Repair & Maintenance

How to hang a ceiling fan

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Man hanging fan
Even a novice do-it-yourself homeowner can learn to hang a ceiling fan
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Installing a ceiling fan can be an inexpensive way to cool your home and provide additional air circulation. Although the job may seem intimidating, doing it yourself is relatively easy and requires little equipment. Here are a few helpful tips on how to hang a ceiling fan.

Most ceiling fans are hung in the center of a room, which provides adequate airflow to the entire space. Adding a fan usually does not draw any more power than an overhead light fixture, however if your fan includes a light you may want to make sure the circuit that it's on has enough power to run both. If you discover that it does not, you will have to run a new circuit and circuit breaker from the main panel in the house or from a sub panel to the fan. If there is no current fixture in the room, you will need to create a space for the fan and tap into an existing circuit for power. Before installing, check the blade clearance to be sure you have enough room.


Turn off the power. Turn off the circuit by switching off the breaker or removing the fuse.

If there is an existing fan, remove it. Keep the wire nuts you find holding the wires together - they can be re used.
  1. Measure to make sure you properly center the fan.

  2. Mount the fan. If you have access through an attic, check to make sure the existing electrical/junction box will provide enough support. Check and see if it has metal cross braces that span across the two joists. If not, you can cut a 2x4 to fit in between the joists.

  • If you do not have access from the attic, install a metal electrical/junction box. (Never use one made of plastic, the material is not strong enough to support the fan). Cut a hole large enough for the junction box to be inserted and if the joist is close enough, screw the box securely into it. If not, just attach the box to a header nailed between the joints. Be sure that when you are using a metal junction box that the fan weighs no more than 35 pounds, as it may not be able to support anything heavier and you will need to use the house structure for additional support. Note that if you are mounting the fan to a beamed season you will need a beam mount.

  • Mount the hardware that is used to suspend the fan to the electrical/junction box.

  • Make sure the screws are secure so the fan will not wobble when in use.

  • Hook up the wiring. Route the electrical wires through the mount and wire the fan according to the manufacturers' instructions. Make sure to connect the black house wires to the black fan wires and the white house wires to the white fan wires and then ground the fan to both the metal box and the fan. Wirenut the ground wires from the box and the fan and the power supply together. Cover the power connections (black and white wires) with a securely screwed on wire nut.

  • Attach the fan motor to the mounting bracket. Turn the power back on to check if the connections work. Then turn the power back off.

  • Attach the decorative cover. (Used to hide the hole in the ceiling). This must be done before the blades are attached.

  • Attach the blades to their mounting brackets and then attach the blade assemblies to the fan motor. You may need assistance with this part of the job, especially if the fan blades are large.

  • Turn the power on again and check to make sure the fan runs smoothly and does not wobble or make excessive noise.

  • As you can see, hanging a ceiling fan need not be complicated. This list and the instructions you'll receive from the manufacturer, will help you hang a ceiling fan like a pro.

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