Portable Fan Tuning Tips That Will Surprise You--ipanergy
Get ready for the summer heat and use these fan tuning tips to make sure your fans are running really well.
A portable fan in your home is an easy and cost-effective way to keep cool when the thermostat goes up. Remember, fans keep people cool, not rooms. By blowing air all around, the fan makes it easier for the air to evaporate sweat from the skin, thereby removing body heat. The more evaporation, the cooler you feel. Since the fans are cooling you down, maximize power savings by turning off the fans when you travel to different parts of the house or go out.
If you've recently retrieved your fan from winter storage and it's not working well, don't run to the store. Instead, try these maintenance and troubleshooting tips to keep your fans running with ease.
cleanliness is key
It's not anyone's favorite task, but to ensure your fan is working at its best, you should clean your fan regularly. Over time, fan parts can collect dust and debris. Buildup can cause your fan to produce an irritating rattling sound, and it can also reduce the aerodynamic performance of the blades, reducing energy efficiency. Dust and debris can also cause problems with the motor. So be sure to keep the surrounding parts free of dust!
Use a vacuum attachment, damp cloth and/or compressed air for cleaning. If you disassemble the fan, take pictures of the entire process so you know how to put it back together. Also, do not allow water to drip into the motor housing when cleaning. Check out this helpful step-by-step guide to cleaning a noisy desk fan with iFixit.
Having said that, please check your warranty before removing the fan! Taking your fan apart may void your warranty and prevent you from getting help from the manufacturer to resolve any issues. If you can't take it apart, a vacuum extender might be your best bet for cleaning. Did you know - At ElectroRecycle, we accept vacuums and their extensions for recycling!
Check the power outlet
It sounds obvious, but sometimes it could be that your outlet is broken. Be sure to try a different outlet and check your circuit breaker before investigating your fan!
call the fan manufacturer
Many companies offer customer support to discuss common problems, help guide simple DIY repairs, and order replacement parts. Customer service can also check to see if your fan is still under warranty and connect you with your local service shop for more complicated issues. Repairs can be quick for professionals who will tell you if it is more cost-effective to repair or replace the fan at this point.
If the manufacturer isn't helping, or you don't think professional repairs are worthwhile, you can still try the following troubleshooting tips yourself! As ipanergy.com often mentions repairs:
This might be easier than you think.
If it's broken and destined to go to the recycle bin, there's really nothing to lose by giving it a try!
Replacing or fixing the power cord
Check the power cord for damage. Check to see if it is frayed, chewed on by pets, has a damaged connection to the fan body, or has bent prongs on the plug. To replace the power cord plug, check out Home Depot's tutorial on how to replace the power cord plug. Frayed, melted or chewed cords are also easily repaired. Watch this Fixer Lab video for the steps in the middle of fixing a damaged power cord:
Replacing the entire power cord is a more complicated repair. To do this, you can buy a matching power cord with the same type of plug and the same gauge wire at your local hardware store. If you're not sure, bring your fans along for help finding a match. After making sure the fan is unplugged, use a screwdriver or pliers to remove the power cord socket cover, then remove the power cord by unraveling the cable. Remember to take pictures of the disassembly and repair so you can put it back together!
Lubricate the motor
Check the owner's manual to see if it needs oil (some may not). If you turn on the fan, even if the fan blades don't move, the fan motor will hum and the gears may get stuck. Make sure your fan is very clean before proceeding with any other steps. Then try unscrewing the motor housing so you can see the motor parts.
For most fans, the best lubricant is a light oil, such as a 3-in-1 multipurpose oil, or sewing oil used to lubricate gears and clutch knobs (the center parts where the blades connect and rotate). To do this, remove the fan's center cover (usually with the fan's logo) and point the lubricant nozzle inside. Turn the blade by hand to distribute the lubricant evenly. That's probably all it takes to get the moving parts to stop rubbing against each other so your fan can get the air moving again.
Check the fan's fuse
For safety, many fans have thermal fuses installed. Fan manufacturer Newair explains: Like the circuit breaker in your home, these fuses are designed to break the electrical connection when too much power causes the fan to overheat. When the fuse melts, it disconnects and cuts power to the fan.
Note that this type of repair (depending on the fan model) usually requires good knowledge of electrical repairs, seek training or professional help if you are unfamiliar. ipanergy.com has a detailed guide to determining if a thermal fuse is the problem and how to fix it. Check for fuses inside the power cord and fan. Consult the owner's manual or search online to learn more about fan thermal fuses. Depicted here is the melted (left) and new fuse (right).