Few things are more annoying than a noisy ceiling fan
, especially if it's in your bedroom. More often than not, the root of the problem can be traced to an imbalance in one of the fan blades, which is a relatively easy fix (once your find the culprit blade, that is).
Ceiling fan blades are not always identical. During the manufacturing process, small imperfections and differences can appear within the four or five blades that will later be installed on the same fan. Likewise, one or more of the arms attached to the motor can be bent during shipping, which can cause problems once the blades are attached. It's also not uncommon for a properly-balanced fan to slowly work up a wobble over time as the blades naturally loosen themselves. All of these scenarios can cause your fan to wobble, and inevitably create all sorts of noise when you're trying to get a good night's sleep.
Before you jump in and start tooling around with your fan blades, you need to make sure that the problem isn't caused by faulty installation. Is the fan hanging down from the ceiling instead of resting snugly against it? Does the motor feel loose? If you take off all the blades, does the fan still make noise? If you answered yes to any of those three questions, you may need to pull the fan down and reinstall. If, however, the fan installation seems fine, that means it's time to figure out which blade (or blades) is causing the problem. Tighten the blade screws
Sometimes an imbalance can be caused by something as simple as a loose blade. Before you start rebalancing, take a screwdriver and make sure all of the screws in the blades are secure and tight. Once you're finished, flip on the fan to its highest speed and see if that solves your problem. If it does, consider yourself lucky, if not, keep reading. Measure the distance to the ceiling
Using a tape measure or a yard stick, measure the distance from the ceiling to the tip of each blade. A blade that is higher or lower than the rest can cause the fan to wobble. Once you find the errant blade, gently bend it so it's back in line with the rest of the blades. You'll also need to measure the distance from the front and back of each blade to make sure all the angles are the same. Again, if you find that one or more blades has moved out of place, gently bend them back. Once all the measurements are the same, turn the fan on and see if that solves your problem. If your fan is still noisy, it's time to start rebalancing. Rebalance the blades
The quickest and easiest way to rebalance your ceiling fan is to buy a rebalancing kit
from your local hardware store. Before you use the kit, turn on your fan and determine which speed creates the most wobble, or noise. Once you've figured that out, turn off the fan, find the weighted clip from the kit, place it on one of your blades, and turn your fan back on. If you can't see or hear a noticeable difference, turn the fan back off, move the clip to the next blade, and turn the fan back on. Continue this until you've found the blade that needs the most rebalancing.
Once you've determined which blade needs to be adjusted, move the weighted clip up the blade towards the motor. Continue moving the clip, and testing the fan, until you've found the optimal placement. Next, take an adhesive weight from the rebalancing kit and place it on top of the blade at the same point where you have the movable clip weight. Remove the clip weight, turn on your fan, and see if that solves the problem. If the fan still wobbles, add the second adhesive weight.
In a pinch, you can always duct tape coins to the blade, in lieu of adhesive weights. My uncle used this method and had a rude awakening late one night, many years later, when the duct tape finally gave way, rocketing $0.12 worth of change off the fan into his wall. Either way, there's nothing quite as sweet as that first night under a newly rebalanced ceiling fan.
For more information about rebalancing your ceiling fan, check out hgtv.com
, Google Answers
, and Ron Hazelton