A traditional ceiling fan has a long metal rod that attaches the fan motor to the base which is affixed to the ceiling. You really need a fairly high ceiling to carry off this look without your guests feeling closed in above their heads. There is another category of ceiling fans called hugger or low profile which are designed to be hung in shorter ceilings. Hugger ceiling fans may have no metal rod and connect directly into the base. There is a short metal rod option as well. The great news is that these ceiling fans can be installed in shorter height ceilings. The summer heat can be stifling and the costs of energy continue to increase so it may be worth a look at low profile ceiling fans.