Fan Problems

When a ceiling fan is operating as it should, it is the greatest way to cool off a room or even circulate warm air in the winter. Then, most ceiling fans also feature a light fixture to help illuminate the room. Unfortunately, ceiling fans can have problems - some minor and some major. If you have a ceiling fan, noticing a problem, before you call in a professional, you might first see if you can fix the problem.

Clean the Fan

For starters, make sure you keep your ceiling fan clean. It is common for dust to collect on the blades and top of the motor housing. However, if the dust is not cleaned on a regular basis, it can make its way into the motor, which could cause all types of problems, even the full replacement of the fan. Therefore, using a soft brush or lint-free cloth so nothing is scratched, you want to clean your ceiling fan weekly.

Fan Won't Start

If you find that the fan will not start operation when turned on, you should first make sure the main breaker or fuse have not been accidentally flipped to the off position. If everything is fine, try flipping the wall switch just in case it became stuck in a middle position. If the fan still does not operate, with the switch in the on position, listen to see if you hear any noise coming from the motor. If the fan is old, chances are the motor has burned out but if newer, you might check your warranty.


A common problem with ceiling fans is wobbling. This can occur for a number of reasons and is generally easy to correct. For starters, check all the screws of the fan, making sure none have come loose. Then, make sure the canopy pin is set properly into the slot on the ball. If everything is fin, you want to look at the blades, which might have become bent or warped. Finally, you might need to purchase some weights specifically made for ceiling fans to balance the blade that is out of balance.


Next, if the fan makes an unusual noise during operation, start by check the light fixture, which might have come loose. Since fans are in motion during operation, loose screws are common. Therefore, check the light, the canopy screws, the plate assembly, the blades, and the place where the blades connect to the blade irons. If all else fails, check the wire nuts located inside the canopy, along with the switch housing to make sure no metal parts are touching.

Fan is Slow

If you find your ceiling fan running slow in both directions, it could be that you have a defective capacitor, a defective reverse switch, or an open motor winding. In most cases, the reverse switch assembly can be replaced, along with the capacitor. Otherwise, you might try replacing the motor. Keep in mind that when you first install your new fan, you want to run it on high for about two hours to help with lubrication and to break it in. If you find the fan will not run on the lower speeds, simply extend the break-in period for a few days, running the fan at higher speeds.