Installation of Ceiling Fans on Sloping and Suspended Ceilings
Suspended ceilings made from plasterboard are easy to install, reduce heating load and visually enhance your home. However, how do mount a heavy ceiling fan to a thin plate or to sloping ceilings? In this guide we shall discuss a few professional tips and alternative solutions.
- Benefits of a suspended ceiling
- creoven mounting brackets
- Ceiling fans on sloping ceilings
- Alternative to ceiling fans
Benefits of a suspended ceiling
If you have been looking into energy-efficient heating (and ventilation), you know that heat always moves upwards to the ceiling. This natural phenomenon causes cold spots in the lower area of the room and corners. As a consequence, residents often turn up the heating. However, this warm air again escapes and the ground stays cool. Generally the following applies: The higher the ceiling is, the higher your heating bill will be.
Eliminate cold spots
A ceiling fan with winter mode (reverse function) recirculates the warm air. The temperature evens out inside the room and you do not have to turn up the heater as much. The fan is mounted to the supporting concrete mounted with a few simple anchor bolts.
Instead of freezing in the winter or heating just one room to save costs, a lot of home owners and tenants opt for suspended ceilings where a false ceiling is inserted below the concrete ceiling to decrease room height. Usually this is done with gypsum drywall boards, a relatively easy and low-cost option. The boards incorporate a core made of gypsum (plaster) that is cladded in board. They can be cut to any size and are mounted to beams made of wood or metal.
Improve thermal insulation
Warm air does not escape easily
No need to constantly re-fuel fireplace = saves heating costs
Noise insulation, improves acoustics
Easy installation of lighting, e.g. LED spots
Architectural design element
Covers ventilation shafts, wiring, insulation material
Sometimes, a false ceiling is added for visual enhancement and decorated with fancy stucco or creative painting. Rooms with partial suspended ceilings also creates an interesting effect and can be used for LED spots or indirect lighting. A popular theme is a starry sky that uses tiny spotlights as stars. Round, curvy inserts on the ceiling add an interesting touch to spacious rooms and lofts.
creoven mounting brackets
A supporting substruction allows installation of light fittings, chandeliers and ceiling fans with light.
Suspended ceilings made from wood or gypsum board are not sturdy enough to carry a rotating ceiling fan. Due to the spinning movement the actual weight of the device increases, a rule of thumb is to assume about twice the original weight. The instruction manual of each fan states exactly how much the ceiling or beam must be able to carry. Comply with these guidelines given by the manufacturers, it would disastrous if the fan ripped a hole in the ceiling or fell down on someone standing beneath it. Furthermore damaged of the device caused by faulty installation is not covered by warranty.
If you know where the supporting construction/beam is underneath the ceiling cover, you can simply mount your ceiling fan there (without additional brackets from our shop). Drill a small hole in the spot where you suspect the construction and make sure you actually hit something on the other side to ensure there really is a beam.
Another option is to mount the fan with a intermediate supporting bracket made from steel sheet. These metal brackets are adjustable in height and mounted between the concrete ceiling and the false ceiling. This prevents vibration noise and ensures carrying load. This metal support is not visible because it will be hidden by the suspended ceiling. The only thing you will see is the ceiling fan itself.
f there is no possibility of installing these supporting brackets on the thin suspended ceiling, you can create a hexagonal (or more corners) lower plate that allows you to spread the weight from two screws that attach the ceiling fan to six screws (or more). This plate can increase carrying load and dampen noise. Test your construction with your own body weight to make sure it is robust enough. If it supports you, it will support your ceiling fan.
Careful: We do not recommend the use of long screws with hollow wall anchors or spring hooks when fitting the unit to the false ceiling. They do not ensure stability and will result in noise because the low-weight hollow ceiling vibrates due to the fan’s motion.
Mounting brackets in our range:
- fits all ceiling fans
- carries up to 40 kg load
- 4 different sizes
- height continously variable
- galvanised steelsheet, primed
- mounting via safety screws
- quick and easy to install
- ensures fan operation without vibration
In order to determine the size you need (12cm-20cm, 20cm-35cm, 35cm-65cm, 65cm-120cm), measure the hollow space between the concrete ceiling and the suspended ceiling. Most ceiling fans are supplied with wiring that is about 46cm long. However, if you are using a large mounting bracket you might need longer cables. In our shop we offer two sizes of additional cable sets in 61 and 120cm. The functions of the fan itself such as light, speed, on/off, reversing are not affected by mounting brackets or long wiring, you can still use your remote, wall controller, pull cord or other controller unit as usual.
Calculate ceiling pitch in degrees
Measure the height and length of the sloping ceiling. In our example we are going to calculate with a length of 3 metres and height of 2 metres. Think of the sloping ceiling as one side of a triangle. If you were to add two other sides the would meet at an intersection at a 90° angle. By dividing height/length you get the result of 66.67% which is the inclination. An inclination of 100% corresponds to a 45° angle. According to the formula angle in percent / 100% the inclination of the ceiling is 33.69° (based on the 66.67% from before).
If you do not have a calculator at home, most mobile phones nowadays have a built-in app. You can also find a variety of free calculator tools on the internet.
Ceiling fans can be used in combination with a longer rod to drop them lower in the room. This also prevents the blades from banging into the walls or furniture. A minimum distance of 20cm should be kept to walls, shelves or decorative textiles (canopy bed, curtain, drapery). Make sure that light textiles near opened windows cannot get entangled in the blades and cause damage. When using additional extension rods, make sure residents will not hit their head on the fans. There should be at least 2m distance between the floor and the fan. Also keep in mind that most ceiling fans with light fittings have a bigger overall depth than fans without lights.
Drawbacks of an extension drop rod:
A long (heavy) rod will always make the fan wobble just a little bit. That is not a manufacturing error, but an inevitable result of physics. Wobbling, jerking and rocking of a ceiling fan might lead cause drilled holes in the ceiling to widen.
Solution: Ceiling fan with ball bearing
Ceiling fans with ball bearings are suitable for installation on inclined ceilings. Even on high speed there will be no imbalance. These fans are easily identified by their canopy, the part of the fan that covers the actual ceiling mounting bracket. In the item description there is a special note whether the fan is suitable for slopes.
Your favourite ceiling fan is not suitable for installation on sloping ceilings?
If the carrying load is relatively low (check user manual), you can mount the device to a fitted wooden beam or angled wedge construction to the ceiling.
Circulators provide powerful air circulation and heat recovery
In older buildings you will sometimes find that ceilings are not made from concrete, but from a thin wooden construction that is directly clad in insulation material. In that case it is not feasible to use our special mounting brackets. There are other options to provide air circulation in these rooms without much structural retrofitting though. If there is absolutely no way to of installing appliances to the ceiling, opt for a portable fan with oscillation function instead. The fan propeller moves from side to side to cover a large part of the room. Another alternative are individual ventilation systems that are mounted to the exterior wall or inside the window. However, if you really want the look of ceiling fans, the Keiki fan might be right for you. It is available in two colours and can be mounted to walls as well.
We also offer various wall-mounted options. Click here to shop our wall-mounted fans.