How to Install a Ceiling Fan in your House

I enjoy open and unobstructed ceiling surfaces but at the same time I’m aware of the fact that a ceiling fan can help my air conditioning system to circulate air or even get by a warmer but not that hot day without turning the AC on. So, it’s time to put one of those wind makers in my home considering that they’re one of the most functional and stylish additions regardless of what room you want to install them in.

If you’re currently thinking about installing a ceiling fan in your bedroom, but you already have a ceiling outlet, then you should know what wiring a ceiling fan is no different than wiring any other type of ceiling fixture.

In some cases though, your room may not have an overhead box which means that you should consider hiring an electrician in order or install the box and fish the wires across the ceiling and through the walls as well. As for installing the fan, you should definitely save this kind of fun for yourself. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the tips below at some of the steps you need to take in order to install your ceiling fan.

Turn off the power at the circuit panel or fuse

turn off main electrical breaker before starting ceiling fan installation

The ceiling box has several pairs of wires and some of them can be wired to other circuits rather than the circuit your fixture is using. Since you’re dealing with electricity, it’s best to try and be as safe as possible by turning off the power to the entire house or by using a circuit tester to make sure that the wiring you’re working on has no electricity running through. This is a very important step to take and one that can save your life.

  • Remove any bulbs and light bulb covers from the fixture and then proceed with unscrewing the nuts or screws that hold your fixture to the base of the ceiling box.

According to the NEC (National Electrical Code published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requirements, it’s forbidden that you attach a ceiling fan to a regular ceiling box and that is because ceiling fans are generally very heavy. Also, before you go ahead and buy your desired ceiling fan, make sure to carefully read the manufacturer’s installation steps and buy an electrical ceiling box that is approved by the NEC.

Lower the fixture base

At this point you’ll need to consider lowering the fixture base and then removing the wire nuts or electrical tape. You’ll find that (in most cases) the wires come in 2 or 3 colors, including green (ground), white (neutral) and black or other color (hot). Sometimes thy might be marked with color tape, for example, a gray wire might have been used as white one so the electrician put some white tape at its end.

  • The wires to the existing ceiling box should be disconnected and the box removed

To do this, you’ll need to carefully loosen the cable clamp screw. Next, you should work from above (if you can) and remove the box. If that’s not possible, you should consider removing any accessible fasteners, such as screws and nails) that attach it to the framing. Depending on the way it’s attached, you may need to push it up into the cavity so that you can then pry it from the framing.

  • Install the ceiling box and adjustable hanger bar by following the manufacturer’s instructions

The majority of hanger bars can be easily installed by pushing them carefully through the hole left in the ceiling by the previous electrical box. When the hanger bar has been pushed through the hole completely, it should be twisted until it forms a ninety degree angle to the ceiling joists. When the hanger bar is expanded (usually by turning it a few times, its ends will start to dig into the wood joists. Next step would be to attach and secure the ceiling box to the hanger bar.

This video shows exactly what I mean:

  • Use the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble the fan

Since they’re heavy, when you attach ceiling fans, you need to make sure they’re supported properly. Depending on the model you have, you may be able to suspend it below the ceiling box while attaching the wires. If that’s not possible with your ceiling fan, you should ask for someone’s help with this step.

Ceiling fan electrical box wiring
Ceiling fan electrical box wiring

Also, when it comes to the wiring, it will most likely differ slightly from model to model, depending on whether the fans are equipped with a speed or light control. Keep in mind that installing a ceiling fan is much like installing a regular light fixture. Attach the ceiling fan’s colored or black wire using to the matching wires in the ceiling box by using wire nuts. In case the wiring comes with a green ground wire, it should be attached to the bare or green wire in the box.

  • Finishing

This step involves screwing a few screws and making sure that you install the fan blades and the trim by carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions.

And here’s my fan:

Ceiling fan finally installed
Ceiling fan finally installed