Ceiling Fan Maintenance Guide

Many times in the past decades, health concerns were raised in favor of and against different room cooling systems. Let it be the ceiling fan or air conditioner. Adequate ceiling fan maintenance becomes necessary to guard against those myths and realities.

“Sleeping with your fan on could be seriously damaging your health – what to do instead” – a headline published from the Mirror.

“Sleeping with a Bedside Fan Could Pose Health Risks (Who Knew?)” read another, from LifeZette.

With all the intentions above, nobody could solidly land on the ground to go against the benefits that we get from the ceiling fan.

“Whether you’re trying to keep cool or fall asleep faster, a fan is probably the most cost-effective piece of equipment you can use to improve your sleep quality.” – Sleep Advisor suggests who should and should not sleep with a ceiling fan.

The probability of getting the most health benefits from the ceiling fan increases a lot if we can maintain it the way the experts suggest. Appropriate actions will ensure to reduce your allergic reactions, sinus irritations, and sore muscles caused (only a negligible percentage) by the ceiling fan.

Common Ceiling Fan Maintenance

When is the last time you cleaned your ceiling fan?

As because a ceiling fan is way higher than your hand range, doesn’t necessarily mean you should look at its maintenance very rarely.

Regular cleaning and small troubleshooting can enhance the optimal performance of the ceiling fan. Besides, it will ensure to avoid potential accidents and will ensure to increase the longevity of the fan.

Regular Maintenance

1. Clean the fan: Over the months of usage, clouds of dust pile up over the fan blades. These should be cleaned every 2-3 months depending on the amount. A simple cloth or brush can be used to clean the fan blades. OR, you can use your regular vacuum cleaner to accumulate the dust from the fan blades. Check our complete cleaning guide in the next section.

2. Routine Inspections: On routine inspection, you should check for fan movements and wobbles. When the fan rotates, it should not make any side movement. You should check whether the fan is making grinding noises by scratching to different internal and external surface areas. If so happens, it should be fixed.

Further, if there is any bend in the blades, then the wobble can happen. You should check whether all the parts including screws are present with the fan blades.

3. Keep an Air Filter: This is a piece of additional advice. If the air feels to be stuffy due to the closed-off rooms, you can use an air purifier to get instant relief.

Occasional Maintenance

1. Change the Fan Blade Direction: Modern ceiling fan models are enabled with reverse technology to change the direction of the ceiling fan. It helps us to keep our temperature cool in the summer and blow the warm air on us in the winter just by changing the direction it rotates. For smooth running and longevity, this reverse technology should be used around the year.

2. Tighten All Screws: Ceiling fans are made out of different parts that are assembled to make it complete. It is a rotating device and many parts generate small vibrations that can loosen some of the screws. On your routine inspection as stated above, check the moment of the fan if it seems to be usual. Check whether all the screws are tightened. Simply, use a screwdriver and tight them once again.

3. Lubricate Ceiling Fan Bearing/Motor: Lubricating the bearings/motor is necessary once in a year to keep the rotation very smooth. Use simple machine oil at the top of the motor. Take this “How To” guide from Joshua Clement (Construction Foreman):

4. Clean Fan Motor: The ceiling fan motor is the most essential part of the fan. It has a cover on it, yet over the years dust may get in. To clean the motor, simply use the vacuum to get into the top of the cover. This will help to remove the excess dust from the fan’s motor.

Ceiling Fan Cleaning Guide

While maintaining the ceiling fan, the most irritating task my mother finds is to clean it. Because of her age, she fears getting high up to reach the ceiling fan.

She always tries to assign this task to me. And, somehow, I manage it out very easily in a few simple steps.

Components of the Ceiling Fan to be Cleaned

When it comes to cleaning the ceiling fan, there are a few major components to clean properly.

1. The Blades: The blades are the most dust accumulated area of a ceiling fan. A standard ceiling fan has over 300 Rotation Per Minutes (RPM). If the surrounding air of your house is full of so much dust and unwanted particles, the ceiling fan blades are going to be much more dirty than usual.

2. Motor Housing and Its Joints: The motor housing is covered with metal plates in the ceiling fan. Yet it can pile up dust through the joints of the downrod. The bearing joints are important to clean occasionally to run the fan smoothly.

3. Canopy and Downrod Area: As the blades, the canopy is a showcasing open area to get the dust accumulated. Periodic cleanup should also be done for this area.

4. Light Kit: Light kits in the ceiling fan have the purpose just to give you a dim dreamy experience in the room. Lack of proper cleaning can make the brightness to be very pale.

Cleaning Tools and Materials

You should consider cleaning a ceiling fan as simple as cleaning other home appliances. You don’t need to get any special cleaning tools or materials if you don’t want to.

The usual kits are pretty much the same. You can choose any of these for any method you prefer to clean the ceiling fan.

  1. A long-armed brush or microfiber duster. A very regular one or a special one made out for this job.
  2. A piece of cloth. Wet clothes with detergent can be used for deep sticky stain cleaning.
  3. A pillow cover/case.
  4. A vacuum cleaner with a long wand/hose.
  5. Ladder.
  6. Screwdriver.
  7. Machine Oil.
  8. Bandana to cover your face.

Check out these pro guides from Del Mar Fans & Lighting.

Best Way To Clean A Ceiling Fan

Clean the Ceiling Fan Without a Ladder

If you or your mother is afraid of reaching a height just like my mother, you can use a long-armed brush or microfiber duster to clean the ceiling from the ground. You can wipe out all the dust from ceiling blades and motor housing. Few things to remember.

  1. If the ceiling fan has deep stains, it will be difficult to clean by this.
  2. Dust may fall over all the places in your room as well as over your body.
  3. Fan blades may bend if excessive pressure is given.

Clean the Ceiling Fan With A Cloth or Pillow Case

For a deep stain clean, the ceiling fan should be cleaned with a cloth or pillowcase. First, use a strong ladder to reach out to the ceiling fan.

If you are planning to use a pillowcase, simply cover the blade with the pillow cover. Then slide over the dust from the upper side of the blade by a simple swipe. The dust should be fallen within the pillow then. Or you can simply use regular cloth.

If you have cleaned the ceiling fan long ago and the blades are having stains, you should give a clean with a piece of wet cloth. Few things to remember.

  1. If the stain is heavy, typical detergents can be used with the cloth.
  2. Be sure to squeeze it properly before application.
  3. Wipe gently so that you don’t damage the blades.
  4. Be careful to use in the motor housing, as there are electrical and mechanical components that may get damaged due to the contact of the water.
  5. Leave the fan to dry for a couple of minutes before the next use.

Clean the Ceiling Fan With A Vacuum Cleaner

Using the vacuum cleaner to wipe out the ceiling fan blades helps in not to fall the dust all over the place. Start by using the vacuum brush and then use a wet cloth to clean the stick stains from the blades as stated above. Leave the fan to dry for a couple of minutes before the next use.

Ceiling Fan Troubleshooting Guide

Last summer, my sister’s wedding preparation was going on at our home. Just three days before the occasion, our living room ceiling fan stopped working.

My mother got fired as this was a great room and guests would accumulate there for the occasion. She asked me to call a technician to fix the issue.

Yet I didn’t put a thought on it and examined the problem myself.

It was nothing but a fan capacitor issue. I understood it as I had some ideas regarding troubleshooting.

On different events just like this, good troubleshooting knowledge on any home appliance including ceiling fan can help you save a lot of time and extra cost. But be very cautious, as you are dealing with electric appliances, and you should switch off the power while working.

Problems in New Ceiling Fan

If you have installed your ceiling fan on your own, it may happen that it is not working after installation or has stopped working just a few days after running.

After inspecting every possible knowledge you have, if you cannot figure out what to do, you should check the problem with the retailer/manufacturer. Your purchase invoice and ceiling fan inside documentation includes their contacts. Or, a simple Google search can help you out for the contact.

This is advised because your ceiling fan may have a warranty period, and these customer service lines will assist you in troubleshooting your specific fan. Even if they cannot resolve the issue, they are bound to replace the parts or the entire ceiling fan. Many manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty.

If you start troubleshooting the fan within the warranty period on your own and damage any parts therein, the warranty may get void.

If your ceiling fan is not under warranty period, you may troubleshoot as per the below typical problems and probable solutions. Yet, if your fan is completely damaged, you may check the best ceiling fans in the market.

Typical Ceiling Fan Problems

The enumerated list includes the common ceiling fan problems and their possible reasons and solutions. You can check and try to resolve the issue on your own.

  • Ceiling Fan is Not Working
  • Ceiling Fan Remote is Not Working
  • Ceiling Fan Speeds are Not Working
  • Fan Light Kit is Not Working
  • Ceiling Fan is Turning On/Off
  • Ceiling Fan has Airflow Issues
  • Ceiling Fan is Not Reversing
  • Ceiling Fan is Wobbling
  • Ceiling Fan is Noisy

Ceiling Fan is Not Working

  1. Check whether the fan switch is properly on. Sometimes, the switch gets stuck for the connection.
  2. Check whether the circuit breaker is on. If the circuit breaker has fallen for any reason, fix it. Any there are any damaged fuses, replace it.
  3. Turn off the circuit breaker and check whether all the wire connections are okay under the canopy.
  4. Turn off the circuit breaker and check whether the wall panel connections are okay. Check whether all the wires are properly connected.
  5. If you have a light kit on the ceiling fan, check whether it is working. If so, there might be a problem with the fan connection only.
  6. If you have a remote control ceiling fan, check whether it is working. See, if the fan ON/OFF switch is aligned with the wall panel.

Ceiling Fan Remote is Not Working

  1. Check whether batteries are misplaced due to any shake or fall from your hand.
  2. Mostly, the batteries may not have the power in it. If so, replace it.
  3. You can try to open the remote panel and clean it with a soft brush.

Ceiling Fan Speeds are Not Working

  1. Check whether your fan dimmer is okay, and runs properly with speed increase and decrease.
  2. The fan capacitor is responsible for the speed. Check and replace the ceiling fan capacitor.
  3. You can check by spinning if the fan blades are moving without any hassle while the fan is off. If any hindrance seems to be there, clean and lubricate the motor bearing.
  4. Run the fan for a while and try to understand if there is any overheating problem in the ceiling fan motor housing. You may want to call a technician or contact the manufacturer in this case.

Fan Light Kit is Not Working

  1. If the fan is working properly but the light kit is not, then there may be a problem with the light kit only. Check whether the light is tight enough in the socket and not having any loose ends.
  2. You can check if the bulb is not fused. If so, replace it. If the socket has any burn marks, the socket connection may be loose or there may be any problem with the wiring.
  3. You can all the wiring up above the canopy, mountain bracket area, and the switch panel by turning off the circuit breaker.
  4. If you have a remote control ceiling fan, check whether it is working. See, if the light kit ON/OFF switch is aligned with the wall panel.

Ceiling Fan/Light is Turning On/Off

  1. There can be a short-circuit issue and this is very serious. Check all the wire connections up above the canopy, mountain bracket area whether they are properly tightened. Make sure they are not having any loose connections and are not touching with another connection.
  2. Validate whether your mainline is working without any malfunction.

Ceiling Fan has Airflow Issues

  1. First, validate if the ceiling fan is installed based on the standard guideline of the size and height. There should be at least 7 feet clearance to have the best airflow.
  2. Confirm whether the ceiling is rotating in the right direction.
  3. Run the fan for a while and try to understand if there is any overheating problem in the ceiling fan motor housing. You may want to call a technician or contact the manufacturer in this case.

Ceiling Fan is Not Reversing

  1. In the winter, you may want to reverse the direction of the ceiling fan. If you face any difficulty, check whether the reverse button is in a neutral position. Change the switch several times and try now.
  2. If you feel that the switch is not working, replace it.
  3. If you have a remote-control ceiling fan, check whether it is working. See, if the reverse ON/OFF switch is aligned with the wall panel and ceiling fan.

Ceiling Fan is Wobbling – How To Fix A Wobbly Ceiling Fan?

  1. The first step to fix a wobbling ceiling fan is to determine the root cause of it. The fan may wobble because of the destabilization between the junction box and mounting brackets. The fan may also have bend blades, a loose screw, dusty fan blades.
  2. Clean the fan first by following our cleaning guide in the previous section and check it gets fixed.
  3. Tighten all the loose screws if found any.
  4. Look and feel the fan blades if all of them are straight at the same level. If any imbalance is seen, try to bend slowly and fix it.
  5. Validate if the junction box is “Acceptable for Fan Support” and installed properly above the ceiling with the brace. Also, check if the downrod ball is properly adjusting with the mounting bracket.

Ceiling Fan is Noisy

  1. Any above reason for ceiling fan wobbling can make a noise.
  2. Check if there is any debris that may be stuck in any component of the fan.
  3. Check if the fan blades are not bent and are on the same level.
  4. Check if all the screws are well tight and are not giving any wobbling effect to make a sound.
  5. Verify if any loose wires are hanging unnecessarily to make a noise.
  6. Check whether the fan iron blade is not touching and scratching with the motor housing in any way. If so, you need to balance the slightly.
  7. You can check whether the canopy and light kit are not having any imbalance and scratching with any other parts of the fan.

When troubleshooting a ceiling fan, it is highly advised to be very careful as you are dealing with electricity. Make sure you have enough knowledge to troubleshoot before you go too much deeper.

At any stage of time, if you feel that the above-mentioned measures are not executable, please contact the manufacturer or a technician without any further delay.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Often to Clean an Indoor and an Outdoor Ceiling Fan?

Well, the answer is, it depends.

If the ceiling fan/your house is located in an area where air pollution is so much, then it is very likely that your fan will accumulate more dust than usual. Some may have to do the regular cleaning every other week, some may have to do it every couple of months. And, the entire thing completely depends on your cleaning habit. There are no set rules.

Ceiling fans at home are worth the cost and effort put through. It ensures your comfy sleep and rest. It also helps you to save on your pocket costs through the reduction of energy consumption and bills.

A ceiling fan is stated to give service for a long period. Its proper maintenance, cleaning, and troubleshooting are vital to get the best results out of it. It can enhance longevity and give less trouble if properly understood and maintained.

Samuel Adler

Samuel Adler is a 30-year-old executive who always enjoys creating something new and play around the central home improvement. He is a creative writer, a reader, and a full-time learner, but he just doesn’t like to eat so much. He is intelligent, optimistic, and loves the concept of a happy and stable home. He grew up in a higher middle-class neighborhood and feels comfortable to speak his words through his writing. Being a part of The Home Impro, Samuel Adler found the platform to fully utilize his passion for creating something new.

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