Fans are useful in keeping our homes cool during those hot summer days. They are affordable ventilation and cooling alternatives to air conditioning.
However over time due to wear and tear, those tiny propellers can make your room sound like a space ship launching pad. Some models will make you lose hours of your precious sleep.
In this article, I’m going to show you step by step on how you can make a fan Quieter, whether a box fan or an oscillating fan.
What makes a fan noisy
There are three main reasons why a fan could be noisily ranging from dirt, how the blades are attached and loose parts.
I’m pretty sure that you know some fans, such as box fans are effective in keeping dust from getting in a room right? But have you ever asked yourself- where does the dust go?
Well, the dust gets trapped within the fan. Box fans are well known as” dust hosts” and can get filled up with dirt and dust in a matter of days.
The fan becomes noisy because the motor has to function as twice than normal.
A fan will become noisy when there are loose parts or defective units. While the blades might appear to be rotating as usual, at times the problem might be with the motor itself.
For this reason, you can unplug the fan and fix the loose screws or call a professional to inspect it.
Does your fan use dimmer switches?
This is likely the reason you’re hearing a humming noise. If you use dimmer controls to regulate ceiling fan speed, you’ll easily run into a host of problems, including humming noise.
Dimmer switches aren’t good for use with ceiling fans. Instead, you can replace them with standard speed controls, which work well with ceiling fans.
If your fan requires a remote control, be weary of faulty receivers. If the fan receiver doesn’t get a strong signal from the remote, your fan could produce a humming noise.
In such a case, you can avoid the receiver by connecting your fan directly to the power source.
You can tell if that was the cause of the humming noise if it comes to an end when you do away with the receiver.
Bad capacitors could also be the reason you’re hearing humming noises from your fan. So, if the noise persists even after removing the fan receiver, you might want to check the condition of the capacitors.
However, you can solely tell when the capacitors are the problem is your fan shows signs of low voltage level making the motor struggle and causing the noise. When the voltage goes below 105 volts A/C, your fan will likely produce some noise.
To fix bad capacitors, you have to replace them with new ones. Also, placing several fans in one circuit could cause some noise. This often happens in older homes where several rooms share the same circuit.
If you mount your fan directly to ceiling joints, that is a potential noise cause. In this case, what happens is that fan noises get amplified via the joist, thus triggering a louder noise.
The best way to reduce this noise is to use approved ceiling fan hangers that connect well with the ceiling joists. That way, you isolate the fan from the ceiling joists, thus avoiding amplifying fan noises.
Also, noise from the fans motor can’t reach the joists where it gets amplified.
How To Make A Fan Quieter
Below are eight different ways on how to make a fan quieter. These are simple and easy to implement hacks that do not require any technical knowledge.
Align the fan blades
It’s crucial to check fan alignment because uneven alignment will make the fan imbalanced which causes the fan to whirr when switched on.
In order to fix this, first, inspect the blades and make sure that none of the bottom of the blade is touching the surface under. Also, inspect the top side of the blades.
Since most of the fan blades are made of metallic materials, you can align them by bending the blades.
On the other hand, you should adjust the central center mounting for fans with plastic blades.
For fans without metal centre mounting, you should consider replacing the blades if they aren’t properly aligned.
Clean the Fan regularly
For efficiency and better performance, it’s always recommended to clean the entire fan unit thoroughly and at least once a month.*
This will prevent the accumulation of dust which could otherwise interfere with the motor and blades parts.
A regularly cleaned fan will also be quieter.
Here is what you should do:
Make sure that the unit is unplugged from the power source. Then unlatch the cage and then unscrew the cap located at the center of the blades.
The next step would be to remove the second cap that separates the blades from the rear of the cage.
Now it’s time to clean the caps, blades using a wet cloth and then wipe them dry afterwards.
For the motor unit, you can use a dry cloth to clean the exterior.
You can use hair dryer/blow dryer to blow out the dust trapped inside the unit. Alternatively, you can use this Electric Blow Duster and spray it into the motor unit.
Check The Upper Canopy
This applies to ceiling fans. The upper canopy is the cover that hides the mounting assembly. It’s basically the part that’s attached to the ceiling.
So, if you hear noise from your fan, it’s good to double-check all sections, including the upper canopy. After some time, the upper canopy section can become loose or damaged internal parts causing unpleasant noises.
When double-checking the upper canopy, make sure you tighten the screws in there. Care and maintenance are vital for your fan’s upper canopy.
Tighten loose knobs and screws
After you’ve disassembled your fan unit to get rid of dust, you should at the same time inspect for any loose knobs or screws. You can fix this by tightening them using a screwdriver so that they don’t make unnecessary noise when the unit is turned on.
Oil it- the fan motor unit
We all know that oiling reduces friction and also makes a machine run smoothly. Same applies in this case. Oiling the unit will ensure that the motor glides smoothly without any clunking or clicking noises.
You can use this Non-Detergent SAE oil to lubricate the motor. Only use one or two drops at a time; otherwise, you risk damaging the motor.
You should oil the unit at least twice in a year.
Modify the Fan cage
If you’ve thoroughly inspected the fan unit and figure out the cause of noise problem, the next step would be to check the cage or the blade guards.
The fan cage is usually made of metals with metallic or plastic clasps on the side. The clasps can break or become loose with time causing unnecessary noise. Below are some ways you can fix this problem.
You can wedge a small piece of rubber or cardboard between the edges of the cage. Additionally, if the decorative cap on the front side of the cage is loose, you can fasten it back using a permanent glue or a silicone sealant.
You can use duct tape to tighten any other loose part you find on the blade enclosure.
Pad The Space Between the Cage Halves
Since you’re already using padding materials, you might want to check if there are other places you can fix using these materials.
In fact, the pedestal fan grilles get wrapped over time to a point where the two halve hardly close properly. If the closures don’t fit well over both cage sides, they might vibrate when going against each other, causing unpleasant noise.
If this is the case, double-check and find where the parts rattle against each other.
This is the area you ought to target when padding. Find a way to slide the padding felt or foam between the cage parts. Further, use tape to stick the felt.
Of course, this solution is temporary. In the long run, you can consider buying a new fan because there’s no reason to live with a haphazardly put-together fan.
Check Pull Chain
Did you know that a pull chain makes fans produce noise?
Pull chains are meant to control or regulate fan speed and lights. In case your fan is wobbly, the pull chain has an allowance to move back and forth.
Due to the movement, the pull chain can hit the blades, causing an even louder noise. If this is the case with your fan pull chain, you can balance the blades.
Also, an immediate solution is shortening the pull chain to prevent it from coming into contact with the blades.
Rug and level it
Let me guess…. your fan stands on a “bare” floor, right? But did you know that placing a thick carpet or a rug underneath the fan can dramatically reduce unwanted sounds?
Additionally, did you know that if a fan is placed on a non-levelled surface, it’s likely to cause unwanted noise? So make sure that the fan is placed on a levelled and smooth floor.
Replace Damaged Fan Cushioning
From the point where the blade hub comes into touch with the motor pin, there’s some padding that creates a barrier between blades and motor.
Most fan manufacturers recently fix that separation behind the blade hub.
Although, your fan can be different with a bit of felt or foam at the back.
If you can see the cushions, check if they’re still in good condition. If they aren’t what they should be, then replace them.
You’ll easily get cushion spares if you walk to your local hardware nearby.
Besides, a piece of foam or felt is good to pad the area. All you need to do is make a hole at the center, push the felt or foam material over the pin and fix back the blades.
Get a Quiet Fan
If you’ve tried all the hacks above and still have a noisy fan, it’s time to go for a quiet fan.
Replacing the fan is a permanent solution and helps avoid more noise issues in the future.
When looking for an upgrade, choose a high-quality fan that has no risk of wrapping over time.
In addition, the way you install or mount your fan matters.
Make sure you install it properly using the right mounting box. If you don’t know how to mount your new fan, you can contact a professional for assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why does my fan make a lot of noise?
Fans make noise when the blades aren’t properly connected to the fan assembly or are loose. This problem doesn’t require rocket science to fix; you only need a set of screwdrivers to do it independently.
Also, don’t tighten the screws too much, as you may damage the blades.
How many dB is a quiet fan?
A quiet fan produces approximately 15 dB of noise if it has a low setting, and 40 to 50 dB on high speed settings.
Fans without blades produce a lower noise level compared to bladed fans. As such, bladeless fans have become more popular in recent days.
How many DB is loud for a fan?
If a fan produces anything past 70 dB of loudness, that’s a loud fan. On average, ceiling fans produce 60 dB to 70 dB.
So, if your fan produces 70+ dB of noise, you need to double-check it.
What fan blade is quietest?
Valent condensing fans produce up to 12 dB less noise than paddle fan blades. The valent condensing fans mimic an owl’s wing, powerful but quiet.
In addition, valent fans assume serrated-edge blades that reduce noise production.
Can you spray wd40 on ceiling fan?
You should never spray WD40 on a ceiling fan. The reason is that WD40 isn’t an oil-based lubricant. Instead of loosening rusty and stuck parts, it’ll damage the motor.
Why are some fans noisier than others?
Fans that rotate at a higher speed produce a louder noise than fans that rotate at a slower speed. So, speed plays a significant role in the noise level a fan produces.
In addition, other factors that make a fan noisier include the bearing system and age of the fan.
What kind of lubricant do you use on a ceiling fan?
The best lubricants for ceiling fans are 10-15- or 20-weight motor oil that’s a non-detergent.
Don’t go for penetrating oils like the 3-in-1 oil. They’re good at loosening stuck screws but don’t have the recommended weight for a fan lubricant.
Final thoughts on making a fan quieter
The loud fan can be a real menace especially if you enjoy solitude, but with the above tips, you will be able to quiet your fan and receive full air conditioning benefits.
The steps mentioned above can be done at home and doesn’t require the expert help especially if you have some handy skills. If you’re interested to learn more about soundproofing here are some more articles to get you started.