Having a ceiling fan in your home can be a great way to keep any space cool without running up your electric bill. However, over time, some ceiling fans can start to squeak and make a great deal of noise, causing them to be very irritating to whomever is using them. A noisy fan can cause anyone to not want to use their ceiling fan.
However, the good news is, many people can fix noisy ceiling fans on their own without hiring a professional to fix it or dealing with costly repairs. Here is how you can fix a noisy ceiling fan on your own.
Testing Common Issues in Your Ceiling Fan
- Turn your ceiling fan off and allow for the blades to come to a complete stop.
- Hold each blade individually and then shake them gently back and forth to see if any of the fasteners are loose. If they are use a Phillips head screw driver to tighten the screws back in place.
- Check every lightbulb in the fixture and make sure that they are securely in place. Sometimes the rattling noise of the lights inside the fixture can be to blame for the sound.
- If the fan has a globe on it, make sure that it is securely attached to the rest of the fan. Sometimes, a screw may be loose, other times there may be a rubber-band like attachment around the neck of the globe that becomes loose. This can cause the globe to wobble and create noise. The good news is, these rubber attachments are available at most home improvement stores.
- Dust off the blades on your ceiling fan, especially the top. If the blades haven’t been dusted in a long time and have a thick layer of dust on them, the weight of this dust can actually put enough pressure on the fan motor to create a squeaky noise. It can also cause the fan motor to wear out prematurely.
Once you have performed all of these common tests to determine if they are the cause of your ceiling fan noise, turn your fan back on. See if it helped with the noise. If not, go to the next troubleshooting steps in order to get a better handle on your squeaky fan.
Troubleshooting a Noisy Ceiling Fan
If these standard fixes for a noisy ceiling fan don’t fix the problem, here are some additional troubleshooting tactics you can try in order to stop the noise for good.
Rebalancing Ceiling Fan Blades
Sometimes when the blades on a ceiling fan are out of balance they can make a lot of noise when the fan is actually moving. This is a relatively common issue and one that can be fixed right at home.
Most home improvement and electrical supply stores will have something called a “balancing kit” to help with this imbalance. Basically, the kits are filled with small adhesive weights that you can attach to the top of the fan blades to make them more balanced.
You will need to take your time and attach the weights one at a time and use a trial and error process to determine which blades were out of sink and how many weights you need to regain the balance. It takes some time, but if you follow the instructions listed with the kit, you can typically fix the noise issue.
Dealing With Humming Noises From Dimmer
If you hear a humming noise coming from your ceiling fan, then you may have an issue with dimmers, if you have them. In fact, one of the most common causes of humming ceiling fans is when they are attached to dimmer controls as a way to control fan speed.
Dimmers are not meant to be used with ceiling fans, yet they are often installed anyway. This is why you hear the humming noise. Change out the dimmer control with a proper speed control switch and the issue should be resolved.
The second most common cause of humming noises in ceiling fans has to do with the remotes. If there is a bad receiver attached to the ceiling fan and its getting a signal from a remote, it can create a humming noise. In order to fix this problem, you need to remove the receiver and instead have the fan directly connected to the power source. If you do this and the humming stops, then that was your problem.
If you have already removed the receiver on your ceiling fan and it didn’t stop the humming problem, then you may be dealing with a bad capacitor, not a bad receiver. You can get rid of the humming problem in this way by changing the switch up or the capacitor. This is a common problem in low voltage level fans and lower voltages can cause the motor to struggle. In fact, if your ceiling fan has a voltage level below 105 volts, A/C can actually cause fan noises.
When you have multiple fans on one circuit with this type of fan, it can also actually cause humming as well.
Checking the Mount
Look at the mount of your ceiling fan, if it has been directly mounted into the ceiling it can start to make joist noises whenever it works. If the can is hung on a ceiling joist any normal sounds the fan was already making will by amplified through the joist. An easy fix? Use approved hangers instead. Hangers will actually mount between ceiling joists and will keep your noise levels down.
Troubleshooting Motor Issues
If you have tried every other approach to fixing your noisy ceiling fan, then you should check the motor in the heart of your fan. This should be the last thing you check in your ceiling fan as it is the most difficult fix.
Sometimes, when the bearings in the fan motor start to wear out it can cause the motor to overheat. This can cause the entire apparatus to “short out” or become a serious fire hazard.
Unfortunately, most ceiling fans come with sealed bearings, making them almost impossible to safely disassemble the motor. If you cannot get the bearings off, then you will need to replace your fan. If you can get to the bearings, apply some light machine oil to them to see if it helps. If this does not fix the problem, it is time for a new ceiling fan.