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How to Install a Ceiling Fan

How to install a ceiling fan, explained in easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions that show you how,  including information on installing a hanger bar for the necessary support. how to install a ceiling fan

Installing a ceiling fan is a good project for the do-it-yourselfer, as you can simply replace a traditional lighting fixture with a fan or fan-and-light kit. You can wire the fan’s light to be controlled by the light switch on the wall and allow the fan to be turned on manually by pulling a cord, install a second switch to control the fan, or purchase a unit operated by remote control.

You’ll need to ensure that the junction box to which you will connect your fan can support its weight (it should say “suitable for fan support”), that you have enough clearance between the fan blades and the ground (at least 7 feet), and that your fan is the appropriate size for your room. For more, see Sizing & Locating a Ceiling Fan.


install ceiling fan hanger bar

Ceiling fan mounting bar fits into ceiling hole and locks between joists to secure electrical box. Photo: Westinghouse

How to Install a Ceiling Fan: Step-by-Step

Following are instructions for how to install a ceiling fan at an existing ceiling box.


1Remove the old light fixture. (See How to Replace a Light Fixture for information about how to do so.)

install a ceiling fan downrod

Assemble the fan unit, inserting the wires through the downrod.

2Install a ceiling fan hanger bar. If the ceiling box is connected at its center to a bar hanger attached to two joists, then continue on to Step 3. If it does not, you will have to install a ceiling fan hanger bar. Take out the ceiling box, and insert the hanger into the ceiling hole. Ram the edges (or “feet”) of the bar toward the two ceiling joists by turning the center of the bar, and use a wrench to tighten the bar and embed the sides into the joists. Attach the ceiling box to the hanger.


3Insert the fan’s downrod through the canopy. Thread the motor’s wires though the downrod and canopy. Screw the downrod onto the motor.



install ceiling fan wiring

Mount the fan to the box and assemble the wires with wire nuts.

4Screw the fan’s ceiling plate to the electrical box, first threading the wires from the box through the plate. Suspend the fan from the ceiling box’s support.


5Wire the fan according to the manufacturer’s directions.



how to install a ceiling fan canopy

Screw the ceiling canopy in place.

6Remove the fan from the hook, put the canopy over the ceiling plate, and screw the canopy into place. Affix the fan blades.


7Finish by wiring the fan’s light fixture (if your fan has one) according to manufacturer directions, and screw the fixture into place.

Featured Resource: Find a Pre-Screened Local Ceiling Fan Installation Pro

About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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