Ceiling fans may seem old fashioned but they are great movers of air and installing one can help save on your energy bills!
I just took a look at the thermometer on my sun porch. Days are starting to be cooler and nights are beginning to feel down right cold. I love this time of year, in fact I would have to say it is my favorite. Growing up in northeast Ohio, you learn early on to appreciate these transitional days of fall, because cold winter days often last from the beginning of November until the end of April.
Although I love warm days, I must confess I hate trying to sleep on hot, sticky nights. To me fall is sleeping weather, crack the window and allow the last waning noises of nature make their music and enjoy the cool night air. But what does all this have to do with ceiling fans. Well, this is the perfect time of year to install one. Fans aren’t just for summer days, installing a ceiling fan will give you a boost up on fighting winter heating bills. We all know that heat rises, so by installing a ceiling fan, you can reverse the blades so that the warm air will be pushed back down into the room, in a sense recycling the heat, which will lower your heat cost.
During the summer, ceiling fans circulate air, making a room more comfortable by replacing warm, stuffy air with cooler, fresh air. The use of a ceiling fan can actually help conserve energy, as they may reduce your use of your air conditioner. In the fall and winter, the fan moves air trapped in the upper areas of your house and moves that warmer air back into the room, so by installing a fan now, you’ll be ready for winter as well as for next summer.
Shari and I have used many ceiling fans in room redesigns, and have found that there are ceiling fans to meet every design style. From traditional to ultra modern, there is a ceiling fan style perfect for your home. Although design style is important, there are a number of other features to consider when purchasing a ceiling fan. The motor is the most important component of a ceiling fan. Less expensive fans have an outer covering made of very thin metal. Costlier models tend to be more solid in design, causing less operational noises.
Ceiling fans come in a variety of sizes, ranging from a 32” to 56” blade span. Room size determines which fan is most appropriate.
Eight foot ceilings are the minimum recommended height for ceiling fans. If you have 8’ ceilings, a low-ceiling mount should be used. If your ceilings are 9’ or greater, you may require a standard mount with an extension down rod.
Once you’ve chosen the perfect fan for your home, it’s time to start the installation process. To begin the process, it’s best to check the manufacturer’s list of components and complete an inventory. Once you’re sure you have all the parts, you can begin the installation.
1) The first step is to remove the old fixture. Be sure the power has been disconnected. It’s a good idea to use a circuit tester to be absolutely sure there is no power to the circuit.
2) Next, disconnect the electrical wires. Most often, there are either two (live – black, neutral – white) or three wires (live, neutral, and ground – green or copper wire.) Make sure the outlet box is securely mounted, and then attach the mounting bracket to the electrical box. Be sure to tighten the screws completely. A good test is to hang off the bracket; if it supports your weight, it is strong enough to support a ceiling fan.
3) To make wiring the fan easier, first hang the motor assembly on the hook on the mounting bracket the bracket will hold the motor freeing your hands to make the connections of the wires. Before attaching the wires, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for wiring specifics.
4) Once you’ve finished the connections, test them for power by turning on the power at the circuit breaker and turning on the fan, if all is well, turn the power off again and tuck the extra wiring up into the electrical box.
5) Next, prepare the blades for mounting. Some fan blades are reversible offering two options usually a wood grain and a painted side. Once you have decided which look you would like, mount the brackets securely to the blades.
6) Put on the decorative motor cover, and mount all of the blades. This part of the operation can be a little frustrating to do alone, so it’s a great time to call in an assistant. Once again, be sure the screws are tightened completely. This will help ensure the quiet operation of your fan.
7) If your fan also has a light kit, remove the light kit cover and assemble as directed. Mount the globe or glass fixtures and add bulbs. Be sure not to exceed the maximum wattage rating of the fixture.
8) Finally, turn the power back on and test the fan and light assembly again. You may find that your fan wobbles slightly. This can usually be corrected by pulling the unit slightly until it hangs level, or you may need to balance the fan using small weights included with the unit.
Once you have installed the fan, locate the small switch on the side of the motor that can change the direction of the blades, make sure it is set for the season that the fan will be used. Now it is time to turn on the fan and enjoy the comfort that it provides, warmth in the winter and a nice breeze in the summer.