Do Ceiling Fans Require Maintenance? (The 9 Things To Do)

Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Barry Gray

ceiling fan installation

We all rely on our fans to keep us cool during the scorching summer months, but what happens when your fan isn’t working as smoothly as it used to? Well, it may be because your ceiling fan requires maintenance. 

Your ceiling fan should be checked every 6 months to ensure it is properly maintained. Routine maintenance generally includes:

  • Cleaning 
  • Change the fan direction
  • Check the screws 
  • Lubricate 
  • Watch out for wobbling
  • Check for missing parts or warped blades
  • Call in a professional

Keeping your ceiling fan well maintained will help to keep it in good repair for longer. So, if you want to check up on your ceiling fan and beat the heat, then our quick guide on what to do for your fan is for you. 

Check Your Fan Regularly

ceiling fan blade

Your ceiling fan doesn’t need much maintenance, but it’s still good to inspect your fan regularly. You’ll need to do this every six months or so, or if your fan is running loudly, wobbling, or it isn’t pushing as much air as before. 

To check your fan, you’ll first need to turn it off and wait for it to come to a complete stop. Once it has stopped, you can check the screws, dust levels, and oil levels. 

The screws should be firmly in place, and the motor should be free from dust. A dusty motor can impede how well your fan will function. 

To check the oil, you can insert a pipe cleaner into the small hole on the motor. 

Clean Your Fan

To keep your ceiling fan in tip-top shape, you’ll need to clean it at least once a year. You’ll need to find a sturdy and stable surface to elevate yourself. It should be sturdy to avoid injuring yourself. 

First, you’ll want to dust off the blades and brush the motor to get rid of any excess dust that may have settled there. 

Then, using soap and water, you’ll want to dampen a cloth and use it to wipe down the blades. You should do this gently, and you may need to scrub any tacky spots or stubborn dirt. 

Once you’ve cleaned your fan off, it can be left to air-dry before you use it again. 

Change Your Fan’s Direction

Your fan may feel like it is pushing less air because of the direction the blades are spinning. Most ceiling fans have a switch on the side of the motor or a button on the remote control that will change the direction of the blade rotation. 

During the warmer months, you’ll want to make sure that your fan is rotating in the right direction. Your fan should be pushing air down towards you, and you should feel the chill that the air makes to cool you down. 

If you don’t feel the air, your fan may be spinning in the wrong direction. 

During the colder months, you can flip the switch so that the blades are pushing air up towards the ceiling. This will help to circulate the air in the room without producing the cooling effect that you look for in summer. 

Check The Screws On Your Fan

There are several different screws on your ceiling fan that keep all of its working parts together. Because the fan is constantly rotating, the vibrations can loosen these screws. This results in a noisy or wobbling fan. 

To make sure that your fan is properly maintained, you’ll need to check the screws and tighten any loose screws on the ceiling plate, blades, or light fixtures. 

Lubricate Or Oil Your Fan

Your ceiling fan is made up of various moving parts that will begin to deteriorate over time. To keep your fan running smoothly, you’ll need to oil it around once every twelve months. 

Newer, more modern fans don’t need oiling. But, if you live in an older home or apartment building, then you’ll need to check the oil levels and top it up occasionally. 

You can top the oil up by bringing your fan to a complete stop and finding a way to lift yourself up on something sturdy and stable. If you look closely at your fan’s motor, then you should see a small hole in the upper section of the motor. 

While most fans should have a small hole, some makes and models of ceiling fans may be different, so it may be worthwhile to consult your fan’s manufacturer. 

Once you have found the hole, you can add one to two ounces of oil. The oil will need to be non-detergent motor oil. 

When you switch your fan back on, it should be smoother and quieter than before. 

Check Your Fan For Wobbling

If your fan is moving excessively, there may be a problem with its balance. The center of your fan shouldn’t move while your fan is on, so movement may be indicative of a bigger problem. 

If your fan is wobbling, it will need to be rebalanced using a fan balancing kit. 

Check Your Fan For Missing Parts

Before you check your fan, you should have a good knowledge of the manufacturer’s guide or manual for your make and model of the ceiling fan. 

Once you’re aware of all of the parts that make up your fan, you can check it for any missing parts that may be causing your fan not to work as well as it did when it was first installed. 

If your fan is missing parts, you can call a professional or buy and replace the necessary parts. 

Check Your Fan For Warped Blades

ceiling fan blade

You can check your fan for warped blades by removing them from the fan and stacking them on top of one another. A warped blade will be easy to spot because it will look bent and buckled in comparison to the other blades. 

If your blade has warped, you’ll need to replace it as quickly as possible. 

Call A Fan Repair Professional

If you’ve checked your fan for any possible problems and you’re still unsure of why it isn’t running smoothly, you may need to call a repair expert to take a look at your ceiling fan. 

If your fan has been discontinued, a professional may also know where to source parts for your fan’s repair. 


If you need to repair or maintain your ceiling fan, the process is relatively quick and straightforward. But, if your fan is older or you aren’t sure of how to safely maintain your fan, you can always call in a professional to help. 

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Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.