On a hot day, all you really need is a little breeze to keep you cool. Having a
ceiling fan might be just what you need to beat the heat. If you need a ceiling
fan in a particular room, read on to find out how to install one.
Pick a ceiling fan
There are many varieties and styles, some with lights
and some without. As some ceilings are lower than others, you'll need to make
sure that you pick a fan that will give you enough clearance to safely walk
Light fixtures/Junction boxes
If you already have a light fixture where
your new fan is going to go, it will make your job a lot simpler. If you don't,
you'll need to install a junction box at the center of the room (or in the spot
where you'd like the fan).
Note: Use a metal junction box--a plastic one
may not support the weight of a ceiling fan. Also, make sure you shut off the
power before you do any electrical work.
TIP: You can determine the center of
the ceiling by snapping diagonal chalk lines from the corners of the room. The
center of the room is where they intersect.
Installing the Junction Box
- Cut a hole in the ceiling that is large enough to slip the box into
- If the hole is next to a joist, screw the box into place
- If it's between two joists, install a two-by-four in between them and attach
the junction box to that
You may be able to do some of this work from
the attic, but if not, you'll need to make a larger hole in the ceiling. This
will give you room to work.
Mounting the Fan
Before you start mounting your fan, make sure
the power to the junction box is turned off at the circuit breaker.
- If you're installing your fan at an already-installed light fixture, start
by removing the old light fixture's mounting bolts and taking it down.
- Disconnect it from the wires (you may need someone to hold up the light
fixture for you while you do this).
- Check the junction box once the fan is disconnected to make sure it's
secure; the fan will need a strong anchor point.
- Attach the mounting bracket (your fan should come with one) to the junction
box, following the manufacturer's directions and making sure that all screws are
tight so the fan doesn't wobble.
- The mounting bracket should have a "working hook" to hang the fan while you
take care of the wiring. If not, you'll need someone to hold it up for you.
- Attach the wires (they are color-coded). There should be a power wire (black
or blue), one neutral wire (white), and sometimes a grounding wire (green or a
bare copper wire).
- Connect the wires from the fan with the corresponding wires in the junction
box. If there's isn't a grounding wire in the junction box, attach the fan's
grounding wire directly to the junction box itself.
- Use a wire nut to cover the black and white wires, making sure it's screwed
securely into place.
- Install the motor of the fan with the screws that came with it.
- Turn the power back on to ensure a good connection, then turn the fan on
(using both the wall switch and the fan's pull cord).
- Turn the power off again and put the motor cover on once you know everything
is running properly.
- Install the fan blades and attach the fan to the motor. You may need help
holding the fan in place while you screw it in.
- Turn the power back on and make sure the fan doesn't wobble or make too much
noise. If it does, you may need to push on the unit gently until it's hanging
level (some fans come with a balancing kit to help you get it level).
- When your fan is installed and level, all you'll need to do for a cool
breeze is flip a switch.