Question: My ceiling fan squeeks and I have a hard time sleeping at night when it is on. Can I oil it or something?
There are several reasons why a ceiling fan will squeek or make noise. Most often, the reason is simply poor quality components. You will find this problem very common with cheaper fans that are sold at the home centers. Particularly the hugger style fans. Often times these noises can be heard from the first day the fan is installed. If all screws are tight and the junction box in the ceiling is well supported and snug, then you are the victim of a poor quality fan and the only remedy may be to see if the place where you purchased the fan will take it back if you are dissatisfied.
However, if your fan has operated for years without making noise, oiling your fan is not a solution, with the exception of the Hunter Original cast iron ceiling fans which are the only fans that require oil…or can be oiled for that matter. What you probably need to do is tighten some screws. I would start from top to bottom on the fan and make sure everything is tight. At the top, make sure the screws that hold the fan to the junction box are tight. You will need to remove the canopy that is mounted at the ceiling in order to check these screws. Next, when replacing the canopy, make sure those screws are tight. Next, check the screws that hold the blade holders to the fan motor, then the screws that hold the blades to the blade holders. This is the most common place screws get loose.
Once all of the screws are tightened, turn the fan on again and see if it still makes the annoying sound. If not, then you have solved your problem. If it still makes noise, maybe the problem is that your fan is out of balance. If your fan is wobbling, you will need to balance the blades. Check the link at the bottom of this posting for a video with instructions for balancing your fan.
If your fan is not wobbling, or you went through the process of balancing your fan and it is still making noise, then the bearings in your fan motor are probably wearing out and there is nothing you can do. All ceiling fans come with sealed bearings (except for the Hunter Original fans), therefore, oil is not a solution as some people have suggested. The cheaper fans have motors that will go out, so your best bet at this point is to replace the fan. I would suggest looking for a fan that has a superior motor next time you make your purchase. Not only will they run quieter, they will move more air and last a lifetime. The best motors can be left running 24 hours a day for years and never make a peep while keeping you 2 or 3 times cooler than cheaper fans. The best motors found in Casablanca fans that have the Casablanca XLP 2000 motor and Emerson fans that have the Emerson K55 motor. These motors are not in all of their fans, only in their upper end models. Use the link below for top quality fans to see examples.
Balancing a Ceiling Fan: http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/ceilingfaninstallation.asp?Step=10&emt=leftnav
Top Quality Ceiling Fans: http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/fansearch.asp?sbPower=5
Ceiling Fan FAQs: http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/fanfaqs.asp?emt=leftnav