Apartment Ceiling Fan Installation

Man installing a ceiling fan
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 150-500
What You'll Need
Ceiling fan
Mounting kit
Lock washers
Sheetrock saw
1 1/2 -inch No. 10 hex-head screws
4 or 3-inch junction box
Neon test light

Install a ceiling fan in your apartment to cool your space or warm it up. It is cost-effective, long-lasting and hassle-free. Even better is the fact that a ceiling fan can be installed even in a small room. All you need is the right guidance and a few tools. Be sure to get permission from your landlord before you begin.

Step 1 - Determine the Center

In most homes, the fan is fixed in the center of the ceiling, replacing a light fixture. If your room doesn’t have one, snap two diagonal chalk lines across the room. The point where they cross below a ceiling joist is the best place for the fan to be affixed. Ideally, the fan should be at least seven feet from the floor and 10 to 12 inches below the ceiling.

Step 2 - Install the Junction Box

wires dangling from a ceiling fan

Switch off the main electrical fuse of the house. Then, trace a fan-rated junction box on the ceiling, and cut it out with a sheetrock saw. Attach the box to the joist with two 1½-inch No.10 hex-head screws.

It is important that the junction is fixed well, as some fans weigh about 35 to 40 lbs. Although most fans include a universal mount, some require specific ones when mounting to a beamed or angled ceiling.

Step 3 - Assemble the Fan and Attach to the Box

Man installing a ceiling fan

Different brands have their own assembling mechanisms. If the space between the ceiling and the fan is less than 12 inches, you should assemble the blades to the motor first, before attaching it to the ceiling. Place the hanger pipe into its hole on top of the motor, and pull the wires in the center.

Tighten the pipe in place with a set screw. Most fan blades have a two-pronged attachment. Screw the blades into the prongs, but not so tightly that they damage the blade material. Then install the hanger bracket on the box with screws and lock washers.

Step 4 - Wire the fan

Attach the wires to the fan by following the standard color-coding scheme:

White house wire to fan white

Bare (or green) house wire to fan ground / green

Black house wire to fan black and fan blue (if present)

Test your work with the power on using a neon tester. Check black to white and black to a ground; it should light. Test white to ground; it should not light.

Keep in mind that in some locations, it is illegal to install fixed electrical wiring if you are not a licensed electrician. It is also important to have read the National Electrical Code (NEC) and local codes, as they have specific guidelines for the same.