Just how much does a ceiling fan weigh? You see, installing a ceiling fan can make a huge difference in a room that didn’t have one previously. They help you control the temperature, and since many of them double as light fixtures, they’ll also bring brightness to the space.
However, installing your fan can be a bit challenging, and oftentimes, weight can be an issue. For example, if you are replacing a light fixture, the existing junction box may not be built to handle the weight of your new fan, which means you’d have to replace it with something a bit stronger. Of course, this depends on the fan and the type of junction box. The weight of the fan can tell you what you’ll have to do to install it correctly.
Fans are not only heavier than simple light fixtures, but they are also creating a lot of force with their movements, so the support has to be extra sturdy.
How Much Does A Ceiling Fan Weigh?
The weight of a ceiling fan will obviously vary, but typically, they will weigh on average between 15 and 50 pounds. However, remember that they are often exerting a lot more force than that when they are running. The support system for the fan needs to be strong enough to keep the fan steady when it’s on the highest speed, but what you use for support still depends on the weight of the fan.
You can buy some fairly large ceiling fans that are still under 50 pounds. Even some of the 99” ceiling fans are under 50 pounds.
Most of the weight is located in the center where the motor is, and the blades of the fan are usually made of a thin fiberboard. Some of them might be constructed out of real hardwood, and those might be a bit heavier.
Big, industrial fans generally fall on the heavier side of things. This is mainly due to the size and material of the fan blades. You’ll often see industrial fan blades that are made of metal, and these can be twice as long as the typical household fan blade. These ceiling fans are usually closer to 50 pounds, if not heavier, and they would require a more elaborate mounting system that can handle the extra weight. You’ll often see these in workshops and factories, but you’d almost never see one in a home due to the size.
Parts of a Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans are comprised of several different parts. Most of the time, these parts will be made of plastic, wood, and aluminum. Some high-end fans will use higher quality materials, but regardless, manufacturers have to consider weight.
The weight of the electric motor, for example, contains several different metal components that, together, will make up the heaviest area of the fan. There isn’t a lot that you can do to lighten the motor.
Ceiling fans also have flywheels and rotors that help the blades turn, and the blade irons connect the blades to the motor. A single fan blade is fairly light, but all of the fan blades together can weigh about as much as the motor, if not more. It depends on the material used for the fan blades.
There might be other components, but it depends on the type and style of your fan. Sometimes, fans will require a specific piece of equipment for mounting, but if it’s really specific, it will usually be included with the fan itself.
Getting the Right Support for Your Fan
Generally, outlet boxes only support fans that weigh 35 pounds or less. For fans that are heavier than that, the building structure will act as the support.
The junction box should be supported well enough on its own, and it should be able to support about 50 pounds. Your mounting system also needs to be able to handle the vibrations of the fan, and even well-balanced fans will generate a certain amount of vibration.
You should also hang a fan from a metal junction box, as opposed to plastic. If you were replacing a light fixture, you might find that the light fixture was connected to a plastic junction box. You’ll have to replace this with a metal one before hanging your ceiling fan.
Mounting a fan is extremely important, and it will determine how stable your fan is when it’s running. Failure to secure the fan properly could cause it to fall one day.
Often, you’ll use a special beam mount, and there will be mounts designed for both horizontal and pitched beams. The equipment you use, whether it’s a beam mount of a junction box, will usually tell you how much weight that it is able to support. If the weight of the fan is equal to or less than the weight listed on your mounting equipment, you should be fine.
How to Tell If Your Outlet Box Will Support the Fan
There are certain regulations that require outlet boxes of this type to support at least 50 pounds, and you should be able to see it on the box. There are certain electrical codes that require outlet boxes to be labeled if they are able to support a ceiling fan. The required markings would include the maximum weight allowed.
With that in mind, you might want to purchase your fan first, so that you know how strong your mounting system needs to be.
Replacing Lighting Fixtures
A common mistake is for homeowners to replace their lighting fixtures with ceiling fans without replacing the junction box.
There are different junction boxes for different purposes, and chances are that the junction box holding your light fixture isn’t fit for a ceiling fan. That might be because it’s made of plastic, or it could just be a less expensive junction box that wasn’t meant to support a tremendous amount of weight.
To ensure that your new ceiling fan is secure, the best thing that you can do is replace the junction box and make sure you have the appropriate mounting system installed up above your ceiling.