How Ceiling Fans Work

Troubleshooting a Ceiling Fan

It's usually not difficult to troubleshoot problems with your fan.
It's usually not difficult to troubleshoot problems with your fan.

A ceiling fan is made up of numerous moving parts which often turn continuously for hours. Sooner or later, troubles will develop. But typically, those problems can be easily addressed.

  • Wobbling: Make sure that all screws and bolts are tightened and that the fan blades aren't warped or damaged (this can cause the fan to become unbalanced). You can try to carefully bend them back to the correct position or buy replacement blades. For a quick fix, you can install an inexpensive balancing kit, which consists of small weights and clips.
  • Humming or buzzing: Make sure there are no loose parts that are knocking together. If you just purchased your ceiling fan, you may simply need to run it for 24 hours to ensure that the lubricant applied during manufacturing is evenly distributed throughout the fan. If that doesn't solve the problem, call the manufacturer or store where you bought the fan for help.
  • Lighting: Make sure that the house wires are all connected to the correct fan and lighting wires. There could be a mistake from the fan's initial installation, or the wires may not have been connected together tightly enough and loosened over time.
  • Airflow: Check that the fan doesn't have any of the above issues, such as being off balance, having loose screws, or having warped or damaged blades. Also, keep in mind that airflow will be less noticeable if the fan is in updraft mode. Otherwise, you could just have a fan with a motor too small to suit your needs.

Check out the links below to find out more information about ceiling fans and other related topics.

Related Articles


  • "How to buy a Ceiling Fan: Part One." February 19, 2010. (April 28, 2010)
  • Peterman, Terry. "How to Install a Ceiling Fan." (April 28, 2010)
  • Truini, Joseph. "How to Install a Ceiling Fan." This Old House. (April 28, 2010),,453858,00.html
  • Energy Star. "Energy Star Launches Label for Ceiling Fans." (April 28, 2010)
  • Energy Smart Library. "Ceiling Fans." 2010. (April 28, 2010)
  • Progress Energy. "Ceiling Fans." 2010. (April 28, 2010)
  • Home Improvement Blog. "Ceiling Fans Can Effectively Save Money. August 14, 2008. (April 28, 2010)
  • Mrs. Clean House Cleaning Specialists. "How to Clean your Ceiling Fan. (April 29, 2010)
  • Cool Ceiling Fans. "Ceiling Fan Troubleshooting." (April 29, 2010)
  • Neuman, Dan. "Ceiling Fan Troubleshooting." Ceiling Fans 'N' More. 2005. (April 29, 2010)
  • "Ceiling Fans Throughout the Ages." May 1, 2008. (May 10, 2010)