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When you purchase a ceiling paddle fan, do not select a "ceiling-hugger" design unless you have unusually lower ceilings or unusually tall family members. For the best air flow and most efficient use, the fan blades should be a minimum of 12 inches from the ceiling. Most standard non-ceiling-hugger fans that you buy will come with a short downrod to provide the proper clearance.
If you have a room with a high ceiling, purchase a longer downrod so that the blades are about eight to nine feet from the floor. Hardware stores like Sears sell downrods of various lengths. Most fans have a standard thread, so the downrod should attach without problems.