How to Stop Ceiling Fans From Humming

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Updated July 22, 2022

Even premium fans make a rhythmic humming sound, but sometimes you need to know how to make a ceiling fan quieter. This annoying sound can get louder over time, causing homeowners to choose between cooling and excessive ceiling fan noise. You can fix your ceiling fan humming noise with a few maintenance tips. So, stay tuned to learn how to stop ceiling fans from humming.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • You can fix a noisy ceiling fan by tightening the screws throughout the unit.
  • Fan blades deform or get damaged, causing a noisy and uneven spin.
  • Make sure the retailer offers a return policy on these accessories, in case they are not comfortable for your individual body.

Even the quietest pedestal fan can develop strange noises over time, but basic maintenance can keep the rattling sound at bay and make your fan last longer. For example, dirty fan blades can cause excessive noise from the unit and cleaning the fan with a plastic bag or damp cloth can alleviate the problem.

Insider Tip

Ensure that your light dimmer switch is entirely off or on because setting the control in the wrong position can cause a humming sound.

Quieting a Ceiling Fan Hum

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Total Steps: 5
  • Time Required: 1 hour
  • Tools Needed: Screwdriver, Step Stool, Machine Oil

STEP 1 Check for Unbalanced Blades

Depending on how fast your fan blades spin, an unbalanced set of ceiling fan blades will cause a rattling noise. Fan blades can get damaged, and if you live in a humid climate, they can deform over time. You can perform a ceiling fan blade realignment or replace the set after removing them from the blade brackets.

STEP 2 Tighten Loose Screws

Ensure the connection screws are secure, and then check the junction box. Next, check the canopy and the ceiling mount parts. If all the screws from the ceiling mount to the motor housing are secure, loose screws are not the issue.

STEP 3 Check for Loose Wire Connectors

Wires can touch the edge of the inside of the junction box where the electrical wiring is stored. You can stop the rattling noise by removing slack from the wiring and making the wires more manageable. If you’re uncomfortable with dangerous electrical equipment, do not attempt this on your own.

STEP 4 Check the Motor Housing

Plastic parts and pieces of debris can become stuck in the motor housing, resulting in a humming noise as they shake around the operating fan. To investigate this issue, you must completely disassemble the motor housing and remove the fan from your ceiling.

Warning

Always disconnect your ceiling fan motor from the circuit breaker before opening the motor housing; otherwise, you can electrocute yourself while working.

STEP 5 Lubricate the Motor

Lubricating your ceiling fan motor is an essential maintenance task that often gets overlooked. Using machine oil, you can lubricate the motor and the ball bearings in the fan ring assembly.

STAT: The US EIA (Energy Information Agency) found that Utah had the lowest energy cost per month in the US, with an average bill of $75. (source)

How to Stop Ceiling Fans From Humming FAQs

Why is my fan humming but not turning on?

You might have a dead remote control if your fan hums but doesn't turn on. A ceiling fan remote that's damaged or low on battery power will send a weak signal, resulting in a hum while not spinning. In addition, a bad drive capacitor will make an electrical whine without turning on the fan.

How long do ceiling fans last?

A decent ceiling fan should last at least ten years, but higher-end models can last up to 15-20 years if properly maintained. That said, users who always leave their fan on will need to repair or replace their unit before the ten-year mark.

What's the energy cost of a ceiling fan?

Running a mid-size ceiling fan costs less than one cent per hour, so it is a highly energy-efficient cooling tool. On average, you only need to budget about $2 per month to run your ceiling fan nonstop.
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