Installing a ceiling fan is a great idea with massive immediate benefits for any homeowner. The increased popularity of ceiling fans in terms of the number of purchases and customer enquires is a testament to their value.
One of the greatest benefits of installing a ceiling fan is that it reduces your energy consumption cost while at the same time reducing the strain on your air-conditioning system thereby boosting its lifespan considerably. Another huge plus of installing a ceiling fan is that it doubles up as a room coolant during summer by creating cooling breezes and warms the room during cold seasons such as winter by circulating heated air in the room.
However, installing a ceiling fan raises concerns for almost every first-time owner simply because it seems like a formidable task. The good news is that it is not true, installing a ceiling fan is really easy and anyone with the right instructions can get it up and running in a few hours.
Here is a detailed instruction with easy to follow the instruction that will ensure installing a ceiling fan is a smooth and easy experience.
Safety Precautions to Ensure Personal Safety when Installing a Ceiling Fan
Before starting your ceiling fan installation procedure, it is crucial to take a step back and ensure your personal safety, here is what to consider:
• Ensure that electricity is disconnected from your home by switching it off at the circuit breaker box.
• Double check your electrical wire color codes and connections.
• Ensure you have the right tools and equipment.
Having the right tools and equipment not only ensures your safety but also guarantees faster and efficient finishing. Here are the basic tools you will need for the job:
Use a stepper ladder to reach your celling and ensure it is firmly on the floor.
II. Voltage Tester
It is important that you ensure that there is no electricity running through the fixture. Place the two leads of the voltage tester on the ground and live wire and ensure that there is no electricity running through the wires.
III. Safety Glasses
Wearing safety glasses protects your eyes from the dust and debris that might be falling off from your celling as you’re installing the ceiling fan.
IV. Screwdriver kit
Having a screwdriver kit is going to come in handy when installing your ceiling fan simply because most light fixtures are held in place using screws. Having a screwdriver kit ensures that you have the right type of screwdriver.
• Ensure that you check for any electrical precautions and safety tips in the user manual of the ceiling fan you want to install.
If you are confident that you have taken all the safety precautions then you are ready to begin installing your ceiling fan.
How to Install a Ceiling Fan?
1. Remove the Previous Light Fixture
i. Use your stepper ladder to access the light fixture.
ii. Firmly hold the light fixture with one hand as you unscrew it from the ceiling.
iii. Get someone to help you hold the light fixture if you’re unable to scree it with one hand or the screws are too tightly screwed in and require both hands.
iv. Safely store the screws for future use.
v. Gently lower the light fixture and take a look at the wire connectors.
vi. Disconnect the wires from the light fixture.
vii. Store the disconnected light fixture away from your working area.
2. Replace the Previous Junction Box
i. Unscrew the old electrical junction box from the ceiling.
ii. If nailed in, use a flat bar to pry it free.
3. Install the New Junction Box
i. Check for a long piece of wood directly above the hole once you remove your previous junction box. Use a light source if dark.
ii. If you can’t locate the piece of wood, check for two separate joints across the hole.
iii. Locate the studs on your celling. This can be easily done with a stud finder.
iv. If you locate the wooden joist then you can easily purchase a screw-in fan box.
v. If your fan box is larger than your ceiling box, hold the fan box on the hole and use a pencil to trace the dimensions on your new fan box.
vi. Cut on the traced line with a drywall saw and fit the fan box.
vii. Be careful not to cut excess ceiling walls.
viii. Once your fan box is firmly screwed in, thread the electrical wires through it’s center hole.
ix. Check if for a cable clamp, used to hold the wires in place, on your fan box. Firmly screw in the cable clamp.
4. Mount the Ceiling Bracket.
i. Hold the Ceiling Bracket on top of the fan box and thread the electrical cables through its center hole.
ii. Screw-in the ceiling bracket plate on the ceiling joist.
iii. Ceiling brackets have different installation methods, ensure that you carefully follow the manufactures instructions to ensure that you install it correctly.
iv. Feel free to add any decorative attachments to surround the fitting.
5. Assemble the Ceiling Fan Components
i. Look for a long rod on your ceiling fan kit. This is the down-rod used to distance the fan from the ceiling.
ii. Using the manufactures instructions or the user manual, keep the rest of the fan body on the floor and attach the down-rod to it
iii. Thread the fan cables through it.
iv. Tightly screw in the down-rod on the fan body. Check for locking screws that come with your fan kit.
6. Mount the Fan
i. Ask someone for a hand to lift the fan assembly towards the ceiling.
ii. Once you are sure about your electrical wire color codes, connect the wires. The neutral wires usually have a white, green, or brown insulation.
iii. Keep in mind that wiring schemes are different depending on different ceiling fan manufacturers. Check your user manual for more details about your ceiling fan kit.
iv. Insulate the connection of the wires and ensure they do not touch. You can use an insulating tape for this.
v. Enclose the wires into the fan box once you are done with the wiring.
vi. Attach the canopy of the fan over the fan box so as to cover the wiring socket by firmly screwing it in.
7. Attach the Fan Blades
i. Most fan blades are attached to the fan motor so check for screw slots and fit the fan blades one after the other and ensure you tightly screw them in.
8. Connect the light fixtures
ii. If your fan kit has light fixtures, use the user manual to connect the wires.
iii. Ensure you secure the naked connections with insulating tape.
9. Turn On the Power
Once your certain everything is correctly wired up and firmly fixed you can turn back the power and switch the fan kit on. Let it run for a while as you inspect for any loose connections and make sure everything is working as it should.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Ceiling Fan?
The cost of installing a fan varies according to the complexity of the job. The complexity of the job depends on a number of factors including:
i. Without existing wire
Electrical requirement s of the type of fan you are installing boosts the overall complexity of the job thereby increasing the cost. Some ceiling fans require installing a new circuit to prevent circuit overloading, which will end up costing more compared to installing a ceiling fan that does not require a new circuit. Ceiling fans with added light fixtures usually require a new circuit. Installing everything from scratch will cost you around $250 – $500.
ii. With existing wire
If you are going to be installing a ceiling fan where there is an existing wire, that is assuming that you are installing the fan where a light fixture was, then you do not need the extra wiring and electrical components such as the switches, simply because they are already installed. This will result in a lower installation cost and might end up costing about $200.
How to Install a Ceiling Fan Where No Fixture Exists
- The first step is ensuring that you find a continuous power source. Check for a closely available switch.
- When installing a new switch for the fan, ensure that you go against the direction of the studs.
- Ensure that you do not cut too deep into the wall to avoid destroying other things that might be connected to the wall.
- Feed your wires through the attic to the fan location.
- Drill a hole directly above the switch hole. Ensure there no wires on the way.
- If your ceiling does not have attic access you can use an expandable rod with stands, which is to be placed through the hole and on top of the ceiling.
- Place the fan box inside the wall
- Once the fan box is installed, thread the electrical cables through it.
- Assemble the fan kit, connect the fan cables to the cables that run to your switch through the fan box and screw the fan tightly on the fan box.
How Long Does It Take to Install a Ceiling Fan?
Installing a new ceiling fan take about 2-4 hours. How long it takes usually depends on the complexity of the fan, the size of the fan, and the size of the room where the fan is being installed.
How hard is it to install a ceiling fan?
Installing a ceiling fan is not hard, all you need is to follow easy installation instructions and take into consideration the manufacture’s precautions.
Do I Need an Electrician to Install a Ceiling Fan?
Installing a ceiling fan is a job that you can do it yourself, however, that depends on the situation when installing the fan. If you are installing a fan where a light fixture was previously installed and you do not do new wiring then you can do it yourself. However, if you have a complex ceiling fan to install that requires new wiring to be done then you probably require a licensed electrician to do it for you to ensure that your do not overload your electrical system.
How to Install a Ceiling Fan with Remote?
Old ceiling fans that use pull chains can be modified to use a remote. To achieve this you must ensure that you have a transmitter and a receiver. Most ceiling fan with remote controls in the market are marked as branded as universal meaning they are compatible with most ceiling fans.
- Set the transmitter frequency by flipping the dip switches. Changing the frequency ensures that only you can control your ceiling fan.
- Cut-off the power and connect the live and neutral wire to your receiver.
- Restore the wires back into the fan box and enclose them by screwing the canopy back on.
Can I Install a Ceiling Fan Where a Light Fixture Is?
Installing a ceiling fan where a light fixture was is very much possible. With the right instruction steps and clear user manual, installing a ceiling fan where the light fixture was can be quick and easy.
You will need to replace the junction box used to support the light fixture simply because usual junction boxes meant for light fixtures aren’t strong enough to support the weight of a ceiling fan.
How to Install a Ceiling Fan Box?
When installing a ceiling fan box is crucial to ensure that the junction box is strong enough to support the ceiling fan, if not, it should be replaced by a stronger support brace.
- Ensure the power to the ceiling fan is turned off
- Use a voltage tester to confirm that no electricity is running through any of the wires.
- Remove the old junction box and disconnect the electrical cables
- Replace the old junction box with a new junction box equipped with a ceiling fan brace.
- Slip the brace through the ceiling hole and place it on the ceiling
- Adjust the shaft by hand until it locks in between the joists in the ceiling
- Slip the saddle on the brace and feed the cables through the box
- Fasten the box to the saddle on the brace and install the ceiling fan
Ceiling Fan Installation Problems
Here are the most common ceiling fan installation problems and how to fix them.
i. The fan wouldn’t start.
If you have turned on the power supply to the fan and it still wouldn’t start, then there has to be a problem with the wiring. Confirm if you have the done the right connection, otherwise, contact an electrician.
ii. Noisy Fan
If your fan makes a lot of noise then there might be loose parts in its overall structure, ensure that all parts are tightly fitted. If the fan is still noisy check for cracks on the blades or the fan frame and replaces the broken parts.
iii. Fan Light Doesn’t Turn On
If the fan light doesn’t turn on, then ensure that there are no burnt light bulbs or frayed wires.
iv. Fan switches off and on
If your fan keeps turning off and on then you might need to check for loose connections that might be breaking and connecting the circuit.
Ceiling fans are a great investment for anyone regardless of how complex the installation process may turn out to be. At times ceiling fans with a simple design that you can easily install yourself are much better than purchasing a complex design that requires added cost to install.