Can ceiling fans overheat?

Can ceiling fans overheat

You’re rushing around first thing in the morning trying to get the kids off to school, loading the washing machine, getting lunch prepared and attempting to get to work on time. 

You sit down at your desk, get comfortable for the day then you remember you’ve left the ceiling fan running in the bedroom. Should you be worried about it overheating or can you relax and forget about it?

Can ceiling fans overheat?

Yes – as with any other device with an electric motor, a ceiling fan can overheat and in extreme cases a ceiling fan can even cause a fire. However, so long as your ceiling fan isn’t super old, has been installed correctly, given regular maintenance and doesn’t have anything attached to the blades, there should be no need to worry about this actually happening. Ceiling fans are designed to safely operate for long periods of time.

In the instance above when you are going to get home later that evening, so long as your fan is well maintained and has been installed correctly, there should be no issues in leaving it running. In fact it will keep the air movement flowing and you’ll be welcomed home to a nice cool bedroom!

Is it safe to leave fans on all the time?

If you knew you were going away for multiple days, it would be advisable to turn your ceiling fans off, not only to reduce the risk of overheating and burning the motor out but to also save you on electricity bills – not much point in cooling a house no one is going to be living in!

Read more about whether ceiling fans are safe.

Reasons that could cause a ceiling fan to overheat

1. Incorrect installation

As with any electrical devices, it is advised to get them installed by professionals that know what they are doing and can test for any fault to make sure they are safe. All it takes is a loose wire or dodgy connector to fail and you could have an issue on your hands.

Dusty ceiling fan

2. Dust and dirt

Dusting and cleaning isn’t everyone’s favourite task, however it is a very important one when it comes to ceiling fans. You want to avoid dust accumulating on the blades and motor housing & vents.

Dust on the blades will cause unnecessary drag or could cause the ceiling fan to wobble. We have the ultimate guide on how to clean a ceiling fan if you need some help with this.

3. Lubrication

Another essential piece of maintenance that is required for your fan – lubrication. You should use some oil on your ceiling fan a couple of times a year to make sure all moving parts can continue moving effortlessly. Not only will this help prevent overheating, it will generally increase the lifespan of your fan.Read our guide on do ceiling fans need to be oiled for more information on this topic.

Items hanging from a ceiling fan

4. Hanging items from the fan blades

I think this should go without saying, however we’ve seen it done before.

You should never attach or hang anything from your ceiling fan blades, not only could this be potentially dangerous, it can easily damage or break your ceiling fan. Simply – please don’t do this!

Is it normal for ceiling fans to get hot?

Yes – to a point. The most common motors used in a ceiling fan is an AC motor. It is normal for these types of motors to be hot/warm to the touch when operating. 

As the fan runs, the heat will dissipate through the fan housing into the room. The airflow from the fan also naturally helps keep the heat at bay. The normal operating temperature for the motor should be reached within a few minutes of operation and should be warm to the touch.

Also remember that the manufacturers of these fans will have tested these motors to destruction to ensure their safety. If you are worried about your ceiling fan at all, we would recommend getting in contact with the manufacturer and they will be able to assist you.

We always advise to purchase a reputable brand – if you’re in the market for a new ceiling fan, take a look at our guide on the top 12 best ceiling fan brands

Wrap Up

Hopefully this article has put your mind at rest slightly and given you a better idea on how long you can leave a fan running for and tips you can use to avoid any overheating.