You want to install ceiling fans in your home but most of the ceilings in your house are relatively low, and now you wonder whether you will be able to install ceiling fans in the rooms with 8-feet walls, and thus have low ceilings. A friend has recommended that you install flush mount ceiling fans. Your problem, however, is that you don’t know what a flush mount/hugger ceiling fan exactly is, how it differs from a “normal” ceiling fan, and whether it is the right type of fan for rooms with low ceilings.
A flush mount aka hugger ceiling fan is ideal to use on low ceilings because it is mounted directly to the ceiling and has no downrod suspending it from the ceiling. Thus the main difference between a standard fan and a flush mount fan is that the distance between the ceiling and the fan blades differs. This makes the flush mount ceiling fan ideal for a room with a low ceiling.
In this article, I’ll tell you in more detail what a flush mount ceiling fan is and why it is the best solution if you want to install a ceiling fan in a room with low ceilings. I’ll do this by looking at the pros and cons of flush mount ceiling fans. Then I’ll also briefly discuss the installation process. The FAQs at the end of the article might also answer some of your own questions.
Main reason why a flush mount/hugger ceiling fan is the solution for your low ceilings
Hugger ceiling fans are designed to be used in rooms where the ceiling height is relatively low. With an 8-feet ceiling, for instance, the flush fan blades will always be at least the compulsory 7 feet above the floor, making it safe for people who are 6 feet tall or more – they will not bump their heads against the ceiling fan!
Given below are the main pros of having a flush mount or hugger ceiling fan;
No annoying wobble sound
Because a flush mount ceiling fan is mounted directly to the ceiling it is usually well-balanced and thus doesn’t have the annoying wobble sound other types of ceiling fans sometimes produce. The wobbling and the accompanying sound are caused by the long downrods of standard ceiling fans. It is very difficult to balance the fan which is hanging from a downrod.
Equipped with a remote-controlled lightbulb
Nowadays, most modern flush mount ceiling fans are equipped with a light that can be controlled with remote control. This is a very convenient feature.
The fan can be switched on and off with a remote
Another very convenient pro is that most flush mount fans can be switched on and off with a remote. Usually, you can also change the fan’s speed by using a remote control. (Even if the model you’ve installed doesn’t offer remote-controlled fan speed changes it will be possible to adjust the fan’s speed by simply pulling a chain hanging from the fan.)
Because the fan is relatively near the floor, light bulbs can, in most cases, easily be replaced without using a ladder. You can also easily keep the blades clean and dusted without using a stepladder.
Low power consumption
Flush mount ceiling fans don’t consume a lot of power and, therefore, are an excellent option for cooling your rooms during the hot months of summer without using your air conditioner.
Provide downdraft and updraft modes
Most of the flush mount fans are also equipped with a reversible motor enabling you to change the direction from downdraft mode for the summer and updraft mode for the winter. For summer cooling, the blades have to rotate counter-clockwise to cause a downdraft and for winter heating, they should rotate clockwise, causing an updraft. You can change the direction of the rotation with the flick of a switch on the fan at the beginning of each season.
Different styles and designs
There are many styles and designs for flush mount fans. They are available in designs from rustic to minimalistic and from modern to antique.
Effective in any low-ceiling room
A flush mount fan can be effective in any kind of room in your home. You can install them in your living room, lounge, bedroom, children’s room, nursery, and lofts, for instance.
Affordable and easy to install
Because there is no downrod to fit and balance, it is much easier to install a flush mount fan than a standard fan. And also, because it has fewer parts, it usually comes at a more affordable price than a downrod fan.
Lower level of ”liveliness”
Because the flush fan blades are closer to the ceiling than standard fans’ blades, the air volume is reduced. You don’t get the same level of “liveliness” as with fans further away from the ceiling.
The motor’s noise is more audible
As indicated above, one of the pros of a flush fan is that the wobbling sound of most “normal” fans is eliminated because there is no connecting rod. However, some people find the actual sound of the flush fan’s motor more annoying than the sound of other fans. The reason is that on the one hand, the motor is nearer to you because of the low ceiling and on the other hand because the blades are closer to the ceiling, they work harder to force air down, and that can increase the motor’s noise.
How to install a flush mount ceiling fan yourself
It is easier to install a flush mount ceiling fan than a standard ceiling fan and if you are used to small DIY projects, you should be able to do the installation yourself if you follow the following procedure:
Step 1: Get the right size fan
The height of your room’s ceiling has already determined that you need a flush-mount ceiling fan, but you also have to determine where to install the fan and what the maximum length of the fan blades should be. Usually, you will install the fan in the middle of the ceiling but if you want to install it in one corner, for instance, ensure that the blades are at least 18 inches from the nearest wall.
Step 2: Check the clearance from the floor
Before you start to install the fan, measure the distance from the center of the electrical box in the ceiling to the floor again. Check the measurement with the information on the fan’s packaging to ensure that the distance you have available is enough to fit the flush mount fan and still have at least 7 feet of space available to the floor. According to building regulations in most states in the US, no fan blades – even a flush mount fan’s blades – are permitted to hang within 7 feet of the floor.
Step 3: Ensure that the electrical box on the ceiling is not made from plastic
It is not recommended to install a flush mount ceiling fan onto a plastic electrical box because the plastic is normally not strong enough to mount the fan to.
Step 4: Cut the electricity to the electric box in the ceiling
Before you connect your new fan to the electrical wires in the electrical box, ensure that no electrical current is flowing to the electrical box. It is advisable to put off the circuit breaker providing the current to the electric box even if there is a dedicated switch on the wall.
Step 5: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions
Read all the instructions before you start with the installation process to get an overall idea of the steps you’ll have to take and the tools you’ll need. Get all the tools ready, and then install your flush mount fan by following the instructions.
Step 6: Put on the circuit breaker and start using the fan
When everything is installed and connected, put on the relevant circuit breaker again. Remember, to put a circuit breaker on, first press the switch down completely and then up until you hear it click into position.
It’s always a good idea to put the fan together on the floor first before you install the fan onto the ceiling. On the floor, you can ensure that all the pieces fit properly and that you know where every piece should go.
Q1: When is the installation of a flush mount ceiling fan not the best solution?
A1: If your home has high ceilings, it is better to install a downrod ceiling fan. A long downrod fan provides a more effective flow of air because the blades are further away from the ceiling itself. If you install a flush mount ceiling fan on a high ceiling, you’ll receive a low amount of air. Always remember, flush mount ceiling fans are designed to be used in rooms with low ceilings.
Q2: Can I install a flush mount ceiling fan on a vaulted ceiling?
A2: Although it is possible to install a flush mount ceiling fan on a vaulted ceiling, it is not recommended. You will first have to level the electric box onto which the fan has to be installed. Flush mount ceiling fans are designed to work best when it is fitted onto flat ceilings.
Q3: What is the main “physical” difference between a standard downrod ceiling fan and a flush mount ceiling fan in my home?
A3: Standard mount ceiling fans (downrod fans) usually take up 12 to 14 inches of space between the ceiling and the fan blades. Flush mount fans only need between 6 and 10 inches between the ceiling and the fan blades. This means that the main difference between the two types of fans is the distance between the ceiling and the blades. The downrod makes it possible to have the blades 14 inches away from the ceiling, while the flush mount fan secures the blades within 6 inches from the ceiling.
There is no reason why you cannot install ceiling fans in your house with ceilings as low as 8 feet. Flush mount ceiling fans are specifically designed to be used in homes with low ceilings. Because the blades of a flush mount fan are usually not more than 6 inches from the ceiling, you’ll still have the compulsory 7 feet space between the blades and the floor.