Fan Installation Guide

Have you been thinking about installing a new fan? If so, the information provided in this part one of the fan guide article is for you. Obviously, you want to install a fan so the operation is smooth and quiet, but also safe. Although most installation processes are not overly difficult, there are still a number of factors to consider with each one.

Fan Type

Of course, one of the first things you need to consider is the type of fan, which would depend on the level and type of performance needed. For instance, ceiling fans are popular all around the country due to varying temperatures. With the right type of ceiling fan, you could actually shave money off your monthly utility bill in the summer. Then, if you choose a fan with reversible blades, you could also save up to 20% off the wintertime bill.

Enough Space to Move

While ceiling fans can benefit any room of the home, they are exceptionally wonderful in rooms with high ceilings. Just remember, you want a safe operation, which means choosing fan blades that are a minimum of seven feet above the floor so as not to hit anyone in the head. Additionally, blades should be no less than 18 inches away from a sloping ceiling or wall. Generally, the best height to hang a ceiling fan is on heights between 8 and 10 feet.

Motor Type

In addition to location, you also want to choose the right motor, again for safe, smooth, and quiet operation. Many times, the number one complaint heard about ceiling fans is noise. However, after installation, fans can become unbalanced. When this happens, the blades began to wobble, which causes noise. Of course, noise of ceiling fans can come from other things but balancing is often the case.

Fan Controls

Another consideration before you buy and install your new ceiling fan is whether you want a wall switch, remote control, or both. Most often, you see a wall switch, similar to that of a light fixture. However, to make turning the fan on, off, or to change the speed and direction, a remote control is convenient. Therefore, make sure you know what you want prior to installation, saving you both time and effort.

Support Weight

The main thing when installing a ceiling fan is that the weight must be supported properly. Therefore, you cannot simply hang a ceiling fan just anywhere. Instead, you need to make sure you have firm framing such as a ceiling joist. Keep in mind that the weight of ceiling fans varies but in general, you need something that can hold 50 pounds. If needed, you can purchase a special mounting brace, which suspends the fan between two ceiling joists if the joist is not in the right position.

Size

In addition to style, color, and design, you will also find that fans range in size from 24 to 60 inches, perfect for any room of the home. When buying, you can follow a general guideline in that large rooms need the larger blade span while small rooms would use a smaller blade span. Additionally, ceiling fans are made to circulate between 4,000 and 8,000 CFM.

Height

However, remember that in addition to the size of the room, you would also consider the height of the ceiling, amount of furnishings, the use of the room, meaning more people would generate more heat, and even the direction in which the windows face. With all of these factors combined, you can then make a calculation to determine the best type and size fan for each room. For extra tall ceilings, you can always use a down rod.

Mounting

Now, when mounting a ceiling fan, you need a support beam. For instance, you would run the cabling into the attic where it would be secured to the ceiling joist. Now, if your ceiling joist is not quite positioned the right way for hanging a ceiling fan, you can purchase a special mounting bracket that provides a secure place for the fan in between the two joists.

Typically, wood or steel support the ceiling fan, which is mounted on the flat side of the ceiling joist and then secured with three-inch screws. This installation also involves 2x4 blocks that hold the metal box supporting the ceiling fan in place. Sometimes, you may find it necessary to work another system but again, you will find various solutions to help. This means that new and old houses alike can enjoy the many benefits of a ceiling fan, summer and winter.

Wiring

If you go with a ceiling fan that has a light kit included or if you want to add a light kit on later, you would have two primary ways of wiring. Although you could go with either option, we consider that you run a three-conductor cable that goes between the ceiling box and switch. This way, you would be able to operate the fan and light from different switches. Most people prefer this so they have dual access that is easy and convenient.

Canopy

Just remember, if you have a one-piece canopy on your ceiling fan, you need to slip the canopy on the down rod prior to hanging. Otherwise, you will get halfway through the installation process only to find out you have to start over. Additionally, if the ceiling fan is suspended using a threaded down rod and ball assembly, you must be sure the locking bolt is tightened securely so the fan does not fall.

Additional Information:

Ceiling Fan Installation: guide to general ceiling fan installation from an online home improvement magazine.

Fan Installation: Installation guide for ceiling fans with images and instructions.