Install a Ceiling Fan to Keep Cool This Summer!

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The summer months are a time to relax, perhaps take a vacation and just let the days ease by. Unfortunately, the summer heat can be brutal if you’re caught unprepared. To combat the heat, many homeowners choose to install a ceiling fan. A ceiling fan is a great way to keep cool and can even cut your energy costs.

Choosing a fan

With ceiling fans, efficiency is the name of the game. To get the most use out of your fan, you need to select one with an optimal blade size for the room in which it will be installed. If you know the square footage of the room, just match up the recommended blade size to that measurement. Most manufacturers print this information on the fan’s packaging.

SkilToolsInstalling the fan, mounting and bracing

Remember that if your new fan will replace an existing light fixture, you also may have to replace the electrical box used to house that fixture’s wiring. This is because ceiling fans are significantly heavier than your standard light fixture and steel boxes are used to accommodate the added weight.

With remodeling jobs, you have several options in terms of how you want to mount and brace your fan. You can use a retrofit brace, flush mount or side mount option. We’ll focus on the retrofit brace as it’s the simplest way to get the job done.

First, lockout and tagout the circuit that supplies power to the side of the house that you’ll be working on.

Next, remove the old light fixture from the ceiling and cap the exposed wiring with wire nuts.

Cut out a section of sheetrock from the ceiling the width of the space between your ceiling joists. If you have fiberglass insulation, be sure to wear long sleeves, eye protection and a breathing mask. Push the fiberglass out of the way to make room for the new bracket. if your insulation is spray foam, cut out an appropriate section for the box.

The great thing about the retrofit brace is that it’s self-tightening, which will save a lot of time and effort. Once your brace is placed between the two joists, where your fan will be located, rotate the bracket bar until it fits snugly between them. Feed your wires through the attached wiring box and recap them.

Hot-patch the hole you cut between the joists with another piece of sheetrock. Cut a piece of sheetrock that fits the hole, but leave the paper edges on the newly cut piece so that the patch is seamless.

After the mud and tape on that spot are set, it’s time to secure the ceiling fan’s mounting plate. This can usually be done with a screw gun or drill/driver and the hardware that has been included with the fan. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, you’ll either attach the plate to the joists or the electrical box.

Make sure to run your wires through the opening in the plate before the final tightening. Also, remember to attach the fan blades to the rotor assembly before hanging the fan. It’s much easier to screw those blades in when the fan is on the ground as opposed to hanging overhead.

Now all you have to do is connect the hot, ground and neutral wires to the fan, screw the motor assembly to the mounting plate and hang the fan. Grab a partner to hold the motor/rotor housing while you do this.

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