How to Install a Ceiling Fan (with Pictures)

Assessing Your Qualifications to Install a Ceiling Fan

You can pick up a ceiling fan kit at most hardware stores, and if you’re comfortable performing all the installation steps, you could save yourself a chunk of change by installing it yourself. But before you make that decision, it’s time for a gut check.

While ceiling fan installation is not overly complicated, it’s a job that typically involves the following:

  • Working with electrical wiring and observing electrical safety
  • Cutting holes in drywall
  • Using an electric drill
  • Standing on a ladder while supporting the full weight of the fan

You should also keep in mind that some installations are easier than others. If you’re replacing an existing ceiling fan or installing one in place of a light fixture, there should be no need for rewiring or cutting new holes in walls. Attic access to the installation site can also make the job much easier. Factors that make a job harder include lack of attic access, high or vaulted ceilings and lack of existing wiring.


Follow the manufacturer’s directions to install the adjustable hanger bar and ceiling box

You install most hanger bars by pushing them thr

You install most hanger bars by pushing them through the hole in the ceiling left by the old electrical box. When you have the hanger bar completely through the hole, rotate it until it’s perpendicular to the ceiling joists. The bar expands until it engages the ceiling joists. The ends of the hanger bar are equipped with sharp steel pins that dig into the wood joists when the hanger bar is expanded. You then attach the special ceiling box to the hanger bar, locking it in place to provide a secure base for the fan.

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Hang the motor

Lift the assembly over the open side of the bracke

Lift the assembly over the open side of the bracket and lower it into place. Rotate the motor until the ball slot locks into place over the tab on the bracket. Your fan will include assembly instructions. Photos 6 – 9 will help you with several key steps.

Step 7: Assemble Your Fan’s Components

Next, we will be assembling your ceiling fan’s components. Working from the floor, feed the wires that extend from the fan’s motor through the center of the canopy before setting the canopy on top of the motor. After doing so, pass the wires through the hollow downrod pipe. Next, thred the downrod pipe into the top of the motor itself before using a wrench to tighten the square-head locking screw found on the side of the pipe.

Connect the light pod and radio receiver

Place the radio receiver into the switch housing/l

Place the radio receiver into the switch housing/light pod assembly and connect the light pod wires according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Note the settings on the receiver’s code toggles so you can dial in the same settings on the electronic controls at the wall switch. Now loosen the screws in the switch-housing hub halfway. Plug the motor ceiling fan wiring into the receptacle on the receiver and twist the switch housing into place on the hub. Retighten the screws.

Step 2: Mount your ceiling fan

Once the old fan or light fixture is removed, the existing wiring from the previous fixture should be poking out of the hole in the ceiling. Install the new fan’s mounting bracket by threading the existing wires through it and using the provided mounting screws to secure it to the electrical box.

For the most efficient operation, your new fan should sit roughly 9 feet above the floor. If your ceiling is vaulted, a downrod will help lower the fan unit. If you’re using a downrod, place the fan’s canopy on the downrod and then thread the fan’s wires through it. Secure it to the fan’s base, or motor housing, with the provided pins and screws. Now is a good time to trim off any excess wire using a wire cutter. Then, attach the downrod to the mounting bracket on the ceiling using the hanger ball on the downrod.

Optimal Sizing, Speed, and Placement

Use this formula to find the best fan size for a room’s occupied space (the part of the room where people gather the most): Occupied space (in square feet) divided by 4 equals the blade span (in inches). Step blade span down a bit for rooms with low ceilings, and go wider if the ceilings are high.

Another good rule of thumb is to remember that blade spans of less than 36 inches are ideal for spaces smaller than 75 square feet, such as baths and breakfast nooks. Spans of 36 to 42 inches work in rooms of up to 225 square feet, like a dining room. Larger living rooms and bedrooms can handle 50- to 54-inch blades.

Make sure that the cubic feet of air that the fan moves per minute (cfm), measured at high speed, is near the top of its class. Some 52-inch fans, for instance, rate as low as 2,050 cfm, while others reach 7,800. High-cfm fans not only provide a better breeze, they usually have robust motors that will last longer and run more quietly.

For optimal performance, the fan should be hung at least 1 1/2 feet from the wall or a sloped ceiling, 7- to 10-feet from the floor, and at least 8 inches from the ceiling. Steer clear of hanging the fan too close to any lights, as rotating blades under a bulb will create an annoying flicker.

Things to Know Ahead of Your Ceiling Fan Installation

  • There must be at least 8-10 inches between the blades of the ceiling fan and the ceiling.
  • You must also maintain an 18 inch clearance between the blades and the walls, or any other obstruction.
  • Ceiling fan blades must be hung at least 7 feet above the floor, and the fan does its best if hung at least 8-9 feet up. 
  • If the ceiling is quite high, or if the fan is being installed on a sloped ceiling, a longer down-rod might be necessary so the blades don’t scrape the ceiling and the fan keeps its efficacy. 

Can I install a ceiling fan where a light fixture is?

One factor to consider when replacing a light fixture with a ceiling fan is that the electrical box for the light fixture may not be built to hold the weight of a ceiling fan. Fans are much heavier than light fixtures, so you’ll likely need to purchase a new electrical box that was designed to anchor a ceiling fan.

Step 4: Affix a New Electrical Box

Once you have successfully removed the existing kit from the ceiling and cut a new hole in order to install your new ceiling fan, it’s time to affix the new electrical box. 

It is important to note that you will need to install a new electrical box that is designed to hold ceiling fans as the electrical boxes used for ceiling lights aren’t sturdy enough to withstand the weight and vibration of a ceiling fan. You can do this by feeding the electrical cable that extends from the ceiling through the hole you have cut. You’ll want to make sure that there is a cable connector attached to the hole. 

Next, set the box into the hole, pressing tightly against the underside of the joist. After that, attach the box to the joist using your ceiling fan’s provided screws. Finally, wrap the cable’s bare copper wire around the grounding screw found inside of the electrical box before allowing the wire end to hang down. 

Stumped? Call in a Professional to Keep You Cool

If you’re in Dallas, you’re in luck. Our professional technicians can take care of your ceiling fan installation while you kick back with an ice cold lemonade. We’ll worry about clearance, height, placement, or weight support. 

All you have to do is book a slot in moments, and our technician can be at your door as soon as the same day.

And of course, all of our parts and labor are covered by our trademark quality guarantee. Save yourself some cash, and some energy, and book your time slot now. 


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