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We need to install a new ceiling light in the kitchen. We do not have any kind of exhaust fan in the kitchen, and it would be nice to be able to move the air around on the occasion that something gets burned/overcooked.

Additionally, the room is very cold during the winter and too warm in the summer. I'd like to install a ceiling fan with a light fixture. I haven't seen something like this done in any kitchen catalogues or renovation idea boards. When I was speaking with the person in the lighting department of my local home improvement store, I mentioned that I wanted to install a ceiling fan with light in the kitchen. He gave me a weird look, chuckled, and said, "Okay, if you want to do that, the fans are over there." So. A couple of things to note:

  1. We have a gas range, but no range hood.
  2. We do have CO detectors in every room in the basement and on the first floor (where the kitchen is).

Is there any reason not to install a ceiling fan in the kitchen? If so, what is the reason?

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  • We have a 14' ceiling in the kitchen with a ceiling fan on long downrod at about 10'.... It's great!
    – Tyson
    Commented Jan 20, 2018 at 23:39
  • The only problem I could see if you had gas stove top but since there is no vent now you probably have electric and I see no problem with that.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 1:45
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    what exactly do you think the fan will do when you burn something?
    – jsotola
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 8:07
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    My house is a hundred year old craftsman, with oddly shaped rooms. We have a 12 ft ceiling, and installing an exhaust fan would be at least triple the cost of a ceiling fan. @jsotola, I don't expect it to "do" anything more than move the air around, as opposed to putting a fan in the window, as we do now. Burning things doesn't happen very often (it's usually a situation where something didn't get cleaned off of the bottom of the oven, and it starts smoking when we preheat it.)
    – shark
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 17:57
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    Is there a reason you didn't ask the salesperson? That would have been the only way to know fr sure why he gave that particular response. Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 22:18

6 Answers 6

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Is there any reason not to install a ceiling fan in the kitchen? If so, what is that reason?

There's no reason not to. However, here's my anecdotal reason why you shouldn't. I installed a ceiling fan in the kitchen of my house when I moved in. In ten years, I hardly ever used it. It blows things off the counters and throws dust around (and into) your food.

I'm prepping the house for sale and have removed the ceiling fan so that I can install it in the bedroom of my new house where it will be much more useful.

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  • This absolutely makes sense. I'm not sure why this didn't occur to me. Thanks!
    – shark
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 16:06
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It can be done, but the fan blades will need cleaned more often from any smoke/oil/residue from cooking in the kitchen as compared to elsewhere in the house. That may result in increased wear and tear, so you may end up replacing the unit sooner than if it were somewhere else in the house.

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I have one but have to turn it off while actually cooking because it blows heat away from open pans and is enough to change the way food cooks. I think a vertical exhaust fan through a window or over the stove would work better for removing heat and smoke/odors from cooking on the stove top.

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Anecdotal evidence: I have a ceiling fan in my kitchen. A friend has one in hers. We use them. We haven't had any problems doing so.

If you are worried about blowing papers around: Remember that most such fans let you set their speed, and are reversible. But even at full speed we haven't seen this happen often enough to be a problem, unless it's something that is both really light and standing up from the table (a crumpled store receipt, perhaps). And that's with a table directly under the fan.

Time spent in the kitchen varies from household to household. My kitchen flows directly into my dining room, which has a 6'-wide passageway connecting them to the living room. Improving air circulation through that combined space is sometimes quite useful. (And sometimes not, but that's why fans have switches.)

In one of the houses, the fan also has the main lighting for the kitchen. With an 8' ceiling, that can be an obstacle, just as a chandelier in a dining room can be an obstacle. But that isn't a problem if there's a table beneath the fan so people aren't walking through that particular space. Similarly, with a low(ish) ceiling it may be possible for an adult reaching up to put their fingers or something else in the fan's path, but that tends to be startling rather than damaging at these speeds and with a blunt fan edge, and you quickly get trained not to do that.

Yes, like anything else in the kitchen the fan may accumulate some oil and, since fans tend to also accumulate dust, this can eventually become a bit gross. Hauling out a stepladder and cleaning the fan blades once or twice a year with a typical kitchen cleanser solves that.

So yes, there can be minor nuisances, but they're usually not hard to manage or mitigate. If you want a ceiling fan in your kitchen, I'd say there's little reason not to have one other than cost... and I got two of the ceiling fans in my house for free on a neighborhood reuse network when someone else was renovating.

A ceiling fan in the kitchen may not be as useful as one in the living room, or in a bedroom, but it isn't a bad idea.

On the other hand, it really isn't an alternative to a stove hood fan. A hood which blows back into the room settles particles and droplets out of the air so they don't smoke up the kitchen and trigger smoke detectors. A hood which blows to outside does an even better job of removing cooking smoke/steam A room fan may dilute them and blow them away from the cook but if anything may make the smoke detector problem worse by distributing fumes farther. Use the device that addresses your actual needs; it isn't unreasonable to install both.

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Ive had a ceiling fan in my kitchen for years. Like any fan you get the right size for the room. I have never had problems with blowing dust or cooling food, nor any of the “problems” mentioned. Yes you have to clean them occasionally as any fan or light fixture. They help keep the smoke clear if something burns, help dissipate the extra heat. Theres more pros than cons by far.

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There's really no practical reason to install a ceiling fan in the kitchen, but plenty of reasons why you shouldn't. First of all, it's going to blow things off the counters, blow dust into your food, cool food that you are trying to cook, require more cleaning from grease and oil buildup, get dust everywhere in the kitchen when you do clean it, they tend to hang a little lower so it may be an obstruction, a person doesn't spend enough time in the kitchen to really benefit from the expense and labor of installing one versus putting one in a living room where you spend a significant amount of time or a bedroom... The list goes on. If temperature is too warm in the kitchen, maybe adding a window unit or mini split air conditioner would be a good solution because this would also move fresh air into the room if it did become smokey or have odors for some reason. An exhaust fan over the range would be an even better idea.

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  • This seems to duplicate comments already made...?
    – keshlam
    Commented Feb 3, 2023 at 10:14
  • Welcome to Stack Exchange. Your answer is under risk of deletion so please provide some additional information or experience to add to this instead of the basic mimic of the information already here.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Feb 3, 2023 at 18:32

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