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Kitchen Ceiling Fans: Yes or No?

Ceiling fans are common in many rooms of the house, but the kitchen is not generally one of them. Most kitchens are equipped with exhaust fans, which are installed directly in the ceiling above the range, or built into range hoods. These exhaust fans are invisible – either recessed in the ceiling and covered, or hidden within the range hood.

Ceiling fans are decorative and functional, and their use in kitchens can be a practical add-on as well as an aesthetic one. They can help cool the room when the oven and range are generating a lot of heat. And they can quicken the drying of floors after cleaning, which helps ensure that the floor won’t get tracked up before it’s dry.

Many ceiling fans have light fixtures included and this feature is attractive for kitchens that need more light. Tim Carter, of Ask the Builder’s Tim Carter, makes an interesting point for consideration. He says, “If you decide to install a ceiling fan, make sure that you keep recessed fixtures away from it. If a fan blade passes underneath a light fixture, it can create a very annoying stroboscopic light effect. I like to keep recessed light fixtures at least 9 inches away from the edge of any of the fan blades. If you can maintain 12 inches clearance, that is even better.”

If a kitchen is large enough to accommodate a dining area, a ceiling fan can be even more appealing. In this case, the fan should be located away from directly overhead of the dining table, and positioned so that its soft breeze will add comfort without blowing directly on the diners or the food. A dimmer on the lights of the fixture will add even more charm to the kitchen dining experience.

Another word to the wise regarding installing ceiling fans in the kitchen comes from Apartment Therapy, where a contributor tells this story. “We opened up a cabinet to get at a little-used platter… and the fan connected with the cabinet door with a resounding THWACK…and ripped a nice chunk of wood out of the cabinet’s facing. Lesson learned: when considering the path of your ceiling fan, remember to take into account items like cabinet doors that, when closed, are not in your fan’s pathway. While we probably won’t swap out our ceiling fan just yet, we’ll definitely remember to keep that cabinet door closed while it’s in operation. Have you ever installed an item and discovered later that you forgot to take something crucial into account?”

Clearly, ceiling fans in the kitchen have their pros and cons. With these tips in mind, you should have a better idea about whether or not a ceiling fan is appropriate for your kitchen.

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