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It can be frustrating if you’ve just installed a premium fan only to have it make noise when rotating. A noisy ceiling fan can disrupt sleep or distract you while working from home. Grinding and rattling noises might also indicate a failing or bad ceiling fan motor. Ceiling fan noises occur for a variety of reasons, and you can diagnose the problem without a professional electrician. So if yours has you wondering, “Why is my ceiling fan making noise?” stick around.
If you’re here because you’re looking for answers to other questions, such as “Why can’t I feel my fan?” and “Why is my fan blowing hot air?” you may have an undersized unit or motor lubrication issues, or it might be related to the abnormal sounds from your fan.
Consider shortening or removing your pull chains for a quick solution to your ceiling fan noise issue.
Hearing an electric hum from your ceiling fan is usually a symptom of internal issues, which could leave you with additional problems, such as your fan turning on by itself. In these cases, it might be best to call a professional. The same is true if you have a standing fan making noise because the causes are similar to ceiling fans.
High amounts of dust and dirt on fan blades can lead to an uneven spin, creating a rattling sound during operation. Additionally, damaged blades will cause a noisy ceiling fan. You can replace the blades, but ensure that they are the specific parts for your ceiling fan model.
For more information on how the blades affect balance and airflow, read our article on why fans have 5 blades.
Fan blade screws and housing brackets loosen over time, creating a clicking sound as the blades spin. You can hand-tighten screws with basic tools, but you need to disconnect the fan from power before operating on the unit.
If you’ve incorrectly mounted your ceiling fan to a ceiling joist, it will amplify normal operational sounds. Ceiling fans require an approved hanger that isolates and limits noises. It’s usually best to contact a professional electrician if you think your ceiling fan needs to be reinstalled.
Turn off the electric power to your fan before removing the motor housing and inspecting the motor assembly. Electric shocks from your home’s electric system can be fatal.
You may have an electrical issue within the fan or fan motor if you hear an electrical hum. If you smell burning or see sparks, immediately disconnect the fan from power. You may need electrical wiring repair, which requires a master electrician.
STAT: A 2020 US EIA (Energy Information Agency) survey showed that 39% of single-family homes use four or more fans. (source)