Noisy ceiling fans can be extremely irritating. The first step to resolving the issue is figuring out why ceiling fan makes noise. You can either call a professional electrician to figure it out for you, or you can play detective and suss it out for yourself.
So why your ceiling fan is making noise? There are many reasons why the ceiling fan shakes, hums or make noise –
- Blades are dirty, uneven or misaligned.
- There be some loose screws or loose wire connectors.
- There may be some debris or loose objects in the motor housing mount
- The motor needs lubricant
This complete guide covers all of the most common reasons why ceiling fan makes noise, and importantly how to fix these issues. Here are the most likely reasons why a ceiling fan hums.
Blades are dirty, uneven, or misaligned
The first step is to inspect the blades. Even dust and dirt on fan blades can throw the blades off balance, so this may be why ceiling fan shakes. As you clean the blades, check that they are not warped, damaged, or hanging unevenly, as this is another common reason why ceiling fan makes noise.
The fixture has been knocked loose/ light attached to the fan is loose
If your fan has a light fixture attached, there is a good chance that the fixture has been knocked loose as you have changed the bulb. Check if any of the bulbs are loose, and then check any sconces covering the bulbs.
It’s not just the light fixtures that could be loose. Check all screws, including those attached to the junction box and the ceiling mounting parts, as any loose screw could be the reason why ceiling fan makes noise.
Loose wire connectors
The junction box contains a plethora of wires. If a wire is lightly touching the edge of the junction box, it can rattle as the fan moves, causing the ceiling fan to make a noise. If you’re not comfortable checking the wiring yourself, you can always call a professional electrician.
Debris or loose objects in the motor housing mount
Sometimes debris or screws can fall into the motor housing and rattle around. It’s a fair bit of work to access this as you will need to remove the fan from the down rod and remove the wire connections in order to remove the top of the motor housing. Once you have accessed it, check inside for any loose parts.
The motor needs lubricant
Sometimes motors just need a little lubrication to work effectively and quietly. Check the ball bearing and the motor bins for any build-up of dirt or grime, as this could also be the reason why ceiling fan makes noise.
How to fix ceiling fan noise issues
It will be much easier to determine how to stop your ceiling fan from making noise once you have determined the cause of the noise. However, you can always try the troubleshooting steps below. In most cases, one of these solutions will fix your ceiling fan noise issues.
Clean and inspect the blades
The easiest fix is cleaning the blades, so this is always worth a try before you spend time and money on other solutions. Use a duster or dust cloth to gently wipe the tops and bottom of the blades. If necessary you can use a slightly damp cloth, however, you should always dry off any moisture immediately.
If one blade is hanging lower than the others, try tightening it as this is a common reason why ceiling fan shakes. If blades are warped or damaged, replace them with an exact match from the manufacturer.
As mentioned above, there are several screws that can come loose and this could be the reason why ceiling fan hums. Tighten any loose screws around the junction box, the down rod, and the mounting brackets.
Tighten the light fixture parts
You should also make sure that all light fixtures are tightly attached, however, avoid over-tightening as this can cause the glass to break.
Tighten the motor cover
Sometimes the fan’s blade brackets can drag on the motor housing cover, causing a scraping sound. Try loosening the screws, slightly adjusting the position of the cover, and retightening.
Balance the blades
Balancing kits often come with new fans and are also available at hardware stores. It includes a plastic clip that helps you to determine the best place to add weight in order to reduce wobble and an assortment of stick-on weights that can be added to the blades.
Clean the motor housing mount
As mentioned above, screws or debris can get into the motor housing and cause a humming noise. Once you have taken it apart, check for any dirt or debris and remove, and then put it back together, ensuring that the screws are nice and tight.
Lubricate the motor
Use a paper towel to remove any dirt and grime from the motor, before using machine oil to lubricate the motor.
If you are still experiencing ceiling fan noise after trying all of the above resolutions, you can always call a professional electrician for help.