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How Ceiling Fans Work

Installing a Ceiling Fan

Although installing a ceiling fan will require that you work with electrical components, you can safely and easily handle it, especially if you're replacing an old fixture (when the wiring is already there, you'll have a lot less work to do). Just follow these simple steps. You may want to grab a friend as well, since the installation process is much easier with help.

Note: Installation steps and procedures may vary depending on the type of fan you purchase. Always consult the instruction manual.

  1. Turn off the electricity that runs to the existing fixture.
  2. Unscrew the old fixture from the ceiling and disconnect the wires.
  3. Make sure the existing electrical box is connected to a ceiling rafter or other strong support. If you need a new electrical box, you can buy one specifically for ceiling fans.
  4. There are two different ways you can fasten the fan to the ceiling; you can mount it flush with the ceiling or hang the fan away from the ceiling using a downrod. Screw the preferred mounting device to the electrical box, making sure that it's fastened securely and that the wires are placed through the opening.
  5. Attach the colored house wires to the corresponding colored fan wires. Most fans come with a temporary hook that lets you hang the fan from the ceiling while you connect the wires. If your fan doesn't come with this hook, now is a great time to get the help of a friend or spouse.
  6. Attach the fan housing and motor to the mounting device using the screws provided.
  7. Turn the power back on and make sure that all of your connections are working properly. If everything seems to be working correctly, turn the power back off to finish the job.
  8. Secure the fan blades to the irons using the provided screws. Most fan blades are reversible, so make sure you attach the blades with the correct side showing.
  9. Attach the irons (with blades attached) to the fan.
  10. Turn the power back on to test that the fan is working properly.

Continue reading to find out what really happens when you turn your fan on.