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How to Balance Ceiling Fan Blades

Stop Ceiling Fan Blade Wobble and Noise

© 2016 by all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission. Author’s Google profile

Ceiling fan blades viewed from the bottom

It’s no secret that ceiling fans make sense on so many levels. On common misconception is that they are only for hotter climates. Not so; they increase comfort and lower utility bills everywhere, both in the summer and the winter.

For maximum energy and comfort efficiency, it is important to have the air pushed down in the summertime and up in the winter. It might sound counterintuitive but that’s the way it works.

By their very nature ceiling fans need to be balanced. If not, they can wobble, make distracting noises, and potentially present a dangerous situation. While they can be running as smooth as molasses when installed, they can get out of whack over time. Is one of yours out of balance? Read on to find out how to balance ceiling fan blades.

Materials for Fan Balancing

  • A stepladder tall enough to safely reach the blades
  • Screwdriver
  • Cleaning supplies—swifter, paper towels, cleaning spray appropriate for the material your blades are made from
  • Pennies, washers, or blade balancing weights from the hardware store
  • Duct tape
  • Tube of superglue

Ceiling Fan Balancing Steps to Follow

  1. The first step is to turn off the fan and use your screwdriver to tighten up all the screws on the blades where they connect to the fan motor. Vibration and temperature differentials can loosen them over time.

  2. Next, completely clean the blades on both the tops and the bottoms. Over time, dust will accumulate on the blades and it is not always evenly distributed. This in itself can be your problem.

    Turn the fan back on and run it through the speeds. Has the problem been fixed? If so, you’re good to go. If not, turn off the fan and proceed to the next steps.

  3. This step may take some patience. Starting on any blade, tape a penny or washer on the top near the center. Start the fan and determine if the wobbling has decreased, not increased. If it’s not decreased, move on to the next blade.

  4. Once you have determined the blade that decreases the wobbling with the penny attached, begin experimenting by moving the penny out an inch at a time and re-testing.

  5. As soon as you’ve found that “sweet spot”, stop the fan rotation, remove the tape and use the superglue to permanently attach the penny. Allow the glue to dry before restarting the ceiling fan.

Ready to get started? Do it yourself or find thousands of unbiased ratings on the best – and worst – electricians and service companies in your area. Try Angie’s List.

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