Why does my ceiling fan hum?

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Ceiling fans offer a variety of benefits year-round. Not only do they help circulate air flow and distribute cool, conditioned air throughout the summer months, but they can also help lower heating costs in the winter months. By switching the direction the blades turn (which can be adjusted by flipping a switch on the base of the fan), heat that rises can be pushed back down toward the ground, helping maintain comfortable temperatures without having to crank the furnace. 


The one downside of ceiling fans? They can make irritating noises if they’re poorly installed, damaged, or misused. 


If you find yourself wondering, why does my ceiling fan hum?” use this guide to help identify the underlying issue so you can get it repaired quickly. 

6 Causes of a Humming Ceiling Fan

A humming ceiling fan can happen for many different reasons, most of them being minor and easily repairable. However, some skills and confidence are required. You’ll need a ladder and a few tools on hand, so if you’re uncomfortable handling electrical equipment or climbing a ladder, don't attempt to fix a ceiling fan or chandelier yourself. You can always call in a professional electrician to resolve a humming ceiling fan safely and effectively.

1. Bad Wire Connectors

When your ceiling fan is installed, wire connections are used to attach your ceiling fan to power. These connections are typically kept in the junction box of your ceiling fan to keep things organized and safe, and they run down the rod of your fan to deliver power. If the wire connection can touch the edge of the box or if they’re too loose inside the rod, they can cause noise as the fan operates. To fix this issue, you’ll need to remove any slack in the wires to reduce their wobbling as your ceiling fan operates. 

2. Loose Screws

As your ceiling fan rotates, the different connection screws can come loose. Alternatively, a bad installation job could mean that the screws were not properly tightened in the first place. To fix this issue, grab a screwdriver and a ladder. Make sure all the screws in your ceiling fan are snug but not overly tightened. You should stop when you feel a decent amount of resistance, but not so much resistance that it’s a workout to continue tightening the screw. 

3. Poorly Lubricated Motor

If your ceiling fan’s motor isn’t sufficiently lubricated, friction can cause your ceiling fan to start making strange noises, including humming. To remedy the issue, your motor fan needs to be cleaned to remove dust and grime, and then re-oiled to ensure proper lubrication.

4. A Faulty Motor House

If any screws, bits of plastic, or other installation-related debris make their way into your motor housing, they can end up rattling around when your ceiling fan is turned on. You will need to remove the top of the motor housing to check for debris, which often requires removing the entire fan from the down rod. If you’re going to attempt this repair, it is highly recommended you have another person with you to provide assistance. 

5. Loose Light Bulb

Loose light bulbs or sconces on your fan can also cause a humming or rattling sound. Tighten any loose bulbs with a snug twist, then turn on your fan to see if this resolves the issue.

6. Misaligned Fan Blades

Examine your ceiling fan blades to see if any of them are bent or misaligned. When a blade shifts out of place, the uneven weight distribution can result in a humming or clicking sound. An electrician should be able to realign the fan blades quickly and easily. 

Contact CroppMetcalfe for Ceiling Fan Repair 

Ceiling fans are a great way to keep your home cool and comfortable, but only if they are working properly. If these quick fixes didn’t resolve the humming issue with your ceiling fan, contact our expert team of electricians at CroppMetcalfe to get the job done right. Call or contact us online to submit a service request today.

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