Best Ceiling Fans 2020 | Reviews and Buying Guide
Staying cool during the warmer months is a desire we all hope to achieve. Even just a breeze moving through a room can give you a sense of relaxation, not found when the air is stagnant in an area. To that end, we’re here to help you find the best ceiling fan and assure that you’re happy with your purchase for years to come based on the quality, size, features, styling, and much more that we’ve put together in this ceiling fan buying guide.
This page of Costimates.com will help you whether it’s a new ceiling fan you’re looking, or a replacement for an older fan that has either failed, or you just want a new look and features for 2020 and beyond. You’ll learn all you need to know about the top rated fans from our ceiling fan reviews, including which products are right for your needs and the area you plan to install the ceiling fan.
Without further delay, lets review the best ceiling fans for you home.
Last Updated: Monday, January 6, 2020
- Price: $180-$250
- Size: 52"
- Noise: Low
- Blades: 3
- Finish: Pewter
- Remote Control
- Price: $170-$200
- Size: 52"
- Noise: Whisper
- Blades: 5
- Finish: Wood
- Remote Control
- Price: $120-$160
- Size: 52″
- Noise: Moderate
- Blades: 5
- Finish: Old World
- Price: $170-$220
- Size: 52"
- Noise: Very Low
- Blades: 5
- Finish: Stainless Steel
- Remote Control
- Price: $170-$200
- Size: 43"
- Noise: Very Low
- Blades: 3
- Finish: Brushed Nickel
- Very Modern
Best Ceiling Fans, Updated Reviews from the Editor
If you’re looking for a quiet ceiling fan, the Hunter Whisperwind motor will not disappoint! It’s first on our list for a reason! Strong airflow, combined with the ultimate in quiet operating performance makes this one of our favorite fans! Like almost all indoor ceiling fans, you have the ability to reverse the motor from updraft to downdraft for seasonal changes in airflow.
- 5 Bladed with opposing colors of white or wood grain to suit your color choices.
- 13 degree fan blade angle is perfect for moving air at high velocity as needed.
- Down-rods come in the box, with 2 sizes to choose from, 2 or 3 inch.
Guaranteed to fit into any decor with a relaxed stylish appearance, the fan will not overpower the room and become a focal point or a distraction. From it’s low profile motor and unassuming light kit, this ceiling fan is priced in a range that most can justify spending for a ceiling fan with such high performance features.
This indoor ceiling fan boasts a handsome pewter body surrounded by 5 blades in rich walnut, with other color combinations available. It is reversible, and its 3 speeds are adjusted with a pull chain. Two downrods, 3.5 and 6 inches, are included along with an angled ceiling adapter up to 21 degrees for versatile installation. Compatible Minka Aire light kits and an angled adapter for ceilings up to 45 degrees are sold separately.
The specs of this Minka Aire fan include:
- 54” diameter sweep
- Blades angled at 14 degrees for optimal airflow
- 10.6-inch total height from fan bottom to ceiling with 3.5-inch downrod
This fan is part of the most attractive, high-performance series from Minka Aire. Form beautifully meets functionality with classic styling and a modern flair. This ceiling fan is designed to deliver comfortable climate control in rooms from medium to large. Affordably priced, it blends with any decorating scheme.
The modern, long-lasting pewter finish of this 3-blade ceiling fan cleans easily. A light kit must be installed with the fan.
In the box:
- Two downrod options, 4-inch and 6-inch
- One 100 watt halogen bulb
The Hampton Bay Vasner 52-inch fan is designed with an elegantly stepped colonial pewter fan body to combine modern styling with smooth operation and lighting versatility. The brilliant halogen light and 52-inch fan diameter serve large rooms to about 400 square feet. A full-function remote gives you convenient fan control from across the room. This is a 3-speed fan with reversible motor for use in all seasons. The three fan blades are finished in colonial pewter to produce modern styling with the stepped housing and canopy ring that hides fasteners from sight. Includes a light fixture kit with frosted, off-white glass dome. This indoor fan is 52” or 172mm in diameter and is 17mm from the fan bottom to the ceiling. In the box are a 100-watt halogen light bulb and two downrods – 4 inches and 6 inches. Required light kit is not included.
The ultra-quiet yet powerful fan motor keeps air moving to keep you comfortable with barely a sound. The reversible motor gives you the versatility to push air down in summer and circulate it up and around when you’re heating your home.
- Blade pitch is 13 degrees for optimal air movement.
- Housing has a low-profile design with flush mount to the ceiling, so it won’t be in the way even in rooms with an 8-foot ceiling.
- Hunter has a 125-year track record of excellence and provides a limited lifetime warranty on the motor.
The Hunter Bennett ceiling fan delivers classic visual appeal to any room. The lightly smoky glass globe blends beautifully with the rich tones of the fan, and it has an open bottom, so light isn’t obscured. The Edison LED bulb allows you to adjust the lighting to create the mood you want from relaxing to energetic. The Hunter ceiling fan has the good looks, high performance and whisper-quiet fan to create the whole stylish package, and the flush mount is perfect for use on low ceilings.
This 5 blade ceiling fan features blades with teak finish on one side and walnut on the other, and flipping them is a simple job. The 3-speed fan motor is controlled with pull chain, and the motor is reversed using the switch on the motor housing. Two downrods are included.
- Diameter: 153mm/52”
- Moves 5116 cubic feet per minute
- 4 bulbs controlled with on/off pull chain and nestled in alabaster-like glass globes
Traditional styling is on display in the 120-volt Quorum Capri Collection 77525-8165, 52-inch diameter ceiling fan with satin nickel finish. Fan and light pull chain controls performance. The 5 blades can be switched – teak on one side; walnut on the other. The fan hangs 17 inches from the ceiling. 4 bulbs are included in the Quorum 77525-8165 Capri Collection ceiling fan with a 3-speed motor, pull-chain operation and a manual motor reverse switch on the housing. 3.5-inch and 6-inch downrods with 1/2″ exterior diameter included.
The low-profile housing offers flush ceiling mounting when overhead room is limited. Change motor direction to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient in every season. Downflow cools you during hot months. Upflow circulates warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down when you’re heating your home. This fan is rated for indoor use only.
- LED lighting is bright, energy efficient, and the lights have a longer life than ordinary bulbs.
- Flush mounting makes the most of available space with a low-profile housing perfect for 8-foot ceilings.
- 42” Hunter Crestfield ceiling fan in transitional style with dark bronze finish.
Whisper-quiet fan motor powerfully moves the air, so you get the cooling performance you want without annoying noise. This contemporary design with modern appeal features a reversible fan motor – downdrafts for summer cooling and updrafts to circulate heat effectively in cold months. The blade have silver finish on one side and woodgrain on the other, and are easy to reverse to give you the look you want.
- Modern design
- 52 inch diameter for moving the air in up to 400 square feet of space
- Ideal for living rooms, bedrooms and open zones of your home
- 4.9 inch and 9.8 inch included downrods give you installation options
Full-feature remote included, a new addition to this AndersonLight ceiling fan. The remote controls the 3-speed fan motor and the light. Choose your favorite LED light color – bright white, soft light or yellow light. A smart timer gives you added control. Our goal is to deliver fans with superior quality backed by excellent post-sale service to our customers. High performance at a reasonable cost
- 3-speed motor offers adjustable airflow with little motor noise. Beautiful design and quality components
- Reversible – Cooling in summer and the re-circulation of warm air in winter
- Modern, lithe design that installs with the 4.9-inch or 9.8-inch downrod included
- In the box: Fan with motor, 5 blades, 2 downrods, 1 light globe, 1 canopy, remote with battery and manual
Sporting bold, 21st century style with brushed nickel finish, this ceiling fan brings tomorrow to your home today. A thin downrod supports the bright, beefy housing. The three angled blades deliver plenty of airflow. Can be assembled in under 30 minutes and designed for indoor use.
- Remote control included
- Dimensions: 43” diameter, 12.5” ceiling to bottom.
- Brushed nickel finish
This ceiling fan with light looks straight out of tomorrow with its bold architecture and bright brushed nickel base and blades. A minimalist downrod leads to the oversized and bright motor housing. Rivet is an Amazon brand.
What is a Ceiling Fan and How do they Work?
A ceiling fan is a motorized fan that mounts to the ceiling and is wired into an electrical junction box. Depending on the model, fans are controlled by pull chains, remote controls or wall switches.
Ceiling fans can be lighted. Your lighting options are to buy a fan with integrated lighting or to add a light kit that is compatible with your fan.
The purpose of a ceiling fan is to make your indoor climate more comfortable while using less energy.
In summer, the fan creates airflow which allows you to set the thermostat to a higher temperature and remain just as comfortable.
In winter, heat rises. Users reverse the fan direction to create an updraft. The rising air forces warm air back down. This means your furnace, heat pump or boiler won’t work as hard, and your energy costs will be lower.
Location: Ceiling fans are most commonly used in living rooms, bedrooms and other rooms where household members spend a lot of time.
They are especially useful in winter in rooms with vaulted ceilings. A lot of heat is wasted when it rises into the peak. The fan circulates the air back down nearer the floor. Look for a ceiling fan with an angled adapter for mounting to vaulted ceilings.
Ceiling Fan Buying Guide
In this section, we’ll help you understand each feature that together make up the best ceiling fan for your home. After learning more about ceiling fans, you’ll be able to see why we listed those above, and which features are most important to you, and for the space you plan to install a ceiling fan.
Ceiling Fan Size and Airflow
Ceiling fans begin at about 14 inches in diameter and can be as large as 72 inches across. This is also called the blade span. The most popular ceiling fan sizes range from about 36 inches to 54 inches.
Each fan is rated for the cubic feet of air it can move per minute, or CFM. Small models move as little as 1,000 CFM while the largest move more than 10,000 cubic feet per minute. Tips for sizing a ceiling fan are below.
Blade span is related to CFM. The larger the fan, the more air it moves. The angel of the blades also impacts CFM – a sharper pitch increases the amount of air that is moved.
Finish and Style
An excellent selection of ceiling fans allows you to choose one to complement your home’s style and color scheme.
Finish: The fan body, or the motor housing, is either painted or metallic in finish. Fans in the whole spectrum of paint colors is available, though white, off-white and dark tones are most common.
Metal finishes are popular too. Brushed nickel, brushed pewter, copper patina and other bright tones fit well with contemporary and modern design. Oil rubbed bronze, antique brass and other rich, dark metallic finishes complement traditional, rustic and antique styles.
Style: You’ll find a good variety of fans in your preferred style. Certainly traditional and modernistic styles are abundant. But ceiling fans with antique, rustic, Old World, tropical and transitional styles are plentiful too.
Blades: Fan blades are often produced in the same painted and metallic finishes as fan housings. But genuine wood and wood-look fan blades are found on many ceiling fans, especially fans with traditional styling. Many wood and wood-look fan blades can be turned over, giving you a stylistic option. One side is typically a lighter wood like lightly stained oak, while the other side is a dark wood like mahogany or teak with dark stain.
Ceiling Fan Cost – Shopping Within Your Budget
Cheap ceiling fans start below $65 and many top $500. Here’s what you can expect in the price range that fits your budget. Most ceiling fan brand will carry fans in all these price ranges.
Up to $100
These affordable models can be surprisingly attractive and functional, though they offer few advanced features. Many get decent ratings from verified buyers. In this range, you will find:
-Fans up to about 54”
-Most have a single CFL, LED bulb or halogen light
-Fan blades are plastic or cheap metal
-Most have a reversible motor, and multi-speed motors
-Style is very basic
-Quality is poor to average
There’s a lot of overlap with the cheaper fans in terms of size and motor. Some have upgrades such as:
- LED lighting and/or multiple lights
- Remote controls
- Dual finish blades
- Better warranties including some lifetime warranties
- Easy to install
Here’s where you’ll begin to notice more performance, style and quality upgrades. These might include:
- Fans up to 62”
- Genuine wood or heavier-gauge metal blades
- Dimmable lighting and multi-colored lighting
- Smart fans that work with Alexa and Google Home
- WiFi ceiling fans
$300 and Up
In this range, design is the driving force in the higher cost. Most have LED lights, 3-speed reversible fans and remote controls. In this range, you will also find ceiling fans with:
- Spans to 80” or more
- Energy efficient DC motor that is quieter too
- Chandelier style and other upscale lighting
- Artistically designed blades and fan housing
- As many as 12 blades
- Exotic wood blades
Location of the New Ceiling Fan
There’s s ceiling fan for every room size and type. This chart will help you size a ceiling fan and choose the right one for each location and properly sized rooms.
|Room Type||Square Feet||Best Fan Size||CFM|
|Den, Small room, Eating nook||Up to 150||Up to 40″||Up to 3,000|
|Medium bedroom, Dining room, Kitchen||150 – 225||42″ to 48″||2,000 – 4,000|
|Large bedroom, Family/TV room||225 – 400||50″ to 62″||3,000 – 6,000|
|Master bedroom, Great room, large room||400 – 500||64″ to 72″||5,000 – 8,000|
|Great room, Open floor plan||500+||Over 72″||7,500 – 12,000|
Location, whether indoors or outdoors, is important too. Underwriters Limited (UL) certifies fans for with one of three ratings.
- Dry rated fans are for use indoors in rooms without high humidity, since moisture in the air can potentially corrode internal parts and ruin the fan.
- Damp rated ceiling fans are ideal for the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room where high humidity is common. They can also be installed in damp basements and in outdoor locations that are covered, such as a covered porch or pole building.
- Wet rated fans can be used anywhere, even where subject to rain, snow and ocean spray.
Ceiling height is an important consideration.
Ceiling fans are divided into flush-mount models and downrod fans.
- Flush-mount ceiling fans mounts tight to the ceiling. For this reason, they are also called huggers or low-profile fans. These are the right choice in rooms with 8-foot ceilings. They won’t be in the way of normal activities.
- Downrod fans are suspended from metal tubes called downrods or drop rods. The tube is attached to the housing that covers the connection to the ceiling, and the fan’s wiring is concealed within the downrod.
The downrod serves one of two purposes.
The first is to allow the fan to operate at the optimal height for cooling your space or helping to keep it warm. Hunter, a leading ceiling fan manufacturer, says, “The general rule is to have your ceiling fan approximately 8′ to 9′ above the floor in order to optimize the efficiency of your fan… and the fan blades must be 7 feet or more from the floor.” So, shoot for that sweet spot of 7-9 feet above the floor.
This Downrod Sizing Chart should help.
|9′||6″ to 12″|
|10′||12″ to 18″|
|11′||24″ to 30″|
|12′||36″ to 42″|
|13′||48″ to 60″|
|14′||60″ to 72″|
|15′||72″ to 84″|
Downrods are made from 3” to 72”. In some cases, separate pieces of downrod must be coupled together to obtain sufficient length when suspended from very high ceilings.
The second time to use a drop rod is when the fan is mounted on a vaulted ceiling. The downrod lowers it enough that the blades won’t hit the ceiling. Ideally, the fan blades should be at least 12” from the ceiling to ensure proper airflow.
The length of the downrod needed depends on the fan blade span and the pitch of the ceiling. Your fan’s manual should include a sizing guide for downrods based on these factors.
Number of Fan Blades
Ceiling fans sport up to twelve fan blades, though three, four and five are most common. Does the number of blades make a difference?
Yes – The number affects the look of the fan.
No – The number of blades does not have much impact on airflow, at least not when considering fans with 3-5 blades.
Cubic feet per minute of airflow, or CFM, isn’t a function of how many blades the unit has.
CFM is a determined by these factors:
Fan motor speed. The faster any fan is moving, the greater the CFM. Fan motors with more than one speed give you control of airflow.
Width and length of the blades. Bigger blades move more air.
The pitch of the fan blades. Ceiling fan blades have an angled portion that rises to catch more air as the fan rotates. Pitch or angle is typically between 12 and 15 degrees for optimal air movement while being energy efficient.
Manufacturers look for the right balance in these factors. Keep in mind that more air movement also requires more energy and produces higher operating cost.
When fan makers fail, their ceiling fan reviews look like:
-“It’s a pretty fan, but I can barely feel it blowing even if I’m right under it.”
-“This fan definitely moves a lot of air, but our electricity bill went up noticeably.”
Noise Level Generated by Fan
Manufacturers rarely list the decibel levels of their fans. They’ll just tell you theirs is “whisper quiet.” One of the common names by a major brand is “whisperwind motor”.
The biggest reason for the secrecy is that they cannot control the quality of fan installation. Improperly installed or mounted fans often produce vibration noise that isn’t caused by the fan.
With that in mind, ceiling fan noise levels range from about 20 to 40 decibels depending on fan size, speed and type. Compare that to rustling leaves (20dBA), a whisper (30), computer fan (35-40), central air conditioner (55-75) and a garbage disposal (80+).
Tips for choosing a quiet ceiling fan:
-Size the fan properly. An oversized fan will create more noise than one that is the right sized for the space. See our Sizing Chart above.
-Choose a fan with a DC motor. The motors are brushless, so there is far less friction. AC motors have a noticeable hum on higher speeds and often develop that annoying “tick, tick, tick” sound as the motor wears out.
Versatile ceiling fan mounting options allow you to install the fan on any ceiling and maximize performance.
Here are your options and when each should be used.
- Flush mount installation: The motor housing is installed tight to the ceiling. That is why flush mount fans are also called huggers. No downrod is used. Flush mount is typically used on ceilings 8 foot or lower. If the hugger fan is large, this mounting style can be used with 9-foot ceilings too.
- Drop mount installation: This method is used on ceilings of 9 feet and higher. A downrod is attached to the fan canopy – that part of the fan that attaches to the mounting box in the ceiling.
The downrod, aka drop rod, will be 3 inches to 6 feet long depending on the height of the ceiling. Ideally, the drop rod will place the fan so that the blades are 7-9 feet from the floor.
- Fans less than 42”, 7-8 feet off the floor
- Fans 42” and larger, 8-9 feet off the floor
Most fans come with one or two downrods in the box. A 3” and 6” or 4.5” and 9” combination are common. One might already be attached. Using a short drop rod is called close-to-ceiling installation.
Longer downrods must be purchased as an accessory. If you’re shopping online, the fan product page will often list compatible downrods of various length with the option to purchase.
- Angled ceiling installation: Some fans come with an angled ceiling adapter for sloped or vaulted ceilings. In angled ceiling installation, the downrod is attached on a pivot, and the hole in the canopy is larger, so that the fan can hang straight down.
One of many examples is the Minka-Aire F614-PW ceiling fan. It includes a sloped ceiling adapter that allows for installation on a roof with a slope of up to 21 degrees. An optional adapter is available for ceilings sloped from 22 to 45 degrees.
Double-check before you buy to be sure the fan you’re considering can be installed on a sloped ceiling and that it comes with or you’ve ordered the necessary adapter.
Important Note on the Mounting Box: Ceiling fans weigh 15 to 50 pounds or more, and that weight must be supported within the ceiling. Most newer homes come equipped to handle a fan, but some older houses do not.
Supporting the fan is the job of a ceiling fan mounting box and brace. A standard light fixture box, especially one that is plastic, won’t be enough. One retailer recommends that the installer, “Inspect the existing junction box to make sure it’s rated for ceiling fans. There should be an inscription on the box to indicate this. The box is usually metal. If not, replace it with a fan-rated junction box and a fan brace between the ceiling joists to help support the fan’s weight.”
The cost for both parts is less than $30. Make sure you buy a brace that is rated to handle the weight of your fan.
Braces are made that can be installed without having to cut ceiling drywall. They’re inserted vertically through the existing hole, turned horizontal, and the ends are threaded open until they contact the joists. The caps have a screw and/or teeth on each end that bite into the wood. Of course, the brace can be installed from within the attic, if you have access to it.
Most ceiling fans include lighting, if not, a light kit can be added to many fans that don’t come with lights. First, here are the common ceiling fan lighting types, Halogen, CFL and LED, with pros and cons.
Halogen lighting uses about 20% less energy than incandescent. The benefit of halogen is that it is very bright yet warm, a good choice for in the kitchen and other work areas. The bulbs are reasonably priced at $1-$2 per bulb. The downside is shorter lifespan – about 1,500 hours. You’ll be replacing bulbs more often, so it makes sense to use a halogen ceiling fan only if the fan is within easy reach.
CFL, or compact florescent lighting uses 75% less energy than incandescent lights. Bulbs typically last 8,000 to 12,000 hours. Cost has come down, but they’re still $2-$5 per bulb. The light is cooler than halogen.
LED lighting uses about 33% less energy than compact florescent lights. The cost has come down to $4-$5 per bulb. With an average life of 25,000, some say 50,000 hours, LED is the clear choice for energy efficiency and the lifetime cost of bulbs.
How much will the average homeowner spend on bulbs for a ceiling fan over the next 20 years?
- Halogen: $175
- CFL: $50
- LED: $30
Optional Light Kits
If you’ve got a ceiling fan but no lights, there might be an accessory light kit that you can add. Here’s a few tips to help you learn if yours can or not.
- Make sure the fan can accommodate a light kit. You’ll probably have to know the brand and model number to search for a compatible light kit.
- If it can take a light kit, make sure the light kit you choose is compatible with the fan you have.
If you find a ceiling fan with style you really like, but it doesn’t come with lights, the product page should list light kit options, if they exist. For example, the Rivet Modern Cylindrical 3 Blade flush mount fan does not accommodate a lighting kit.
Ceiling Fan Remote Control Operation
Many ceiling fans include a remote control all fan functions including fan speed and lighting on/off/dimmer. Using a remote is far more convenient and less costly than installing a wall switch.
Remotes are available with mid-grade and high-end fans. They are powered by batteries, and various types are used.
Universal remotes are available too, but they only work with fans equipped with an internal receiver for a remote. In short, if the fan didn’t come with a remote, it won’t work with a remote.
Energy Use and Operating Efficiency
Ceiling fans use $5-$30 in electricity each year based on fan size, motor type and the light kit. You can get outstanding airflow and keep operating costs under control with these tips:
- Choose a fan with 3 to 5 beefy blades. More blades don’t mean higher CFM. Less, if anything. They create drag that slows down the fan or makes it work harder to produce the same amount of airflow. More energy consumption means a higher electric bill.
- Blade pitch should be on the higher side (14 degrees minimum)
- Select a fan with a DC motor. They use up to 70% less energy to produce the same CFM levels.
- Look for the Energy Star label, a simple way to find an efficient fan. Energy Star certifies fans that use at least 15% less energy than average.
Energy Star has several pages dedicated to energy efficient ceiling fans and how to use them to reduce your home’s energy consumption.
Energy Star fans with LED lighting often use 60% less energy than those with standard light bulbs. Best estimates are that this level of efficiency will reduce energy costs by $200 or more over the fan’s life.
Energy Guides: When comparing ceiling fans, look for the Energy Guide on the product page. It will tell you the annual operating cost of the fan with average use and average cost of electricity. For example, here is the Energy Guide for the Hunter 52153 Crestfield ceiling fan reviewed above.
Ceiling fans are often backed by separate warranties for the motor and for the other parts.
Motor warranties: Many motors are covered by a lifetime limited warranty against manufacturing defects. The warranty typically applies to the original owner only. And you should read the fine print, if you’re concerned about it. For example, Hunter offers a lifetime motor warranty against defects, but it applies only to the motor and not any supporting electrical parts like the capacitor or remote control receiver in the fan.
General parts warranties: They are mostly 1 year, but a few fans are backed by a 2-year parts warranty.
The bottom line is that you should consider the general parts warranty when comparing fans. Manufacturers pay very few claims on defective motors, because the supporting parts wear out well before the motor fails. Even then, a worn-out motor isn’t considered a defect.
Pros and Cons of Ceiling Fans
There is plenty to like about a ceiling fan, but a few concerns to consider too.
Pros – Here are Ceiling Fan Advantages
- Reduce the need for AC in summer because moving air feels cooler than stagnant air and fans can be located where you spend the most time.
- Reduce heating costs in winter by moving warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down to where you are, yet without creating an uncomfortable breeze
- Additional lighting where needed
- A stylish upgrade compared with a bare ceiling
- Damp and wet rated fans give you more location options
Cons – Here are a few Counterpoints to Think About
- If you only rely on ceiling fans for cooling in a warm climate, there are sure to be hotspots in your home
- They don’t cool the air, and they don’t remove humidity, as central air conditioning does
- Cheap or worn-out fans can be noisier than an AC condensing unit running outdoors
Your climate should be considered.
If your summers aren’t blistering hot, then a ceiling fan might be sufficient to keep you comfortable. The combination of using a whole house fan at night to exchange hot indoor air for cool outdoor air and a ceiling fan or two during the day is a cost-effective cooling solution.
In warmer climates, homeowners often use and AC and ceiling fan combination. A few ceiling fans placed where you spend the most time will allow you to turn up your thermostat 3-5 degrees without feeling warmer.
Installation of your New Ceiling Fan
Hiring a Pro to Install
As with any home project, you can hire a pro or do it yourself. An electrician or experienced handyman needs about 2 hours to install a ceiling fan. This involves removing the old fixture, installing a brace if needed, and then wiring and hanging the ceiling fan.
With hourly rates ranging from $50 to $125, total installation cost is typically $75 to $275. If an old ceiling fan is being replaced, then there is probably a mounting brace already in place. This will shorten installation time and material cost, so your price will be on the lower end of the cost spectrum.
If the ceiling fan is replacing a light fixture, then the installer should be told this ahead of time to be sure they bring a mounting brace with them.
We’ve covered cost factors and comprehensive details in our Ceiling Fan Installation Costs comparison.
Do it Yourself Installation
DIY ceiling fan installation: This is a moderately difficult DIY job. A helper will be very useful – someone to support the fan while the wire connections are made, for example. Here is a step by step ceiling fan installation guide for replacing a light fixture with a fan.
If you’re replacing a fan with a fan, steps can be skipped where noted.
Step 1: Buy two items along with your fan: A UL-listed junction box marked as Acceptable for Fans or similar. A mounting brace to install between ceiling joists. You’ll mount the junction box to it.
Step 2: Read the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
Step 3: Gather your tools and supplies. During installation, you might use a drill or driver, screwdrivers, pliers or crescent wrench, step ladder, wire strippers, wire nuts and electrical tape.
Step 4: Shut off the circuit in the electrical panel that supplies power to the fan or fixture you are replacing.
Step 5: Remove the light fixture. Remove any globes, and then remove the lightbulbs. Finally, remove the bolts holding the fixture to the junction box.
If it’s a fan, remove the blades and light kit to make the fan lighter and easier to handle. Remove the screws holding the canopy to the mounting box. Remove the wire nuts holding the fan wires to the wires in the box. This is one of the times during this process a helper can be useful.
Step 6: Remove the old mounting box. Loosen its screws, and free it from the ceiling, allowing the wires to pull through it as it comes off.
Step 7: Slide the mounting brace through the drywall opening. Turn it into position between the two ceiling joists. Rotate the brace to extend the ends outward. In fact, you might want to practice this before placing it in the ceiling in order to understand how it works.
Rotate the brace until the ends meet the joists. Rotate it another half to full turn if possible to get the teeth to bite into the joist for greater support. A crescent wrench might be useful, but if you use one, take care not to damage the opening in the drywall with the wrench handle.
Step 8: Place the U-shaped bracket over the brace, and secure it with provided fasteners. This is the bracket that the junction box will be secured to.
Step 9: Install the metal junction box to the bracket, feeding the wire through it first. Remove the knockout in the box closest to the wiring. Feed the wiring through it, and use the included clamp to hold the wire securely.
Note on hole size: If the hole in your ceiling drywall isn’t large enough for the new mounting box, use a pencil to mark where the opening should be. Use a keyhole saw to enlarge the hole.
Note on mounting box location: The box should be recessed into the ceiling between 1/8 and 1/2 inch to ensure the canopy will fit tight to the ceiling.
Step 10: Secure the mounting bracket. This is the bracket below the ceiling line that the fan will hang from. It mounts to the outlet box using included fasteners and washers. Pull the electrical wires through the bracket and fan canopy.
Step 11: If a downrod is used, thread the wire through the downrod. Cut the wires to 4-6 inches longer than the downrod, and strip 1/2 inch of insulation.
Step 12: Secure the downrod. Tighten it to the motor assembly using the setscrews.
Step 13: Connect the wiring. At this point, the canopy is loose. Lift the downrod and motor, and place the ball of the downrod into the mounting bracket. Hold the bare ends of the wire pairs together, and twist a wire nut clockwise onto each pair. See the wiring diagram to know which wires to connect. Push the connected wiring up into the electrical box.
Step 14: Secure the canopy. Raise it up to the ceiling, and use the included fasteners to mount it tight to the bracket.
Step 15: Add the blades. The blades might need to be attached to their arms (or irons) first. Then attach the blade arms to the motor assembly.
Step 16: Attach the light kit. Connect the plugs on the light kit to the plugs on the motor assembly. Many have colored-coded markings to ensure proper connections. Line up the screw holes on the light kit with the holes on the switch housing on the bottom of the motor. Insert and tighten the housing screws. Remove the globe or globes, install a bulb in each socket, and re-install the globe(s).
Step 17: Install pull chains, if they come with your fan.
Step 18: Test your fan. Turn the power back on. Test the fan using the pull chains and/or the included remote. Check that all functions work including multiple fan speeds, reversible fan and lights. This is a good time to familiarize yourself with operating your new ceiling fan.
The Final Word from Costimates
Ceiling fans make your home more comfortable, add style to your decor and reduce energy costs. That’s a lot to like!
Shopping for a ceiling fan can be time consuming. We’ve made it faster by putting together a list of this year’s Best Ceiling Fans for you to consider. They are listed above along with complete reviews.
Use the links to their product pages to read verified user reviews and ratings, and to make a purchase if you’re ready to buy.
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