If you have a ceiling fan that is squeaking as it turns, then you know how annoying the problem can be. Even the slightest noise, when repeated nearly 100 times per minute, can grate on your nerves. Fixing a noisy fan can be a simple process in some cases, depending on the underlying cause.
Brand New Fans
If your fan is newly installed, a squeak is sometimes related to a manufacturing or shipping issue. Check to see if all of the fan blades on your fan are made identically. They should be. Even the slightest difference in the way a blade was cut can throw the unit off balance and cause unnecessary stress on the motor bearings. That stress can lead to a squeaky noise.
The arms that mount to the blades may be bent. Check to see it the arms were bent from packaging or shipping. This too can cause an imbalance and squeaking. If your fan is not in proper condition, you should disassemble it and return it to the store.
Loose screws may be the cause of a noisy ceiling fan, according to Ceiling-Fan-Wizard.com. The screws that attach the blades to the arms of the fan can loosen during normal use of some fans and cause a clicking, rattling or squeaking sound when the blades become loose.
Use the appropriate type and size of screwdriver to tighten all the screws in your fan. Do not overtighten them, or you could strip them out. Turn your fan on high speed, and see if the noise stops. In some cases this may be the only cause of the noise.
Check the screws that mount the fan to the ceiling as well. This could be part of the problem.
Off-balance fans put pressure on the bearings in the fan motor, and a squeak can develop. This problem can also wear out a fan motor prematurely.
Clean the fan to remove any accumulated dust or debris from the tops of the blades. Even the weight of dust could throw the fan off balance, according to Ceiling-Fan-Wizard.com. More likely you will have to purchase a balancing kit to fix the problem.
Locate the place where the fan blades need weight by placing a weighted clip on different areas of the blades until a balance is found. This is strictly trial and error, and it may require some patience.
Once you have the spot figured out, place the adhesive weights from the balancing kit on the tops of the fan blades according to manufacturer's recommendations. You could use pennies and duct tape to balance the fan without a kit, but this may take even more trial and error to get the location and weight in the proper place.
If the squeak is coming from the bearings in the fan motor and balancing attempts have been unsuccessful in stopping the noise, the motor may be damaged. This motor condition can cause overheating and possible fire hazards. The fan should be replaced as soon as possible.