Keep cool or warm with little cost and lots of light!

Ceiling fans can light up a room while also keeping its temperature in check throughout the year–at a fraction of the energy cost of an air conditioner and heater. And unlike a lot of small remodel tasks, replacing a lighting fixture in your home with a new ceiling fan isn’t necessarily difficult if you’re comfortable doing small electrical tasks (you will need to disconnect and connect some wires.) We’ve got the run-down on what you’ll need to do, as well as some tips to avoid mistakes when installing a new ceiling fan.

Remember to turn off electricity to the fixture before getting to the nitty-gritty, and follow manufacturer instructions for a simple, headache-free and safe installation.

Installing Your Ceiling Fan

1. First, find the right sized fan! You’ll want a fan that’s 36 inches in diameter for a room whose longest wall is less than 12 feet. For a larger room, go with a 42-inch fan. If your longest wall is more than 15 feet, get a 52-inch fan.

2. Get ready to remove your existing fixture. Go to your circuits and cut off electricity to the light you’ll be replacing. You can cover the switch with tape to make sure it doesn’t get switched back while working.

3. Before removing the fixture, you’ll have to disconnect fixture wires and remove its central mounting nut and screws. 

4. Check the electrical box for the fixture. Is it securely fastened to the ceiling or a support bracket? If not, you will have to install a support brace, as ceiling fans can weigh up to 50 pounds and require sturdy support.

5. Affix your ceiling fan’s mounting bracket to the ceiling box, as instructed by your fan’s manufacturer. If your fan doesn’t come with a mounting kit, buy one separately.

Tip: It’s a good idea to install an extension rod that will add space between your fan and the ceiling, giving room for air to circulate as it spins. 

6. Now connect the fan motor wiring! Usually, you will connect like wires–black to black, white to white–between your fan motor and house wiring. Be sure to follow your fan’s manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

7. Now, cover the ceiling box and mounting bracket with the fan canopy. Once that’s on, affix blade mounting brackets to each blade, then attach those brackets to the rotating part of the fan. Make sure everything is screwed in tight!

8. Assemble your fan’s light fixture and attach it to your fan’s motor assembly. Follow manufacturer directions for connecting the wires, then install your bulbs.

Tip: You’ll want to switch up your ceiling fan’s spin direction depending on the season. In the summer, have it spin counter-clockwise to draw air down for a cooling effect. In the winter, have it spin clockwise to draw air up and force warm air down.

Added Tips to Prevent Mistakes!

  • It’s absolutely important to ensure everything is screwed in tight as you move along the process of installing a ceiling fan.
  • Only use fan blades for the fan that you purchased. Fans and blades are assigned by weight, and your fan is designed to support the blades that came with it.
  • Make sure all your wiring is well-connected!


Check out Cindy’s 10 step process when she replaced a ceiling light with a fan in her home!