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5 common causes of noisy ceiling fans

Penguin Air, Plumbing & Electrical shares fixes you can do yourself - and when to call in the professionals!

Your ceiling fan should be a source of comfort for your indoor living space — not a headache-inducing noise machine.

Excessive noise during operation is a clear sign that something is wrong with your ceiling fan.

Read on to find out the top five causes of noisy ceiling fans and what you can do to keep a noisy fan from disrupting your home’s peace and quiet!

1. Faulty dimmers

A humming sound might not be that noticeable during the daytime hours, but if your ceiling fan runs during the night, that humming noise will quickly become apparent and annoying.

Humming is one of the most common noises that ceiling fans can make when a dimmer is being used to control the fan’s speed.

Dimmers were never intended to be used with ceiling fans, and you should replace them with standard proper speed controls.

2. Weak remote receivers

Some ceiling fans are operated by remote control. Along with dimmers, faulty or malfunctioning receivers are among the most common causes of humming ceiling fans.

If you believe the remote is the issue, connect the fan directly to the power source, and the sound should stop.

3. Loose blades or light fixtures

A ceiling fan might start to click if its blades are loose. Tighten the screws on each blade where it connects to the fan motor for an easy fix to an annoying problem.

Loose screws in your light fixture can cause a similar clicking or rattling sound when the ceiling fan is on, particularly when set at the highest speed. Switch off the fan and light and remove the fixture to inspect for loose screws that may have fallen inside.

4. Missing screws

Amateur ceiling fan installation can mean loose, lost or forgotten screws and components that will affect the longevity of your ceiling fan.

Check to see if you saved the screws or find a standard screw that matches the size of the others in your ceiling fan.

For new ceiling fan installation, hire a professional or carefully follow manufacturer instructions to prevent this issue completely.

5. Poor DIY installation

Improperly mounting the ceiling fan to your ceiling joist can amplify regular fan noises. Licensed electricians only use approved hangers to mount fixtures.

An approved ceiling fan hanger will mount between the ceiling joists to help isolate and reduce fan noise. This way, normal operational sounds won’t travel to the joist and grow louder, causing alarm.

Rattling sounds could also be due to an improperly installed bracket. If this is the case, replacing your ceiling fan brace may be necessary. This is a job best left to your trusted electrician.

When to contact an electrician for repair

While you can troubleshoot most ceiling fan noises on your own, it’s important to know when to call for help from your trusted electrician.

If you hear a sizzling noise accompanied by a strange odor, you may have a bad drive capacitor. If this is the case, you should contact an electrician to have it replaced as soon as possible.

If you see sparks coming from the fan motor and hear strange noises, turn off the fan immediately. Leaving a ceiling fan on can increase your risk of an electrical fire.

Penguin’s tips to stop noisy ceiling fans

Prevention is the key to keeping your ceiling fan quiet. You should always listen for abnormal sounds when your ceiling fan is on and turn it off if you notice any humming, clicking, rattling or sizzling.

The expert team at Penguin Air, Plumbing & Electrical recommend visually inspecting your ceiling fan when you dust the blades — about every three to six months.

  • Ensure all screws are tightened
  • Inspect for wobbling
  • Check and replace fan remote batteries as needed

Contact the master electricians at Penguin Air Plumbing & Electrical if your ceiling fan needs professional repair or you’re ready to start fresh with a new ceiling fan installation. Schedule service online or call 480-494-2289 today!