How to Make a Fan Quieter: 5 Easy Ways

A fan in a room

Last updated: October 30, 2020 at 8:25 am

In hot climates and summer months, room fans are necessity for most. They continuously move the air to help cool down anywhere, from bedrooms to offices to classrooms. But when a room fan starts rattling, squeaking, or buzzing, your environment can quickly become distracting and uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are some fast and easy modifications that anyone can make to make their ceiling fan quieter.

More often than not, the functionality of the fan itself is responsible for a great deal of the preventable noise. Overtime and with constant use, a room fan can run into minor problems that can easily be adjusted. Blades accumulate dust, parts may come loose, the stand may be placed on uneven ground, and the motor may need to be oiled.

Just some simple maintenance and upkeep will yield the most noticeable decrease in sound from your standard room fan. Here are some specific ways to make your noisy room fan quieter.

Alternatively, we have an article on the best quiet fans if making your existing fan quieter isn’t for you.

5 Steps to Quieten Your Fan

1. Check the Floor or Surface Underneath

If your room fan is making a rattling sound, the first step you should take it to ensure that the base it sitting on an even surface. The force of the spinning blades can cause the whole unit to move, causing the fan to make noise as it taps against uneven flooring. Place your fan on a smooth, even surface to prevent the wobbling. If you find that your unit is still rattling when standing on even flooring, it is possible that the base of the fan is damaged or warped.

Instead of replacing the base, try next to place the fan on top of a carpet or other sound dampening material –this can be a thick rug, foam material, or even moving blankets. This will provide a cushion between the fan and the floor to absorb the movement and should stop any further tapping.

2. Keep the Fan Clean and Oiled

Room fans accumulate dust and dirt over time, building up on the fan’s blades. Even after just a few weeks, the build-up can affect a unit’s performance and bring you unwanted noise. Cleaning your fan is an easy fix, simply unplug or turn the unit off and remove the cage that covers the blades. Wipe both sides of the blades and the cage clean using a damp cloth.

You can even wipe down the outside of the motor and any other places that have accumulated dust. Make sure that all pieces are properly re-assembled and that the screws are tightly fastened. Regularly cleaning your fan (at least once a month) will help to prevent unwanted noise.

If the fan continues to produce unwanted noise after the previous steps of cleaning and properly positioning the fan have been completed, then lubricating the motor can also reduce the sound created by the fan. This is particularly true for fans that are older or those that are used frequently. The fan’s parts wear down as time goes on and it can make it harder for the fan to spin. This can result in an annoying squeaking sound that can be helped by just putting a little bit of lubricant to the fan’s motor. It should be noted that this should be done sparingly, just once or twice a year.

3. Tighten the Screws and Knobs

a white room fan

After you clean the fan and before reassembling, you may want to check for loose parts. Ensuring that everything is snug and secure will reduce unwanted noise and allow your unit to perform optimally. Some parts can be tightened by hand, while others may require a screwdriver. Ensure that the unit is off and unplugged before performing this maintenance.

4. Align the Blades

If you find that your room fan is still making noise after going through the previous measures, then your next step is to check the alignment of the fan blades. After prolonged use, a room fan’s blades can warp and change shape. When they become uneven or unaligned, it can cause an imbalance in the unit that may cause a whirling sound.

This is a more involved step to help reduce your fan’s noise but it can still be done with reasonable time and effort. If blades are damaged or require fixing beyond gently bending them back into shape, then you may need to replace them.

5. Upgrade the Fan Cage

If you have discovered that the sound from your room fan isn’t from the blades, the motor, or the stand, then the next place to look is the fan guard, grates or cage. Typically, the cage is made of metal, and has plastic or metal claps that hold it shut. With time, these claps can break or warp and cause a rattling sound when in use.

For an easy fix, you can wedge something small between them to close the gap. Choose a material that has a little bit of give, such as rubber or cardboard. Be sure to cut the material to size so that it does not stick into the fan and hit the blades. Additionally, fans sometimes have a decorative cover or cap on the front. If this rattles as well, then simply secure it to the cage with a bit of adhesive.


A quiet room fan is really rather simple when you follow these tips and tricks. The steps mentioned for reducing noise from your room fan are quick and simple, easy enough for even a novice to tackle.

Now you can avoid distracting noise while you are working, watching television, studying or trying to fall asleep. And while it may come as a surprise to some that the fans themselves are the noise-making culprits, most common room fans don’t require a lot of care to function properly and quietly.

Keeping a clean and well-maintained unit can make all the difference to avoid unwanted noise in your home, office or classroom. Soon you’ll find yourself in a quiet and peaceful space, without needing to compromise the much-desired cooling relief of a house fan.

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About the Author: AJ

AJ is a self-confessed soundproofing nut. He has written full-time on Quiet Living for the past 4 years, and has a wealth of knowledge about living a quieter life, soundproofing and fixing loud noises.