How Do I Fix a Noisy Ceiling Fan?

Ceiling fan service in Kirkland, WA

Ceiling fans make an excellent addition to any Kirkland, WA home’s comfort arsenal. They can cut your summertime cooling costs by 12% if you use them in concert with your AC unit. They can even cut your winter heating costs by up to 15% if you run them in reverse to redistribute heat. However, you must coexist with your running ceiling fans, so it’s more than a small annoyance when they’re noisy. For that reason, you can’t afford to ignore a noisy ceiling fan. To help, here are all the major reasons why your ceiling fan may be too noisy and what to do about each.

Reasons for Excessive Ceiling Fan Noise

There are multiple reasons why a ceiling fan could begin making excessive noise while it runs. Some of them are easy to fix, while others are less so. Here’s what they are and how to fix them.

Loose Screws

One of the most common reasons for a ceiling fan to make too much noise is a loose screw. The good news is that fixing that kind of noise problem is simple. The bad news is that you need to figure out which screw is the problem first. To do that, you’ll need to check all of your ceiling fan’s major screws one by one.

You can begin with the screws that attach your ceiling fan’s blade brackets. With your fan turned off, begin with the bracket screws that attach to the fan’s motor housing. Be careful not to strip the screws by over-tightening them. Then, proceed to the screws that attach the brackets to the fan blades. If you find any loose screws, tighten them. When you’ve checked them all, turn your fan on to see if the noise has subsided.

Next, you should check the screws that hold your ceiling fan’s downrod in place. You’ll find them at the bottom of the downrod, where it enters your fan’s motor housing. If those screws loosen, it can lead to vibration when your fan runs, which may cause noise. If the downrod screws need tightening, hand-tighten them and check to see if the noise is gone.

If your fan is still too noisy, you can check the screws that attach your fan’s mounting bracket to its ceiling box. You’ll find them in the fan’s decorative cover that extends over the top of its downrod, up against the ceiling. If those screws aren’t tight, the cover can rattle, leading to excessive noise. Again, hand-tightening is all those screws should need. If you overtighten them, you can damage both the screws and the decorative cover itself.

Finally, you can check the screws in your ceiling fan’s light fixture, if it has one. Sometimes, the screws that attach the fixture to the fan can get loose, leading to vibration. Or the screws that hold the light fixture’s glass covers or shades in place can be a source of noise. So, check all of those screws carefully as you inspect your ceiling fan.

Fan Blade Balance Issues

Another common problem that can make your ceiling fan noisy is unbalanced fan blades. So, if you can’t find any loose screws at fault, your fan blade balance is the next likely culprit. Believe it or not, something as simple as a buildup of dust and dirt can unbalance your fan blades. So, it’s a good idea to begin by cleaning your fan blades to see if it solves your noise issue. If not, then your fan blades may be physically damaged or installed improperly.

To check for this issue, you’ll need a ladder and a level. You must use the level to make sure all of the fan blades extend from the fan at an identical angle. If any don’t, inspect the problematic blades and their mounting brackets. In some cases, ceiling fan blades may warp, leading to balance problems. Or, the mounting brackets may bend, leading to the same problem. In either case, you may need to replace the offending blade or hardware to quiet your fan.

Alternatively, you can purchase a blade balancing kit from a local hardware store. Such kits come with small weights you can attach to your fan blades. By doing this, you can sometimes bring even warped blades back into balance. However, you should only attempt this if it’s impossible to find suitable replacement parts for your fan.

Fan Motor Damage

If the noise coming from your ceiling fan sounds like a constant buzzing, your fan’s motor may be the problem. Over time, ceiling fan motors can wear out, leading to noisy operation. Unfortunately, a problem with your ceiling fan’s motor isn’t something you can fix yourself. The best way for you to diagnose this issue is to listen carefully to the noise your fan is making. If you hear a steady buzz whenever you turn your fan on, it may need its capacitor replaced. However, if the buzz gets louder or softer depending on the fan speed, the motor’s winding could be to blame.

If your capacitor is to blame, you can call in one of our electricians to solve the problem for you. Replacing a ceiling fan’s capacitor is simple for an electrician to do and will extend your fan’s lifespan. Motor winding issues, however, aren’t something worth trying to fix. In that case, your best option is to replace your ceiling fan. If you do, our electricians can handle the replacement for you, too.

Damaged or Dirty Bearings

Another thing that can cause your ceiling fan to make noise is damaged or dirty bearings. They’re the part of your fan that allows the motor to rotate the fan’s blades. When they wear out or get dirty, they can emit a squealing or squeaking sound. Fortunately, this is another issue our electricians can repair for you. Depending on the condition of your fan, our electricians would either clean and lubricate the bearings or replace them.

Faulty Installation as a Cause of Ceiling Fan Noise

There are also a variety of installation problems that can lead to a noisy ceiling fan. Some of those problems would cause noise immediately after installation. Others may take some time and use to become evident. For example, improper wiring can lead to immediate noise from a ceiling fan. However, the use of the wrong mounting hardware can take a while to cause an issue.

In all cases, however, the best way to avoid ceiling fan installation problems is to leave the job to us. Our electricians can evaluate your existing ceiling fans to correct any lingering installation issues. Or, if you need new ceiling fans installed, they’ll make sure the job gets done correctly the first time.

Your Trusted Ceiling Fan Experts

For over 20 years, Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning has been the go-to ceiling fan expert Kirkland homeowners trust. We offer comprehensive electrical services as well as HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance services. We have a team of fully licensed electricians and NATE-certified HVAC technicians. Plus, we’re a Neighborhood Fave on Nextdoor and have countless positive customer reviews. So, if your ceiling fan is making noise and you can’t fix it yourself, call Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning for help today!