How to Quiet a Noisy Ceiling Fan

Most parts that are manufactured with an electric motor need continuous lubrication and that includes your ceiling fan. The motor that rotates the fan blades has bearings that ensure smooth, noise-free movement. But when the bearings grind against each other, the friction generated slowly wears them down. Some ceiling fan is designed to be oiled by the homeowner, and if you have one of these, you should do so at least once or twice a year. In this short guide, we will show you how to quiet a noisy ceiling fan as fast as possible.

Newer models, particularly the ones that have its bearings sealed are not supposed to be lubricated. If you have such a model, and noises or poor performance convince you that it needs lubrication, you'll have to disassemble the motor to do it.

Ceiling Fan

How Do I Know What Type of Ceiling Fan I Have?

Fans produced before 1970, especially bulky ones made from cast iron, are designed to be oiled. The motor windings are usually visible through the vent holes in the bottom of the motor housing. Some newer models also need lubrication.

If you're not certain whether your ceiling fan is designed to be periodically oiled, use this simple procedure to find out: Place a ladder under the fan and climb high enough to so you can look down on the motor housing. Ceiling fans designed to be lubricated usually have a marked hole on the motor housing a short distance away from the down rod. If the hole is not visible, but you suspect your fan needs oil, look up the instructions that came with the fan or on the manufacturer's website to get specific instructions.

What Type of Oil Should I Use?

You will find various types of motor oil on the market but it is recommended that you use 10- 15- or 20-weight non-detergent motor oil to lubricate your ceiling fan. It is crucial to avoid detergent, which can lock up the bearings. Don't depend on penetrating oils, such as 3-in-1 oils. They are good for loosening stuck screws but aren't heavy enough to oil a fan. You'll probably need just about 1 or 2 ounces of oil, so a quart of cheap motor oil, which should be available at your nearest car parts store, should last for years – unless you need it for your car or any other projects at home.

Liquid Bearings Synthetic Oil

When you are looking for the best way on how to quiet a noisy ceiling fan, your research may have come up with instructions to do it with a lubricating fluid such as WD-40. This is incorrect. Lubricating fluids can clean messy substances off the metal parts inside the fan motor. Spraying fluid into the lubrication hole can be favorable, as long as you follow up with an oil of a proper weight. Should you not follow up with oil; internal parts sprayed with lubricating fluid will wear out more quickly.

Lubricating Procedure

First, you need to turn off the breaker that powers the fan. If you simply switch off the ceiling fan, someone could accidentally turn it on while you're working on it, especially if it is a remote-controlled fan. Pour the oil into an application bottle with a narrow tip, climb on the ladder and locate the lubrication hole. Pour the oil into the hole until the reservoir is full and oil starts backing out, and then manually spin the fan back and forth a few times to spread the oil onto the bearings.

Lubricating a Sealed Motor

It is harder to oil a fan that isn't designed to be lubricated. You shouldn't have to do this at all, and you can lose your warranty on the product but it may be necessary if the fan is old and is making noises. In most cases, the method involves removing the fan blades, taking down the motor and disassembling it on a workbench. You should try to attempt this if you're knowledgeable about working with electric motors. If not, it's your best cause of action is to take it to a fan repair shop.

  • Shut down the fan and wait for it to come to a complete stop. Place a ladder beneath the fan, and climb high enough on it until you can see the fan's motor.
  • Find the small hole in the upper section of the motor. Pour 1 to 2 ounces of no detergent motor oil into the hole. If the manufacturer recommends a different type of oil or a different amount, use that instead.
  • Clean any excess oil off the exterior of the ceiling fan with a dry cloth. Power on the fan to test it. It should now turn smoothly and quietly.

Things You Will Need

  • Ladder.
  • 1 to 2 ounces of no detergent motor oil (recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Clean cloth to wipe down the motor.


  • If the fan is still making odd noises even after lubricating it, turn the fan off and take it to a repair shop so that an expert can have a look at it.


  • Never ignore strange noises or burning smells coming from your ceiling fan. These may be signs of problems that can shorten the lifespan of the fan's motor or potentially cause an electrical fire.

Questions and Answers

Q. My New Ceiling Fan Is Rattling and Is Making Strange Noises at High-Speed Levels. Why?

A. Some of the attached screws may be loose. Examine all the screws that are holding the fan together and use a screwdriver to tighten them.

Q. My Fan Makes Rattling Sounds at Low Speed. How Can I Repair It?

A. You will first have to figure out where that rattling noise is coming from. It could be a loose fan blade, the pull chain tapping against the light or a component inside the motor that has come loose. Once you figure out where the rattling sound is coming from you can properly fix it. If you cannot figure out where the noise is coming from, try to tighten every bolt and nut on a fan.


This was all about how to quiet a noisy ceiling fan by yourself. So, the next time you hear rattling, creaky sounds coming from your ceiling fan in your room disturbing you, take some time to fix it and sleep peacefully!

Leave a Comment