Is your ceiling fan going too fast? You might want to use heavier blades. Slow it down in 5 steps.

What would be of our lives without ceiling fans? Whether you use them for sweet relief in a very hot day, or just to circulate the air around your home, there’s no denying that they are amazing appliances.

These machines are the perfect example of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, as they’ve been around for decades without undergoing any kind of severe design change.

Sure, some models have been more technologically advanced than others, but, if you boil them down to the basics, they’re all still just blades spinning at very high speeds.

And while these machines are great at doing the job they there were designed to do, a fail proof model is yet to be invented, which means that your trusty appliance could give you some trouble now and then. And there’s nothing more inconvenient than a malfunctioning ceiling fan on a hot day.

If you’re in this situation, you need answers, and you need them fast. You need to know exactly what to be looking for in order to fix this problem as soon as possible.

This is where I come in.

I want to help you, I really do. This is why I’ve prepared the list below, including the most common causes behind this occurrence, and the simplest steps you can take to address them.

Are you ready? Let’s get to work!

Fixing a Speeding Fan

More often than not, a ceiling fan that is going too fast is the symptom of using the wrong kind of blades, or severe imbalance. Before prying your appliance open to start looking into internal components to blame, it’s important that we analyze the external factors that could be contributing to the appearance of this issue.

Going about the troubleshooting process in any other way is the best path to wasting precious time and money, and increasing the risk of doing further damage to your fan.

Without further ado, here are the 5 steps you can take to slow down your ceiling fan:

  1. Check your fan blades
  2. Check your capacitor
  3. Check your controller
  4. Install larger fan blades
  5. Use heavier fan blades

#1 Check Your Fan Blades

man fixing ceiling fan blades
Lack of balance in ceiling fans will result to damage or overheating

The first thing I want us to look at is the balancing on your blades.

Believe it or not, even the slightest variation in how these are balanced can affect your appliance’s functioning greatly. As you can probably imagine, your ceiling fan is designed to operate under very specific conditions.

When the balance on your blades is compromised, the speeds you set could vary greatly, causing your fan to spin too fast, even on the lowest settings.

Moreover, poor blade balance might make the entire unit wobbly, resulting in short circuits, motor damage, and overheating.

Solution: Check your ceiling fan for improper balancing now and then.

You can fix imbalanced blades by tightening the base screws, leveling the blade lengths, or even adding some special fan weights. If you feel like the latter solution is the best for you, you can easily find them at any only marketplace for cheap.

#2 Check Your Capacitor

While a lot of people will say that it’s the blades or the bearings, I’d argue that the capacitor is the lifeblood of your appliance.

As you probably know, this part is solely responsible for activating the motor that makes your fan blades spin. Without it, you’re stuck with a big, static, useless chandelier.

What makes a capacitor malfunction so tricky, is that things can go one of two ways. You can either be stuck with a ceiling fan that does not turn on, or one that spins too fast, even at the lowest settings.

There’s really no winning when this part is to blame.

If your ceiling fan is going too fast, and you suspect this to be the culprit, please stop using it immediately, as it could short circuit, and be damaged permanently.

Solution: Replace the capacitor. To do so, please follow these steps:

  1. Carefully turn off your breakers to interrupt all electrical current to the ceiling fan
  1. Remove the light bulbs, and their housings
  1. Undo the screws in the motor holding the outer metal panel
  1. Expose your appliance’s capacitor, and all its other internal components
  1. Test the capacitor for continuity with a multimeter, if you have one
  1. Replace if necessary

There are many more steps to this process, but these are the broad strokes. For a more complete walkthrough, there are several online videos you can check out, and follow along.

#3 Check Your Controller

A faulty remote control can cause the blades to malfunction

This might surprise you, but there might be nothing wrong with your ceiling fan.

Whenever our household appliances fail, we often try and look for the culprit inside the machines themselves, while ignoring all the external factors that could be to blame.

If your ceiling fan is still going too fast, and none of the solutions above have worked out for you, looking at your remote controller (if your fan has one), is not a bad idea.

A faulty remote controller could explain why, even after setting your ceiling fan to the lowest settings, the blades are still spinning like they’re trying to take off.

Solution: If your ceiling fan has manual control, try setting it to the lowest settings that way, and see if the issue is resolved. Provided that the operating speed is corrected by doing this, you’ll know for sure that the remote was to blame.

You can easily get a replacement by calling your manufacturer. They should be able to get you a new one for free if you’re still under coverage.

#4 Install Larger Fan Blades

The size of your blades could be contributing to this issue

Buying the right sized fan blades for your unit, is essential to guarantee its optimal operation.

If your fan blades are too large for your motor, you’ll probably experience overheating, and a lot of other issues, whereas if they’re too short, you could be stuck with a ceiling fan that is going too fast.

Your motor is very sensitive to even the smallest changes, and is designed to use a specific amount of force to make the blades spin at different speeds.

While you’re a manufacturer should have already installed the right sized blades for your specific model, there’s always room for human error.

Solution: Read your user manual if you still have it. More often than not, you should be able to find the recommended blade dimensions in there.

In case your appliance has, in fact, the wrong sized blades installed, replacing them is not very difficult, but if you ever feel doubtful or unsafe, do not hesitate to call a technician for help.

#5 Use Heavier Fan Blades

Metal blade ceiling fan
Choosing the right ceiling fan size is a major key to operating conditions

If you read the point above, and thought that weight was just as important as size, you are correct.

While making sure that your fan blades are the correct length is useful, choosing ones that are not too heavy for your motor, is essential. The combination of both factors is what guarantees the optimal ceiling fan operating conditions.

Installing excessively heavy fan blades could put your motor under unnecessary stress, and reduce your unit’s lifespan significantly.

Solution: Again, please read your user manual. In 99% of cases, you’ll be able to find the right specifications for your ceiling fan model in it.  

When Should You Call a Pro?

The answer to this will depend greatly on two things:

  1. The status of your warranty
  2. The source of the problem

If you’re still under coverage, and don’t mind waiting for a technician to pay you a visit, by all means, give them a call. As I said before, unless specified otherwise, they should be able to take care of the repairs for free.

Provided that your warranty has expired, you can definitely go ahead and try to do the repairs yourself, but if you determine that the source of the problem lies with the appliance’s electrical installation, you might want to call a professional electrician to take a look.

Conclusion

Having your ceiling fan going too fast, even at the lowest settings, can be a nightmare. Especially when you’re only looking to get a little breeze going around the room you’re in.

Luckily, as you’ve hopefully learned from this piece, addressing most of the issues related to this situation is fairly simple and quick. More often than not, double-checking your remote controller, and making sure that your fan blades are balanced, is all you need to do to get your unit back to normal.

That being said, the most important part of DIY’s is keeping safety as a top priority at all times. Regardless of the complexity of the repair, if you ever feel unsafe or doubtful during the process, please do not hesitate to call a certified technician.

Remember, you can still learn by watching the professionals work.

Thank you so much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If you found this article helpful, why not keep the learning going through our other incredible resources below?

Enjoy the breeze!