Installing a ceiling fan is a DIY project if you have some knowledge of electrical wiring. If you're unsure, consult or hire a professional.

What to look for

Ceiling fans usually have a direct-drive motor or a friction-drive motor. Direct-drive models have fewer moving parts, run more quietly and working more efficiently than friction-drive.

They're also more expensive, but the added comfort and quiet is worth the extra cost. Both types usually offer one to three fan speeds, and operate with pull-chains or wall switches, or a combination of both.

The more money you spend, the more features you get, including decorative wood blades, variable-speed motors, remote controls and dimmable lights.

A ceiling fan with a 36- or 38-inch blade span is adequate for a room measuring 10x10 feet or less. For larger rooms, look for a 48-, 52- or 54-inch diameter fan.

Fans should be installed at least seven feet above the floor. If you have lower ceilings, look for a "ceiling hugger" instead of a "down-mount" model.

Do it yourself or hire a pro?

If you're replacing an existing ceiling fan with a new model, you can do it yourself if you have previous experience with wiring.

If you're installing a ceiling fan from scratch or the room isn't wired for one, call a certified electrician or home handyman to do it for you.