Wobbling or shaking ceiling fans are no fun for homeowners. Shaking ceiling fans often make loud repetitive noises, look awful and only get worse over time. Further, one is less likely to use their ceiling fan at high speeds to experience the most cooling effect. If you are one of the millions of homeowners that suffer through this annoyance, CeilingFantasia.com feels your pain.
Fortunately for you, CeilingFantasia.com has the cure for your frustration. The following are the ways that professional ceiling fan installers eliminate wobbles and shakes, often for good:
Step 1: Check for loose ceiling fan blades and other components
Over time screws on a frequently used ceiling fan may loosen. A loose blade or other component will throw a ceiling fan off balance and cause unwanted shaking. It should be noted that this is typically not a problem for high end ceiling fans brands, like Fanimation and Casablanca, that often use self-locking screws and nuts.
To check for loose blades, just hold the body of the fan stationary and gently torque each blade from right to left and up to down. If a blade is loose, tighten it down with whatever tool the job calls for. Also, check to see if the mounting rod is tightly connected to the body of the ceiling fan. Further, during this step ensure that the mounting rod is tightly secured to the ceiling. If all of these components are secure and tight, it’s time to move onto step two.
Step 2: Check for warped ceiling fan blades
Warped blades, or blades sloping downward to even a slight degree may cause your ceiling fan to wobble and shake. The following is the optimal way to check for fan blade warping. First, stand on a chair or ladder a couple of feet from the fan with your head perfectly level with the fan blades. Aim one of the fan blades directly at your face. Look at the fan blade directly next to the blade aimed at your face and ensure that it is on the exact same horizontal plane. Do this for all fan blades, one at a time. If you do find that one or a number of blades are warped, which may happen over time on cheaper ceiling fans, there are no perfect ways to straighten the blade(s). We do offer a simple but often inadequate solution below though. It should be noted that high-end ceiling fan brands, like Fanimation, often use special multi-composite blades that are mostly resistant to warping.
To correct for slight warping manually, one can use their hands to bend the fan blade back to a straighter profile. Optimally, the fan blade is removed from the fan before it is bent because brittle blade arms can snap when force is applied. Bend the fan blade in the direction opposite of the warping to a fair degree but be very careful that you do not put enough stress on the fan blade to break it. This solution is not optimal. Once a blade is warped and manually bend back, it may quickly rewrap. The proper solution at this point unfortunately is to buy new blades or even a new fan if component blades are not offered for your specific ceiling fan model. If nothing is loose and the blades are not warped, you can move on to step three, rebalancing.
Step 3: Rebalance your ceiling fan
If step one and step two have been implemented with no noticeable improvements, your ceiling fan is likely off balance. Just as car tires must be aligned and rebalanced from time to time to eliminate steering wheel shake, sometimes your ceiling fan needs to be rebalanced.
Balancing kits that consist of a clip and a number of weights that match the weight of the clip can be bought from a local hardware store. If you do not want to buy the kit, a couple clothespins, 3/8 inch flat washers and 2 inch wide Scotch mailing tape will get the job done.
First, turn your ceiling fan on spinning counter clockwise so that it blows down. Turn the fan off and clip a clothespin or the kit clip at the midway point of the lower edge of any fan blade. This fan blade will now be designated the number one fan blade. If your fan’s wobble is quite intense, clip two or three clothespins next to each other on the number one blade. Now turn your fan on and run it at its highest speed. If the wobble gets more intense as the speed increases, turn the ceiling fan off. Now move your clip(s) to the next blade, blade number two, and repeat the process. Do the same for all blades and note the relative amount of wobble for each blade.
On the blade with the least amount of wobble when the clip is applied, tape a weight or flat washer on the top of the blade approximately where the clip(s) were located. The number of weights or washers should match the weight of the clips used. One clothespin is roughly the same weight as one 3/8 inch flat washer. Note that the ceiling fan blade must be completely clean and dusted before tape will adhere properly to the blade. Otherwise, the tape will loosen and the weight will turn into a deadly projectile and fly across the room. CeilingFantasia.com assumes no liability for anyone mortally wounded while rebalancing his or her fan. Rebalance at your own risk…
If the fan still wobbles after adhering the first set of weights, clip a clothes pin right next to the weight(s) on the same blade and see if the wobbling subsides or lessens. If the wobbling lessens, tape another weight on the problem blade. If the wobbling still persists, place the clip on the blade in front of the problem blade and run the fan. If the wobbling lessens, tape a weight in place of the clip. If the wobbling still persists, place a clip on the blade behind the original problem blade and see if the wobbling subsides. If so, tape a weight to that blade. Normally one to three weights placed in strategic locations will balance a fan, but in some cases six to seven will be required. If at any point throughout this process, the ceiling fan wobbles more when the clip is applied to a given fan blade, that fan blade does not require any more weight or too much weight has already been applied.
Hopefully after following these steps, CeilingFantasia.com has eliminated your fan wobbling woes.