Nothing says summer like a ceiling fan circling above your head.
Fortunately, you can still get use out of it during the cooler months as well. Throughout winter use it to move warm air from the ceiling area.
Compared to air conditioning units, ceiling fans are better for the environment and are a more cost effective way to keep rooms cooler or warmer. In fact, most ceiling fans use 25-90 watts of energy whereas air conditioners can use as much as 3500 watts.
But if you’re thinking of performing a DIY ceiling fan installation, there are multiple factors to consider first.
Here’s how to keep your household safe whilst installing a ceiling fan:
Installation Safety Rules
Australia has strict regulations when it comes to working on the electrical systems in your home.
Individual states may vary slightly in rules but the general idea is the same: All electrical work must be performed by a licensed electrician. Under the Australian law, the only electrical works that can be done as DIY jobs are changing a light bulb, installing low-voltage garden lighting and rewiring fuses.
Whilst you may be able to DIY a pull-cord or remote control fan, ceiling fans with a wall switch will need to be professional installed by a licensed electrical. This is to prevent safety risks and to ensure warranties aren’t voided.
Some risks involved in installing a ceiling fan without an electrician include:
- Wiring and electrical dangers including electrocution.
- Fire risks if circuits don’t have the capacity to handle the extra power load. Wrong wiring can also cause fire risks.
- Falling ceiling fan if not installed properly.
- May affect insurance coverage.
- Building considerations; ceiling fans need to be properly anchored to an electric ceiling box designed to support its full weight.
- Extra costs when installation doesn’t go to plan.
To reduce the risk of injury and property damage, essential safety rules to follow are:
- Turn off power at mains before you begin.
- Verify there are no obstructions at the installation site.
- Ensure all connections comply with local electrical codes.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions for additional caution, safety and warning information.
Fan Style and Location
First, choose your favourite style of ceiling fan and pick the right location. Consider room size, blade size and whether it’ll be integrated with a light.
Location options will vary depending on whether you’re installing a new fan or replacing an old one. Existing fans use the same location. But new fan installations need to consider the best solution for supplying power and electrical rewiring to route new wiring.
If you need to remove light fixtures, uninstall the glass fitters first. Next, remove the light bulbs, canopy and bracket.
Install New Box
The electrical box will need to be replaced with one rated to support your new ceiling fan.
Undo wiring connections and remove the existing box by removing all screws. Install the new box into the space (or cut out a hole for fresh installations) and rotate until it’s secured into position.
Tip: Make sure the electrical box holding your ceiling fan in place is fan-rated. Australia has strict regulations in place for height and weight of fans you’ll need to check.
Secure Mounting Box and Bracket
An adjustable hanger bar is used to insert the mounting box into the ceiling space.
This is an essential attachment to lock in the electrical ceiling box and provide a secure support for the fan. Once in place, reattach the ground wire.
Most ceiling fans will also come with a mounting bracket. Hold the bracket in place and attach with screws. Brackets shaped to accommodate a plastic half-ball joint offer better support for the fan’s motor and allows it to spin without making a noise or coming loose from the ceiling.
Assemble Ceiling Fan
Follow the provided manufacturer’s instructions to assemble the fan.
Before you attach the fan to the bracket, connect the wiring. Some fan kits are designed to secure the fan whilst you wire and will have a look on the underside to help. If your kit doesn’t have this, you’ll need a second person to hold the fan in place whilst the wires are connected.
Next, fasten the blades and light if it comes with a light kit. Light fixtures need to be plugged into the wire hanging from the underside of the fan’s motor.
Tip: Basic fans usually come with four wires and must be connected per manufacturer instructions:
- Black for hot or load.
- Blue (also hot) for the fan’s light fixture.
- White for neutral.
- Green for ground.
How to Assess Your Qualifications to Install a Ceiling Fan
Homeowners with electrical experience can save money with a DIY installation.
But unless you have the following skills, it’s not worth the risk.
- Electrical license in compliance with your local laws, only registered electrical contractors have this.
- Working with electrical wiring, including electrical safety.
- Using an electric drill.
- Cutting holes into drywall.
- Standing on a ladder while supporting full weight of fan.
Leave it to The Professionals
Get in touch with Hilton Electrical today on 6350 0900 to book in the installation of your new ceiling fan. Whether installing a residential ceiling fan in your Perth home, or larger industrial fans too cool your workshop, our local qualified electricians will ensure the new fans are install correctly and, above all else, safely.