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Ceiling Fan: Parts, Installation, and Everything Else

Ceiling Fan: Parts and Installation
Ceiling fans are very easy to install and can cool your house at a price far cheaper than any other item available... not considering the handheld fan of course.
Ranjan Shandilya
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Philip Diehl invented ceiling fans with electric motors in 1882. Since then the fans have come a long way. Ceiling fans are very useful during the hot summers. They reduce the heat using very little energy. It is also useful during the winter when it can occasionally be turned on to pull away the warm air from the ceiling where it accumulates.

Ceiling fans serve two purposes. Along with providing relief from heat, they can also be used to provide light fixtures in the house. The following section takes you on a tour of the various parts of a standard ceiling fan followed by instructions on how to install one.
Parts of a Ceiling Fan
A ceiling fan is very compact and is made up of the following very basic parts:
  • Electric motor with a housing.
  • Blades
  • Mounting device
Ceiling Fan Blades
Although most ceiling fans have 4 blades, they can have 3 to 5 blades depending on the size. The cost of a fan increases with an increase in the number of blades. Blades come in varied length and diameters. The volume of air that the fan will impact depends on the length of the blades. Majority of the fans are available with a sweep diameter of 36", 42" or 52 ".
ceiling fan blades
Blades can be made from solid wood, plywood and these days, some blades are even made of metal. The common finishes available are white, cherry wood, walnut, oak, black, rosewood and a variety of other colors, although for these, you will probably have to place a customized order.

I was reading on the Internet recently that these days, blade covers are also available. These blades capture the germs and dust in the air and help keep the house cleaner and safer. The blade covers can be removed and washed periodically.
Ceiling Fan Motor
The most popular, durable and unfortunately expensive ceiling fan motor is the 'stack' or the 'K55' style motor. This design was developed in late 1970 when the fans were nearly extinct. The advantage of this motor is that it allows a blade pitch of 14 - 16 degree and more importantly, wider blades can be used which helps increase the air movement. It works efficiently for years on end and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Ceiling Fan Motor
Installing a Ceiling Fan
There are different ways to install a ceiling fan depending on the mounting option. Below are the installation steps in case you are using a down rod:
  • Shut down the main power supply before touching or tampering with any electricity connection to avoid incurring shocks.
  • The first step towards a ceiling fan installation is to check whether the room in which you want to install the ceiling fan has an electrical fixture in the ceiling that would act as the anchor to fix the fan to the ceiling. If there isn't any electrical anchor point on the ceiling, you need to first install one before proceeding further.
  • Even if an anchoring point does exist, you need to check for electricity output with the help of a circuit tester.
  • Place the down rod into the mount ensuring that the ball end is towards the ceiling.
  • Thread the black, white and blue lead wires from the motor through the canopy and the down rod.
  • After inserting the down rod into the collar yoke, rotate it till all the holes coincide. Insert the connector pin into the holes and screw it on tightly. Be careful and ensure that the lead wires are not damaged or cut.
  • Fix the hanger and the down rod to the motor by tightening the screw available on the side of the down rod. The position of the screw may depend on the model of the fan.
  • After inserting the ball into the hanger bracket, make all the necessary wire connections.
  • After ensuring the connections are made correctly and the wires are placed properly in the outlet box, slide the canopy up into the hanger bracket where it has to be permanently attached with screws.
  • If your fan is working without any wobble, you have successfully installed your first ceiling fan.
Installing a Ceiling Fan
Types of Ceiling Fans
In accordance with Buzzle's tradition of adding value to its articles, this section contains a little something extra, besides information on ceiling fan parts and installation steps. To bring about increased performance at lower costs, fans have constantly been under the hammer and are improvised very often. The various types of ceiling fans that the world has seen so far are:
  • Pull Chain Control: Fans of this variety have a metal or a cloth cord which when pulled cycles the fan through the operational speeds stopping it at the end.
  • Variable Speed Control: Fans of this variety have a dial mounted on the fan. It can be rotated to increase or decrease the speed of the fan.
  • Wall Mounted Control: Fans of this variety have their controls mounted on the wall.
  • Wireless Remote Control: Fans of this variety work on the infrared signals sent from a remote.

With advancement in technologies, the cost of air conditioners has been steadily decreasing over the years. The ceiling fans have been on the verge of extinction many times over the last century but have always bounced back with a bang. Personally, I prefer the ceiling fan over the air conditioners any day because the conditioners provide a pseudo conditioned atmosphere which completely cuts you off from the reality, while fans help is reducing the heat while helping you stay connected with the environment. But at the end of the day, you have to decide what suits you best.