I assume you are a DIY and have decided that putting ceiling fans in your home makes good sense. You’ve probably researched the advantages of installing ceiling fans and have learned that besides the aesthetic appeal that is part and parcel of a ceiling fan, there are a number of benefits that impact your wallet in a positive way.
The industry has determined that the cooling effect of a ceiling fan can make a room feel at least 7 degrees cooler than it really is and the consequent adjustment to your thermostat can cut your air conditioning related energy costs by as much as 35% to 45%. In the cold months, reversing the fan blades so they push warm air down from the ceiling can reduce your heating expenses as well. Some experts maintain that you can save between 8% to 12% on your heating bill.
So, you’re sold on the idea of installing ceiling fans. The next step is to decide what brand, style, etc. you’re going to invest your money in. Do the research. Find out who the major players are in the manufacture of ceiling fans and how long they’ve been at it. It’s not necessarily who sells the most ceiling fans but rather, what consumers say about the various brands. The Internet can help but you have to be wary about sales pitches that are disguised as testimonials. My personal preference is Westinghouse because of a multitude of factors that I’m not going to get into since this article is intended to focus more on the installation end of the ceiling fan rather than what to buy.
However, before I get off the subject of what to buy, a word or two to the wise. This is not a purchase that you want to make with the idea of saving as much money as you can on these units. Manufacturers of inexpensive units have become more and more clever at making their products look great. However, a ceiling fan needs to pass the test of time and extensive use and many if not most of the cheaper units simply don’t pass this test. Inexpensive fan casing is often made from thin material that may not be of the best quality.
So, after a few years, you may begin to notice the motor housing beginning to show signs of wear with vibrating and other noise being the telltale signs. There’s nothing you can do to fix these problems besides investing in another fan (throwing good money after bad). Also, cheaper fans often have blades that are made of inferior material which may begin to warp or go out of balance. While you can do a temporary fix for this kind of problem, you’re going to end up with a chronic headache since the basic cause of the problem just won’t go away no matter how many times you try to fix it.
Here are a few more tips to consider while you’re shopping for the right fan(s). The size of the room determines the span of the blade you should be looking for. You’ll find blade spans that range between 29″ to 56″. The smallest blade span will work for a room that is no bigger than 50 square feet while a 36″ blade span will service an area of approximately 70′ to 80′ square feet. Larger rooms, such as 100 square feet need at least a 42″ blade span and a room that is larger than 100 square feet should have a fan with the longest blade span you can find.
Make sure the pitch of the blade is approximately 14 degrees for the most efficient air movement.
Many fans are equipped with lighting. Consider the size of the room and what the room will be used for when deciding whether or not to buy a fan with lights. Most manufacturers make ceiling fans that can be adapted to lighted fixtures with a lighting kit designed specifically for a particular model.
Finally, buy a ceiling fan that is reversible so that you can run it in one direction for
cooling and in the other direction for heating.
Keep in mind that the fan blades should be at least seven feet from the floor and a foot
below the ceiling. For lower ceilings, choose a hugger type fan. With higher ceilings, you can purchase what is called a down rod for purposes of extending the fan closer to the floor.
Okay. It’s time to get down to some of the basic issues related to getting these things up where they belong and doing what they’re designed to do.
You’ve purchased the fan(s). As you unpack the first one, make sure you check the parts you take from the box against the listing (usually an exploded drawing) of the parts shown in the manufacturer’s literature. Lay out the parts and then check them off to make sure that you’ve got everything you’re supposed to have. Keep the parts away from the area where you will actually install the fan to keep from creating a mess as you begin the actual job.
Be sure you’ve got all the tools you need before starting the job. This includes a stepladder, the right kind of screwdrivers, a pair of pliers, something to strip the wires with, a circuit tester, a ceiling box, a hammer and a saw to make the opening in the drywall. It’s probably a good idea to have your toolbox handy just in case you need something you haven’t anticipated. The best way to make sure you’ve got everything you need is to read the installation instructions from beginning to end before you do anything else.
If you’re among the fortunate, the room will have a ceiling box that is being used for a light fixture already mounted in the center of the room. Generally, the existing ceiling box will need to be replaced with one specifically designed for mounting a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans weigh considerably more than light fixtures and may require additional support. If the material that came with the fan doesn’t include a new ceiling box and mounting brackets, you will have to purchase these separately before proceeding. You may need to hire an experienced, licensed electrician to do this part of the job if you don’t have the expertise yourself. The primary consideration is to make certain that the ceiling box provides adequate support for the weight of the ceiling fan. A brace (mounting bracket) mounted between ceilings joists will provide the necessary support.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a ceiling box mounted in the center of the room, you
will need to undertake the necessary renovations to run electricity from the closest source to the center of the room. The steps required to do this are beyond the scope of this article and will usually require the services of an experienced and licensed electrician.
Most manuals that are packed with the ceiling fan will provide considerable detail
regarding what it will take to adequately support the ceiling fan.
Make sure the electricity to the room is turned off at the box (circuit breaker or fuse box). Test the wiring with a circuit tester to make sure it’s off. If the room has inadequate natural lighting, you may need to run an extension cord with a lighting fixture from
another part of the house to provide you with adequate visibility.
Carefully read the installation manual and follow the step-by-step instructions for
installing the fan. Keep in mind that this is usually at least a two-person job. Even though the instructions may not tell you this, be sure that there is sufficient clearance between the blades and the ceiling to attach the blades after installing the motor. If not, install the blades to the motor arms before attaching the motor to the electrical box.
It’s common sense so it may not be mentioned in the manual but make sure the screws that are used to attach the blades are evenly tightened.
Now that your fan is installed, it’s time to test its operation. Turn on the power and switch on the fan. Although the manufacturer should make certain that the blades are evenly weighted and that their angles are all the same, it may still wobble somewhat once it begins to rotate. If this is the case, turn the fan off and check to make certain that the screws that attach the blades are all tight. Use a yardstick held vertically at the edge of one of the blades and manually rotate the blades to make sure that they are in alignment. If there is any misalignment, gently bend the blade up or down to get the blade aligned properly.
If the wobble persists, it usually means that one or more of the blades weigh more or less
than the others. Many manufacturers include weight-balancing clips with the ceiling fans. These clips install on the top of the blade and add weight. Less weight is added the closer to the motor housing the clip is installed. Adjust the clip(s) until the wobble stops. If weight-balancing clips were not included, they can be purchased at a lighting store, home center or at many hardware stores.
Your ceiling fan should be ready to use and should offer you years of pleasure and comfort.
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Author: Chuck Lunsford
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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