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Everything to Know About Ceiling Fan Maintenance

Ceiling fans are a great way to keep your home cool during the warmer months. But just like any other appliance or fixture, they do need some maintenance from time to time. Cleaning your fan or replacing warped blades will help keep your fan running smoothly without any shaking or squeaking. 

Keep reading to learn some great tips for ceiling fan maintenance. 

How to Clean a Ceiling Fan

If you have your ceiling fan running regularly, you may not notice the build-up of dust that is occurring. A layer of dust will gather on the fan blades, more so on the side of the blade that the fan is turning towards. This dust can weigh the fan down and will make it wobble and squeak. 

Dust will also collect inside the motor and the motor housing unit. So when you start cleaning the fan, be sure to pay attention to this area as well. If not, it could lead to an annoying squeaking sound. 

When cleaning a ceiling fan, you should cover the area surrounding it with a drop cloth or some newspaper before getting started. This will help you catch any debris that might fall and protect your furniture or carpet. 

Using a vacuum cleaner or fan brush, remove the majority of the dust from the blades. You can also use the vacuum on the motor housing to remove any of the dust that has built-up inside it. 

Then, using warm water with a non-abrasive cleaner, clean each blade of the fan. Some stains or residue may have built up, so you may have to gently scrub the blade to remove it. With clean water, rinse the blades with a clean cloth. You can then use another clean cloth to dry them or let them air dry on their own. 

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning your fans, a single blade ceiling fan is effective and much easier to maintain. 

Tighten the Screws

Your ceiling fan is comprised of many different parts and most of them are held together by screws. Over time, these screws can become loosened due to the small vibrations your fan makes. 

If the screws become loosened too much it can make your fan noisy or shaky. This can then become a bigger issue since your fan will be off-balance and may cause it to break. 

When you have taken the time to clean your fan, you should also use this opportunity to tighten up the screws. Using a screwdriver, check each screw that is located on the ceiling plate, around the blades, and the light fixture. 

Lubricate the Fan Motor

If your ceiling fan is not working, it might need lubrication. Many fans need to be lubricated regularly to work properly. Using light oil, like the type used for sewing machines, you should fill the oil hole that is located at the top of the fan’s motor. 

Avoid using automotive oils or any that use detergents. Instead, non-detergent electric motor oil is best, specifically, one designed for fans, so as not to damage the fan’s motor. 

To check and see if your fan needs some oil, you can use a toothpick by sticking it into the hole and seeing if it comes out dry. If there is little to no oil, on the lower half an inch of the toothpick then it will need oil. 

If your fan hasn’t been lubricated in a while you will need you might need to use more than the recommended one or two ounces. Fill the hole for the oil until it flows up to the top, and wipe away any excess that may pour out. 

Not all fans need oil, so before getting started you should check the owner’s manual to see if it is recommended. If you no longer have the manual, you can also look at the top of the fan motor to see if there is a hole. If there is no hole, then your fan doesn’t need it. 

Look for Shaking

If your fan moves from side to side while it turned on then you will need to rebalance it. The fan should remain steady at all times, otherwise, it will wear out the motor and its working parts. 

To rebalance your fan, you might need to use a rebalancing kit. This kit will include weights that will help you even out any blades that might be creating the fan to be off-balance. 

To check if the blades seem bent, warped, or misshapen, you should remove them from the fan and place them stacked on top of each other. The blades should fit perfectly on top of each other if there are no issues. 

If any of the blades are misshapen you should replace them with a new blade. This could solve the issue of the fan being off-balance. 

Switch the Blade Direction

During the warm spring and summer months, you will want your ceiling fan to push the air down to help cool you and your home. Then, during the fall and winter, you will want to help warm the room by switching the blade direction to pull the air up. 

The updraft that the fan will cause will help pull the cool air up from the lower parts of the room towards the ceiling. The warm air that is at the top of the room will then be sent downwards and will help warm you and the room. 

You can switch the direction of the blades using the switch on the side of the motor housing while the fan is turned off. 

Learn More About Ceiling Fan Maintenance Today

These are the most common steps you should take when performing routine ceiling fan maintenance. Start with cleaning the fan blades and motor housing. Then, check all the screws and tighten any that may have come loose. 

If the fan has any movement from side to side or other shaking, you will need to rebalance it and replace any blades that may have warped. 

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