Whether you’re window air conditioner just doesn’t cut it, or you need supplemental cooling for an area of your home, a good fan is usually the answer. Out of all the fan styles for residential use, tower fans are the most popular. They are affordable and easier to set up than a ceiling fan, and the top models can cool down rooms quickly.
Unfortunately, tower fans aren’t without their faults or issues. One of the main problems consumers encounter is a tower fan making rattling noises. It’s also one of the most frustrating issues to deal with, for reasons we’re going to discuss in this guide. We’re also going to help you find a fix for that rattling issue while answering a few common questions.
Tower Fans Explained
Fans are simple devices, and something most homeowners can wrap their heads around. The blades spin at a rapid speed, which produces air and cools down a room. Well, with tower fans, the general principle remains the same, but it’s a good idea to understand how they work, considering they have a completely different design than a pedestal fan, box fan or window fan.
The design of a tower fan can vary, but most models have a similar design outside of bladeless fans like the ones from Dyson. That means they all have a housing, which is usually made of plastic and a base. The fan oscillates or rotates on the base, but can also be locked into place if you want to direct the airflow to one area of a room.
Controls are typically found on the top and can be touch-based or traditional buttons. Those controls are always near the display if the tower fan has one. As for the air, it comes from a cylinder inside the system that’s powered by an electric motor. When that cylinder spins, it produces air and pushes it through the vents in the front.
The impeller blades are enclosed, which keeps fingers safe and makes these fans a wise choice for homes with children and pets. Unfortunately, it can also make maintenance difficult if the rattling noise is coming from behind the grill.
Why does my Tower Fan rattle?
Now that you understand how a tower fan works and some of the essential parts involved, it’s time to address the problem at hand. The first thing you should do is try to locate the source of the rattling. Is it coming from the bottom or the top of the tower fan?
Can you hear it at all times, no matter what speed the fan runs or only in one mode? Understanding when the problem occurs and where the noise comes from is half the battle. Narrowing those areas down will significantly speed up the process of fixing your rattling tower fan as well.
How to fix a rattling Tower Fan
Whether you can figure out where the noise comes from or not, you should check and makes sure everything on the tower fan is tight. That includes the base, which can be the primary source of rattling on a tower fan. If the base becomes loose or out of balance, the fan can definitely make noise while it is oscillating.
You’ll want to do the same with the grill as those are generally the only two parts that are easy to access on most tower fans. If it’s removable, make sure it’s firmly snapped into place or that no screws are missing. Missing or loose screws are more common than you think, especially after several years of operation.
Both of these problems can be addressed quickly and don’t require any special tools. If you have a screwdriver handy, you should be able to tighten up any screws found on your tower fan. Buttons and other parts can become loose as well but can be tightened up with something as simple as a piece of folded up paper in some cases.
If nothing is loose or seems out of place, the issue is more than likely inside your system. If you’re lucky, it’s because of dust – the most common enemy a tower fan faces. Dust can cause traditional fan blades to become out of balance and will cause problems inside tower fans as well. How thoroughly you’re actually able to clean the grill or inside of a tower fan will vary, and you’ll undoubtedly void your warranty if you crack open the case.
Opening up your tower fan may be the last course of action at your disposal before the rattling noise drives you to set the fan out with the trash. If you don’t mind voiding your warranty, and a simple dusting doesn’t clear up the issue, here is a good video showing how to disassemble and clean a tower fan.
It doesn’t matter if you purchased a Dyson, Honeywell, or a tower fan from a foreign brand, rattling can be a major headache. If you aren’t able to address the rattling sound coming from your tower fan or it’s driving you up a wall, it may be time to consider picking up a new tower fan. Given the affordable nature of these systems, the cost of a professional repair will likely be more than the fan itself.