Installing a Ceiling Fan

Installing a ceiling fan can save you energy. A ceiling fan can also make your home feel cooler and give your room a nice feature to use year round.

When it is hot, a ceiling fan can come to the rescue. Ceiling fans are a relatively minor investment and in addition to the aesthetic gain, they provide extra cooling comfort on warm days.

Installing a ceiling fan can save you energy dollars

And yes, that’s can save you energy dollars. That helps when you’re spending hundreds of dollars during the summer on air conditioning.

Let’s explain. Ceiling fans have been cooling indoor and even outdoor spaces for more than a century. The latest generation of fans is constructed so they use hardly any electricity, costing pennies a day to run – that’s the same amount of energy associated with running a light bulb.

And they have numerous features to them now, such as remote controls and multiple and adjustable speeds. You can also attach overhead light kits to them.
But the real key to ceiling fans is that they push around air and that produces somewhat of a wind chill effect on your skin. In turn, you feel slightly less warm than you would without the fan.

Use a ceiling fan on warm days

On moderately warm days, a ceiling fan can save you money by preventing you from cranking on your central or window air conditioner. An air conditioner – especially one that is slightly older – is a true energy hog and can costs dollars a day to run.
Those who own central air conditioning systems know it’s not unusual to get an electric bill in the summer that’s several hundred dollars.

Even on hot and humid summer days, when you’re running your central air conditioner, a ceiling fan will push around that cooled air, making the room feel more comfortable and keeping you from turning the thermostat down a few additional degrees.

Experiment on using your ceiling fan

Here’s another bit of information about ceiling fans: Experiment with which ways the blade spin (most fans have a switch near the hub of the fan to switch the direction).
If you set the fan so the blades spin counterclockwise, you’ll be creating an appreciable downdraft in the room. That will create the wind chill effect.

That breeze, however, can be annoying to some people, such as those lying in bed, eat a meal or trying to read a newspaper. As a result, set the blades to spin clockwise. There will less of a draft.

Instead, the fan will pull up cool air-conditioned air that has settled down on the floor and blend it with warm air higher in the room (warm air is lighter than cool air. As a result, warm air rises and cool air falls).

Remember, ceiling fans are one of the top features many home buyers look for in a home purchase. If you are selling your home, you want your home to feel inviting and cool while home buyers look at your home. Now, if you are using a virtual tour that allows home buyers to see your home, they will likely notice a ceiling fan.

Using a ceiling fan on updraft mode

With the fan in an updraft mode, you will mostly feel the coolness of the air-conditioned air on your skin versus the breeze of the fan. Ideally, the blades of a ceiling fan should be positioned somewhere near the middle of the top third of the room. For example, if you had a room with nine-foot ceilings, the fan blades should be in the middle of the uppermost three feet.

Use a ceiling fan on the cool days of winter

In the winter, you can use the ceiling fan to create the opposite effect: By switching the rotation of the blades, and running it on the low cycle, the fan will push heated air down from the top of the room and mix with the cold air below to make the room feel more comfortable.

Tips on installing a ceiling fan

A ceiling fan installs the same way as a light fixture. You’ll need a few tools: screwdrivers, pliers, wire-strippers, electrical tape and a ladder. The fan is attached to a junction box, which is a small metal box in the ceiling that houses the wiring for a light fixture.

If you’re lacking a junction box, you will need to have one installed. That will call for a professional electrician. Before starting the installation, make sure all the electricity to the room is off. Remove fuses or flip circuit breakers to the “off” position before starting.

Make sure the junction box is stable. Start by removing the light fixture. You might need to better stabilize the box by driving a few more screws from it into an attached joist.

Another installation problem, especially in older homes, is the wiring. There are two wires to hook up, so the connection to the fan is not complicated. The problem may be older wiring, which can become hard and brittle. Wiring insulation can also fray.
Because installations vary by fan manufacturer, follow any instructions. After you’ve connected the wires, make sure none they are sealed with electrical tape.

© by Jim Sulski