A floor/standing fan is an invaluable asset in your home. It allows you to circulate air and feel cooler when the temperatures rise, and you can often save money on your electricity bills when you use your fan instead of turning on your air conditioner on warm days. You can even use a floor/standing fan on a low setting to help circulate heat in the winter time.
But what happens when your fan stops working? Your first step doesn’t have to be a trip to the home improvement centre for a new fan. Depending on the problem, you may be able to fix your fan yourself.
Floor/Standing not Working?
SOLUTION 1. Check the Cord
It sounds simple, but your first step should be to make sure the cord is securely plugged in. Over time, vibrations from a fan motor can loosen a plug from an older outlet, so check this first. If your plug keeps falling out, you may want to replace the receptacle for a nice, tight fit.
If you hear a humming sound but the fan isn’t working, that’s a sign your fan is getting electricity. You can skip to Step 6 to continue troubleshooting at this point.
SOLUTION 2.Plug the cord into another power outlet
If your cord is plugged in but nothing happens when you turn on your fan, try to plug the cord into another working power outlet. The power outlet might not be working, so make sure the cord is plugged into a working outlet. If it works, this is a sign that you have an electrical problem.
SOLUTION 3. Check the Fan Fuse
Many fans — especially large, industrial-strength ones — are equipped with a thermal fuse for safety. Like the circuit breakers in your house, these fuses are designed to break the electrical connection when too much electricity causes your fan to overheat. When the fuse melts, it breaks the connection and cuts power to the fan. Check the cord and the inside of your fan for this fuse. If you’re not sure whether you have one or where to look, consult your owner’s manual. If you discover that the fuse has blown, you’ll need to order a replacement to get your fan working again.
SOLUTION 4. Replace the Cord
If your fan still doesn’t work after you try it in a different outlet and check the fuse, carefully inspect the cord. Is it frayed? Has it been chewed on by a curious pet? Are the prongs bent? Is the cord securely attached to the fan body, or is it loose? If you suspect a problem with the cord, you can replace it fairly easily. Buy a matching cord with the same type of plug and same gauge wire at your local hardware store — bring your fan along to ask for help finding a match if you’re not sure. From there — and with the fan unplugged! — you can remove the cord receptacle cover with a screwdriver or pliers, then remove the cord by untwisting the connecting wires. It can be helpful to snap a photo of the way the cord is attached to the appliance so you can refer to it as you attach the new cord.
SOLUTION 5. Clean the Fan
Sometimes your fan blades can seize up if they are stuck on dirt and debris that builds up in the fan. Use an air compressor or the crevice tool on your vacuum to carefully clean away excess dirt from all parts of your fan. Once you dust off the outside, remove the metal or plastic fan blade cover and clean dust from the blades, paying special attention to the place where the blades connect to the rear bearing and motor. (Make sure your fan is unplugged before you do this — you don’t want it to accidentally turn on and give you a shock or set the blades in motion while your hand is inside!) This may be enough to remove dirt from the moving parts to allow your fan to turn again.
When your floor fan stops working, don’t panic! If you follow these troubleshooting steps to make sure your electrical connections are good and that your fan is basically clean and well lubricated, you may be able to get it back up and running on your own. If you’re having trouble diagnosing the problem, there may still be an easy fix for a repairman before you have to give up and buy a new model. Take your time to explore all your options so you know your next best step, and you’ll have cool air blowing through your house again in no time.