Improve Energy Efficiency with a Ceiling Fan

Follow these step-by-step instructions on how to install an energy-efficient ceiling fan.
Contemporary Living Room With Wood Ceiling Fan

Contemporary Living Room With Wood Ceiling Fan

A wooden ceiling fan complements the hardwood flooring of this living room. A large ottoman sits in the center of a rug in front of a white and brick fireplace with artwork hanging over.

Ceiling fans do more than keep you cool in the summer with their "wind-chill effect." During colder weather, they save energy in the reverse setting by circulating hot air that rises to the ceiling and blowing it back down into the room.

When shopping for a fan, look for the Energy Star Label, which means the product has met the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's energy-savings standards. Experts say an energy-efficient fan can save up to 40 percent on summer cooling costs and up to 10 percent in the winter. In other words, they're well worth the effort to install. Here's how to do it:

Materials and Tools:

ceiling-fan kit
voltage tester (optional)


  1. Make sure the power to the receptacle where the fan will be installed is turned off at the main switch box.  Place a piece of tape over the switch to make sure nobody mistakenly turns it back on.
  2. Remove existing fixture.
  3. Once the fixture has been lowered out of the way, use a voltage tester to confirm that the power has been turned off to the receptacle.
  4. Remove the old light bracket and replace it with the new ceiling-fan bracket.
  5. If you're installing a fan that uses a receiving unit for an optional remote control, install the wireless radio receiver into the switch housing so that it can be connected into the existing wiring according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  6. Assemble the fan body, canopy and support-rod assembly. The down rod attaches to the motor and sets in place using secure pins and set screws.
  7. Lift the assembly over the open side of the bracket and set it in place.
  8. Make the electrical connections, wiring the fan to the receiver. If you're not comfortable doing electrical wiring, don't hesitate to call in an electrician to help you with this.
  9. Raise the canopy to the ceiling to cover the receiver and wires, and fasten it with screws.
  10. Assemble the blades and blade carriers. The blades simply attach to their brackets with screws.
  11. Mount the blades to the bottom of the motor.
  12. Install the light fixture to the switch housing. The manufacturer of the fan will provide specific instructions for the electrical wiring.
  13. Lift the light fixture into place and secure it to the motor assembly.
  14. Install the decorative light shades and bulbs.
  15. Turn the power back on and test the fan's operation.
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