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How to Quiet a Noisy Ceiling Fan (Clicking, Grinding or Rattling Noises)

Ceiling fans are handy things to have in your home. Unlike air conditions that are (some say) unhealthy and leave the unpleasant smell in the air, ceiling fans are more natural than anything else.

Now, it’s kind of annoying sitting in your restroom after a hard work, enjoying the silence, falling asleep and then boom! You suddenly hear some clicking, rattling and grinding noise coming from above your head.

On the first look it’s kind of bearable and you just ignore it, but after a while, you realize that you can’t actually ignore that sound and that it goes louder and louder every moment.

By blowing the air, they can cool you pretty well. Now, the problem with these ones is that over time they become sloppy and somewhat noisy.

Well, they get weighted down by dust, or simply become rusty since they are constantly spinning. That results in a lot of rattling and squeaking noise that not many can bear during hot summer.

Luckily for you, a lot of problems can be solved through the cleaning and maintenance routine. Solving squeaking noise problems isn’t that hard, but there are some other problems that can take a bit serious measures to fix.

How to Quiet a Noisy Ceiling Fan

If you treat them well, with some cleaning routine and needed maintenance, you will probably have no such problems. However, if you failed to do that, there is a great possibility that unpleasant noise will show up over time.

For example, you can hear humming, clicking, or grinding noise. In those cases, just follow the steps from this article and you will be able to solve your problem briefly.

Let’s get straight to the point.

How to Quiet a Noisy Ceiling Fan that is Clicking, Grinding or Rattling

We'll break down this guide into 2 parts. The first is about regular maintenance and how to clean your noisy ceiling fan, and the second is on how to fix more advanced problems.

Regular maintenance and cleaning of your ceiling fan

  • Turn off the fan

It’s kind of needless to say, but you should never try anything with ceiling fan before switching it off of electricity. Spinning blades can really hurt you, but electricity as well.

Wait for the fan to stop naturally before starting anything. Grabbing the blade and stopping it “violently” is not the smartest thing to do. It can knock them out of balance and cause some more drastic problems that you don’t want to deal with.

  • Make sure you clean the blades completely 

Use microfiber towel, or something similar to clean the blades. In order to do so, your towel should be dry. Use some ladder to reach the ceiling fan. Using a microfiber towel, clean the blades from the accumulated dust, and afterward use an all-purpose cleaner to easily wipe down all of the blades.

It might sound strange, but this dust is the reason for your ceiling fan’s squeaking. Cleaning it might reduce that noise significantly.

Note: while cleaning the blades, try to be as gentle as you can. Putting some pressure or unbearable weight can misbalance the blades.

  • Wiggle each blade and tighten them

Now, once you have finished with cleaning dust, check out if your blades are tightened well. Sometimes, the noise comes from loosened blades. Therefore, make sure that you tighten them properly using some screwdriver.

Unsteady blades can wiggle from side-to-side to up-and-down. Screw them until blades are steady and fixed into the place.

In order to achieve the best results, check your blades every 6 months and make sure that they are tightened up.

  • Make sure that the bulbs are screwed properly

Most ceiling fans have lightbulbs. Make sure that those bulbs are all steady and that they are not the reason for the noise.

If not properly fixed, bulbs can cause squeaking noise which is highly unpleasant. It comes from the screw thread that contacts wobbles inside the base.

Fix them properly; tight those up with the screwdriver and you should not worry about the noise coming from this part of the ceiling fan.

  • Inspect the globe on the light kit if there is one

Along with the bulb, some ceiling fans might have a globe that covers those bulbs. When not tightened properly, it can cause unbearable noise. Make sure that you fix the globe if it’s loosened.

Consider changing your globe if there are cracks on it. If there are cracks, it’s probably the time for you to replace it.

  • Check the screws connecting the fan to the ceiling mount

The ceiling mount, if not attached properly, can be the reason of the noise you are hearing. It is the part of the fan that attaches to the ceiling and connects the wiring to the body of the fan.

These screws can start to wiggle loose over time and that can make the fan squeak. They can potentially break. If you notice that there is a missing screw or even damaged, be sure that you need to change it.

  • You are ready to go, test the fan

Once you have completed all the aforementioned steps, you are ready to test your ceiling fan. If you have some advanced ceiling fan with several speeds, put it on every single one for a few minutes to check how it works.

If you got rid of the squeaking noise, then your job here is done. If contrarily, you are dealing with some more complex problems. Anyway, there are some solutions that we offer for more complex problems. Let’s check them out.

ceiling fan making clicking noise

How to fix more advanced Noise problems in a few steps

  • Power off before starting anything

As always, when dealing with electricity machine, you should turn off your breaker box. Once turned off, you are ready to start dealing with this advanced noise problem.

For example, if you are just rebalancing the blades and you don’t intend to work underneath the ceiling mount of the fan, you don’t really need to turn off the power.

  • Rebalance your fan blades

This is kind of an advanced problem. Sometimes the squeaking noise comes from unbalanced blades. There is a balancing clip- a handy thing when it comes to ceiling fans. Place it between the base and tip of the fan blade.

Turn on your ceiling fan and see if it still squeaks. Do the same procedure for each blade. You will be able to spot at least one blade that needs balancing.

Peel the adhesive off of one of the balancing weights and place it on top of the blade, directly across from the balancing clip. You can then remove the clip.

Once done, you are free to enjoy your silence and perks of having a ceiling fan.

  • Lubricate crucial parts

Over time, some parts might get rust or simply old and make the spinning quite harder. While it spins, it can trigger some squeaking noises that aren’t quite pleasant to hear during the day and especially during the night.

You will need to disassemble the entire fan. Remove the motor from its interior. Find the bearings and put several drops of lubricating oil on them. Once done, rotate your motor back and forth to disperse the oil.

Repeatedly do this on the opposite side of the motor as well. When everything is done, reassemble everything, turn your fan on and check how it worked for you.

The bearings are the most usual advanced problem of squeaking noise of your fan. They can cause a lot of noise since they get rusty or dry over the time. Dealing with this problem is quite easy on a paper, but you will need to assemble the whole fan, and it might be the tricky part.

If you are not sure how to do it, maybe it’s the best to call the professional. It’s not a rocket science, but it requires a bit of effort and knowledge.

  • Call a professional

Finally, if nothing helped (and it should) from this article, then you might need to contact the licensed electrician.

It is possible that the issue goes a bit dipper, in the structural component of the fan. If this cleaning, and balancing the blades doesn’t help, then you might need to call a professional.

All in all, calling a licensed electrician to fix your squeaking noise might be a bit pricey, but it’s worth overall. 

Final word on Quieting Noisy Ceiling Fan

As we went through all, easier problems and those a bit advanced, this article has everything you need in order to silent your noisy ceiling fan.

However, maintaining your ceiling fan properly will most definitely help you prevent rattling and squeaking noise that you can hear over time.

Make sure that you have a maintenance routine. Check the ceiling fan every now and then. It can take 5 minutes of your time, and save you hours of fixing the problem later.

Also, you should clean the dust from the blades more often. The dust highly affects these fans as it may be the very reason for the squeaking noise problem.

All in all, I hope that this article made some things a bit easier for you.