So you want to spice up your rooms décor, with a ceiling fan, well lets go over some points of interest.
Now before you go out and buy the most amazing looking fan you can find, you must gather some information.
Does your room have a ceiling fan box? How high is your ceiling? What is the square footage of your room? Is there a light switch in the room? What is the purpose of the room?
The regular ceiling box is designed to support a light fixture up to fifty pounds using the box ears (small tabs on opposite sides of box with screw holes which uses 8/32 screws). A ceiling fan box can support a light fixture up to fifty pounds using the box ears or a light fixture up to one hundred fifty pounds using the box studs (threaded tubes inside of box which uses 10/32 screws), these studs are used to support fans up to seventy pounds. Ears on a ceiling fan box are never used to support ceiling fans.
Due to the weight of the fan and spin of the blades, heavy force is placed upon the two screws supporting the fan. For this reason the ears of any type ceiling box is never used to support fans, because over time the screws will start to loosen.
In order for you to determine if you have a regular box or a ceiling fan box, the existing light fixture or ceiling fan has to be partially removed in order to get a look at the inside of the box.
Depending on how high your ceiling is, will determine how low your fan can be or needs to be. If your ceiling is eight feet or lower, the installation of a ceiling fan becomes less of an option, as it posses a danger. There should be at least seven feet of space, from the floor to the bottom of the lowest point on the fan. A high ceiling will require extension rods to lower the fan, while a low ceiling may require you to use a ceiling hugger model (close to the ceiling).
The size of your room (in square feet, width x length) determines the size of your fan (it is not just what you want but what you need) Room Size 5' x 5' and less/blade span 24"- 36" Very small rooms such as bathrooms, walk-in closets, kitchens, and hallways Room Size 10' x 10' and less/blade span 42" to 48" Guest bedrooms, children’s rooms, as well as smaller home offices. Room Sizes 15' x 15' and less/blade span 50" to 55" This is a standard and popular size that is most common for living rooms, dens, and a medium size home office. Room Sizes 20' x 20' or more/blade span 56” + Fans with this size blade span are used in very large areas where the ceilings are over ten feet and a decorative statement is looking to be made. Fans this wide are ineffective at air circulation due to weight of the blades straining the motor. Two smaller fans would serve this space better.
If you have an existing wall switch, it may only have two wires, which limits your fan control options from the wall, in this case a remote control will be an option. If it has three wires you may be able to install a fancy switch that can separately control the lights and fan.
The purpose of the room will determine if you need light, and if so how much.
This information will determine what size fan (blade width) you need, or can get. You do not want a fan to small or the air in your room will not be circulated effectively. Nor do you want one to large or it will act as an airplane propeller on your ceiling circulating air and objects.
You are not ready to buy a fan just yet, let us talk fan features.
Do you want to use the fan for lighting? Will the fan lighting be the primary source of room light? Do you want to dim the lights? Do you want remote control capabilities? Do you want a reversing motor?
If you are using the fan for lighting the room, especially as your primary light source, the amount of light you want and need will decide the model you purchase. This is something to consider before you purchase the fan because not every model can be fitted with a light kit after purchase.
Dimming the lights on a ceiling fan is a common feature, but must only be done with the proper components and wiring. If you have a two-wire wall switch and you install a dimmer you will not only dim the lights on the fan but also the motors power which will cause the motor to hum (it’s hurting)
A remote control option offers some great features, like variable speed settings, light dimming, timer setting, temperature control, etc. This is something to consider before you purchase the fan because not every model can be fitted with a remote control module after purchase.
Being able to reverse the motor makes the fan a valuable tool in cooling or warming the room. Many fan companies recommend pushing the air down (forward spin) in the warm season to create a cooling effect, and pulling the air up (reverse spin) in the cool season to help circulate the warm air. This works best if your ceilings are 8 to 10 feet, if they are any higher you may want to consider doing the opposite.
If you have, any further questions find yourself in need of a separate circuit, or ceiling fan box, please call your favorite licensed electrical contractor.
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