Ceiling Fan Basics

Do you have a ceiling fan in your home?  If so, you are among the many people who enjoy the benefits and comfort a ceiling fan can provide.  Besides cooling you off in the summer, reversing the blades so they move in a clock-wise direction in the wintertime will keep warm air circulating in a room, making it more comfortable.

While a ceiling fan can never take the place of a central cooling system, there are many times that it provides adequate relief from the heat in our fairly moderate summertime climate.  (That is not necessarily the case for our neighbors living 50 miles south of us.) But in this area, ceiling fans are a great way to beat the heat without spending a fortune running your A/C constantly.  For me, it is on those warm summer evenings that I appreciate a ceiling fan the most. Yes, a ceiling fan on a hot summer evening can definitely be a life-saver. That is, unless of course, it is noisy…  If it grinds, clicks, or clanks, you have to decide whether or not you can put up with the annoyance in order to get the air circulation or if you will lie there and swelter or run your A/C throughout the night.   

Fortunately, there are two other alternatives!  If it’s ugly and noisy, you should consider replacing it.  There are many awesome fan options out there nowadays, and you are sure to find something you like that will work well and run quietly.  However, if you don’t mind the look of your fan or do not have the money to replace it, your other option is to follow a few basic steps to see if you can fix it.  Please keep in mind, these steps will generally help you solve noise problems due to a wobbly ceiling fan. They will not, however, help you if the sound is related to a problem with the motor (e.g. grinding sound, etc.)  Here are the steps, and they are pretty simple and worth a try if that incessant wobbling sound is driving you crazy.

Step 1:  Because often times a wobbly fan is simply caused by screws not tightened down properly in a few key areas, the first step is to check each one.  To start, you need to loosen the screws on the canopy cover and drop it down so you can see the mounting bracket. Then, make sure all of the screws are tight on the mounting bracket and electrical outlet box.

Step 2: Tighten the down rod set screws and make sure the pins are secure.

Step 3: Next, make sure the screws that connect the fan blades to the motor are tight and also aligned properly with the others.  Also check to ensure that all of the screws are tight that secure the fan blades to the blade holders.

Step 4: Measure the distance from the top of each blade to the ceiling and make adjustments, if needed, to the blade holders until all blades are the same distance from the ceiling.

Step 5: If you have followed these steps and your ceiling fan still wobbles, you can try using a blade balancing kit, which can be purchased for only a few dollars.  This kit comes with a clip and self-adhesive weights. You first attach the clip to the rear edge of one of the blades. Then turn the fan on and see if that eliminated the wobble.  If not, repeat the process until you have identified the blade causing the wobble. (You can adjust the location of the clip on that blade until you see maximum results.) Then secure one of the weights to the center of the blade in the same location that the clip was mounted.  If needed, add more weight until the wobble is eliminated.

Besides being very annoying, a wobbly ceiling fan can cause extra strain on your fan motor and decrease the useful life.  I hope this information may help some of you appreciate and love your ceiling fan again.

Randy Wilson

Mountain Lighting

 

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