how-to-balance-a-ceiling-fanFew things are more annoying than a wobbly ceiling fan. If you’re frustrated with your fan’s performance, fear not! This tutorial will show you how to balance your ceiling fan for far less money than a new one would cost you.

Materials:

  • Ladder
  • Damp rags or paper towels
  • Screwdriver
  • Ruler or yardstick
  • Blade balancing kit
  • Pennies (optional)
  • Painter’s or masking tape (optional)
  • Superglue (optional)

Step 1: One of the most common causes of a wobbly ceiling fan is built up dust. With the fan turned off and the blades completely still, climb the ladder and clean both sides of the blades with a damn rag or paper towel. Then dry with a clean rag and turn the fan on to see if the problem’s been solved.

Step 2: If cleaning the blades doesn’t fix the problem, turn your fan off and let it come to a complete stop. Climb back up the ladder and check to see if any screws are loose at the base of the fan, where the blades meet the flywheel. With your screwdriver, turn the screws clockwise to tighten them. Climb down the ladder and turn the fan on to test your results.

Step 3: If the blades continue to shake, turn the fan off and let it some to a complete stop. With a ruler or yardstick, climb back up the ladder and measure from the ceiling to the blade at the same three points on each blade: close to the flywheel at the center of the fan, halfway down the length of the blade and at the tip. If any of the numbers don’t match up, very gently bend the blade holder up or down to straighten.

Step 4: If that still doesn’t fix it, you may have a blade that’s slightly lighter or heavier than the others. To test it out, examine your fan on each of its settings to see which speed makes it shake the most. Once you’ve identified the problem setting, turn the fan off and wait for the blades to still completely.

Step 5: You can use a balancing kit to test the weight of your blades (follow the instructions included with the kit), or you can try the penny method. Using painter’s or masking tape, attach a penny to the top of a blade, close to the center, and then turn the fan on to test its functioning. You may have to do this for more than one blade to determine which one needs the extra weight and where exactly it should be placed. When testing each blade, start with the penny placement in the center of each blade and work your way out a few inches at a time.

Step 6: Once you’ve found a placement that fixes the problem, replace the tape with a few drops of superglue (to keep the penny in place permanently). Let the glue dry completely before turning the fan on. If your fan still wobbles, but not as pronounced, placing another penny or two in the perfect spot should take care of the issue.

Trial and error is the surest way to find the imbalance in your ceiling fan, so be patient and keep at it! If the fan continues to persist and frustrate you, the blades may have been warped due to humidity or age. In this case, consider purchasing replacement blades, which can be found for less than $10 each.

  • By: Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp.
  • In: DIY, How To
  • Under: