Ceiling Fans

To maintain the efficiency, safety, and useful life of your ceiling fan, it is important that your home maintenance program include the proper maintenance for your ceiling fan.

Ceiling fans have an electric motor that drive flat blades that move air when the blades rotate.  The ceiling fan may also have an optional ceiling fan light.  Over time, ceiling fan blades can become out of balance, which causes them to "wobble" when they are operating.  An out of balance ceiling fan can usually be easily adjusted with a kit available at most hardware stores.  See also:  Room Air Conditioner and Central Air Conditioning.

Shown in the "Maintenance" tab above are the recommended routine maintenance tasks for your ceiling fan. The "Questions / Answers" tab above shows our answers to related questions. And the "Articles" tab above provides links to related informational articles and sources.

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 Maintenance Task:  Clean, examine and lubricate ceiling fans

    How do you clean, examine and lubricate ceiling fans?  



Clean dust from the blades of the ceiling fan.  Then, while the fan is operating, examine the ceiling fan.  The middle of the fan should be almost completely still while it is spinning, and should not appear to be "wobbling".  If it is out of balance, this can be corrected with a "balancing kit" available from most hardware stores.

Regarding lubricating your ceiling fan, it depends on which brand / type of ceiling fan that you have. Some ceiling fans have "maintenance-free double sealed ball bearings" that never require oiling. Other ceiling fans have a small "oil hole" above the motor. To find this oil hole, you should ensure that the fan is turned off, stand on something very sturdy, and then check for the oil hole on the top portion of the motor. If it has such an oil hole, then add 4-6 drops of light machine oil (e.g., “3-in-One” oil) to lubricate the motor. If possible, you might want to check with your fan manufacturer's website to see if they have a specific maintenance guide for your particular ceiling fan.

    Why is it important to clean, examine and lubricate ceiling fans?  



An out-of-balance or under-lubricated ceiling fan increases the wear on the fans motor, which shortens its service life.  An out of balance ceiling fan can also lead to safety hazards, such as loosening electrical wiring, or even the entire fan falling down.

    How often should you clean, examine and lubricate ceiling fans?  
    Ceiling fans should be cleaned, inspected (and possibly lubricated) once per year in March, before warm weather.  




    How does Home-Wizard rate the costs and benefits for this task?  
    The cost of this task is moderately low.  It is estimated that this task should only take about 30 minutes per ceiling fan to complete.  You will need a ladder, mild cleaner, some light lubricating oil, .and potentially a balancing kit if the fan is found to be out of balance.  
    The benefits of this task are moderate, in that it can extend the useful life of your ceiling fan and help ensure its safe operation.  
    Overall Home-Wizard benefit-versus-cost rating (one 'hat' = low and four 'hats' = high)  





QUESTIONS & ANSWERS from "Ask-a-Wizard":

QUESTION from azfinsya on 10/24/2008
my ceiling fan can't function..how can i know what's the problem of this fan and what steps must i do to repair it.

Dear azfinsya:

If your ceiling fan is not turning on at all, then here's a web page that describes how to test whether your problem is at the fusebox (or circuit breaker), the switch, or with the ceiling fan itself:


To test the switch, however, requires that you are comfortable working around live electrical wires and that you have a voltage tester. So this may be something that you want to leave to a trained professional.

Hope this is helpful.

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