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5 Things To Do Before Installing A New Ceiling Fan In Your Home 

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Summertime is a great time to knock out some DIY projects that have been on the backburner for a while. When it isn’t scorching hot outside, maybe it’s time to get to that roof repair or finally build that porch you’ve been putting off since last fall. But it’s also a good time to look into maximizing the air supply and circulation in your home. Air conditioners and swamp coolers might offer some reprieve from the sweltering summer heat, but a ceiling fan can be a great way to lower energy costs, save some money, and add some character to a room in the process. Here are a few things to take care of prior to installing a new ceiling fan.

Determine Ceiling Fan Location

Knowing the ideal location for your new ceiling fan ahead of time is always a good way to start a project of this nature. Begin by deciding where you’re going to put the fan. Is it an indoor fan for one of the rooms in your house or is it going to be an outdoor fan for your garage or porch? Indoor fans are straightforward. When looking for one, keep in mind the look you want to achieve, how you want it to circulate the air, and what its purpose will be (decor, cooling, additional lighting, etc). Outdoor ceiling fans serve multiple purposes: they can act as a way to increase the airflow in a small outerspace for create additional lighting for those They’re perfect for open outdoor spaces like a gazebo or your porch. Outdoor fans have wet and damp ratings. Damp rated fans are great for areas that are indirectly exposed to moisture such as rain or snow. Wet rated fans are ideal for areas that are directly exposed to moisture. outdoor ceiling fans, the same information we've mentioned here applies.

Measure The Room’s Size

Before installing a ceiling fan in your home, you’ll need to know the room size and get an appropriately sized fan. Ceiling fan sizes range between 29" and over 60", so room size definitely matters! To get an accurate picture of the room's measurements, grab a tape measure and start measuring the room from one wall to the other lengthwise. Repeat the procedure widthwise. After that, multiply the two numbers together to arrive at your room's square footage. This is how you are going to determine what size fan to purchase. Blade sweep is the diameter of the spin the blades make when they are in motion. When you see fan size measurements, this is what it's referring to when it says blade span, blade sweep, or diameter. For rooms 75 sq ft and under, a 29" - 36" fan is ideal. As the room size increases, so do the fan diameter requirements. It can go all the way up to a room larger than 400 as ft that may require a 72 inch ceiling. It ultimately depends on your needs, the size of the room, and how you're going to plan your installation. 

Choose A Fan Style

Now for the fun part: choosing the ceiling fan style. Ceiling fans come in a significant variety of designs, styles, and with different types of mounts. Here are just a few:

  • Traditional
  • Modern
  • Rustic
  • Farmhouse
  • Craftsman
  • Industrial
  • Nautical
  • Transitional
  • Outdoor

They all have their own unique quirks and specific design aesthetics. Traditional fans, for instance, are what you’d expect to find in a typical home. Modern fans have a minimalist, neutral design to complement a similar decor style. Nautical ceiling fans evoke a sailing/boat aesthetic. Rustic fans are at home in a log cabin, lodge, or country homes. Farmhouse fans are a mix of modern and rustic. Other styles abound, but there’s undoubtedly a particular style that’ll suit your home. Mounts come in variable sizes as well. There are standard mounts that feature a downrod (the part of the mount that goes into the ceiling itself) ranging from three to five inches high. Longer/extended downrods are available for rooms with higher ceilings. There are also specialized mounts for sloped ceilings. Finally, there are flush mounts available to mount the fan directly to the ceiling. These are used for low profile/hugger ceiling fans, which work best in small rooms and spaces. If you're updating a small space, like a bedroom or kitchen, then a hugger fan is probably your best bet.

Select Additional Features 

Once you've chosen your ceiling fan design and style, it's time to look at additional features. In modern times, a ceiling fan doesn't have to be just a fan; it can benefit from an array of features and accessories.

  • Lighting (recessed, bowl, uplight, downlight, and for lights are all options)
  • LEDs
  • Wall Switch
  • Pull Chain
  • Remote Control
  • Wireless Smart Control
  • Type of motor

You can also go with a ceiling fan that doesn't have any lights. These would be ideal for rooms that don’t really require extra light, such as a home theater or a room with plenty of overhead and sconce lighting already installed.

Plan the Installation

Now it's time to install the ceiling fan in your home. Should you go the professional or DIY route? It really just depends on your skill level, preference, and how much time you want to spend on the installation itself.

Installing a ceiling fan on your own is a remarkably easy DIY project. All it takes are a few vital safety precautions, some personal protective equipment, the proper tools for the job, and a few hours of your time. It'll be easier if you put the fan together first, but you can do after without affecting the installation if you’re so inclined. It’s also a lot of fun and fairly straightforward:

  1. Remove existing fixture and cut a new hole.
  2. Attach new electrical box.
  3. Put the mount on the ceiling. Make sure your measurements are accurate!
  4. Connect the wiring.
  5. Attach the blades and any accessories such as lights.

If you’re ever uncertain about something during an installation, you can always look up a tutorial online or, better yet, ask a professional for advice. Sometimes it's easier and much more convenient just to have a professional handyman install the fan in your home. If DIY isn’t your thing and time is of the essence, you might want to just get your new fan professionally installed. 

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Brian Snelson

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