How to Fix a Clicking Ceiling Fan: The Ultimate Guide

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A ceiling fan is one of the best energy-saving methods of keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Unlike other cooling systems, they tend to be more efficient at cooling large spaces and operate smoothly. However, if you’re being woken up or annoyed by a constant clicking, there may be a problem.

What do you do? There are plenty of problems that may make the fan operate noisily. So, how do we narrow it down to just one issue?

If it’s a loud noise and is more of a rumbling sound, it’s most likely a problem with the motor. So, we’ll show you how to fix a clicking ceiling fan.

Steps in Fixing a Clicking Fan

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Step #1: Checking the Fan

Adjust the speeds on your fan to slow, medium, and high. If there’s a low humming or ticking sound, then it’s likely a problem with the motor.

Many older ceiling fans are made with small motors that tend to wear down over time. As such, you’ll hear the motor produce a noise.

If you’ve left this problem to last minute, we highly suggest that you replace your ceiling fan with a newer model. A majority of the newer ones coming out have warranties and protection plans, keeping your investment safe.

Step #2: Check the Lights

If your ceiling fan has a light dimmer, then that may also be the root of the problem. To fix this, take the light dimming out and connect the ceiling fan to the electrical switch. This can help prevent any low buzzing sounds.

However, if you’ve switched through and can determine that neither the fan nor the lights are the problem, then it’s time to get serious and fix the motor.

Step #3: Clean the Motor

The first step to fixing the fan is to cut off all power to the switch. Do this by shutting off the electrical current using your electrical box. Once the power is cut, you can move onto the next step.

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Take an electric drill and unscrew the main body of the ceiling fan. You’ll need to get a damp towel, microfiber towel, or some Q-tips and clean out the crevasse in the motor. Once you’re done, you can replace the screws and put the ceiling fan back together.

Step #4: Check the Blades

Blades commonly tend to bend, which can be a contributing factor to a clicking noise. Any fan that becomes unbalanced can cause the whole device to make noise. This is usually a steady beat of sound that mimics how fast the speed of the fan is operating.

If it’s rhythmic with speed, then you may need to balance out the blades. Taking some old coins and taping them to the ends of the blades can help even the unit out. However, you’re going to need to do this by trial and error and test which sides are unbalanced.

Step #5: Check Bulbs

The bulbs can also produce a low humming sound which could be annoying to some people. By checking the light bulbs, you can eliminate this problem.

Replace bulbs that have been damaged, broken, or that don’t work anymore. Then, screw the light bulbs back into place before testing the fan again.

Step #6: Inspect the Globe

All components of a ceiling fan are prone to creating noise. If your ceiling fan contains any light fixtures, then you may need to check the globe that covers the lights.

These tend to produce a rattling sound if the screws aren’t secured well. Take the screws out and then use a power drill to put them back in. Once it’s secured, you won’t hear a sound anymore.

Optional Step #7: Lubricate

If you’ve tried everything else and still there’s a creaking noise that you can’t stop, then it’s likely time to lubricate the device. A ceiling fan that’s been hanging for years is bound to need some oil on its points. Use lubricating oil and put several drops of oil on the bearings.

This can help reduce overall noise and enables you to keep the ceiling fan operating at maximum capacity. The bearings often sound like squeaking or creaking, which is why lubrication can solve the problem. However, you will need to take apart each element and add a bit of oil to it.

What to Do if You Can’t Find the Problem?

If all else fails, then it’s time to look at the facts and choose a new ceiling fan. Not all models are designed to last throughout the years, and with new ones popping up, it’s best to invest in one that comes with warranty and protection plans. This way, you will have access to replacement parts and maintenance if anything goes wrong.


Locating a clicking sound from a ceiling fan can be complicated if you don’t know the underlying problem. Nonetheless, we did our best to list out the possible reasons.

If you can’t locate the problem, call in a professional to help. They may be able to find a problem with the wiring or a malfunction. Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn how to fix a clicking ceiling fan.

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