How to Replace Outdoor Ceiling Fans


6 Easy Steps to Replace an Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Step 1: Selecting an Outdoor Ceiling Fan

You can never be absolutely sure if a ceiling fan is rated for outdoor use unless the box says so. Always look for an “outdoor rated” or “indoor/outdoor” rated label in the product specifications before proceeding. Without this rating, the fan may not be able to handle the humidity and dirt present outdoors. In the worst case, the motor will stop working or the blades will sag.

If your patio awning is particularly high, look for outdoor ceiling fans with pole extenders. The extender will drop the fan down several inches so that it is more effective. Low ceilings are best paired with fans that mount flush with the ceiling. The blade length of an outdoor ceiling fan is also very important. Longer blade diameters will result in better cooling. Since you are trying to cool an open area, larger blade diameters are recommended. Outdoor ceiling fans with lights are ideal for enjoying your patio space at night.

Step 2: Remove the Old Fan

Firstly, shut off the electricity to the ceiling fan. Locate the screws at the base of the fan which hold it onto the ceiling mount. While having a helper hold the fan, remove the screws and lower the unit down. Unscrew the wire nuts and twist the wires apart. Set the fan aside. At this point you can cut off the tips of the ceiling wires and strip a fresh 1-inch length of wire in preparation for installation. You will most likely need to remove the old fan mount from the ceiling if it is not identical with the new one (visually compare).

Step 3: Install the New Mount

The new mount that came with the fan will now be installed into the ceiling over the electrical box. Follow the manual which came with your fan to determine what screws to use while connecting the mount to the ceiling. Outdoor ceiling fans use heavy duty mounts which are weather resistant.

Step 4: Prepare the Fan

Unless your fan has quick-release reversible blades, it is best to attach the blades to the fan before installing it. Use the included nuts/bolts to attach a blade to each arm and tighten securely. Do not install any glass light covers or bulbs at this point.

Step 5: Install the Fan

With a helper holding the outdoor ceiling fan, reconnect the wires according to color. Twist them together and bond them with fresh wire nuts. For added durability, cover the joint with electrical tape. Lift the fan up to the mount and connect it with screws.

Step 6: Balance the Blades

Small differences in fan construction can lead to blades being off-balance. It is simple to correct this using blade weights which can be bought at the hardware store. Through trial and error you can balance the blades by attaching these weights to the top of the lightest blades.

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