How to Install a Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans provide air circulation that keeps your home cooler while reducing your energy bills, so living in North Carolina, they’re basically a must-have feature. If you want to install or change out your existing fan, it can be a bit more challenging than you may realize, so we’re sharing a step-by-step guide to how to install a ceiling fan safely.

Choosing the Right Ceiling Fan

First, you need to make sure you’re choosing the right fan for the space so you get the proper airflow and aesthetic appeal. First, choose the right size by finding the room’s square footage by multiplying the length of the room by the width (a 12 x 14-foot room would be 168 square feet).

  • Less than 75 square feet – Choose a fan blade width less than 36 inches wide;
  • 75-200 square feet – 36″ – 42″ fan
  • 200+ square feet – 50″ – 54″ fan

Also, the amount of airflow the fan moves, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) plays an important role. Choose a fan with a higher CFM for its class to ensure improved efficiency, optimal cooling, and quieter operation.

Selecting Where to Install a Ceiling Fan

With your fan selected, now you need to know where you will put it. If you have an existing fixture you’re replacing, this is probably ideal, but you’ll want to consider a few factors to ensure safety and performance.

  • Place the fan so the blades are a minimum of 7 feet above the floor, or 8-9 feet for optimal performance.
  • Ensure the blades are at least 8 to 10 inches below the ceiling;
  • Measure for at least 18 inches of clearance from the edge of the fan blade to any walls, door frames, cabinets, posts, or pillars;
  • If you have can lights or other ceiling light fixtures, make sure the blades won’t be below them as it can cause a continual flickering.

When you have a place in mind, check the ceiling to make sure it’s in excellent condition with no damage.

Removing an Existing Fixture

Before you do anything with the ceiling fan, make sure you turn off the electricity to it at the fuse box or circuit breaker box, then check to make sure it’s disconnected at the ceiling fan with a circuit tester (inexpensive and available at every home improvement store). After this, make sure the wall switches are in the OFF position.

Now that it’s safe, remove the mounting nut and screws so you can take the old fan or light down to disconnect the wires. You may need to install a support bracket and new electrical box if your new fan is heavier than the previous one, you’re transitioning from a light to a ceiling fan, or the box is old and you’re unsure if it’s suitable for the new fixture.

Installing Your New Ceiling Fan

With the old fan down, the proper support in place, and an electrical box installed if necessary, you’re ready to install a ceiling fan, starting with the mounting bracket. Most fans do come with one, but if yours didn’t, you can buy one at the home improvement store. Secure it to the electrical box as directed by the manufacturer’s guidelines.

To connect the ceiling fan wiring:

  • Thread the wires from the motor down through the housing, trim wring, and canopy. If there’s a downrod, run them into the downrod ball, keeping them on one side of the pin.
  • Attach the top housing, trim ring, and canopy to the fan motor. Insert the downrod, if applicable, into the collar on the fan motor.
  • Cut and strip the wires;
  • Your mounting bracket may have a hook or hanger ball, making installation much easier. Otherwise, have a buddy hold the fan while you continue installation.
  • Use wire connectors to connect the wires, taking care to follow the directions that came with the fan. Make sure there are no bare wires or wire filaments outside the wire connector with the exception of the ground wire, which should be bare or green. Secure the connectors with electrical tape.
  • Tuck the wires into the electrical box, keeping green and white wires on one side and black on the other.

With the fan properly wired, you can then attach the canopy to the mounting bracket using the screws that came with the fan. After that, attach the ceiling fan blades. Start all screws, then go around and tighten them.

To avoid wobbling, balance the fan by tightening the screws that secure the blades to the brackets or ensure the box is properly secured to the ceiling joist.

Call Us for Ceiling Fan Installation in Durham Today

Instead of spending hours on a ladder trying a DIY project, call the experienced electrical contractors at MSS-Ortiz for ceiling fan installation in Durham. We can have your new fan installed quickly, safely, and correctly, saving you time and stress. Call us today at  (919) 382-0832 for a quote or to schedule service, or fill out the contact form below to get started.

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