How To Replace or Reverse Ceiling Fan Blades

There are several reasons for someone to replace their ceiling fan blades. You may be tired of the current look of your fan, or it could be broken. Either way, an upgrade is a perfect solution for this situation. Some ceiling fans come with reversible blades with a different color or finish on each side so that you can switch things up a bit. 

The process for replacing and reversing ceiling fan blades is quite similar. Just follow these simple steps.

  1. Buy the correct replacement blades from the manufacturer’s website.
  2. Obviously, turn off your ceiling fan at the wall switch. This is a no-brainer for any electrical repairs if you don’t want to get electrocuted.
  3. On top of the blades, you will find screws attaching them to the blade arms.
  4. Remove the screws for all of the blades. This may take some time if you have more blades than usual.
  5. For a reversal, clean the blades, turn them over to the other side and screw them back on. 
  6. To attach new blades, line up the holes with the holes on the blade with holes on the blade arms and fasten the screws. 
  7. For both procedures, you’ve got to really tighten the screws to make sure the blades are secure. 
  8. Turn on the fan to make sure everything is working fine.

Can You Drill New Holes on The Blades for Installation?

Yes, you can drill new holes on ceiling fan blades for installation. However, this is not an ideal practice. If you did not find replacement blades from the manufacturing company and settled for blades that did not come with pre-drilled holes or the hole does not match, what do you do? You drill new holes, of course! 

Steps to drill new holes on ceiling fan blades

  1. Use a template to mark the position of the screws for blades on the ceiling fan. 
  2. Carefully measure the diameter for each hole and make sure they are all the same.
  3. To drill the holes, your blades should be lined in a stack for better accuracy.
  4. You should also find out the carrying weight of your ceiling fan’s motor because using heavier blades also have its consequences.

This method of blade replacement is not exactly foolproof, and the slightest mistake may cause your fan to wobble or make lots of noise; that is why it is not recommended. It seems easy, but imbalance may even render the new blades useless. Worst case scenario, it works, but the motor eventually gives out, and you have to buy a new ceiling fan anyway (How long do ceiling fans last?).

Can You Put Longer Blades on A Ceiling Fan?

Some people believe that replacing fan blades with longer ones will improve the airflow in a room. While this is true, it is not a good idea to do this. As I said earlier, every ceiling fan motor is created to work with a certain weight. Longer blades will not just add more inches, and you’re adding more weight too.

There are a lot of reasons why professionals advise people not to replace blades with longer ones. Click here to read the full article on this topic.

Can You Put Shorter Blades On A Ceiling Fan?  

When it comes to switching fan blades, it is always best to stick to the intended length. Sometimes people want to put shorter blades on the fan. You can replace ceiling fan blades with shorter blades, but it is not very practical. Even if you manage to find shorter blades that are matching, it will reduce the energy efficiency of the fan.

You have to ask yourself why you want to do this. Is it because you think shorter blades will run faster and create more airflow? Or do you think shorter blades look cooler? 

A ceiling fan will serve a room that is 3 times wider than the blade span. Shortening your blades will reduce the fan’s capacity, so it is not really a good idea if you have a large room. Because you are replacing with blades much lighter than the weight the ceiling fan motor was built for, the shorter blades would run faster than longer ones. You may experience more noise if this is successful. It seems like a win-win situation, but your fan’s motor is doing more work than it was made for, and this will eventually affect it.

In addition, it is not easy to find matching short blades for your ceiling fan model. Ceiling fan blade arms are not universal, so you cannot just buy a few short blades to replace. It is very likely that matching blades are not available.

The worst way to achieve shorter blades is to shorten the longer blades of the ceiling fan. This is a no-go area, and one should never attempt it. Even if one does manage to cut the same length for all the blades, hacking off too many inches may disorient the ceiling fan and cause accidents. To stay on the safe side, stick to the proper blades for your ceiling fan,

Charles John

Experienced HVAC technician with 8 years of experience in the industry. Capable of handling all sorts of heating and cooling equipment as well as proficient in operational management, construction-related techniques such as preventative maintenance, electrical troubleshooting and AutoCAD

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