Ceiling fans are a boon to have in our homes, silently circulating cool air during the summers. However, they don’t seem to be that much of a blessing once they start squeaking and making other unpleasant noises.

If you’d like to know why your ceiling fan is making noises and how you could get it to stop, this short read is exactly what the doctor ordered.

The reasons for the noises and solutions

You’re using a light dimmer

light dimmer for ceiling fan

Sometimes, the noise our fans make is covered by outdoor noises during the day but becomes more apparent during the night. If your fan seems to be making a humming noise that’s noticeable only when it is quiet outside, the noise is probably because of an erroneous fixture.

The reason for the noise, in this case, is that you have been using a dimmer to control the speed of the fan. Dimmers are used for light fixtures, not for ceiling fans. Swap out the dimmers for speed regulators, and you will notice that the noise will stop immediately.

Read more: How to wire a dimmer switch

You need to clean your fan

If you’ve been lagging behind on your summer cleaning, it is possible that the accumulation of dirt on the fan blades has made them unbalanced, and this could be the reason for your noisy ceiling fans. 

The solution is to clean up the blades, the fan canopy, and housing. To do that, you will need a ladder or a step stool to stand on, and one or more damp rags to wipe the fan clean. Be sure to clean any exposed part of the fan while you’re at it.

Once you’re done, test the fan by turning it on and make sure it isn’t making any noise. If, while cleaning the blades, you notice that they are bent out of shape, it is an indication that you ought to change the blades altogether.

Read more: Cleaning the ceiling fan

The fan blades are loose

loose blade for ceiling fan

If your fan is making clicking noises, it is an indication that the blade screws that attach the blade to the fan assembly are loose.

To tighten the loose blades, begin by placing the step stool or ladder in a place that offers you access to one or more blade screws. The screws are located at the end of the blades closest to the fan assembly.

Use a screwdriver to tighten the loose screws, but make sure you don’t tighten them too much, as that could damage them.  Remember that you will need to keep shifting the step stool to have easy access to the screws on all the blades. 

Once you are done tightening the screws, turn on the fan and test for any noise. 

The attached light kit is loose

Some fans have lighting kits attached to the fan housing, and these become loose with time as well. This could be the reason you have a noisy fan. Use the opportunity to tighten the screws on the light kit and clean the assembly.

Once again, use a step stool or ladder to get access to the light fixtures. Begin by removing the housing for the lighting kit. Clean the housing, and replace any bulbs that may be dead.

Replace all the screws, and make sure they are tight enough. Turn on the fan and test for noise.

The fan canopy is rattling

loose canopy for ceilign fan

Often, the fan canopy, or the motor cover, as it is also called, becomes loose and could be the part of your fan making noise. Here’s how to tighten it.

By now, you’ve definitely realized that using a step stool or a ladder is necessary for any ceiling fan repairs. Stand on the platform and wriggle the canopy. If there is movement, it means the canopy needs to be tightened.

Normally, fan canopies have fasteners. Locate the fasteners and tighten the canopy. Then, turn on the fan to see if the noise has stopped.

The fan motor needs to be oiled

It seems by now that trying to fix a noisy ceiling fan is a process of trial and error. If none of the above approaches have worked, your last resort is to oil the fan motor.

The oil hole is located near the down rod in most fans. Use a ladder to access it. Then, use a pipe cleaner to check the oil level in the fan motor. If the pipe comes out dry, it means you need to oil the motor.

Check the owner’s manual to make sure you use the correct type and quantity of oil for the fan. Different manufacturers have different specifications when it comes to what oil needs to be used.

However, some fans have sealed housings that you cannot access. If your fans are of this type, you will need to call a professional technician to come and oil the bearings.

Wipe down the oil motor and the housing once you are done. Then, test the fan at a low speed to ensure it is noiseless.

Read more: Time to replace your ceiling fan

Have a regular maintenance schedule

Now that you know how to fix a noisy ceiling fan, you also know what to look for as a part of your regular cleaning and maintenance schedule. In fact, include ceiling fan maintenance on the list of tasks that are a part of your periodic HVAC maintenance.

Read more: Ceiling fan direction switch do it yourself

Why is my ceiling fan making noise? was last modified: December 5th, 2022 by Narayan Shrouthy
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Having children and having something that can fall on your head is not a good mix. I still find it hard to understand that there are people who love these types of fans