How Do You Know if it’s Time to Replace Your Home’s Ceiling Fans or Light Fixtures?
Here at Bradley Electric we understand many old ceiling fans wobble a bit, but sometimes that wobble can be a dangerous sign. How do you know if it’s safe or if it could come crashing down on you the next time you set the fan to high? How do you know if your old light fixture is dangerous or just cranky?
If your fan spins but you don’t feel any breeze, check the side of your fan for a switch. This switch can change the direction of the fan blades. If it’s turned one direction it pushes cool air directly at you, but if you turn it the other direction it circulates air by pushing cool air it upward. Simply flipping that switch can make a fan feel cool again.
Obviously a ceiling fan should be replaced if it stops working entirely, but the less known dangers involve wobbling and noise.
If a fan’s blades wobble more than a fourth of an inch it could be a hazard. Some fans wobble after years of constant use, but others wobble because they were never installed correctly in the first place. If the wobble is over a fourth of an inch, screws can gradually loosen, dropping lights or even fan blades and possibly harming anyone beneath them.
An increase in the noise a fan makes can mean something has come loose or that there is a faulty dimmer switch. Some dimmer switches are meant to be used for fans, but others are only meant for lights. If the wrong dimmer switch is connected to a fan, it can overheat and become a fire hazard.
If a light fixture isn’t working, it should obviously be replaced. Bad wiring or a ruined breaker can cause you no end of trouble in the long run, even if you never touch the switch.
If you use compact fluorescent bulbs and the light takes a moment to turn on after you flick the switch, don’t worry. Some compact fluorescent bulbs take a second or two to turn on.
But if the light bulb blinks or the light fixture wobbles, it’s time to call an electrician. A blinking light can be due to a floating ground or loose wiring. Either one can be hazardous for the rest of the house’s electronics.
If a light fixture wobbles or moves in almost any way, it could be coming loose. Nobody wants to pull a light switch only to watch the fixture to shatter on the floor or hit them in the head.
Beyond that, it’s all a question of style. If you have outdated or ugly fans but a tight budget, fear not. Many light fixtures are very inexpensive. If you hate your old fan or light fixture and want something with more pizzazz, it could be worth your while to see what you can find that fits your budget.