Usability win

2008/09/08 at 09:00

I’ve probably assembled and installed well over a dozen ceiling fans in my adult life. Over the years, the manufacturers have improved the designs so that the fans work better and, more importantly, are easier to install. This past weekend, I installed a new Hampton Bay ceiling fan in the kids’ bathroom. Two features presumably keep it from rattling: rubber washers where the blades attach to their brackets and rubber bands around the light globes where they are held in place by screws.
Ceiling fan detailBut this fan had a feature that made a big alleviated probably the biggest installation headache: holding the blades in place while you screw the blade brackets into the body of the fan. Due to the light kit, the screw holes are awkward to access, plus you have to hold the blade in place, the fan in place and screw in the screws upside down. Inevitably for me, the first screw for each blade falls to the floor once or twice before I get it in (the second screw is much easier, since I no longer have to hold the blade in place).
The helpful feature of this fan: the screws that attach the blade brackets to the fan were already inserted into the blade brackets and held in place so that they would not come out. That meant I just had to hold the blade and screw them in. Very nice.