Why Is My Fan Not Blowing Air


Fans ultimately experience problems like any other equipment, and when tower fans stop producing air, they become useless. Down below are solutions for if your fan is whirring but not producing airflow.

Understanding the root of your fan’s malfunction is critical because solutions might range from simple adjustments to complete fan replacements.

Why Is My Fan Not Blowing Air

1. Poor Blade Speeds

Your fan won’t push much air if it isn’t spinning quickly enough. This problem is particularly prevalent in older, worn-out fans.

They frequently experience a variety of wear and tear issues. If your fan has different speeds, ensure they are all set to the highest setting before determining whether any adjustments are necessary.

Fix – Increase Fan Speed

To speed up your fan, you can do two things in particular:

1. First, purchase a larger fan with more speed options. Some fans only have one or two speeds, which makes them less useful in large areas and hot conditions.

On the other hand, if your fan only has one speed, it will probably be very rapid and noisy or sluggish and silent. Unfortunately, there is rarely a middle ground.

2. With the included remote or pull chain, change the fan’s speed. Low fan speeds frequently encourage ventilation rather than a cooling, fresh-air sensation. Also, dust is kept from accumulating thanks to the low speed, but if you want better ventilation and comfort, you’ll need to boost it.

2. Incorrect Fan Blade Rotation

Whether or not you feel the air directly depends on which way your fan rotates. Contrary to popular perception, if you have your fan set to turn clockwise, you won’t notice the airflow all that much.

This is because a fan draws air upward as it rotates counterclockwise (to the left), distributing it across the space and down the walls.

On the other hand, the air is forced downward by a fan that rotates anticlockwise. When you stand to the side of the fan, you won’t feel the air as strongly as when you are right under it.

Nearly all ceiling fans contain a switch that allows you to change the fan’s direction. Before the manufacturer sent it, your fan might have been switched or altered.

How To Fix

The direction of your fan is relatively easy to reset or modify. Observe these guidelines:

1. To stop the fan from spinning, turn it off. Changing the direction while it is going is never a good idea since it might cause the motor to grind.

2. Place the switch above the fan blades, close to the motor’s base. Ensure it’s locked before flipping it to the opposite setting to stop it from swinging back to the clockwise position.

3. Improper Fan Size

You won’t feel the air strongly enough if the fan is too small. A fan may not be suitable for a space in several ways, including if it cannot manage the square footage. In the paragraphs below, we’ll go over the two things that can make a fan too big or tiny for a room.

  • Small fan blades have an insufficient surface area to circulate air effectively. As a result, your fan blades can turn all day long without giving you the desired cooling sensation.
  • Small fan motors are incapable of driving large blades at high speeds. You will be forced to use a slow, sluggish fan that cannot keep up and make a perceptible difference.

How To Fix

Improve the fan’s blades to boost its performance. A huge space won’t benefit much from using a short-bladed fan. Choose fan blades instead that are 48 to 60 inches long. Larger blades move more air, allowing you to estimate the size based on the room’s square footage.

The good news is that most fans may have new, larger blades installed without needing to replace the base or motor. Instead, detach each blade from its arm and insert the replacement blades.

4. Grinding Bearings

All fan motors have bearings, which give them stability, direction, and rotational ability. However, the bearings grind and scrape when they aren’t properly lubricated. The fan is slowed by this metal-on-metal friction, which produces a loud screaming sound. Also, you won’t feel the ventilation as much as you should because slower airflow is caused by decreased speed.

How To Fix

  • The fan base must be changed if the bearings grind excessively and are damaged or rusty. The motor’s bearings can withstand only so much damage before they are rendered useless. Newly worn-out bearings can be repaired, though.
  • To grease the bearings on your fan, try Liquid Bearings All-Synthetic Oil. First, find the oil inlet (the owner’s manual should have a symbol or a location that indicates where the oil inlet for your fan is). Then, before turning on the fan, squeeze a few drops of oil onto the bearings. Your fan should start to run more quickly once the squeaking stops.

Tilted Motor Base

The base of the motor may spin due to long-term wear and strain. In addition, the base of your fan may be slanted if it wobbles or appears slightly different from how it did before. A slanted base will cause one side to bear more weight than the other, slowing the rotation. It’s imperative to fix the fan because it won’t rotate sufficiently to cool you off or push air upward.

Additional signs of a tipped motor base include:

  • Sound of ticking or clicking when the fan is operating (it usually gets louder at higher speeds)
  • One side of the blades might appear to be lower.
  • Screws on the fan arms are loose (the part that holds the blade)
  • The base of the motor has exposed wires.

How To Fix

Try these solutions to straighten a motor base:

  • Screws fixing the base should be tightened.
  • To prevent them from swaying, tighten the screws holding each blade to its corresponding arm.
  • Verify the screws for stripping, which could cause them to sink and prohibit a firm hold.
  • If the ceiling is built of old, chalky drywall, use drywall screws.
  • Adjust the fan switches, hanging chains, and other controls as necessary.

Height misalignment 

Your fan’s performance may be affected by its height. You won’t feel adequate airflow if the fan is set too high. The use of tiny blades and motors amplifies these effects. The fan must be hung low enough to have an impact. However, the concentrated air funnel will only blow on a tiny room area if the fan is too low. The air pushes out without enough room to fan out toward the walls. The end effect is a warm space with a concentrated cold air area.

How To Fix

  • You can easily change the height if your fan is suspended from a chain or pole. When making changes, stay within a one- to two-inch range, test the fan, and adjust as necessary.
  • If the height of mounted fans supported by a fixed base cannot be changed, they must be replaced. Fortunately, most motor bases are compact enough to maintain the fan at its highest point.

Low CFM Rating

Cubic feet per minute is a measurement scale used to assess how much air a fan can move. Low CFM ratings indicate that your fan is designed for smaller spaces. It’s essential to check a fan’s rating since it can tell you whether you need a larger model, larger blades, or if the current model is suitable for the room.

How To Fix

It’s simple to determine your fan’s CFM rating. While some people use complicated formulae and instructions, you can use this straightforward formula to determine the correct CFM:

  • First, add the room’s length, breadth, and height together.
  • Then, multiply the old figure by 10 to 15 to get the new one (depending on how much airflow you want).
  • The final value is the desired CFM that the new fan should have.

A greater CFM rating often requires more energy and money to operate, so keep that in mind. It doesn’t have to be louder, though. A high-quality ceiling fan will reduce noise production without compromising airflow.

Locked Fan Blades

The blades of the tower fan may become locked, in which case they will not spin. This problem appears when the motor shaft won’t spin, the bearings are stripped, or a lot of hair is wrapped around the blades. The hair traps the blades and causes the motor to overheat.

How to Fix

To unlock the fan blades, try these suggestions:

  • First, clean the fan blades and motor shaft of the hair and other debris.
  • Then, replace the stripped bearings with a similar component number the manufacturer gave.
  • Next, to stop the screws from loosening the blades, tighten them around the tower fan.
  • Finally, if the motor shaft is harmed, buy a new one.

Misaligned Fan Blades

The fan blades cannot equally transfer the weight when they are out of alignment. This mechanism causes the fan to slide to the side with each spin. Similar to the grinding bearings example, the slower movements restrict airflow. The good news is that a ceiling fan’s misaligned blades are among the simplest problems to fix.

How To Fix

The blades of your fan may need to be realigned. Follow these steps:

  • Switch off the fan.
  • Choose a blade arm, then turn all the screws just a little.
  • Before tightening the screws, realign the fan blade to stand out straight.
  • On each fan blade, make these tiny modifications.
  • You may verify your work by turning on the fan and examining each blade’s alignment.

To keep the blades tight, they may require larger screws. It’s necessary to swap out stripped fan blades.

Unfit Blade Style and Shape

Unfortunately, not every fan is made to perform well and work properly. Many fans are designed for look and fashion. If the base or blades of your fan don’t suit your demands, perhaps it’s time for a new fan setup. For spaces with minimal airflow, many manufacturers design distinctive styles. Additionally, they work well in net-zero homes with a strong cross breeze, effective ventilation systems, and whole-house fans.

How To Fix

  • Trial and error is the best method for figuring out which fan blades work for your fan. Besides CFM, fan blade size, and speed modifications, there aren’t many specifications to consider. Using the CFM, you can determine whether your fan is the appropriate design for the space.
  • Numerous fan blades contain labels that state whether they were designed for functionality or fashion. Your fan wouldn’t move too much if it were designed with style or fashion in mind.

Poor Electrical Connections

The speed and velocity of your fan may be slowed by poor electrical connections, which include the following:

  • Faulty or frayed wiring
  • Inadequate wattage, voltage, or amperage
  • A huge motor that consumes too much electricity
  • The wrong gauge for electrical wiring

How To Fix

What you can do to fix bad electrical connections is as follows:

  • First, tighten any loose wires and replace those that are stripped, damaged, or broken.
  • Depending on the fan’s needs, verify that the voltage at the breaker is between 120v and 220v.
  • If a circuit breaker isn’t producing the required voltage, replace it.
  • Verify that the fan is wired with the manufacturer-recommended gauge of wire.
  • Verify if modified or replacement motors are the appropriate size for the ceiling fan.

Since every fan has the correct wire gauge and motor size out of the box, these problems are nearly always found between the fan and the breaker box.


Though fans reduce indoor temperatures, they can cut your energy costs by up to 40%. Your room will feel cooler thanks to the circulation of air and the pleasant breeze from fans. Because of this, homeowners frequently discover that they are not as dependent on their heating and cooling systems to provide them with the required comfort.

It’s crucial to pick a fan that goes well with your decor and offers long-lasting, secure, and economical illumination and cooling. The blades are tapered, like an aviation wing, to provide an updraft or “lift.” Dust can accumulate on fans, primarily if they are used frequently. Modern fan blades are pitched, or tilted, to move air through the room effectively by pushing air and creating a downdraft. The blades are tapered, like an aviation wing, to provide an updraft or “lift.”

If the fan is not running, it is probably due to simple mechanical and electrical issues that service technicians routinely check out. If you plan to take it to a service facility, it will be a waste of time and money. You can take care of a few things at home on your own, allowing you to use the fan for a very long time with no significant problems.


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