Choosing the right outdoor ceiling fan for you!
There are many things to consider when choosing any item for your home. Does it match my taste? How much will it cost? Is it easy to install? Can I do it myself or will I need to have a professional install it for me? Are there special fans for made for outdoor installations?
As an Electrician of over 25 years experience I can assure you that I have installed my fair share of ceiling fans and have seen almost every kind ever made. What type of fixture box is in the ceiling already, if any. If there is no existing box, can one be added. If you are replacing an existing fixture then you will want to get a Fan/Light combination and that may require a separate switch for the light and fan. If that is not a viable solution then you would want to consider a ceiling fan/light combination that comes with a remote control. Luckily almost all of the newer ones have built-in remotes, but don’t worry, if your fan doesn’t have one you can purchase them separately. When replacing an existing fixture ideally you would want to have a metal box in the ceiling. If there isn’t one there you can buy a replacement box or you can use the existing box as most say they will support up to 40lbs. by the manufacturers specifications. If there is no box in the ceiling because there was not an existing fixture you will have to access above the ceiling (attic) in order to add the box and the electrical wiring needed for the fan.
All ceiling fans will come in different stages of assembly usually the blades will need to be assembled and attached to the motor housing along with the mounting rod for a fan that doesn’t mount flush to the ceiling to the base on a fan that does mount flush. There will be 3 wires coming out of the fan motor a black wire which is the power wire for the fan, a blue wire which is the power wire for the light kit, either that came with the fan or a future purchase, and a white wire which is the neutral wire. Use the following steps to install your fan after assembly.
1. Turn power off. This can be accomplished by turning off the breaker in the panel, which is recommended.
2. Pull the wires out of the box in the ceiling and using wire strippers strip them off about 1/4 of an inch. There will be either 3 or 4 wires in the box. A bare copper wire which is the ground, a white wire for the neutral, a black wire for power, and in some cases a red wire for separate switching of the fan and light.
3. Attach the mounting bracket to the ceiling box with the screws provided. There should be a small hook on the bracket to temporarily hang the fan on to allow for wiring.
4. Hang the fan on the temporary hook and attach the wiring as follows: the green wire on the mounting bracket goes with the green wire from the fan motor and then they wire-nut to the bare copper wire from the ceiling box, the white wire from the fan wire-nuts with the white wires from the ceiling, and the black wire from the fan wire-nuts with the black wire from the ceiling. If there is a red wire in the ceiling box it wire-nuts with the blue wire from the fan if there is no red wire in the box the black and blue wires both wire-nut to the black wire from the ceiling.
5. After wiring the fan attach the motor housing to the mounting bracket with screws provided.
That’s all there is to is! Good luck and happy shopping! Remember when selecting your fan that it says for use outdoors.