Can You Put a Ceiling Fan in the Kitchen? (It’s a Great Idea!)

Last Updated on March 6, 2023 by Barry Gray

ceiling fan in the kitchen

There’s no doubt that ceiling fans can prove to be highly useful in a number of homes. However, we tend to see them in certain rooms, and I think it’s fair to say that, for some people at least, the kitchen is not the first room that immediately springs to mind.

But here’s the good news. You can easily put a ceiling fan in the kitchen. Actually, it’s something I would certainly advise in a number of situations where it would be crazy not to have one. A ceiling fan will change moisture levels and also keep you feeling cooler, and who wouldn’t want that to happen?

Now, I know your immediate answer is probably going to be that there are no issues or problems in doing so, and before I looked into all of this, I would have agreed. But then, it got me thinking about the size of the fan and even the size of the room to see if this is a solution that is even worth doing in the first place. Will it even help with heat or humidity in the room?

So, that’s what I’m going to check out over the course of the next few minutes. Not only will I think about whether or not it’s possible, but also what else you need to know about potentially installing a ceiling fan in the kitchen to ensure everything is as safe as possible.

So, Can You Install a Ceiling Fan in the Kitchen?

wooden ceiling kitchen fan

The quick answer is a rather unsurprising yes. Many people do have some form of ceiling fan in their kitchen, but as I alluded to earlier, this is not the complete answer to the question.

Instead, you must take several things into consideration with installing a ceiling fan in any room, and not just the kitchen. So, I’m going to take you through the different things you must contemplate before you go ahead and start buying a brand new fan to install in your kitchen.

But seriously, so many people have already taken this step, and there’s no reason why you cannot also be one of them. 

How Much Does it Cost?

This is a difficult question to answer simply because there are so many variables to think about. For example, a fan’s brand can considerably change the price. The size you can use in your kitchen may vary from under 30 inches for the blades to a fan that is more than double that size.

As you can imagine, that part will also change the price by a considerable amount. Then you have the installation cost. Again, this isn’t easy to predict. You may need to have a power supply installed to even get the fan running in the first place, and that all costs money.

And yet, here’s a key point. I would spend time weighing up the pros and cons of installing a fan in your kitchen before I even started to think about the cost involved. 

Is it a Good Idea?

ceiling fan in the kitchen

But before I do that, is it even a good idea? Well, that depends, but look at it this way: your kitchen will, at times, be one of the hottest rooms in the house when cooking. So, it then makes sense to have a ceiling fan to help you out when it comes to that often drastic change in temperature.

Also, many feel a ceiling fan will help push those smells out of the air thanks to the improved circulation. How often do you cook something, and you think you can still smell exactly what it was a few hours later? That’s all to do with what is effectively stale air, and having stale air in your home is also not a good idea.

When you think of those two reasons as to why it’s a good idea, then it makes sense why you may want to consider installing one.

But here’s my opinion. 

If you cook regularly and you also live in a warm climate, then installing some sort of ceiling fan is an excellent idea. If neither of those things really apply to you, then it may be a potential project that you put more on the back burner and focus on other areas instead.

Also, I’m not even talking about you installing some gigantic fan as you may have in other rooms. Often, there’s no real need for that unless you have a particularly large kitchen where you really need to move the air around. 

At Times, It May Be Essential

ceiling fan with drop down lights

Some kitchens were poorly designed, and I’m not talking about the cabinets you may have installed. Instead, I’m talking about that ventilation issue, even to the point where there’s not even an adequate window you can open up wide to allow air to move.

Think about this for a second. You cook using heat, and that can lead to all sorts of issues with condensation. Having condensation that is not then dealt with can potentially lead to various structural problems you just don’t want to deal with.

In this type of instance, which is more common than you realize, a ceiling fan can make a huge difference. It will disperse the heat and keep the overall temperature of the room at a better level, and the way the air circulates is another huge deal. 

Potential Problems

Look, I’m not going to sit here and say it’s all plain sailing when you install a ceiling fan here. It does come with its own share of issues, and being aware of them in advance of completing the installation makes sense.

You will know that ceiling fans do a fantastic job of collecting dust. It would be best if you dust them regularly to try to stop a potential problem from developing. Yet, that’s not your biggest concern.

The biggest issue is tiny particles of fat and oil that go up into the air and manage to settle on pretty much any surface you imagine. That means you need to actually get up there to the fan and wipe the blades regularly. If you don’t, the blades will become sticky, and it will quickly become a horrible mess. However, don’t worry as you can also paint the blades to make them look completely new if things get bad.

And yet, even though those are two issues you need to contend with, I feel it’s still not worth turning your back on the idea of installing a ceiling fan in the first place. 

However, I do have several other points to mention regarding the potential problem of installing a ceiling fan that I’d like to mention. Sadly, it will not be plain sailing, unlike other projects you may have undertaken in the past. 

The Installation

The installation aspect may not be straightforward, and that will prove to be a problem. You must have power wired through your ceiling to install it. At times, this may involve you effectively pulling the power from elsewhere.

Yet, if you feel stressed or worried about this, then hire a professional. They should have no problem installing a ceiling fan in your home.

Personally, I find this type of project to be quite cumbersome. Anything electrical does require some real expertise to ensure it doesn’t go wrong, so don’t feel bad about hiring someone to do it for you. 

Is Your Kitchen Tall Enough?

kitchen dining fan options

Another thing to consider is whether your kitchen is tall enough for a fan. Typically, you need to have a minimum of seven feet of clearance over your head, and some places almost insist it’s closer to eight feet. It’s just too dangerous to have it any closer, so double-check the height issue before you do anything else.

This is a point people will sometimes overlook. Clearly, people understand you need clearance space, but most are unaware that it needs to be at least seven feet. That applies no matter the type of fan you install or the size of the blades. Also, keep in mind that the fan will not sit flush against the ceiling either. Instead, there will be a certain amount of dropping down to allow the fan motor and blades to sit there and work the way they need to.

In other words, don’t just measure to the ceiling and think it’s okay. If that ceiling to head height measurement is close to seven feet, then your ceiling may not be tall enough to accommodate a fan. 

Their Reach is Problematic

This issue is not purely in the kitchen. Instead, it’s more of a fan problem in general. 

With a fan, they work exceptionally well when you are right in their path but move away from them slightly, and they lose their power. Now, I know this is not something that will stop you from adding a fan to your kitchen, but it’s important to think carefully about the size of the blades to get the maximum impact.

But you will find that I have a size guide regarding blade length below to make life easier for you. 

How to Choose the Correct Ceiling Fan

small ceiling fan

So, I’ve told you how it is possible to install a ceiling fan in the kitchen and that it may be one of the best decisions you have ever made. However, you also need to be aware of the type of fan you should install, along with various other points to consider.

Also, you may already have a ceiling fan but it has been there for decades. So knowing if it’s time to replace it is also important.

So, let me go through everything you need to know in order to make the correct decision at the first time of asking. It’s going to be easier than you think.

Check for Space

The first thing is to check for space. I know it may be tempting to go for the biggest and best fan you have set eyes on, but that’s not always the correct thing to do. 

Instead, this is what you must do to avoid making a mistake.

Look at where the fan will be installed. Get yourself up to the ceiling, and then measure how far you are away from cabinets or any other fixtures or fittings. It’s important you understand the available clearance space since you hardly want the blades to crash into anything as soon as you switch it on.

But you do not want your measurements to be tight and to the point where you are effectively squeezing in the fan. You need the blade length running from the heart of the fan and then some additional space after that to ensure the fan can rotate freely and without any problems. 

I know this sounds like a primary step, but it’s surprising how often people will simply forget about the space aspect and focus entirely on the type of fan they want. It could be a disaster, not only in a small kitchen. At times, placement can be determined by other things, so even large kitchens with what appears to be a lot of space can result in a problem.

A Size Guide

But when talking about the size of the fan, what do I mean? Here’s a simple guide on the kind of the size of fan you need depending on the size of your kitchen.

  • Up to 75 feet – blades of up to 36 inches
  • Up to 144 feet – blades of up to 44 inches
  • Up to 224 square feet – blades of up to 50 inches
  • Up to 400 square feet – blades of up to 54 inches
  • Over 400 square feet – two fans of up to 54 inches

As you can see, that’s some real variation in size in both the kitchen and the fan. However, it does let you see what you need to contend with when selecting a ceiling fan for your kitchen.

Of course, these different sizes then relate to the area that will then be covered by the fan. Yet, it doesn’t always relate to the airflow aspect, which is something I will cover shortly. 

Select the Type of Fan

Aside from the size, you also need to think about the type of fan you want, and I’m talking more about two different options regarding the blades.

You have either a traditional fan, which everyone knows and also one with retractable blades. I do feel the retractable blades version can be pretty cool, and I would certainly not rule out using it at any point.

For me, if you prefer a clean look in your home, then a fan with retractable blades will work well. When the fan is not in use, the blades are hidden away, giving a far cleaner appearance. You can see how people with more of a minimalist approach to home decor would prefer this option compared to the traditional fan with the blades on display 24/7.

But it’s worth noting that both options do come in a range of sizes, so that part is not the issue. Instead, the design is key.

Yet, here’s one point I mentioned earlier that may influence the type of fan you choose: Dust and oil.

I stated how they will gather on the blades, and it makes sense that a traditional fan has to contend with that even when the fan itself is not in use. At least a fan with retractable blades will not have the same level of dust or oil on the blades. Clearly, it will still happen, but it should make cleaning everything that bit easier. 


Aside from the design, it would help if you also thought about the maximum airflow that comes from the fan. When looking at the stats for the model you are thinking about purchasing, the airflow will tell you the maximum output from the fan. Clearly, the higher the number, the better the ventilation.

However, it’s not always best to simply opt for the fan with the highest figures. Is it even necessary for you to have a fan with a high airflow number when you only have a small kitchen? It’s all relative to the size aspect, and that’s something you need to contemplate before you spend any money on a fan.

I would certainly recommend contacting the manufacturer if you have any concerns regarding the airflow and your kitchen. Tell them the size of the space, and they will help you make the correct decision regarding the perfect fan for your kitchen. 

Also, check if you can change the direction of the blades. It will make a difference with how it works, and also how it can change the temperature in the room.

How is it Powered?

When talking about how it’s powered, I mean more as to whether it’s AC or DC power. In my opinion, I would opt for DC, if possible, and that’s because fans that run on DC tend to be quieter than the alternative.

I know some people don’t mind the noise a fan will make when in operation, but if it’s the sort of noise that can annoy you, then there’s no reason for you to be stuck listening to it whirring away above your head while working in the kitchen.

But is it Expensive to Run?

electricity meter at home

With people being worried about the cost of living and energy bills around the world, you may be concerned that running a ceiling fan will increase those costs to such an extent you may feel you should never even run it. Well, a modern ceiling fan does not have to cost as much as you think.

But here’s an important point to consider. A ceiling fan uses less energy than an air conditioning unit. Actually, the difference is huge.

And here’s the best part. It freshens up the room, and it does so without burning a hole in your pocket. However, I do admit that modern fans are far superior to their older equivalents as their efficiency is through the roof while their power needs are drastically reduced compared to what they used to be.

So, if you are worried about the costs, then don’t be. It’s hardly going to be the case you have the fan on regularly anyway. 

Would I Install a Ceiling Fan?

With all of the above points being taken into consideration, would I then go ahead and install a ceiling fan? 

My answer to this question would be yes, but only if the clearance height was adequate for a ceiling fan in the first place. I just have the opinion that anything capable of improving ventilation in a room where moving air around is key should be something you look at.

I also see a ceiling fan as a good investment. I feel its ability to help with the temperature in the room and, in turn, reduce condensation could prevent issues from developing in the future. I know cleaning the blades can be problematic, but then that’s where a version with retractable blades could prove helpful.

But I would hire a professional who deals with this type of thing regularly rather than installing it yourself. The only way I would recommend you do this is if you have either experience of doing so or absolute confidence in what you are doing.

Anything else is just too risky, and it’s not worth taking chances. 

The Pros of a Ceiling Fan

To help you really sum things up, let’s run through the pros of installing a ceiling fan in the kitchen.

  • It will help to move stale air around the room rather than being stagnant
  • It improves ventilation as a direct result
  • It can help disperse cooking smells thanks to the movement of air
  • It will help cool the room when in a warmer climate
  • It’s less expensive to run than you imagine
  • Modern fans are quieter when you choose a DC version

The Cons of a Ceiling Fan

To be fair, I also see several negatives associated with installing a ceiling fan.

  • You need a certain amount of clearance space to have one installed
  • You need to get the correct size of blade for it to be effective
  • It can be challenging to install, so you may require a professional
  • Oil and dust will gather on the blades, so cleaning is essential

Overall though, I would say the pros do outweigh the cons, so it’s ultimately going to be your decision. 

Overall Conclusion

Putting a ceiling fan in the kitchen is indeed possible, but you need to think about not only the size of the fan but also the size of your kitchen. It’s not going to be possible to install the type of fan you want according to the space you have available.

However, there’s a whole lot more to think about before you install a fan. To help you out, here are some articles that will explain different aspects of a ceiling fan and help you with your decision.

Does a ceiling fan help with heat?

Will a ceiling fan keep you cool?

Photo of author

Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.