So I’m sitting in the kitchen in the middle of the day getting ready to watch a football game, I have the oven going with the mini hotdogs, getting ready to settle in when it happened…I’m sweating!
That’s when I decided to install a ceiling fan. A ceiling fan offers many functional benefits while adding a certain decorative touch to a room. In the summer it can help cool a room (or even a porch). In the winter it can be used at low speeds to circulate warmer air that has risen to ceiling level.
Whatever your reason for installing a ceiling fan, you will find it to be a relatively easy project especially if you will be replacing a light fixture in the middle of a room (all the wiring will already be there). Most likely your biggest obstacle will be a new workbox that is approved for the weight of an overhead fan or adding support to an existing workbox, a workbox that is not approved for ceiling fan weight can lead to disaster!
The following instructions cover general installations when replacing an existing light. It will give you an idea of what is required for the project. Make sure you review and follow instructions that are specific to the fan you purchase. Depending on your installation requirements, you may need to purchase a longer “down rod” for cathedral ceilings or purchase an optional lighting kit if it is not included.
1) Turn off the circuit by switching off the breaker. Remove the existing ceiling fixture.
2) Determine if your existing workbox will provide enough support. If you have access to the workbox from your attic, check to see if the workbox has metal cross braces that span between two joists. If not, you can cut a 2”x4” to fit in between the joists. Install it so it touches the top of the workbox. Anchor the wood in place. From the room, use 1” drywall screws to anchor the box to the wood brace.
3) If you do not have access from the attic, you can install a metal cross brace through the rough opening in your ceiling and then attach an approved workbox to the metal brace.
4) I hate this part! Assemble the ceiling fan according to the manufacturers provided instructions. When you are ready to hang the fan, take the mounting bracket and install it to the ceiling workbox. Some fans come with a hanging frame that allows you to hook the ball end of the down rod in place. Others come with a bracket that provides a “J” hook that allows you to hang the motor housing while hooking up the wiring
5) If you removed a light fixture from the ceiling, most likely the existing wiring will provide one switched circuit to your new ceiling fan. This means the wall switch will function as the master switch to turn the unit off and on. The pull chain on the fan will also control the fan (and its speed). If you install an optional light kit on the fan, both the wall switch and a pull chain will also control it.
6) Following the wiring diagram provided with the fan, hook up the wires using wire nuts. Most likely this is as simple as connecting the 2 black wires; connecting the 2 white wires and connecting the 2 ground wires.
7) Once the fan is wired, finish its assembly according to the specific manufacturer’s instructions. You will need to install the canopy to the top of the rod.
8)You will also need to attach the fan blades. If you are installing a light kit, remove the cover on the bottom of the fan where the light kit will be mounted. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, assemble and install the light kit.
At this point you are ready to switch the breaker on and start enjoying your new ceiling fan.