First things first, however, let’s cover some very basic ideas about ceiling fan installation before we delve more deeply into the instructions.

Before you do anything, you need to choose a location for the fan. Usually, people choose the center of the ceiling. They also often replace a light fixture. If you are installing a fan with NO light then you should be fine and the circuit will not overload. However, if you are installing a fan WITH lights, you must make sure that the circuit has enough capacity for the new load. If there is no current central light fixture then you will have to designate a place to hang the fan.

Next, measure the floor-to-ceiling distance then subtract the space which the fan will take up. 7 feet is general recommended but be sure to look in your local building codes and regulations. If your ceilings are going to be too low and they are creating an issue then you may want to consider getting a low-ceiling mount. That will help. Some fans come with blades that adjust quite a bit. (Note: 12 inches between the ceiling and the fan will allow for proper airflow but 18 inches is recommended and, if possible, best.)

Once you have done those two things, you are ready to mount your fan!

Mounting a Ceiling Fan

  1. Turn off the power source to avoid electrocution. This is very serious and should be done before any work begins.
  2. Determine the center by running a chalk line from one corner to the opposite corner. The point at which they intersect (remember: X marks the spot!) is the center.
  3. Adjust your location so that it matches the joists.
  4. Install the junction box. Cut a hole in the ceiling to make room for it.
  5. Mount the junction box to a beam.
  6. Assemble the fan (see below to learn how to do that).
  7. Install the hanger pipe.
  8. Wire the unit.
  9. Attach the fan blades to the unit.
  10. Electrically ground the fan.
  11. Attach to joists.
  12. Put on finishing touches. Install molding, etc.

Assembling the Fan

Assembly varies so you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you buy a Westinghouse ceiling fan, for example, then use their manual. The same goes if you buy a Minka-Aire ceiling fan or a Hunter ceiling fan. There is no general rule for your specific fan. One general tip is to install the blades before hanging the fan.