Ceiling fans can help you control a room’s temperature, add to your home’s decor, and may even save on your utility bills. Despite their advantages, many people agree that noisy ceiling fans are an incredible nuisance.

This noise may be the result of low amounts of oil in the fan’s reservoir, or due to regular wear and tear as the fan ages. Oiling may help in both scenarios. However, assembling an entire fan to carry out occasional maintenance can be a draining, tedious job.

This raises the question, how do you oil a ceiling fan, and can you do so without dismounting it?

You’ll find out how to do so in this post, as well as the best types of oil to use on your ceiling fan.

Do you need to oil your ceiling fan?

You can oil your ceiling fan without dismounting it, but it’s important to know whether the job is necessary in the first place.

Devices that use electric motors will need a particular amount of lubrication, like ceiling fans.

Ceiling fans have machinery that spins the appliance’s blades. This mechanism has bearings that make sure the fan runs smoothly, without emitting noise. If these bearings start to move against each other, the friction caused will slowly start to make them deteriorate.

Several types of ceiling fans need to be oiled by the user. If your fan is an example, make sure you lubricate it once annually.

However, some modern ceiling fan models use closed bearings that don’t need oiling. If your ceiling fan has closed bearings, but still emits a noise that indicates it needs oiling, you’ll need to take apart its motor to lubricate it.

Does my fan need regular lubrication?

Ceiling fans that were made before the seventies, particularly cast iron models, will need oiling. These have motors that you can see through the motor housing’s vent holes.

Some modern, newer ceiling fans will need periodic oiling as well. If you’re uncertain as to whether your ceiling fan needs occasional lubrication, try this method.

Place a ladder beneath your ceiling fan, then rise high enough so you can oversee its motor housing. Fans that need oiling will have a distinct hole in their housing, located near the down rod.

If you can’t find this hole, but think that your fan needs lubrication, research your model on the manufacturer’s website to find the correct guidelines.

Best oil to lubricate ceiling fans

Only lubricate your fan with non-detergent, 20 or 10-15 weight motor oil. Don’t use detergent, as this can make the bearings sticky.

Avoid penetrating oils too, like 3 in 1 oil. These are great for slackening stuck screws, but they aren’t weighty enough to oil ceiling fans.

You shouldn’t need more than one to two ounces of oil. You can buy a quart of affordable motor oil at car part shops. Unless your car needs the oil, this amount should last you a very long time.

If you have looked up the best method to lubricate your ceiling fan, you may have seen some advice to use lubricating fluid, like WD-40. This is bad advice.

These lubricants can clean dirt off the metal components in the fan’s motor. Adding fluid through the lubrication space can be useful, but you need to follow this with appropriately heavy oil.

If you don’t follow the fluid with oil, any components treated with the lubricating product will deteriorate at a faster rate.

How To Oil A Ceiling Fan (1)

How to oil a ceiling fan

Now that you know what type of oil is best for lubricating your fan, you can begin the oiling process!

Follow these steps to oil your ceiling fan.

Look at the manual

Different ceiling fan models will have various necessities and guidelines. Check to see if your model has particular directions about oiling, or needs a different maintenance procedure before starting.

Turn the power off

Always make sure that your ceiling fan is switched off before oiling it. It’s best to stay on the safe side and switch the main power switch off, as this can prevent safety hazards later on.

This is especially true if your model is remote-controlled, as someone may switch it on when you’re working.

Position your ladder

If you’re not dismantling your ceiling fan, you’ll need to be able to reach its components to oil it properly.

Begin by positioning the ladder on an even, flat area before climbing up.

Find the fan’s lubrication hole

All ceiling fans have oil holes that let you oil them without dismantling them completely. The is usually found on the appliance’s top portion and is normally labeled as well.

If you can’t find an oil hole, the fan most likely is a self-oiling model.

Check the oil levels

After you’ve found the fan’s oil hole, use any long, thin, pipe instrument to look at the fan’s oil level.

Carefully insert the pipe in the fan’s hole to see if it has enough oil. If it is nearly dry when you remove it, you’ll need to give the fan some more oil.

Adding the oil

Carefully add the oil to an application bottle that has a pointed tip. Pour the oil into the fan’s hole until its reserve is full. Perform this step slowly to avoid making a mess.

Checking the fan

Use a clean cloth to remove any oil residue on the fan’s surface. Spin the fan backward and forwards a couple of times, as this will spread the oil onto the fan’s bearings.

You’re done!

Final thoughts

Oiling a ceiling fan is a simple job that can enhance its performance. Carrying out frequent fan maintenance can stop it from emitting noises or malfunctioning later down the line.

The step-by-step method above will help keep your ceiling fan running effortlessly for many years. Just remember to use the correct type of oil and make sure that the power is off before you begin oiling.

A small amount of care and maintenance is all you need to keep your ceiling fan in tip-top condition!