by Benjamin Roussey
Getting ready for the warmer months
Ceiling fans are often ignored. However, regular maintenance
ensures that they provide peak performance. It also enhances
their lifespan. Knowing how to prevent and correct dust
accumulation, loose screws, wobbly blades, and noise only
Cleaning the Blades
The blades on a ceiling fan easily gather dust and need to be
cleaned frequently. Too much dust can cause the fan to
Vacuuming with a brush attachment is a fast and efficient
choice for cleaning the blades. If a vacuum isn't available,
you can just use a cloth. Clean the edges of the blades first
before doing the top and the bottom. Rinse out the cloth
frequently. Do not use harsh chemicals. A little dish soap in
the water works fine. Never put too much pressure on the
You may choose to use some furniture polish on the blades. A
light coat is sufficient. And, naturally you'll want to take
appropriate precautions with any ladder or stool you use.
You should probably clean the blades every other month or so,
but certainly at least twice during the summer months.
Correcting a Wobble
If your ceiling fan wobbles, it is likely unbalanced. This can
be repaired with the help of a balancing kit available at most
hardware stores. Failure to keep a fan balanced increases wear
and tear on the fan's motor and shortens its lifespan. An
unbalanced fan is also a safety hazard and can loosen
electrical wiring and even lead to the fan collapsing. A loose
support bracket can also be the culprit in some instances.
A balancing kit will contain blade clips and adhesive-backed
weights. Measure the leading edge of each fan blade to the
ceiling. Affix a balancing clip on the blade that's closest to
the ceiling. Turn the fan on low and see if the wobble is
better. If not, repeat the process beginning with the
measurement. You may need to add weights to two or three
blades. You might also need more than one weight on a blade.
Once the wobble is gone take the backing off the balancing
weight and stick it on the top of the blade near where the
What to Do if You Have a Squeaky Fan
A squeaky ceiling fan can be fixed in a few simple steps. With
the fan off, hold each blade and shake it slightly to see if
any of the screws securing the blade are loose. Tighten any
that are. If the fan has a light option, see if the light
bulbs or any other fixtures have come loose.
Test the fan and see if the squeaking has stopped. If not,
remove the cover that hides the fan hanger. Lubricate any
moving parts and replace the cover.
If the fan still squeaks, the problem may be with the fan
bearings. As the fan ages, bearings in the motor wear out and
begin to squeak. In extreme cases, the fan can overheat and
cause the motor to seize. Most newer fans have sealed
bearings, which cannot be lubricated.
In some instances, your fan might make a humming noise. That
could be caused by a wall switch that's not compatible with
your fan. Your local hardware store can help you with the
You'll want to inspect, clean, and lubricate ceiling fans at
the onset of warm weather. Cleaning and tweaking a single fan
should not take you more than half an hour if you have all the
materials you need.
Hope that you find this helpful. Taking care of things is better than replacing them.
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