It never dawned on me, when I went to purchase my first ceiling fan, that I might have to worry about how much the fan weighed. Since we don’t have AC in our mobile home, we rely pretty heavily upon fans to circulate and cool the air. Needless to say, when our ceiling fan finally gave up the ghost, we immediately went out shopping for a replacement. It would begin an adventure into the unexpected.
Types of Ceiling Fans
The ceiling fan that was in my mobile appeared to have been a sort of factory issue and was easily as old as the mobile, if not older. It always reminded me of something you’d see in a cheap old motel – you know, along with the 25-cent massaging beds and yellowed lighting. Nevertheless, it worked wonderfully and could really whip up the air in the room. My kids enjoyed laying down underneath it because it made you feel cool instantly. It was just a wonderful fan.
But all good things come to an end and, eventually, my ceiling fan slowly faded away. I was upset and yet excited because, while it meant shelling out cash for yet another item, it also meant going out to find a new one – And we all love a good road trip! I piled the kids in the car and drove a couple of miles to check out the local hardware store and, sure enough, they had ceiling fans. Lots and lots of ceiling fans. I might even be inclined to say oodles, if only I knew how much constitutes an oodle, but you get the picture. There were a lot of ceiling fans.
Basically, there are 3 main types of ceiling fans that you can install. These are a plug-in ceiling fan, a standard ceiling fan and a light fixture ceiling fan. The basic difference is that the first one plugs in with a long cord so must, therefore, be mounted within reach of an electrical outlet and then the second two, one with and one without lights, are wired directly in to the room’s electrical box. If purchasing a ceiling fan for your bathroom, you will also want to pay attention to fans that have received a “damp” rating. Choosing a fan that’s rated either ‘damp’ or ‘wet’ will ensure you are buying a fan that has a moisture resistant or sealed motor and is in a rust-resistant housing. This will significantly extend the life of your fan.
Sizes of Ceiling Fans: Is Bigger Better?
Most ceiling fans have a blade span of 29-54 inches. According to -, there is a pretty standard guideline for figuring your fan size, based on your room dimensions:
– If your room is smaller than 75 ft2 (feet squared), you will find that a 29-36″ blade span will work nicely.
– 76-144 ft2 require a little larger blades, usually falling under the 36-42″ category.
– If your room is 144-225 ft2, the 44″ fan blade is your standard size and, for rooms of 225-400 ft2, you will want to go with a fan blade that is 50-54″ in length.
Additionally, for optimum airflow, you should install your ceiling fan in the middle of your room, at a height of no less than 7 feet. 8-9 feet works beautifully.
Where to Install a Ceiling Fan?
My mother’s ceiling fan wasn’t installed properly in her old house and I will never forget how it swayed madly whenever she turned it on high. While it was still fastened to the ceiling, I swear it looked as though it was ready to pull loose and crash down upon you at any moment. This image has stuck with me throughout the years, so I’m very paranoid about ensuring the ceiling fan is installed securely.
There are only two ways to ensure that you have a good mount for your ceiling fan. Because of the constant motion of the fan and the speed in which they operate, it’s essential to mount your ceiling fan into a support. This means that you need to locate one of the rafters in your home and mount the fan there.
You’ll find this task pretty easy if there was a previous ceiling fan installed and you’re simply replacing it. If this is the case, you can simply take the old fan down and replace it with the new one. Easy as pie. Those who don’t have a previous fan to go by, however, are going to find they need to remove a portion of their ceiling or play the tap-tap-tap game until they find a secure brace. This is essential because, if you don’t anchor your ceiling fan into a secure support, there is a good risk that it will sway or even pull loose from the ceiling, regardless of the actual weight of the fan.
But what if you don’t want the ceiling fan where the support beams are? If this is the case, be prepared to remove a portion of the ceiling so that you can nail a cross-beam up between your two rafters. This will create the added support that you need for your fan. If this isn’t an option, check around – there are some places that sell extending supports that operate much like those old shower curtain rods – you center the rod between the two rafters and then turn the device to extend it, bridging the gap between the rafters and creating a secure mount for your ceiling fan.
Installing a Ceiling Fan in Your Mobile Home
As I said previously, if you have a plug-in fan, you simply mount it within reach of an electrical outlet, plug it in and you’re good to go. Most people don’t like having cords hanging down, so they usually opt for wiring their ceiling fan in to the electrical box. This is why most people opt for choosing ceiling fans that are also light fixtures, because they can just wire it in where their existing light fixture is and they’re all set. There is a certain procedure that you have to follow when installing a ceiling fan in your mobile home this way:
Turn off the power. Before you start any kind of electrical work, you’re going to want to turn off the power to that room/light fixture.
Remove the light fixture. Remove both the shade and the light bulb from your existing light fixture and then locate the 2 screws that are holding it in place. You may note that there is a groove in the light fixture that allows you to simply loosen the screws and then turn the light fixture until it comes free of the screws. This is perfectly acceptable.
Once you have your fixture loosened from your ceiling, gently expose the wires. You can now unscrew the various wire nuts which will allow you to completely remove your light fixture from the ceiling.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions. Once you’ve removed the light fixture from your ceiling, you can simply follow your manufacturer’s details for how to install your specific model of ceiling fan. Before you know it, you can turn the power back on and enjoy cooled and circulated air for years to come.
Caring for Your Mobile Home Ceiling Fan
And there you have it – Buying and installing a ceiling fan in your mobile home really isn’t all that complicated and, in the long run, it can save you quite a bit on your monthly energy bills. Here are some more handy tips to keep in mind, now that you have decided to install a ceiling fan:
If you want to extend the life of your ceiling fan, be sure to dust it regularly and keep it clean. Allowing dust build up can actually decrease airflow and can potentially damage your fan over time.
Turn off your ceiling fan when you aren’t in the room. Not only will this give the motor a much-needed break, it will also cut down on your energy bills. Your sofa really doesn’t care if it’s getting a nice breeze and it doesn’t take long to cool down a room when you go back in there.
Use your fan year round. Doing so will definitely help circulate both warm and cool air in your room, depending on what direction you have the fan spinning. Using the fan in a counterclockwise direction during the summer will cool you off, while operating it during the winter in the opposite direction will help to push the warm air at the ceiling back down where you can feel it (remember they taught us that heat rises, back in school). Operating your fan on low will help to circulate this warm air and allow you to adjust your thermostat to save you money.
Personal experience as a mobile home owner
Energy Star – http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=ceiling_fans.pr_ceiling_fans_basics – Helpful tips on fan sizes