Shaking Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are so popular that millions of homes across the country have one or more. In the hot summer months, the fan can create a nice breeze that when it hits the skin, makes the temperature feel cooler. Then in the cold winter months, many fans can be reversed, which means the warm air up by the ceiling is pushed downward into the room, making it warmer and more comfortable. Unfortunately, over time, a fan can begin to shake and wobble. The good news is that the problem is often easy to fix.
One of the things to remember is that in addition to being unsightly and annoying, a shaking fan also creates a level of risk. One of the first things you need to check is the fan blades. If they are damaged, twisted, curved, or warped, it could be that the air is not passing at the same plane, thus causing the shaking. In this case, you might need to replace the defective blade or blades and the problem would cease.
Additionally, you should always check all the screws on the fan. While the blade screws are the most important, make sure everything is tight. Another possible problem for a shaking fan is the downrod and fan body having some type of loose connection. In this case, you should be able to tighten the units up and stop the problem. The same is true for the mounting. Sometimes, the mount to the electrical box can become loose from everyday use. However, if the screws and mounting are tightened, the problem should stop.
Sometimes, the blades on the fan are simply out of balance. To check the distance of the blades, we recommend you use a yardstick. With one end touching flat on the ceiling, measure each blade. If one is lower or higher than the other blades, gently push the blade to adjust its height. Just remember that blade arms can break so use slow, even pressure while pushing, taking great care.
If this does not remedy the shaking fan problem, you can actually purchase special weights. In this case, the weights are very small and simply designed to stick on top of the blade. You would need to place a weight on the out of sync blade, turn the power on at the switch, and then look to see if the weight corrected the shaking. If not, adjust the placement of the weight until you find the appropriate place to fix the shaking problem.
Now, if you cannot find the weights or a balancing kit, you can use clothespins and washers. In this case, clip a clothespin onto the blades, placing it in various test positions. After each placement, turn the fan on to see if the shaking is better or worse. Just as you would have done with the weights, you will need to try various positions until the right one is found. At that point, use a piece of duct tape to secure the washer to the top of the blade where it will stick but be out of sight.