How Long Do Ceiling Fans Last?

There is no one size fits all answer to the question of ceiling fans’ life span. Ceiling fans vary in size, brand, ratings, and numerous other ways; therefore, it is impossible to accurately answer their life spans. However, generally speaking, how long can one expect a ceiling fan to last?

There is a general expectation of a 10-year lifespan for ceiling fans. So on average, expect to use your fan for ten years. This is irrespective of the type, classification, or quality. However, considering the peculiarities and specifications of a ceiling fan, some fans may not exceed 8 years wholesome others go as far as 20 years.

As you read, there is no straightjacket answer to this inquiry. Hence, in this article, you will get an extensive exposition of these factors and longevity predictions. So, if you ever find yourself asking for the appropriate time to do away with your ceiling fans and get a replacement; then this post holds all the relevant information you will need. 

using a ceiling fan with air conditioning

Stay tuned, and do not miss out on any detail.

Table of content 

This article will touch on the following subject matters and is structured as seen below:

Factors Determining The Lifespan of A Ceiling Fan

Generally, the question of longevity for ceiling fans is very dicey. Although there are strict rules about the expected lifespan of these lots, several factors contribute to the effectiveness and longevity of the appliance.

This is however not peculiar to ceiling fans alone. Appliances generally may have a stipulated period of lifespan and work beyond the period or not even live up to. Another factor that stifles the simplicity of this answer is the different classification, types, and quality grades of ceiling fans.

Unlike other appliances, there is no defined longevity period for your ceiling fan. Although on average, a ceiling fan is expected to work at premium effectiveness for the first eight to twenty years of use. But for planning, and making purchase decisions, this answer may be vague as this is quite a wide range. So here, we will discuss the peculiarities and factors that determine the longevity of each type of fan. 

The Brand of the Ceiling Fan

High-quality fans are prone to having a long lifespan when compared to others within the medium and low-quality class.

The Type of The Ceiling Fan

This factor is a significant cause of the wide range in lifespan expectations. So, while outdoor ceiling fans have their expected lifespan, indoors also do. Likewise, bladeless and bladed fans have theirs too. Now, a bladeless outdoor fan will differ from a bladed outdoor fan and vice versa. These factors further deepen the lines of variation in the expected lifespan of ceiling fans.

The Maintenance Routine

Fans are fixtures that require regular maintenance. Although ceiling fans are not high-maintenance, the more frequent the routine, the higher its chance of a long lifespan.

We will consider the specificities of the types of Ceiling fans to know their exact expected lifespan.

The Frequency of Use

Ceiling fans that are always in use may have reduced life spans than those with shorter hours of use and less frequency.

Expected Lifespan According to The Types of Ceiling Fans

Indoor fans

On average, indoor fans enjoy more use when compared to outdoor fans. And they are prone to wear and tear and mishandling from kids. Hence, they have a reduced expected lifespan. But depending on other factors, they can function between 8-10 years. 

Outdoor fans

Outdoor fans are mostly found in porches, restaurants, and other outdoor scenes. They are less used as they only augment the provisions of the outdoor wind. Asides from the fact that they are less used, they are also built to withstand a lot of environmental factors that may cause their wear out. Hence, they are usually high quality with durable parts. They can maintain a 12-20 year lifespan, depending on other factors.

How To Increase the Lifespan of Fans 

Some factors may contribute to the longevity of your fan. Once you pay attention to these factors, there may be an increase in the lifespan of your fan. Check out some of these factors.

Avoid long hours of use

Although manufacturers guarantee a 24/7 continuous use of the fan, it is advised that you power on your fan only when it is in use. Do not leave it working when not needed.

Long hours of use contribute to its wear and tear and mechanical breakdown thereby reducing its life span.

Restrict the kids from mishandling the ceiling fan

Activities of kids can also damage the fan. Restrict them from the remote, the switch, or whatever controls the fan. The constant power on and off of the unit also affects the longevity of the appliance.

Indoor fans stay indoor

The way indoor ceiling fans are designed, they cannot withstand the moisture content in the outdoor environment. Blades that are designed for indoors may deteriorate and wear out from the effect of UV radiation exposure and the sun. And when exposed to cold and moisture, they rust.

However, this is not the case with outdoor fans that can double both as indoor and outdoor ceiling fans. There is however an exception to this rule. And this is if the outdoor space is covered with materials that restrict moisture. So, simply, the recommended ceiling for any outdoor feature is wet-rated, but indoor fans will work with exceptions. The bone of contention is to ensure that moisture does not get into the fan.

Clean the fan regularly

Stand on elevated platforms, use eco-friendly cleaning agents and water. You could use feather brushes or fan brushes if you are avoiding the use of water. Also, you can explore the option of vacuuming the motor for dust.

Tighten the screws

Do not leave any part of the fan loosely attached. You can ensure this through frequent inspections. The fan’s movement will automatically cause small vibrations, which lead to the loosening of the screws. A noisy or shaky fan is a fan with loose screws. 

Apply lubricants to the fan

Although not all ceiling fans require lubrication, some need frequent lubrication to perform effectively. So, look out for the specific needs of your fan. Any light oil will suffice. Pour it into any visible hole on the motor. 

Your choice of a switch

Ensure that you use the right fan switch. Not all fan switches work for every fan. A wrongly-matched pair could result in damages. Again, the use of light dimmer switches is also not encouraged. Generally, your switch will contain an on and off switch and a fan speed regulator.

Signs That The Fan Needs Replacement

Sometimes, you do not have to wait till the expected lifespan of your ceiling fan. If you pay attention to your fan, you will notice the signs. Most times, your fan won’t just suddenly halt. Yes, motors can stop working, and blades become sloppy, but signs would have revealed this ahead of time. Below are some of the signs to look out for:

  • Shaky, unbalanced fan
  • Wobbly blades
  • Reduced speed
  • Unusual sounds even after lubrication.
  • Recurring technical issues after several repairs.
  • Annoying buzzes

Undoubtedly, an important factor in your decision to buy a ceiling fan is the expected lifespan. So, when due attention is paid to determining this information and the proper maintenance routine is executed during usage, you are assured of a long-lasting functionality.

Charles John

Experienced HVAC technician with 8 years of experience in the industry. Capable of handling all sorts of heating and cooling equipment as well as proficient in operational management, construction-related techniques such as preventative maintenance, electrical troubleshooting and AutoCAD

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