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5 Causes of Noisy Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can be a great asset to your home in order to provide added comfort during the hot summer months and better airflow of heating during the winter months. Ceiling fans are a great addition to your HVAC system. However, when something is not right with a ceiling fan it can begin to create annoying sounds that can be downright disruptive. These noises can keep you up at night and in severe cases even cause damage to your ceiling and possibly pose a risk to your family. Different problems with a ceiling fan will cause different types of noises, so it is important to identify exactly what is causing your annoying ceiling fan noises so that you can correctly repair the problem.

1) Dimmers

If you are hearing a humming noise, then you are experiencing the most common type of annoying ceiling fan sound. A humming sound may not be very noticeable during the day time, but if you run your ceiling fan while you are trying to sleep at night, it can become very obvious and very annoying. One of the most common causes of a humming ceiling fan is when dimmer controls are being used to control fan speed. Dimmer switches were never intended to be used with ceiling fans. Because this not the proper way to control fan speed, you will hear a humming noise. The dimmer control should be replaced with standard speed controls.

2) Remotes

Bad receivers are another possibility if you are using a fan that uses a remote control. A bad receiver will not get a good strong signal from the remote and this will result in a humming noise. The solution to this problem is to remove the receiver. You can connect the fan directly into the power source instead. You will know this was the problem if the humming stops.

3) Capacitors

If removing the receiver does not stop the humming problem, then bad capacitors could be the problem. In order to fix this problem, you will need to try changing the switch up and/or capacitors. When this is a problem your fan will usually also have the problem of low voltage level. Low voltage levels can cause the motor to struggle. A voltage level below 105 volts A/C can cause fan noises. Sometimes if there are multiple fans on one circuit this can be the cause of the noise. This is often the case in older homes where many rooms are on the same circuits.

4) Loose Screws

If your ceiling fan is making a rattling sound the problem could be loose screws. If the screws which connect the ceiling fan blades to the motor are loose, then you can tighten them up. Loose screws in the ceiling fan blades can pose a danger to your family. If a ceiling fan blade comes loose it can cause damage to your home or injure individuals in your home. While doing this you should also check to make sure there are no loose screws inside the motor housing. All screws should be tight but not too tight. Wire connectors can also cause a rattling sound as well inside the switch housing. With the main power turned off, you can check to make sure all wire connectors are secure and not causing the rattling by moving against each other or against the inside of the switch housing.

5) Mount

When fans are mounted directly into the ceiling joist noises can result. If a fan is hung on a ceiling joist, regular fan noises will be amplified through the joist thus causing a louder noise. In order to minimize this noise, approved hangers should be used. An approved ceiling fan hanger will mount between the ceiling joists. This will help to isolate the fan so that noises do not get amplified. The noises from the motor will not so easily travel to the joist to create the amplified sounds.

When You Should Get Professional Help to Fix Your Fan

If you ever hear a sizzling sound accompanied by a strange smell coming from your ceiling fan, you probably have a bad drive capacitor. If this is the case you should replace it as soon as possible.

If you ever see any sparks coming from the fan motor accompanied by strange noises you should cease using the fan immediately until repairs can be done. If the fan motor is struggling and is left on, this could result in a fire hazard. Because wiring for most ceiling fans is located in the ceiling sparks could ignite a fire that would go undetected for several minutes in the ceilings thus increasing the danger to you or your family.
It is important to call an HVAC professional to address any issues you have with your home’s cooling system as soon as possible.

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