Your ceiling fan clicking problem can be because of improper maintenance or damaged parts from long-term use and normal wear and tear.
Whatever the reason, this fan guide will tell you EVERYTHING you need to watch out for and how to deal with a ceiling fan making clicking noise and other sounds.
Troubleshooting a Ceiling Fan Making Clicking Noise
If you regularly clean your noisy ceiling fan, read through this section to find the reasons behind all that sound.
But if you have a dirty ceiling fan on your hands, skip to the last section first to give it an initial clean, then see if that reduces the sound.
Step 1: Turn Off the Ceiling Fan
As with any other appliance or machine with moving parts, it’s important to turn off the ceiling fan BEFORE doing anything else to troubleshoot the noise it keeps making.
Make sure to UNPLUG the fan from the socket as well, to avoid worse problems.
Spinning blades can be dangerous, especially if you have a particularly strong motor or sharp metal blades. And in case you’re just turning it off now, allow the blades to stop on their own.
We don’t advise grabbing them because they can injure you or damage the blades themselves. It can either knock them out of balance or even bend them.
USE A LADDER so you can easily reach your ceiling fan. An assistant is also super useful, so you don’t need to keep going up and down.
Step 2: Tighten Each Blade
With fan machinery that has many moving components, it’s common sense that LOOSE COMPONENTS will give you a noisy ceiling fan.
Before tinkering any further to make your ceiling fan quiet, inspect whether each of your fan blades is tightened well. If you feel them wiggling in your hand, use a screwdriver to tighten them as needed.
We recommend doing this EVERY 6 MONTHS to ensure your ceiling fan blade is properly tightened and aligned. This can lessen a lot of the noise.
Step 3: Check If the Light Bulbs are Screwed Properly
Most ceiling fans have bulbs, especially more modern fans. This can be the cause of your noisy ceiling fan if it isn’t steady enough.
Remember the squeaking noises or clicking sound you hear when adjusting or changing bulbs?
You’ll have that same issue if your fan bulbs are part of the problem on your noisy ceiling fan, particularly when the SCREW THREAD that connects the bulbs with the base of the fan is loose.
To fix the noise from these bulbs, you just need to TIGHTEN ALL SCREWS UP. This should get rid of any squeaking or clicking sound on your noisy ceiling fan.
Step 4: Troubleshoot the Globe
Some ceiling fans have a globe along with the bulb, and a lot of people overlook this fan component when trying to make their ceiling fan quiet.
This globe is meant to cover up the bulb. Similar to the steps we’ve mentioned previously, a loose globe can end up making an irritating sound.
To prevent the problem with these clicking noises, make sure the globe ISN’T LOOSE.
Also, check if the globe is still okay. If it already has cracks on it, consider replacing the ceiling fan globe.
Step 5: Check the Screws on the Mount
It’s critical for the fan screws to be PROPERLY ATTACHED to your ceiling mount. Not only are loose screws a cause for your ceiling fan making clicking noise, but they can also be dangerous if they become too loose.
In this section, we’re referring to the screws that attach to the ceiling mount and connect the wiring to your fan’s body.
Over time, it’s natural for them to loosen and leave you with squeaking noises. These screws can also wear out and break over time.
In addition, MISSING SCREWS could be the culprit behind the ceiling fan’s rattling or clicking noises you hear while you’re working in your home office.
It’s essential you IMMEDIATELY CHANGE or REPLACE damaged or missing screws to ensure your safety and the ceiling fan’s stability while keeping that noise level down.
Step 6: Test Your Ceiling Fan
After going through these steps, it’s time for you to test your ceiling fans out. Cycle through each fan speed (if your fan has a variable speed option).
If you followed all that we’ve said, you’re unlikely to have a ceiling fan making clicking noise.
If you’ve been successful, it’s now time to READ ALL THE MAINTENANCE TIPS for ceiling fans in the last section.
But if these instructions haven’t stopped that ceiling fan making clicking noise, read the next section for more advanced instructions.
Advanced Troubleshooting for a Ceiling Fan Making Clicking Noise
Step 1: Turn Off Your Ceiling Fan
As we’ve said, it’s important to turn off your ceiling fan before starting to prevent electrocution and other accidents.
Note that there are some steps here where you shouldn’t turn it off at all so you can locate the source of the clicking.
Step 2: Rebalance the Fan Blade
We’ve mentioned that it’s important to MAINTAIN THE BALANCE of your blades. But what are you to do if you’ve accidentally unbalanced it for one reason or another?
Get a balancing clip (like this kit) and place it BETWEEN the base and tip of the blades. Turn on your ceiling fan to see if it still makes squeaking noises.
If it does, keep repeating the same procedure for each blade. You should spot at least one blade that needs balancing.
Once you find the unbalanced blades, peel the adhesive off one of the balancing weights and place it on that blade directly across from the balancing clip. Now you can remove the clip.
If done correctly, this should fix unbalanced blades if that’s the cause of the clicking.
So, if your squeaky noise problem persists after doing this, move to the next step.
Step 3: Lubricate and Tighten Motor Cover
Because of all the moving components, it’s natural for friction to occur.
Some components may also just get WORN OUT or rusty with time. And if you don’t lubricate them regularly, you’ll hear tons of noise and squeaking sounds.
Spinning blades and other components from your ceiling fan can TRIGGER unpleasant sounds or noise that will drive anyone out of their home.
The fan bearings are the usual cause of this noise problem as they can get dry or rusty over time.
The good news is that this noise problem is an easy fix. But if you’re not confident in your abilities, there’s no problem with needing professional help and calling a licensed electrician to fix it for you. Just be prepared for that extra cost!
- Disassemble the entire fan and remove the fan motor from its interior.
- Find the bearings and put a few drops of lubricating oil on them.
- Then, rotate your motor back and forth to distribute the oil.
- Repeat this same procedure and apply oil to the opposite side of the motor.
- Once done, reassemble each part. This fix should result in a fan without any sound or noise problems.
- While you’re at it, make sure that the motor cover is properly tightened. A loose cover can end up making a rattling or scraping noise as it comes into contact with the moving blades.
- Now test your ceiling fan again to see if the noise is gone.
Step 4: Check for Warped Blades
In some cases, the blades can become warped or misshapen. You’ll need to look at EACH BLADE from all sides to examine whether some things look different or odd. It also helps to check if you have loosened blades.
Do this while slowly and manually turning them. There shouldn’t be anything that looks higher or lower than the other blades.
For minor issues, you may be able to GENTLY BEND THE BLADES to shape. This should stop anything from generating more clicking noise.
For loosened blades, you can try to RE-TIGHTEN THEM or ask help from a qualified electrician instead.
Step 5: Secure the Junction Box
We need to emphasize that this step is extremely advanced, so only do this if you’re confident with handling your entire fan.
A fan may make noise if the junction that’s hidden just inside the ceiling is LOOSE. This panel holds in all the wires and acts as the connector between the fan and its connection points to the ceiling.
- To check, remove the fan’s top mount from the ceiling.
- Then, check if the panel is loose.
- Tighten all the connections and reattach the mount.
- Make sure you have someone to assist you throughout this process because it can be dangerous, and the fan itself can be heavy.
Step 6: Call a Professional for Help
Now, if you’ve tried all we’ve said here (from cleaning and removing dust, using a kit to rebalance your blades, and disassembling your ceiling fans to oil them) to deal with your noise problem, and nothing’s worked, it’s time to call a professional.
The cause may be a more complex type or one that is particular to different models of ceiling fans.
If that’s the problem, only an expert can eliminate those sounds. Plus, it’s likely a sign that your noisy ceiling fan has bigger problems that you won’t be able to fix.
While this option may lead to an extra cost, it’s better than having to suffer through noisy sounds from your ceiling fans.
It can also prevent long-term problems that will cause a lot more stress and cost you a lot more in the long run.
How to Prevent the Ceiling Fan Click Noise
Regular maintenance and cleaning of your ceiling fans are KEY to making sure they stay nice and quiet.
Not only will this ensure that you get all the benefits like fastest speed, strongest and coolest air possible, and a better smell, but it will also help your fan last longer!
So now that we’ve dealt with the most immediate causes for that ceiling fan noise, it’s time you learn all you need to know to take care of your ceiling fans and prevent problems from arising in the future.
Do the steps we detail in this fan guide regularly, and you may just avoid that expensive and troublesome visit from a licensed electrician!
TIP: Make sure you disconnect your ceiling fan from the power source before doing anything. Also, check the manual to see if there’s anything the fan manufacturer recommends for proper maintenance.
Clean the Blades and Case
It’s important that you THOROUGHLY CLEAN THE FAN BLADES as this is where hair and dust build up. Without proper maintenance, you’re sure to get a noisy ceiling fan.
1. Light Cleaning
Use a microfiber towel like this one. You’re going to do 3 WIPES here:
- The first wipe is meant to get dust and other debris off the blades.
- The second wipe is to disinfect and ensure your blades are clean.
- Then the third wipe is meant to dry off your blades.
Make sure your towel’s dry for your first wipe. Then, spray or apply some all-purpose cleaner to get the rest of the gunk out of there.
If you’re spraying with the fan above you, we recommend wearing goggles or at least turning away when you do to avoid getting the cleaner in your eyes, nose, and mouth.
You can also choose to thoroughly SOAK A SECOND MICROFIBER TOWEL in your all-purpose cleaner and water solution, then wringing out the excess until it’s as dry as can be. Use this moist towel to wipe down the fan blades.
Many fan noise problems can come from DEBRIS and DUST that’s lodged in your fan, so this is a critical step to ensuring you reduce ceiling fan noise and longevity.
Try to be as gentle as you can be with the blades. Putting unnecessary pressure or too much weight can ruin their shape and balance.
We suggest giving your fan light cleaning whenever you can or at least once a month so you can prevent dust build-up and any other problem.
2. Deep Cleaning
If you prefer deep cleaning your fan, unscrew the parts that you can and take them down. This lets you access the back of the blades so you can THOROUGHLY remove dust, hair, and debris.
We recommend doing a deep clean at least EVERY 3 MONTHS, depending on how much you use it.
Have someone assist you so you can hand the fan parts to them, and they can hand over tools, like a screwdriver, etc., to you when you need it.
The result will be a cool breeze, no dirt and dust, and a reduction of most if not all of the noise.
Final Words on Ceiling Fan Making Clicking Noise
A ceiling fan making clicking noise problems can be a nuisance for the entire home. It would be best to fix your ceiling fan ASAP if you can.
If all else fails, you can also consider buying a new fan instead.
We hope our guide and tips to dealing with ceiling fan noises help you have a cooler and more comfortable experience!
July 12, 2021 – updated external links, removed affiliate links
June 24, 2021 – added changelog, fixed article format, updated internal linking, optimized content