Ceiling Fan Making Noise? 5 Easy Things To Check

Trying to sleep but having a hard time because of your ceiling fan making noise again? There’s nothing worse than a noisy ceiling fan. It makes it impossible to focus on your favorite show, or even be in the same room.

Though ceiling fans make a great addition to any room on hot days, they can become noisy when they’re not maintained properly.

There are lots of noises your ceiling fan may be making from clicking to buzzing, grinding, and pulsing noises. Today we’ll discuss what may be causing these sounds and how to fix them.

Is Your Ceiling Fan Making A Clicking Noise?

With a clicking noise there are 3 potential problems you’ll need to check.

Bent Fan Blade

First, go through all the speeds and see if the fan clicks during each of them. If needed, wait a minute or two between speeds because you need to know if it’s making the noise at both low and high speeds.

If the clicking is present constantly, your fan probably has a blade that’s bent upward slightly.

The sound is being created by the blade hitting the bottom portion of the ceiling fan housing. To fix this issue you’ll simply need to figure out which blade is bent and bend it back into shape.

Something Is Loose

If there’s a loose component on your fan it can also cause this issue.

To determine if this is your problem, you’ll need to climb up on a stepladder and check each part individually.

You will need to check the box attached to the ceiling, globes, bulbs, and other attachments. Also be sure to inspect the fan blades.

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Tighten all screws you come in contact with. If you find a screw that was particularly loose you may want to take a break and see if the sound is still present.

It’s also a great idea to go ahead and clean your blades and other components if they need it while you’re up there.

ceiling fan making noise something loose

Is Your Fan Making A High Pitched Noise?

If your fan is making a high pitched humming noise you should check these 3 things.

Ensure The Canopy Is Not Loose

The canopy, or top part of the fan, may have become loose. If it falls on the main housing it can cause a high pitched humming noise.

You’ll simply need to ensure that all the screws attaching it to the ceiling are tight.

The Speed Control Switch

When the speed control switch is not functioning properly it can also cause this sound. They tend to make noise when they have to decrease the incoming AC power to run at lower speeds.

This power gets transformed into heat, and leads to the noise. You may check the power circuit to see if there is a short or just a bad design.

Does The Motor Shaft Have Oil? (Ceiling fan making noise)

If your fan’s motor has lost all of its lubricating oil, it can make a high pitched sound.

Simply insert a few drops of all-purpose oil into the main shaft that’s located above the motor. The oil will need to drip into the bearings.

To do this correctly there may be some disassembly of parts, or you may need to remove the fan from the ceiling entirely.

Is Your Fan Making An Electrical Buzzing Noise?

If your ceiling fan is making a buzzing noise it’s generally caused by an electrical issue. Here’s a look at what may be going on.

Dimmer Switch

Is your fan connected to a dimmer switch? If so, this could be the problem.

To stop this issue you will need to install a proper type of electrical switch.

Loose Fan Blades

Believe it or not, loose fan blades can create an electrical buzzing noise.

First, turn the fan speed to high. You probably still hear the buzzing. Now, switch it back to low. Did the sound go away?

This is a good indication that the screws are loose that attach to the motor.

Loose ceiling fan blades

No Oil In The Motor

Do you run your ceiling fans 24-hours per day? If so, your bearings may need to be lubricated.

As we discussed above, you’ll need to insert some lubricating oil into the main shaft near the motor. The oil must reach the bearings, so you may need to take the fan apart or down to accomplish this.

Faulty Motor

If you’ve tried all the tips above, and the sound won’t go away it may be that the motor itself is bad. In this case, it’s best to just purchase a new ceiling fan.

Is Your Ceiling Fan Making A Pulsing Sound?

A pulsing sound coming from your ceiling fan can signify a couple of things. Here’s what to check.

Dimmer Switch

Just as we mentioned above, having the fan connected to an old or faulty dimmer switch will create this sound.

If this is the case, you should begin by removing the dimmer switch and replacing it with a more standard switch.

The Motor

Depending on the age and model of ceiling fan you have, the motor may be beginning to fail.

Generally, the first sound you hear with a failing motor is a pulsating. If this is the case, you’ll need to purchase a new fan, or if it’s under warranty contact the manufacturer for a replacement.

Is Your Ceiling Fan Making A Grinding Noise?

A grinding noise in your ceiling fan can become unbearable. Here’s what you need to check.

Does The Fan Motor Require Oil?

Just as we’ve mentioned above, it may be necessary to oil the bearings in the fan motor.

You’ll simply insert a few drops of machine oil into the bearings. Depending on your model, you may need to remove the fan from the ceiling or at least dismantle some parts to properly do this.

Check The Down Rod

Another reason a grinding noise may begin is due to the down rod not being properly placed within the mounting bracket.

To fix this you’ll need to dismantle your fan’s top portion to reach the mounting bracket. Once there you’ll want to ensure the down rod ball is properly placed inside the mounting bracket.

You should also make sure the pin that came with the down rod is properly attached.

Have you dealt with a noisy ceiling fan? What was the problem? How did you fix it? Comment below and let us know!

Reader Comments (6)

  1. there is power going to the fan but it wont work and the light wont come on could the fault be in the fan remote controller can you help please

    • Do you know if power is making it all the way up to the ceiling junction box? Do you have a way to test it (including the neutral)? If so, there are a few possibilities:
      The chains (if equipped) need to be pulled. Also, make sure the forward/reverse switch on the fan (if equipped) is fully slid one way or the other.
      The remote batteries are bad.
      The wiring connections are loose at the ceiling junction box.
      The wiring harness connector in the fan is not fully connected.
      The receiver in the fan is bad (warranty issue).

      Hope this helps!

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    • Thank you for your patience with some of the grammar and spelling. The founder is not primarily an English speaker. He owned an appliance repair business in Canada for many years before starting to write blogs. In fact, we are now going through all of the posts one-by-one and updating them, but it takes time. Please bear with us. We appreciate the feedback! 🙂


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