When To Use Flush Mount Ceiling Fan?

If you want a fan for a lower ceiling, experts will advise you to go for a flush-mount ceiling fan. But what exactly is a flush-mount ceiling fan? And why should you choose it over more conventional models? 

To comply with building codes and for the safety of the residents, flush-mount ceiling fans are recommended for use in rooms with a low ceiling. Flush-mount ceiling fans don’t have a downrod and sit near the ceiling, so they are more suitable than standard-mount ceiling fans for low ceilings.

I’ve put together this comprehensive guide to answer all your questions about flush-mount ceiling fans and how they can improve your home’s style and functionality.

Can I use a standard ceiling fan for a low ceiling?

According to the building codes, a fan’s blades must not be less than 7 feet from the floor. The size of a regular fan is at least one and a half feet. A regular fan will not be a good choice if the room has a low ceiling of 8 feet or less. There are more chances for it to shorten the height from the floor to the fan blades. If the gap becomes shorter than 7 feet, it will be unacceptable by building codes. So, you will require a flush mount fan.

A flush mount ceiling fan
A flush mount ceiling fan

How are flush-mount ceiling fans different than regular fans?

Flush mount fans sit snuggly with the ceiling as the distance between the fan blades, and the ceiling is 10 inches or less. The reason is they don’t have a downrod. On the other hand, the distance between a standard fan’s blades and the ceiling is usually 12 to 14 inches, making it hang lower than the flush mount fan.

How to know if a flush-mount ceiling fan is required? 

To fulfill building codes, the minimum ceiling height to install a ceiling fan is 8 feet. If a ceiling is lower than eight feet, you cannot put a ceiling fan on it as the fan will hang lower than 7 feet from the floor. 

In short, a flush mount is an ideal choice if the ceiling is 8 feet high. A flush mount with lights will require a ceiling height of a little more than 8 feet to accommodate the extra fan height added by the lights. However, any ceiling with a height of 9 feet or above will benefit more from a conventional ceiling fan.

Best practices for installing a flush-mount ceiling fan

Flush-mount fans are a perfect choice for low ceilings. Follow these considerations when using these sleek fans:

Keep yourself safe

Always use a flush-mount ceiling fan if you have a low ceiling for safety reasons. Also, be mindful if taller people are regular visitors in your low-ceiling room!

Use it on a flat ceiling

Flush-mount fans work best on a low and flat ceiling as they are designed for this purpose. If you are planning to install it on a vaulted or sloped ceiling, you’ll need a downrod and an adapter, increasing the length and making it similar to a regular fan. So why not instead use a regular fan on a sloped ceiling?!

Only use it on a low ceiling

Reserve the flush-mount ceiling fans to be used only on low ceilings, as there are better options for high ceilings. These fans have restricted airflow because they are installed very close to the ceiling, so they should be used only where their use is inevitable.

How to properly install a flush mount ceiling fan?

A flush-mount fan is reasonably straightforward to install as it doesn’t require setting up the downrod. Before installing the fan, ensure that it will leave 7 feet of space between the fan blades and the floor. You can ask a helper to keep the fan at the installation point, and then you can measure the fan’s distance from the floor.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for installing a flush-mount fan:

  1. Position a ladder where you can conveniently reach the electric junction box. Then turn off the circuit breaker to cut the power supply to the junction box.
  2. If there is already a light or fan in position, you need to take that down first!
  3. Start the installation by mounting the bracket or base plate to the junction box. If the box is old or is made of plastic, it’s better to install a new metal electric junction box.
  4. Ensure it is attached securely by pulling it down.
  5. Now, connect the fan motor to the mounting bracket by properly connecting all the fan wires to the junction wires.
  6. Once the wiring is finished, connect the fan bracket to the base plate by screwing them together securely.
  7. Attach the fan blades and ensure that all the screws are fastened tightly.
  8. No, turn on the circuit breaker and check if the fan is working correctly.

How to properly remove a flush mount ceiling fan?

You might think removing a flush-mount ceiling fan will be complex as it hasn’t got a downrod, but it isn’t so. Instead of removing the fan motor from the downrod, you will have to remove it directly from the ceiling at the junction box. So, to reach the ceiling, you’ll need an extended ladder, and the rest will be an easy task. 

Here is what you need to do to remove a flush-mount ceiling fan:

  1. Position the ladder and turn off the circuit breaker.
  2. First, you have to take off the light fixture. Remove the bulbs and then unscrew the light globes. Pull them away and carefully put them away.
  3. Then unscrew the light fixture and pull it down slowly. Disconnect the light wires from the wire nuts and pull the fixture away.
  4. Now remove the fan blades by taking off the screws. Keep the screws safe.
  5. Pull down the ceiling ring to see the screws holding the ceiling mount cover. Remove the screws and take off the cover. The wires will be visible.
  6. Now let the fan motor hang on the angle attachment after lifting it to one side and disconnect the wires. Then, hold the motor and remove it from the angle attachment.
  7. Finally, unscrew and remove the ceiling fan bracket from the junction box. It brings us to the end of the flush-mount fan removal process.

Flush mount vs. downrod: Which is better?

There are two main ceiling fan types: flush mount and downrod. Both are great options, depending on what you’re looking for in your home’s décor or the amount of air the fan produces. However, choosing one over the other is best based on your room’s ceiling height, as I have already explained in the above discussion.

Let’s take this opportunity to compare these two fan types on some essential features:

Flush-mount ceiling fan Downrod ceiling fan
Price Cheaper Expensive 
Extra features More and better features Limited features
Power consumption Energy efficient Energy efficient
Noise output Noisy Quieter
Maintenance Easy cleaning Somewhat difficult cleaning
Comparison: Flush-mount vs. downrod

Price

Downrod ceiling fans have better designs, usage flexibility, and more powerful motors, making them more expensive than flush-mount fans. So, the flush mounts are more affordable but still offer decent-looking designs if you opt for this type!

Additional features

Both fan types offer varying speeds, reversible motors for using the fans in summer and winter, customize lighting, and remote control options. The only difference comes in the design department, where downrod fans come in countless aesthetic designs, while flush-mount has limited options. 

Power consumption

Ceiling fans are designed to consume less power, so comparing the two fan types is not a very critical point. Also, the models with light use LED lights that are energy efficient and have a long life.

Noise output

Downrod fans are far up in the room and have more space between the blades and the ceiling, so they make less noise. Plus, they use more expensive and powerful motors that are much quieter. On the other hand, flush-mount fans are installed too close to the ceiling and hence cannot produce a strong airflow, so the manufacturers use less powerful motors. A weaker motor ends up making a lot of noise. Hence, downrod fans are a clear winner here! 

Maintenance

The downrod fan hangs higher than the flush-mount fan, making it more challenging to reach for cleaning. Flush-mount fan hangs at 7 feet, so you can easily reach out to it for cleaning or changing the light bulbs when needed.

Conclusion

Ceiling height is essential when deciding which fan to install in that limited space. This point is evident in the comparison of the downrod and flush-mount fans. Downrod fans are better in overall performance, but they are not a suitable option if you have a low ceiling. Flush-mount fans are your only option when looking for a low-ceiling fan, so you must choose accordingly.

Charles John

A novice DIYer who learns about home ventilation. I am a mechanical engineer and have a basic knowledge of HVAC systems but I learn continuously to make myself the best blogger in that space.

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