Although a popular handyman project, installing a ceiling fan can be done by homeowners with a measure of confidence and skill.
Ceiling fans come in a wide variety of styles and colors to match any homeowners interior design wishes. They come with and without lighting and anywhere between three to five blades. Just about every design style and color you can think of can be found at home improvement centers and online.
Ceiling fans are a great way to save money by keeping you cool on summer nights without having to run the air conditioner. Ceiling fans can also assist in moving air conditioned air around a room for efficient cooling. The opposite is true in the winter. Running your fan on low and in reverse speed will bring down the heat that accumulates up in at the ceiling, helping you to feel warmer.
Before you purchase a ceiling fan you’ll need to consider size. You don’t want to overwhelm a smaller room with a ceiling fan that’s too big. It is also important to make sure that the ceiling fan will be able to move enough air to cool off a larger room.
Another consideration before purchasing a ceiling fan is headroom or clearance. least seven feet of clearance is suggested as a safe working height. A home with an 8 foot ceiling would probably use a three inch down rod for a ceiling fan, and a room with a fifteen foot high ceiling would need about a one foot down rod, up to a five foot down rod.
If your going to install a ceiling fan make sure you have the tools and ability to do so. Use safe working habits. This kind of work usually requires the use of a ladder. Falls are a major source of emergence room injuries, so be careful.
Installations differ but the basic steps will be:
If you are replacing an existing fan.
- KILL THE POWER (At the breaker or unplug the cord)
- Remove the existing fan blades by removing the two screws on each blade.
- Remove the decorative cover on the motor or the cover on the swivel ball if your fan has a down rod.
- Disconnect the wires at the wire nuts. If your removing a motor only fan (no down rod) there are two screws that will allow the motor to be removed. There is also a hole in the bracket and a hook on the hanger to hold up the motor while the wires are disconnected.
- Remove the motor or ball assembly and set the old fan aside.
- Remove the bracket that is connected to the electrical box.
- Visually inspect the electrical box. Look for burned areas, water damage or sign of rodent gnawing. Insure that the box is secured in place well.
- Follow the instructions with the new ceiling fan to install.
- Turn the electricity back on.
- Test the fans operational functionality and balance the fan blades, if necessary.
If this is a new installation such as replacing a kitchen, living room, or bedroom light fixture with a fan, there are a few details that should be considered before starting the installation (or perhaps purchasing your fan).
Does this fixture have sufficient power to drive the fan. In the past, when using a blender or vacuum in the room do the lights dim when it is turned on. If so the loads are already to high and a fan should not be installed.
The added weight of this fan must be supported by the electrical box. Is it secure?
After installing the fan will a light kit be attached? Will this leave a safe amount of headroom for the chosen space?
After considering these questions and being satisfied that it is safe to proceed;
- TURN OFF THE POWER.
- Remove the light bulbs.
- Remove the screws that hold the fixture.
- Disconnect the wires at the wire nuts.
- Install the fan according to the enclosed instructions.
If You Need a Ceiling Fan Installed or Handyman
Mark Sutton is a general contractor and home builder working in the Denver area since 1987. His knowledge and experience serve him well as a handyman and home repair specialist. If you need a handyman call today at (303) 847-8647. All work is quoted and approved by you before any work is started and repairs are guaranteed.