranty limitations differ based on the manufacturer, so it’s important to pay attention to the terms of your large ceiling fan warranty. Improper installation often will void a warranty. This is why it is crucial to follow all installation instructions and requirements when installing your big ceiling fan. In fact, different ceiling applications can prove to be a tricky installation process. You want to be sure to know what you’re getting into before you just hop on a ladder and begin working.  Check with your manufacturer if you are unsure of the process.  Reputable companies offer professional large ceiling fan installation for a fee.      

How can I find the best HVLS fan for my space today?

In closing, when you are trying to find the best way to stay cool and keep your large space comfortable, a large ceiling fan may just do the trick! One BIG ceiling fan versus many small fans is a more efficient way to keep you and your area pleasant and functioning at its best. Why put yourself and your space through the wringer, wasting time and money on smaller, less efficient solutions?  MacroAir Fans offer the ideal solution, with the MOST efficient, MOST technologically advanced large ceiling fans assembled right here in the USA.  MacroAir offers a brand and product you can trust, built by people who genuinely care about the quality of fan they deliver.  When it comes to your large ceiling fan, remember that BIGGER really is BETTER. Life is just too short to be uncomfortable.

To find the fan that works best for your space, click the link below to visit our website.