Installing a ceiling fan is a thrifty way to reduce energy consumption and lower utility bills year-round. You can curb the use of cooling and heating devices without sacrificing your personal comfort. A ceiling fan installation is the perfect weekend project for any avid do-it-yourselfer because it only requires a few hours to complete, and the pay off is immediate. You don't have to be a DIY expert to install a new ceiling fan, or ceiling fans with light here's a simple guide to help you get started.
The optimal height to install a ceiling fan in 8 to 9 feet from the floor. Prior to mounting a new fan, confirm the following details:
Ceiling fan blades must be at least 7 foot above the floor (required by the National Electric Code)
Ceiling fan blades must be at least 8 -10 inches from the ceiling
Ceiling fan blades must be at least 18 inches from walls, doors, cabinets, and posts
Junction or outlet box is approved for ceiling fans
Electricity is turned off at the circuit breaker box and wall switch
All parts, tools, and instructions are present and easily accessible
The average ceiling fan can weigh up to 50 pounds when fully assembled. If you are unable to lift this much weight, ask a friend or a family member to help with the ceiling fan installation. If the ceiling fan weighs more than 50 pounds, purchase a heavy fixture brace for additional support.
See Del Mar Fans & Lighting’s selection of ceiling fan mounting systems.
Ceiling fan-rated outlet box
See Del Mar Fans & Lighting’s recommended list of ceiling fan installation tools.
For this video we used a Fanimation Ceiling Fan
A ceiling fan installation can take up to a few hours to completed based on the fan type and your handyman skills.
Step 1: Install the Outlet Box and Mounting Bracket
Attach the fan-rated outlet box directly to the support brace or ceiling joist. Thread the fan supply line through the outlet box, making sure the line extends 6 inches beyond the box. Attach the mounting bracket to the outlet box with the screws and washers provided. Feed the wires from the outlet box through the center opening on the mounting bracket.
Step 2: Assemble Downrod and Canopy
Remove the shipping blocks from the motor and save the screws. Unbundle the ceiling fan wires and trim the wires 6 – 8 inches longer than the enclosed downrod. Strip the insulation ½ inch from the end of the wires.
Loosen any lock nuts or setscrews on the motor coupling. Remove any pins from the motor coupling. Insert the downrod through the canopy and canopy trim ring. Feed the ceiling fan wires through the downrod assembly. Loosen any lock nuts or setscrews on the motor coupling. Remove any pins from the motor coupling.
Thread the downrod onto the motor coupling, turning the rod 4-5 times until secure. Tighten locknuts or setscrews with pliers, and attach any pins.
Step 3: Hang and Wire the Ceiling Fan
Lift the ceiling fan and place the downrod ball on the mounting or hanger bracket. Align the groove on the ball with the indent/tab on the bracket, rotate until it locks into place. To connect wires, hold the bare metal leads together and place wire connectors over them, twist clockwise to secure connections tightly. Connect grounding green wire from the ceiling to green grounding wire from the ceiling fan. Connect grounded white wire from the ceiling to grounded white wire from the ceiling fan. Connect ungrounded black wire from the ceiling to grounded black wire from the ceiling fan.
Turn the wire connectors up and push them into the outlet box. Separate the wire connections, with the grounded green and white wires on one side of the outlet box, and the ungrounded black wires on the other side of the outlet box. Be careful not to pinch any wire connections!
Step 4: Secure Canopy and Canopy Trim Ring
Slide the canopy up to the mounting bracket and align holes on the canopy with the holes on the bracket. Twist the canopy clockwise to secure (may vary depending on ceiling fan model). Insert screws into slots and secure tightly. Slide the canopy trim up the canopy, and twist clockwise to secure (may vary depending on ceiling fan model).
Step 5: Attach the Blades and Switch Cup
Insert grommets into the holes in the blades (may be completed as a preparation step). Mount the blades onto the blade irons with the screws and washers provided, repeat for all blades. Attach the assembled blades to the motor housing in a clockwise direction. Tighten all screws once all the fan blades are attached to the motor housing.
Fasten two housing assembly screws into the motor housing. Feed the wire plug through opening on the center of the upper switch housing, and align the screws on the motor housing with the keyhole slots on the upper switch housing, and twist counterclockwise to secure. Connect the upper and lower switch housing plugs (make sure colors are lining up). Lift the lower switch housing up, align with the holes on the upper switch housing, and install the switch housing screws. Attach the pull chain to the short chain on switch housing.
Once the ceiling fan installation is complete, restore the electrical power and check the operation of the fan by pulling on the pull chain switch. Confirm the ceiling fan turns on and off, and operates on all speed settings. If your ceiling fan includes reverse function, confirm the fan blades turn in the opposite direction by reversing the airflow. See Del Mar Fans & Lighting’s guide on how to reverse a ceiling fan.
Using a ceiling fan in conjunction with your air conditioning and heating system can reduce energy use and increase utility bill savings. Some homeowners have reported an annual savings of $500. Remember, you may sacrifice a few hours to install a ceiling fan, but the comfort and savings is worth the time.