Installing a ceiling fan in your home not only keep you cool on the warmest of days, they are also relatively inexpensive to operate.

Installing a ceiling fan is a straightforward project that requires a few tools, including Phillips and standard screwdrivers, wire insulation strippers, hammer, wire nuts, plastic electricians tape, hex or Allen wrench, a hacksaw, stepladder and 12/2 ground cable.

Choosing a Fan

Choosing the right size fan is important. The thing to keep in mind is the correct blade span, the distance from the tip of one blade to the tip of another, opposite blade. Fans with 36-inch blades can be used for rooms up to 9 feet by 12 feet; fans with 42-inch blades are designed for rooms up to 12 feet by 15 feet; and 52-inch fans are good for rooms larger than 12 feet by 15 feet. Home improvements stores such as City Mill have a good selection to choose from.

Putting It Up

First you must do some measuring. The blades of the fan must be at least 7 feet from the floor, and there should be at lest 12 inches clearance between the top of the blades and the ceiling.

If you’re installing the fan to an existing ceiling outlet, remove the ceiling light first. After you turn off the power at the main source, disconnect the power wires from the light socket assembly.

Many fans are mounted to a framing member or joist that supports the electrical box with a J-hook and bracket, or a ball and socket or swivel device. The swivel bracket can be attached to a joist or rather that supports the electrical box.

If you’re installing your fan on a finished ceiling that doesn’t have an outlet or wiring, find a joist or rafter behind the ceiling covering, and cut a hole through the covering where you want the fan to be located. Make the hole a bit larger than the electrical outlet box that you install.

Using a saw, notch the rafter or joist the width and depth of the box so the bottom of the box will be flush with the surface of the ceiling.

Power wires (the 12/2 with ground) are “fished: between the joists or above them if there is a crawl space above the ceiling.

Power can be tapped from an existing circuit (be sure to turn the power off) or you can run a new circuit from the main electrical panel. If you choose to do this, have a professional electrician make this connection.

Once the hanger has been securely fastened to the ceiling, run the downrod of the fan through the canopy, and the three electrical wires from the fan through the downrod assembly.

Next, attach the downrod to the motor stem by inserting the bolt provided with your fan, and insert and spread the cotter pin that also accompanies the fan. Fasten the setscrew so that it is secure.

Without the blades attached, lift the fan into position and put the swivel into the hanger bracket. Connect the power wires as previously explained.

If the fan has a light kit, remove the switch housing on the fan and the center screw. Screw the light kit onto the bottom plate. Have a helper hold the kit assembly into position while you connect the fan’s blue wire to the light’s black wire and the fan’s white wire to the light’s white wire. Use wire nuts for these splices and wrap them with electrical tape. Now screw on the bottom plate, light and attach the glass. (Again, be sure to follow the instructions in the kit.)

Mount the bracket and put the blades into the holders, then fasten the blades to the fan motor.

Finally, connect the fan to power. White wires attach to white and black-to-black. Connect the ground wire to the ceiling box via a screw or clip, or splice it to an incoming ground wire.