How to Increase the Speed of a Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans improve the energy efficiency of your living space.
Ceiling fans improve the energy efficiency of your living space. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Ceiling fans are typically equipped with either three or four speeds and two rotational directions. These setting are designed to help homeowners keep rooms comfortable, while lowering energy use. There are a number of reasons why a ceiling fan may lose speed over time. Performing a few basic maintenance tasks can improve their speed and make them more efficient. Should these basic solutions fail, you may require the assistance of an electrician, or you may need to replace the ceiling fan entirely.

Things You'll Need

  • Lubricant
  • Small screw driver
  • Dust attractant cloth

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Eliminate vibration in the blades. Clean the dust from the blades using a cloth that dust will cling to. Then, use a small screw driver to tighten the blade arms where they attach to the rotating center of the fan.

Lubricate the fan's moving parts. Fill the fan's oil reservoir with 10, 15 or 20-weight oil, according to the manufacturer's instructions. If the oil reservoir is dirty, fill it with new oil, rotate the fan for a few rotations, dump the oil and refill it.

Turn on the fan and see if basic cleaning has increased fan speed to its original settings. If the fan is still slow, the problem is in the switch and wiring.

Check the pull chain switch on the fan. A bad switch, or missing speed setting, will cause the fan to run slowly. Turn the fan off and allow it to stop moving. Pull the chain and turn the fan on the lowest setting, then listen to the fan motor as you pull the chain and move through the progressive speed settings. If you cannot hear the motor speed up each time you pull the chain, the switch is not working properly.

Check the wires where the pull chain switch is wired to the fan. Look for loose connections or bare wires. If there are wires that have come loose since instillation, reconnect them. If there are no wires, replace the switch.

Check the motor windings if replacing the switch does not solve the speed issues. There are windings in the motor that control the fan's ability to run at multiple speeds. If these windings are broken, the fan will have to be replaced.

References

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