Ceiling Fan Installation: 8 Steps to Cool

Ceiling fans are becoming more popular as homeowners realize the benefits of energy saving throughout the year. Ceiling fans cool the room with cooling breezes in summer. This reduces the need for air conditioners. They circulate heated air in winter to heat the room.

Ceiling fan installation is easy, especially if you have access to the attic. Even if the space above is not accessible from an attic, it’s still possible to do the job. This article will show you how to replace an outdated light fixture with a ceiling fan and light in a room without an attic. This approach has the advantage that it doesn’t require new wiring. The fan is connected to the existing cable from the old light.

But, it is not possible to hang the fan from an existing electrical box. It is simply not strong enough for the fan’s added vibration and weight. If you cannot access the ceiling fan from the top, either use a fan-rated box and hanger to mount it between ceiling joists, or screw a thin fan-rated pancake box directly to a ceiling joint.

Optimal Size, Speed, Placement

This formula will help you determine the right fan size for your room’s occupied area (where people gather most). Occupied space is divided by four to get the blade span (ininches). For rooms with low ceilings, you can reduce the blade span a little and go larger if they are higher.

A good rule of thumb is to remember blade spans less than 36 inches are best for spaces smaller 75 square feet such as bathrooms and breakfast nooks. For rooms up to 225 sq. feet like a dining area, spans between 36 and 42 inches are suitable. For larger rooms, such as bedrooms and living rooms, 50- to 54 inch blades are possible.

You should ensure that the fan’s cubic feet per minute (cfm) is at the top of its class. For example, 52-inch fans can run at 2,050 cfm while others go up to 7,800. Fans with high cfm ratings not only deliver a cooler breeze but also have more powerful motors that last longer and are quieter.

For optimal performance, the fan should be at least 1 1/2ft from a sloped ceiling or wall, 7-10ft from the floor, and 8 inches from the ceiling. Avoid hanging the fan too close or you will get annoying flickering.

How to Install a Ceiling fan

  1. Take out the existing light fixture
  • Turn off electricity to the circuit and remove the globe or glass shade from the old light fixture.
  • Remove the screws or retaining nuts that attach the fixture to the ceiling.
  • Lower the fixture, and then disconnect the wires. Twist the connectors off the wire ends.

Take out the box and make a new hole

  • The old electrical box should be removed from the ceiling. You can remove the old electrical box from the ceiling if it is nailed to a beam. You may need to remove a metal plate from the box to free it from the bar. Then, pry the bar off the joists.
  • Place a half-inch thick pancake box against the ceiling. Center it on a joist and then trace around it using a pencil.
  • Use a drywall saw to cut along the line.

Tip : To catch dust, place a vacuum cleaner wand near the saw.

Attach a New Electrical Box

  • The pancake box has a knockout hole that allows you to feed the cable from the ceiling into the pancake box. Make sure that the pancake box has a connector for your cable.
  • Place the box in the hole made through the ceiling. Press it against the underside the joist.
  • Attach the box to the joist using the two 1 1/2-inch No. Ten hex-head screws are provided. Use a drill/driver with a tip for a 5/16-inch-sized nut-driver to drive the screws in.
  • The cable’s copper wire should be wrapped around the box’s grounding screw. Let the wire hang down.

Glue the Ceiling Medallion

  • Use a tiny amount of urethane-based adhesive on the back of your ceiling medallion.
  • Pass the wires over the medallion (above).
  • Place the medallion in the center of the pancake box. Attach it to the joist with four 6d finishing nails.
  • Fill the nailheads with spackle or caulk.

Mount the Ceiling Plate

  • The fan’s metal ceiling plate should be held up to the pancake container. Pull the wires through the center hole.
  • Two 1-1/2-inch-long 10-32 machine screws will be used to attach the ceiling plate to your box.

Tip : Paint the medallion before you install the ceiling plate.

Assemble the fan components

  • Place the fan on the ground and feed the wires from the motor through the middle of the canopy. Place the canopy over the motor.
  • Next, run the wires through the hollow-rod pipe.
  • The down-rod pipe should be threaded into the motor’s top. Use a wrench to tighten the square head locking screw at the pipe’s side.

Tip: Pipe threads are coated with a factory-applied coating. This coating is necessary to prevent the pipe from coming apart.

Make the Wire Connections

  • Attach one side of the canopy to the ceiling plate.
  • Use twist-on connectors to join the green wires to the copper wire from the cable. Consult a licensed electrician if your room is wired differently than the one shown.
  • Join the two wires of white.
  • Connect the black wires.
  • Place the fan against the medallion and secure it using the two canopy screws.

Attach the Lights and Blades

  • Attach each blade to a bracket (that holds the blade to your fan) Next, attach the blade irons with the provided screws to the motor.
  • Connect the light-fixture housing to the wire that hangs from the motor’s underside.
  • Install the shades or lightbulbs.
  • Attach the plastic holder to the wall next to the wall switch.

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