Urgent: Ceiling Fan Is Not Moving Air – Simple Fixes

Ceiling Fan Not Blowing AirNothing can be more annoying than a ceiling fan not doing its job, circulating air. On a hot day you want to be able to feel the cool breeze of the fan. Depending on the age of the fan and how it was installed, there can be numerous reasons for the lack of circulating air. To help troubleshoot the problem here are some things to look for.

 

New fan, low breeze.

Westinghouse 7850500 EliteNew ceiling fans are expected to produce lots of air movement. But, fans can only produce up to the amount of a breeze that it was designed for and with proper installation. The distance a ceiling fan is from the ground and ceiling are very important measurements. The blades should be as far away from ceiling as possible. On an 8 foot ceiling, blades should be at least 10 inches from the ceiling for maximum air movement but not less than 6 inches. For every 2 inches less than 8 inches of clearance there is a 25% loss in airflow.

  • The lowest a ceiling fan can be from the ground is 7 feet. That means the lowest ceiling a fan can be installed on is 7 1/2 feet tall.

Recommended Blade Height: For best air movement from a fan mounted on a ceiling height of 9 feet, install at 8 feet from ground. For ceilings 10 feet in height or higher, it’s best to have blade height between 8 and 9 feet.

Blade Pitch: Check the blade pitch (angle). It could be at a low angle. 12 degrees or more is recommended but keep in mind a pitch greater than 16 degrees will move a lot of air.

  • If using a cloth type blade, wide blade, palm leaf style blade, performance will be less on high speeds, but the same or better on low speeds.

*Number of Blades: The amount of fan blades changes nothing to the cfm’s. What is affected is the noise levels and efficiency.

 

Existing fan and low air movement.

With most existing fans, the motor is usually the last thing to give out on the fan.

Most often if the fan is still running, the drive capacitor is weak and needs to be replaced.

  • Note: Existing blades can cause the same problem due to angle of blade changing over time. Replace blades and/or existing blade irons.

 

The blades are not moving.

  • Make sure the fan is receiving full power.
  • Remove the motor stops.
  • If your fan has a detachable switch cap housing, ensure that the molex connectors are thoroughly connected.

 

All speeds do not work.

Check for a bad reverse switch. If it’s good, then check the pull chain switch. If you are using a remote control (wall or hand held), the receiver or transmitter could be bad. For detachable type housing, replace entire control assembly if a problem is present with speed or reversing of fan.

Make sure the fan is receiving full power.

 

Fan will not reverse.

Check the REVERSE switch on the fan. The switch may not be set to either the forward or reverse setting.

Note: If the fan works in one direction but not the other, then the reverse switch is bad.

 

The light turns on but the blades don’t move.

Turn your fan on and press the REVERSE button and listen for a ‘click’ sound. If the sound is present you will need to replace the receiver if you are using remote control.

  • Note: If receiver is a canopy mount type with a reversing remote, check that the reverse module in fan is not bad.

Ceiling fan is wired on the same switch as your lights and the lights works – it may be a defective fan switch.

  • Take off the light kit. This exposes the fan switch which can be swapped out easily and it takes hardly no time to replace.

There is a humming between pulls of the chain – it could be a capacitor that has gone bad.

 

The light does not turn on and blades do not move.

Make sure the pull chain and wall switch for the light is in the “on” position.

Make sure there is power to the fan.

If power is present, change the batteries if you are using a remote. Also, the receiver for the remote could be bad, they are very sensitive to power surges.

Check to see if any wiring has come loose inside the canopy.

 

Search additional troubleshooting resources. Or, for more specific articles:

Fan Remote Issues

Ceiling Fan Making Noise

Fan Light Burning Out

Wobbly Ceiling Fan