Can You Replace Ceiling Fan Blades With Longer Ones?
It’s a common problem; you have a nice ceiling fan, but it doesn’t work that great. No matter what speed you set it to, the blades seem too short to get the air moving. So, naturally, you look into installing longer blades. However, it’s not that simple.
You can replace your ceiling fan’s blades with longer ones, but it can damage the ceiling fan. The difference in size and weight can burn out the ceiling fan’s motor or cause it to overheat. There is also a higher risk for the ceiling fan to fall if you install longer blades.
In this article, we will explain why it’s not a good idea to install longer blades on your ceiling fan. Having an understanding of these reasons will help you make the right choice. What are you willing to risk?
Just Because You Can Does Not Mean You Should
You can replace your fan blades with longer ones, but that doesn’t mean that you necessarily should. Many issues can occur from doing something like this. While it’s understandable that you want a stronger airflow, this is not how to achieve it.
The manufacturer of your ceiling fan created the motor to operate in accordance with a certain weight. The longer blades may not seem like a significant change, but they are. While a couple of extra inches don’t seem like a big deal, you’re adding 5 to 10 extra pounds to your fan.
Issues With Installing Longer Blades
Many problems will arise upon connecting larger blades to your ceiling fan. Some of those issues include:
- Quicker motor burnout
- Higher risk of falling and causing damage or injuries
- Shorting out- increasing the risk of a fire
- Unnecessary expenses
Of course, many other problems can occur as well. Although, we’ll briefly go over just a few of the more common ones. That way, you will see why installing larger blades is a bad idea.
The blades installed with your ceiling fan are ones that the motor can adequately operate. For instance, let’s say your fan blades weigh 3 pounds each, and there are 5 of them. That’s 15 pounds that your motor can operate with no problems.
Now, let’s say you buy blades 3 inches longer that weigh 5.5 pounds each. That’s 27 ½ pounds that your motor has to work with. Chances are, if your ceiling fan motor were built for that weight, it would have had those blades installed already. That weight will cause your fan to make a weird noise, which eventually results in burnout.
Risk Of Falling
Upon installation, your fan’s weight was taken into consideration. Fans weighing over 20 pounds are usually held in place by a mounting bracket. Now, if you have a lightweight fan that’s usually installed without a mounting bracket. If you add weight to that fan, it will be too heavy for your ceiling’s surface to hold. Thus, resulting in a higher risk of falling.
Wires Shorting Out
If the fan blades are too large for your ceiling fan, it will cause your fan motor to overheat. Eventually, that overheating will lead to shorts throughout the wiring. Hopefully, the only issue you’ll experience is your fan burning out.
However, shorts in wires are known to cause fires. It might seem like a good idea to pay $50 for new blades instead of $300 for a new fan. Although, if your fan catches fire, you’re now left with a mistake that is going to cost you thousands of dollars. It could even cost you your life.
The damage that can occur when you install the wrong size blades on your ceiling fan is endless! Essentially, what you are trying to do is avoid paying for a larger fan. It’s understandable as these fans can cost between $250 to $900. However, you’ll be paying more than that in the event of a problem.
You might be stuck with:
- Home renovation costs
- Fire damage repair
- Hiring an electrician to repair damage and any shorts
- Medical bills
Oh, and besides? You’ll have to buy a new fan anyway! This is why it’s better to get a new fan to bypass all of this hassle.
The Longer Blades Won’t Make A Difference
One more thing you need to know is that the longer blades are not going to make a difference. If you bought a new ceiling fan, they will. But, if you install the wrong size, your device won’t be able to operate them adequately. Therefore, you wouldn’t be able to set your fan onto the high setting.
If You Still Want To Install Larger Blades
If you read this article, but you still want to install longer blades, we can’t stop you. However, we can share some information to help you minimize potential problems.
Call The Manufacturer
The very first thing you want to do is call the manufacturer. When you call them, they can tell you what blades are compatible with your fan. They will also let you know if it’s possible or even advisable to install larger blades.
If they say yes you can, ask them for the model number to the compatible blades. That way, you can take it into any home improvement store to purchase them.
Check The Compatibility Of The Blades
If the manufacturer didn’t give you a model number, don’t worry. Usually, the box of blades will have a list of their compatible models. Check this information as it’s especially important.
Also, it would be best if you bought the same brand. Typically, if fan blades are changeable, the compatible sets will be of the same brand. It’s not a good idea to use universal fan blades. This is because they’re created from a different material. Also, the weight of the universal blades may be heavier.
Purchase A Larger Fan Instead
The best way to resolve your issue is by purchasing a larger fan. Getting a larger ceiling fan will help you avoid all the hassle we just discussed. If your manufacturer says there is no way to install larger blades, we recommend listening to them.
Can you install a ceiling fan yourself?
Yes! Installing a ceiling fan does not require a professional. You do not need to pay the labor fees for an electrician. There are plenty of DIY articles that explain how to install a ceiling fan on your own.
Are longer blades for your ceiling fan better than smaller ones?
The size of the blades ideal for you depends on the size of your room. If your ceilings are only 8 feet high, smaller blades will be fine. However, if you have high vaulted ceilings, the larger ones would be better for you.
All in all, it doesn’t save you anything to cut corners. If you’re looking to save money, installing longer blades is not the answer. Unless, of course, your manufacturer gives you the go-ahead.
Installing blades that are not compatible with your ceiling fan can be dangerous! Not only that, but it may end up costing you a lot more money than you wanted. You might as well purchase a new ceiling fan. After all, it’s not all that bad! You’ll get to choose one that you like, and add a splash of unique decor to your lovely home.
Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.
More by Heather Robbins