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How to Oil a Ceiling Fan Without Taking It Down

Whether you’ve lived in your home for years or just purchased it, chances are you have a ceiling fan in your living room or bedroom. Ceiling fans are wonderful additions to any room, providing cooling during hot weather. They are also a beautiful design element, adding to the ambiance of the room.

If you’re doing a ceiling fan upgrade, and you’re wondering how to oil a ceiling fan without taking it down, I can tell you that it’s actually easier than you think! Just turn off electricity, remove the cover (usually screws on the sides and/or bottom), unscrew the blade-holder assembly (this will require a screwdriver), and then pour or smear oil on the exposed motor shaft. Then, reassemble the fan. Simple!

While many homeowners are satisfied with the look of their ceiling fans, if you are contemplating upgrading your home, you may want to consider upgrading your ceiling fan. 

However, before doing so, I think it is important to properly oil your fan in order to avoid creating a mess and causing damage to your ceiling and new fan.

Why you should oil a ceiling fan

As the weather heats up and the days get longer, an increasing number of homeowners will get out their hammers and screwdrivers to oil their old ceiling fans so that they can get more use during the long summer season.

Ceiling fans have been called one of the most important components in any home, since they can have a big impact on your energy bill. 

For example, a ceiling fan can cut down on your air conditioning usage by as much as 14 percent

A ceiling fan is a great way to help reduce your utility bills during the hot summer months, and from my experience, requires relatively little maintenance. 

But oiling a ceiling fan isn’t just about saving money— it can keep your ceiling fan running for years to come.

Still, if you don’t oil your ceiling fan from time to time, it can eventually start making a racket or even stop working completely.

How much oil the ceiling fan needs during maintenance 

You should always determine how much oil your ceiling fan needs during maintenance so you do not overfill or under-fill the unit.

Now, with little oil in the bearings, the bearings won’t have enough lubrication, making a terrible grating sound and possibly burn out the motor. 

On the other hand, if you overfill the unit, the excess oil could spill from the housing.

Therefore, it is important to just use a decent amount of oil that will keep you out of both scenarios.

When you’re repairing a ceiling fan, you’ll want to use oil to:

1) lubricate the motor and the bearings, 

2) help cool the motor, and 

3) protect against rust and corrosion.

The amount of oil you’ll need depends on the kind of fan you have. 

Most ceiling fans have either a sleeve bearing or a ball bearing. 

The sleeve bearing type requires more frequent lubrication, while ball bearings should only be oiled annually.

As a general rule, you can change the oil in the fan every 6 months. 

Steps to oil ceiling fan without taking it down

As one of the most overlooked and underrated home improvement tasks, ceiling fans have the ability to do a lot in a home. 

Aside from keeping the air moving in the room, ceiling fans can add to the aesthetic appeal of a room, too. 

They can be a great addition to any room, inside or outdoors. 

Ceiling fans are usually underrated by home-owners and often taken for granted until a problem arises. 

Most ceiling fans are inspected once or twice a year, if ever. 

The last time you looked at your ceiling fan was when you moved in, right? 

Well, it’s time to check it out.

If you have a ceiling fan that is slowly starting to lose its sparkle, it might be time for a little oiling. 

But, if you are like most people, you just want to get it done as quickly as possible. 

Most ceiling fans come with a simple manual that provides you with basic tips and steps on how to properly maintain the unit. 

However, many first time owners might have a bit of trouble trying to go through the manual and figure out which steps are relevant to them.

The following steps will let you oil your ceiling fan quickly and without having to take it down from the ceiling.

1. The tools needed to oil a ceiling fan

When you are thinking about changing or repairing your ceiling fan, you might be wondering about the tools needed to oil a ceiling fan. 

While there are a variety of tools needed to install a ceiling fan, only the most basic tools are needed to oil a ceiling fan. 

Before you begin, make sure you have the right tools for the job. 

That means checking the manufacturer’s instructions—the right tools will vary with each type of fan—and making sure you have the right kind of oil. You’ll also need a ladder, safety glasses, and a basin or bucket to catch the excess.

2. Remove power cord 

It’s a common practice to turn off the power when you get your ceiling fan oiled.

One of the reasons for this practice is to prevent electric shock.

But there’s more reason to unplug the power cable.

In general, the fan’s motors are run by electric power, and the oiling process will inevitably lead to the formation of some static electricity. 

The static electricity generated will cause the oil and dust to adhere together, which will reduce the effect of the oiling. 

In order to further protect the circuit board and the motor of the ceiling fan, the power supply should be turned off during ceiling fan oiling.

3. Prepare the fan for the oiling process 

If you find yourself needing to perform this job on your own, you should know that there are a few things that you need to do before you can start. 

First, remove the cover of the motor – Use a screwdriver or a wrench to remove the screws that hold the cover in place.

Then, you should clean off the existing greasy layer of oil from the entire unit. 

Use a cleaning agent (that is safe to use on ceiling fans!) and scrub off the excess oil with a clean, soft cloth. 

You may have to scrub it a few times to remove it all.

4. Oil the fan

The oil you use must be rated specifically for the type of motor your fan has, so you can’t just get motor oil from your local mechanic and use that. 

It is possible to go to a local hardware store and ask for motor oil–it’s probably cheaper too.

Be sure to check with the manufacturer to see if your model needs a special type of oil.

Begin oiling by loosening the screws and removing the cover plate from the motor.

Then, using a lubricating spray, coat the motor shaft with a thin layer of oil. You should also apply enough oil to coat the inside of the fan.

Some fans have a built-in oil reservoir where you can pour oil directly. But if your fan does not have one, you can use a rag soaked in oil, or paper to spread the oil.

Have fun oiling!

Ceiling fans aren’t just good-looking accent pieces; they also help you save money on your electricity bill. 

But, just like any piece of machinery, they need occasional maintenance to ensure they last longer. 

There are a few different ways to oil a ceiling fan. 

However, when oiling a ceiling fan, you should always remember to turn off the fan, unplug it, and clean the blades and the other parts of the fan before oiling it.

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