How to increase ceiling fan speed

With spring almost coming to an end, Indian households are gearing up to face the scorching heat of the summer. Not one summer passes without us cranking up our fans to the highest speeds, and trying to struggle through the exhaustion.

But what if your fan starts malfunctioning? And that too in the month of May? That is a situation straight out of a nightmare.

Malfunctioning fans make life a living hell during the summer season, and the condition is worsened if you don’t have an air conditioning system in your home.

So if you find that your fan has slowed down, now is the time you get it fixed. Read on to find out how to increase your ceiling fan speed.

Now ceiling fans are not high maintenance- in fact, it’s more of a get it and forget it situation. That’s why; you don’t even notice the slowness of speed at first.

In this post, you will learn how to increase ceiling fan speed, as well as why the problems occur- essentially, whether you should consider getting a new ceiling fan or not.

Reasons behind the slowing down

To understand how to increase ceiling fan speed, we must first take a look at why this problem may be occurring in the first place.

There can be four main reasons behind your fan malfunctioning- two of which are physical, and two are electrical. The physical problems can be easily solved at home, but for the electrical problems, we would suggest that you consult an electrician.

Most of these problems start happening in the summer. The reason behind this is simple- overheating. Since in summer, our fans are running throughout the day; they get overheated. Overloading is one of the major reasons behind malfunctioning electrical appliances, and the fans are no exception to this.

Apart from overheating, there are a few more things which may cause inconvenient problems for ceiling fans. Here are a few:

1. Dirty blades

We don’t think about cleaning our fans often, do we? Well, that’s a shame. Not only does an unclean fan create unsavory hygiene conditions, but it also severely affects the speed of the fan. Most people have said that the performance of their fan improved drastically once the blades were cleaned.

2. Imperfectly balanced fan blades

Now, this is a little scary. Usually, bent or damaged fan blades cause the fan to move or wobble violently, even when it is at high speed. This gives the sensation that the fan may fall off at any time.

Check the fan blades. If they are completely bent out of shape, you should replace them completely, for safety purposes. However, if they are only slightly damaged, you can use your strength to bend it back into shape.

3. Ageing bearings

This happens if your fan has been around for a long time. Because of age and decay, the bearings- nuts and bolts- may get loosened or damaged completely.

How can you know? Take a test. Try to move your fan blades with your hand. If the blades are unable to move freely, it must be because the bearings have become faulty.

4. Problem with the capacitor

The structure of your fan might be fine, but there might be a problem with the motor that goes into it. The motor, or the capacitator, can be replaced easily, but while doing so, make sure that you choose one that has an equal fan rating as the one you have.

5. A problem with the voltage

The problem of voltage variation can also cause your fans to slow down, but this problem is largely out of your hand unless you are an electrician. Your fans may also start malfunctioning because of overheating. If the problem lies with the wiring, then your best shot will be to call an electrician.

Ways in which you can increase your fan speed

Now that we know what causes fans to slow down, we can move on to learning how to increase ceiling fan speed.

Keep in mind that though these methods use ceiling fans as an example, they work perfectly fine for table fans as well. This means that if your table fans are giving you a hard time, you can get them fixed using this method.

All set? Let’s get started!

1. Clean the blades

The first and foremost think you should try is cleaning the blades. To do this, you will need a dry cloth and a wet cloth.

Though we should not need to tell you this, but please make sure that your fan is turned off before you try to clean it.

The process is pretty simple- you clean the blades of the fan with a cloth. Make sure that you first clean it with a dry cloth and then clean it with a wet cloth. If you clean it with the wet cloth first, the dust particles will stick to the blades, and they will be difficult to remove.

You can also use soap or cleaner to get rid of the dust, in case only water does not work.

While cleaning up the blades, check them for any loose screws that attach the blades to the center of the fan. Keep a screwdriver at hand so that you can fix any loose bearings.

2. Lubricate the bearings

The rotor of the fan may not function properly if it does not have the proper amounts of oil and grease. At times, the rotor has grease, but the oil content decreases.

To add oil to the rotor, follow the instruction manual to fill up the oil reservoir. Use the prescribed oil- 20, 15 or 10-weight, as the instructions require you to.

Also, before doing this, you need to ensure that your oil reservoir is absolutely free of grime. Clearly, cleanliness is the first and foremost necessity to enhance the performance of any appliance. To clean the reservoir, fill your reservoir with oil and then switch it on for a while so that it completes a few rotations.

Once that is done, empty the reservoir. Now that your reservoir is clean, you can refill it with fresh new oil.

These two steps should be enough to increase your fan’s speed. If it continues to run slowly, then there might be a problem in the wiring or the switch.

You can move onto the following steps to fix your fan further.

3. Check the switch

The switch or the regulator may be at fault. While it is difficult to understand this on a daily basis, paying acute attention to the problem may help you notice the changes.

  • Start with switching off the fan. You will need to wait till it comes to a full stop.
  • Turn on the fan again and set it on the lowest speed using the regulator.
  • While paying close attention to the fan, turn the regulator up bit by bit.
  • If the speed of the fan does not increase simultaneously with the regulator, then you can conclude that the problem lies with the switch.

Since this is an electrical problem, it will be difficult for you to solve it at home. Call for an experienced electrician to get the job done.

4. Check the balance of the blades

To check whether your fan blades are properly balanced or not, measure the tip of each blade to the ceiling.

Ideally, each blade should be equidistant from the ceiling. If the discrepancy between the measurements exceeds 1/4th of an inch, then you should take notice of it.

Again, please do this only when you are sure that your fan is switched off. Safety should always come first.

As mentioned earlier, unless the blade is too severely damaged, you can fix it yourself. While checking the fan blades, use a level to make sure the ceiling is straight as well so that the proportion of measurement is maintained.

5. Take a look at the wiring

Sometimes, due to negligence, the wiring between the regulator and the fan may come loose. This is also a problem that can be easily fixed.

All you need to do is inspect the wiring between the regulator and the ceiling t look for loose connections tighten those connections and voila! You have for yourself a fully functional fan, brand as new.

However, if this too does not work, then you may have to get the switch replaced. This is the last resort, so do it only after all else fails.

6. Check for problems in the motor

Here is where things get technical, so brace yourself.

As you must know, fans run on rotors, and each one has an expiry date. If none of the methods mentioned above fix your fan’s problems, then you need to check the fan for broken motor windings. Motor windings are responsible for the multiple speeds of the fan.

To do this, you need to open up the fan, so call an electrician to help you with that. If you find that some of the motor windings have been damaged, you will have to either replace the motor or change the entire ceiling fan, since broken motor windings cannot be fixed.

7. Consider changing the ceiling fan

This option is for those whose ceiling fans are older than they are. Machines slow down with age, so instead of spending a pile trying to six an old fan, you can get a new and improved fan at half the amount.

Also, many old fans come with parts that cannot be replaced, so if something goes wrong, you will not be able to fix it. In this case, we would advise you to get a new and improved fan for your room, so that it can be fixed in case it breaks down. Check out our this post where we list out top 10 ceiling fans that has longevity and are of high speed.


We come to the end of the article illustrating how to fix your ceiling fan. In some cases, a bit of proper care and maintenance goes a long way in keeping the fan functional for long.

For starters, always clean your fans at regular intervals. Unclean and dusty blades are the main reason why most fans start acting up after a while.

Know when you need to lubricate your fan. Keep yourself stocked with the oil, and lubricate your fans once in a month, or as soon as you see it slowing down.

Moreover check the wiring occasionally. Loose connections and faulty wiring are not only inconvenient but potentially dangerous also. If you find that the wiring between your fan and switch has loosened, fix it as soon as possible.

Also, call for an electrician to check on all your household appliances once in a while, including your ceiling fans. These devices are so easy to forget about that we don’t even notice that they are there until they start messing up.

Also, do not keep your ceiling fans running unnecessarily. We know that this is difficult to do in the summers, but the more load you put on them, the more you push them towards breaking down. Switch off fans when they are not in use. You can also try alternation between ceiling fans and table fans to save energy.

How to increase ceiling fan speed
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