A well-functioning ceiling fan rotates in a perfect circle quietly. However, when one blade is out of balance, it starts to wobble and squeak.
To balance a ceiling fan, you can use a store-bought balancing kit or items like coins to resolve the issue, which I will demonstrate in this article.
Note that several factors may be causing the imbalance. Therefore, before you start windowshopping for balancing kits, I highly recommend reading the guide below so you can diagnose the problem more accurately.
Why Does My Ceiling Fan Wobble?
Besides clogging the motor, dirt buildup can add weight to the blades. As a result, it can shift the center of gravity and make the ceiling fan wobble. Furthermore, it can increase the load on the motor and make it less energy efficient.
Most ceiling fans are designed with blades attached to the brackets with screws. If any of the screws are loose, it can keep the fan from rotating properly and throw off a blade due to centripetal force.
A misaligned blade will change the center of gravity and cause a wobble. If you suspect your ceiling fan has alignment issues, you can switch it on and observe the movement.
Ceiling Fan Pro suggests using your smartphone’s video app to capture the ceiling fan in slow motion. This way, it is easier to check for misalignment.
Broken or warped blades
Ceiling fans with blades made of wood are designed indoors. However, when installed on your porch, the wooden material will warp as it is frequently exposed to the elements.
This, in turn, will shift the center of gravity and make the fan shake each time you switch it on.
In this case, you will need to contact the manufacturer and order replacements.
Is It Normal For a Ceiling Fan To Wobble?
Regardless of the ceiling fan brand or model you buy, the ceiling fan will have a slight imbalance, but this is corrected as the fan moves.
However, it is not typical for a ceiling fan to wiggle and make noises. Therefore, you will have to check it immediately.
Can a Wobbly Ceiling Fan Fall Off?
Yes, a shaky ceiling fan is often a result of incorrect installation. With loose blades and screws, it can drop from the ceiling whether it is rotating or switched off.
Forcing a ceiling fan to run despite the signs of struggle can risk everyone in your house.
How To Balance a Ceiling Fan?
What You Need:
- Ceiling fan balancing kit
- A ladder or step ladder
- Microfiber cloths
- Extendable duster
- Ruler or yardstick
- Laser Level
Clean The Ceiling Fan
Use the duster to remove the superficial dirt from the blades with your duster. If you have not cleaned your ceiling fan in a long while, be aware that some dirt has hardened on the blades.
After removing the dust, get your microfiber cloth and dampen it with water. Use it to wipe both sides of the blade. Do it gently to prevent accidentally bending any brackets, blades, or fan body.
Next, use a dry cloth to remove the moisture on the ceiling fan and switch it on to check if it solves the issue.
Check For Loose Screws
Is your fan still wobbly despite dusting off all the dirt?
Here’s what to do next: Climb a ladder to get a closer look at the screws and tighten each screw with your screwdriver.
Did you see any loose screws while turning your screwdriver? Your fan’s screw likely tends to loosen up over time.
To avoid this problem, make it a point to check the screws once a month or every other month.
Inspect For Misalignment
So, your fan is still acting up even after you tighten each screw. In this case, go back up the ladder. This time, bring a ruler or yardstick with you and get the distance between the ceiling to each blade at three different points:
- The tip of the blade
- The middle part
- The side closest to the center of the fan
Ideally, each number you get will be the same across all blades. If it doesn’t, check the blade holder. Try to bend it gently to see if you can straighten it out. Otherwise, move to the next step.
Use a Ceiling Fan Balancing Kit
As explained earlier, a ceiling fan will wiggle when one blade or bracket is heavier than the others.
Switch on the fan in different settings to see which speed causes it to rock the most. If possible, check which blade appears to be drooping. Then switch off the fan and get your balancing kit.
Ceiling fan balancing kits often come with instructions, so read and follow them carefully. But generally, these kits contain a plastic clip and a couple of weights that you can stick to the blades.
The plastic clip can be fastened onto the blade. You can place it closer to the center of the fan and towards the tip to identify the best spot to attach the weights.
Once you determine this, you can stick the weights onto the blades according to the manufacturer’s directions.
How To Balance a Ceiling Fan Without a Balancing Kit?
What You Need:
- Masking tape or painter’s tape
- A couple of pennies
- The goal is to find the area on the blade that needs extra weight. Start by tapping the penny on top of a blade close to the center, then check if the fan wobbles when switched on.
If it is still wobbling, stick the penny a few inches away from the center. Then, check how the fan functions again. This may take a while but keep moving the penny until you can determine where extra weight is needed.
2. Once you locate the area needing extra weight, remove the tape and stick the penny with a few drops of super glue. Let the adhesive dry, and switch on the fan to check for wobbles.
3. If you observe that the ceiling fan is still wobbling but is somewhat lessened, you can add one or two more coins to counteract the imbalance. Again, locate where the coins should be best positioned and glue them.
People Also Ask
What is a ceiling fan balancing kit?
As mentioned earlier, inconsistencies in blades are among the most common causes of jerking and squeaks. A ceiling fan balancing kit addresses this issue by correcting the imbalance.
This kit comes with plastic clips to aid you in locating the problem areas. Meanwhile, the blade weights will keep the ceiling fan well-balanced.
When properly installed, the blade weights will be able to eliminate the wobble and noise, as well as prolong the lifespan of the fan’s motor.
Why is my ceiling fan so loud?
A typical ceiling fan has a motor placed right above the blades. When the motor cover loosens from its position, it hits the blades, which creates a loud noise.
Why do I hear voices when the fan is on?
If your ceiling fan has metal blades, they will likely pick up radio waves from nearby transmitters.
While we can learn to put up with the noise, it is best not to ignore your ceiling fan when it starts to shake. Nothing is more dangerous than having a loose blade rotating above your head.
Besides safety issues, an imbalanced ceiling fan will struggle to distribute the air evenly across the room. Moreover, it will increase your electric bill as it can no longer function more efficiently.
If you don’t see progress despite following the steps above, it is time to call a professional.