Noisy ceiling fan

The ceiling in the living room of my rental is loud. It’s a motor hum noise, not a clanking sound of something loose. There’s nothing specifically wrong with it, except it’s noticeable and annoying.

I’ve read that the cause of this is not enough (or any) isolating material inside the fan. The article said to add this material to the fan.

The tenants have not moved in yet. Is this the kind of job I should try to tackle myself, or would it be best to pay a handyman to come do it? My concern is it could be one of those tasks that ends up being a lot harder than it looks at first. Or would you just leave the fan as is and see whether the tenants actually bitch about it once they move in, and then do something about it? Thanks.

These fans are so inexpensive I would just replace it if it is a concern to you or your tenant. Lowes or other stores have them for 40.00 It is hard to get a handyman out of bed for that.

Agreed. If you’re going to be doing this, you’ll become very good at installing ceiling fans/light fixtures. Recommend you get a 52" 5-blade fan for the living room. The smaller ones won’t move much air.
They’re really easy to install. Just turn off the light switch and unscrew the fan blades from the old unit. Then unscrew the cover over the motor (for the ceiling hugger styles that are the most popular in houses). Usually the motor hangs in a bracket. Lift it out and disconnect the wires. You’ll be left with a black (hot) wire and a white (neutral) wire hanging out of the ceiling. Unscrew that bracket and then install the bracket for the new fan. Next you’ll wire the fan and hang the new motor. On most fans, you can tie the black and blue wires on the fan together and use a wire nut to attach them to the black wire out of the ceiling. The blue wire is for the light kit on the fan. Then hook the white wire on the fan to the wire in the ceiling. Put the cover over the motor. It screws to the bracket. Next mount the fan blades to the metal arms that will hook to the motor. Screw the fan blades onto the motor. The final step will be to install the light kit and balance the fan.

thanks guys, I’ll look into doing that. It doesn’t sound incredibily hard.

From decades of experience, my advice is to purchase a better fan than the $40 one. I recomend Hunter brand.

You are going to take the time and effort to do the work, put in a fan that is going to be quiet, balanced and trouble-free. The fan will last for years, so the extra $40 or so in cost isn’t much to pay.

Your tenants might not complain about the motor hum. It’s possible they’ve always had cheap fans that were noisy and so think that all fans are that way.

It’s possible that the noise is because the motor is going out. It’s a lot easier to replace in a vacant unit than in an occupied unit while the tenant stands there complaining about the heat.

I like to have every little possible repair done before I get a new tenant in. It’s easier to spend the day, fixing and tightening, and checking every little detail, than it is to have the tenant call and request repairs one item a time.

Fan needs to be attached to a fan box, not a regular electrical box. If you need to install a fan box, it is more of a project. It’s a do-it-yourself for me, but I don’t know how much construction skill you have. You’ll know when you get the old fan down. A fan box has extra bracing to keep the vibration from the fan from ripping it out of place.

I would rip the fan out and replace it with a $10 light fixture from the Depot. Tenants are rough on fans and the almost always fail to clean them. If they need a fan, they can buy there own floor fan or a window AC unit and destroy it if they wish. As I get new units, I take out the fans. Just my .02

It turned out it wasn’t the motor, it was the light fixture vibrating at a very fast rate. When I tightened the screws, the noise got much quieter.

One other thing. When I removed the light fixtures (there were four screwed in glass light fixtures, not a globe), there were was something that looked like a rubber band stretched around the glass fixture where the three screws go in (it went between the screws and the glass). The bands were falling apart so I just removed a couple of them. Is that something that needs to be there? It didn’t appear to make any difference in sound once those were removed.