Cut Heating & Cooling Costs with a Ceiling Fan

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As many of us struggle through tough economic times, it is hard not to think of ways to save a few bucks here and there. One of the biggest expenses we encounter is heating and cooling our homes. Running a central heat/air unit is a guilty pleasure that get can expensive. However, you can make the most of air flow and cut your heating and cooling costs by adding something as simple as a ceiling fan. With variable speeds, ceiling fans can buffet you with a blast of air, keeping you comfortable while your air conditioning takes a break. Most ceiling fans are fairly inexpensive and easy to install, so why not cut your cooling bill a break and add a fan or two? You can even use a ceiling fan during the winter to disperse hot air since hot air rises to the ceiling, where your fan would be right there ready to send it back down to you.

In most cases, you can quite easily replace a standard light fixture with a new ceiling fan/light combo. The wiring is already in place thanks to the old fixture, but since the electrical box may not be strong enough to support a ceiling fan, that will have to be replaced. Your new box will have to be mounted between joists or screwed into a box that is rated for fans, which must also be connected to a joist. To get this process underway, make sure the breaker providing power to the fixture you are removing is turned off. Then unscrew all of the components holding your old fixture in place, lowering it away from the ceiling to disconnect the wire via the plastic caps on the wires. Hand off the old fixture to a helper or set it down yourself, then remove the old electrical box by prying it free.

To install your new electrical box, place it against the ceiling and mark off any size differences. You may need to utilize a drywall saw to achieve a hole large enough to accommodate your new box. Once the hole is ready, slip the box instead and hold it in place next to the joist while you attach it with the screws provided. You will see a bare copper wire; this is your grounding wire and it must be attached to the grounding screw inside of your electrical box. If you are not certain how to do this, consult the installation instructions for your fan.

Pass the wires from your ceiling down through the base of the ceiling fan. You will then need to attach the base of the fan to the ceiling. Once that is in place, pass the wires through the rest of the components and attach them as instructed per your fan manufacturer. At this point you can finish the composition of the fan by closing up the center and attaching fan blades as well as bulbs for your light fixture.

As with any installation, if you are uncertain how to proceed, seek professional assistance rather than guessing what comes next. Each fan will vary slightly in manner of installation and assembly, so this guide is meant to give you a basic idea rather than be universal for all fans in all homes. Always read instructions thoroughly before attempting ceiling fan installation and be sure there is no power going to the wires you will be handling. Exercise care in your work, and your work will take care of you. Now enjoy that new ceiling fan!

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