Content of the material
- Before You Begin
- Knock out the old box and install a fan brace
- Step 2: Mount your ceiling fan
- Install a new ceiling fan mounting box: electrical box and a ceiling fan wiring hanger bracket
- Optimal Sizing, Speed, and Placement
- That Was a Breeze
- STEP 1: Select a ceiling fan that suits the size of the room
- STEP 7: Ensure everything is secure, then test the fan
- 1. Powered Ceiling Fan and/or Light Without Any Switches (NoSwitches)
- Can I install a ceiling fan where a light fixture is?
- Thats All, Folks!
Before You Begin
A ceiling fan replaces the existing ceiling light usually located at the center of the room. If you have a ceiling light already, this is a straightforward job. You should be able to work above your head on a ladder for long periods, and you should have basic wiring skills of the level required to install a ceiling light.
Contact your local building department to see if a permit is needed for the ceiling fan installation, for the electrical part of this project, or for both tasks.The 12 Best Ceiling Fans for Every Home
Knock out the old box and install a fan brace
Shut off the power at the main panel and remove the light fixture. Knock the existing electrical box free of the framing with a hammer and a block of wood, then pull the electrical cable free of the old box and through the ceiling hole. Leave the old ceiling fan junction box in the ceiling cavity unless you can easily remove it through the hole.
Tip: Before you blast out the box, bend back the plastic clamps or loosen the metal cable clamps so it’ll be easier to pull the electrical cable free after the box is loosened.
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.
Install a new ceiling fan mounting box: electrical box and a ceiling fan wiring hanger bracket
Feed the existing wire through the cable clamp in the top of the new metal ceiling fan junction box, slip the box over the saddle screws, and tighten the nuts to clamp the box to the shaft with a nut driver or a deep-well socket. Crimp a loop of grounding wire three-quarters around the grounding screw and tighten the screw.
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.
That Was a Breeze
Your ceiling fan is installed and ready to use. (And we’re done subjecting you to horrible puns.)
Now you can enjoy circulating air, energy savings and an attractive addition to your home.
KEEP READING: How to Install a Window AC Unit
STEP 1: Select a ceiling fan that suits the size of the room
When choosing a fan, note the size of your room. The blades need to be at least 18 to 24 inches away from all walls, a minimum of 7 feet from the floor, and 10 inches from the ceiling. Use the following figures as a guide to selecting the right size ceiling fan for your space:
- 36-inch fan if the room is less than 144 square feet
- 42-inch fan if the room is between 144 and 225 square feet
- 52-inch fan if the room is more than 225 square feet
Our researched guide to the best ceiling fans offers terrific fan options at a variety of price points. After selecting the fan, select a ceiling box that’s approved for fans. Boxes for overhead lights are not strong enough to support the weight of a fan; your best bet is to choose a metal box that can support a fan’s weight. If you have access from an attic above or have open ceiling framing, you can add framing between joists to attach the box. If not, use a brace bar. A brace bar can be screwed into the joists, and the ceiling box and fan will hang from the newly added support.
STEP 7: Ensure everything is secure, then test the fan
Do a final check to make certain the fan and its components are secure before turning the power back on at the breaker. Turn on the wall switch, and then slowly test out the fan at its lowest speed to make sure it operates properly.
1. Powered Ceiling Fan and/or Light Without Any Switches (NoSwitches)
We recommend this method when you simply cannot run a switch into the room. It does require that you have the ability to bring power directly to the fan from a nearby location. It’s certainly an acceptable wiring method and the fans all come with pull string switches to control the fans and light kits. Wiring this type of electrical connection looks like this:
As you can see, this simple connection feeds power to both the fan and (optional) light kit. The ground and neutral wires simply get tied together as you’d expect. The power for the fan motor will typically be black, while most modern-day fans also have a separate blue wire that supplies power to the lights. It’s important to connect this wire even if you don’t plan on using a light kit as it gives the homeowner the opportunity to add one later on without having to remove and rewire the fan from above.
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.
Thats All, Folks!
Hopefully, this guide will get you on your way to installing a ceiling fan and making all of the required electrical connections to get it up and running smoothly. A ceiling fan makes a great addition to almost any room. It’s one of the easiest projects to complete and really makes an impact in your home. It can also make you look and feel like a real handyman.
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