You can install a ceiling fan all by yourself. Take your time and follow this guide. It’s not that hard!
Are you suffering in the summer heat? A ceiling fan could help you feel a lot more comfortable – without adding anything to your heating and cooling costs. In fact, using a ceiling fan instead of your air conditioner could save you a lot of money.
And you don’t need to bother your husband to install a ceiling fan. As long as you’re capable of using a screwdriver and climbing a ladder, you can wire it up!
Follow these instructions to find your way to the cool zone!
1. Take down the light fixture you’re replacing.
Before you start taking down the old light fixture, go to your home’s circuit panel and turn off the circuit you’ll be working on. Then you can start taking down the light fixture.
Get on a step ladder and remove the bulb cover or covers from the light fixture first, then take out the bulbs. There should be screws in the base of the light fixture; remove them, and the light fixture should come loose from the ceiling. Pull it down to find the wiring connections.
Remove the plastic caps and untwist the bare ends of the wires.
2. Remove the old electrical box.
A small light fixture will likely be hanging from a light-rated electrical junction box. You’ll need to take this out and replace it with a fan-rated junction box.
Use a pry bar to remove the junction box from the joist. If it’s attached to a metal bar, there will be a metal plate you can unscrew to get the box off the bar. Then you can pry the bar off the joists on either side.
3. Install a fan brace or move the fan below a joist.
A ceiling fan is heavy and needs to be braced properly in the ceiling, or else it could fall and potentially injure someone. The best anchor for a ceiling fan is a joist – it can take the weight and it’s already in your ceiling.
If it won’t make the fan look too off-center, you can move the fan underneath a joist if necessary. You’ll just need to cut a new hole in the ceiling below the nearest joist. If you don’t want to hang your fan from a joist, you can install a fan brace between the joists instead.
4. Put in a fan-rated electrical box.
To determine how big of a hole you need to cut in the ceiling below your joist, hold your fan-rated pancake electrical box up against the ceiling and trace around it with a pencil. Anchor the electrical junction box to the joist with 1.5-inch screws.
Pull the house wiring down into the junction box. Wrap the end of the green or bare ground chord around the green ground screw in the junction box and give the screw a few turns to secure it. Leave enough wire to connect to the ground wire from the fan motor.
5. Place the ceiling medallion, if necessary.
If you’re cutting a second hole in your ceiling, you’re going to need to install a ceiling medallion to cover the original hole. You’ll need to apply adhesive to the back of the ceiling medallion and feed the house wires through the middle before affixing it to the ceiling.
You can use four 6d finishing nails to secure it. If you want to paint the ceiling medallion, do it before moving on to the next step.
6. Put up the mounting plate.
Your stylish new ceiling fan should come with a metal mounting plate that you attach to the junction box. Install this mounting plate with two 1.5-inch screws.
7. Assemble the fan motor.
You will need to follow the instructions that came with your fan to assemble your fan motor. Make sure you pull the wires from the fan motor up through the downrod and canopy before attaching them. Once the downrod and canopy are attached to the fan’s motor housing, you can move on.
8. Connect the wires.
Take the fan motor and climb up on the step ladder again. You may be able to set the end of the downrod into the ceiling plate and still have room to connect the wires, or there may be a hook on the ceiling plate where you can hang the fan motor while you connect the wires.
For a simple fan install, match like wires to like wires. The black wire should connect to the black wire, and the white wire to the white wire. The green or bare ground wire should connect to the green or bare ground wire coming out of the house.
Connect the wires by twisting their bare ends together. If the bare ends aren’t long enough to twist together, use a wire stripper to remove some of the outer insulation. Once the ends are twisted together, secure them with plastic wire connectors.
9. Install the fan blades and light fixture.
Now you’re almost done – you just have to install the fan blades and the light fixture. You may need to attach blade brackets to the ends of each of the blades. Then you can attach the fan blades to the fan.
Once you have all the fan blades attached, you’ll need to get a tape measure and make sure they’re all the same distance from the floor. If the blades are different distances from the floor, you will need to balance the ceiling fan.
You may not need to wire up the light fixture separately, but when you do, you need to be sure that you connect matching wires, just like you did for the fan motor.
Some light fixtures will just plug into the motor housing, while others are already installed in the motor housing and you wire them up when you wire up the motor. Once you have the light fixture connected, you can add the light covers and bulbs.
Now it’s time to turn the power back on and put your fan – and your DIY skills – to the test!
Are you up for the challenge?
This is going to be quite a challenge when you haven’t experienced installing a ceiling fan before. Here are various mistakes you don’t want to make when you install a ceiling fan.
Remember that with the right tools and by following simple instructions, you’ll be able to make it!
Finally, learning how to install a ceiling fan by yourself is another skill to learn, worthy of your time!