Why is My Box Fan Making a Clicking Noise? Make Quieter!

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With summer heat becoming overbearing, it’s about time to reconcile with your AC unit and a box fan. These portable fans are great at improving and directly the cooling effect towards you. Hence, it explains its ever-surging demands since its application is not fettered to residential uses alone.

Why is My Box Fan Making a Clicking Noise

But when they start to make clicking or rattling noises, they usher in a new problem. And, if that happens in your place of work, you can easily become an annoying co-worker. To avoid this humiliation, you have two options: purchase another one or fix the noisy fan.

So, if you want to try option 2, here is the most comprehensive guide on fixing a noisy fan. But before that, let’s familiarize you with the underlying causes of box fans making noise.

Why Your Box Fan is Making a Noise?

Why is My Box Fan Making a Clicking Noise
Box Fan

Clicking/Rattling Noise

It’s not hard to find a box fan that makes a rattling noise. They bring in cool air from the outside. However, dust comes along with it. Over time, the dust settles on the blade, upsetting the balance. Thus, it causes the fan to make unwanted clicking or rattling noises.

If it’s the dust accumulation behind the annoying noise, cleaning the box fan is easy.

But sometimes, it’s not the dusty blade that’s the culprit. In cases like this, you should check for any loose body parts. As the fan operates, these loose structures collide, causing that distracting clicking noise. You can stop the noise by tightening up the screws.

However, you can avoid this situation by cleaning the blades regularly. You can also find a way to keep the dust away from the fan.

Squeaking Noise

If it’s a squeaky sound, then it’s likely a loose fan blade. This is often a problem with ceiling fans. However, some box fans tend to squeak. So, it’s best to check the fan’s blade and the arm to ensure they are tightly secured. If not, then you should tighten the screws. Immediately, the portable device should be operating more quietly.

Buzzing noise

There are tons of reasons why your box fan might be buzzing. So, I’ll address the common ones.

If you have been using your box fan for a long period without a break, it might be why your device is making a buzzing noise. This noise indicates that the fan’s motor bearing generates a lot of friction and needs lubrication.

How do you know? Friction generates heat. So, if the motor is very hot, it is overheating. The easiest way to fix this is to lubricate the motor to reduce friction.

The buzzing noise might come from a vibrating loose screw that holds the blade to the fan’s motor. You can quickly negate the buzzing noise by tightening the screw.

Is the Clicking Noise Harmful?

A lot of household appliances make noise, but not all are a cause for worry. A box fan making a clicking noise can be a distraction, affecting your productivity.

However, the noise is usually subtle unless something has gone really wrong, which makes it less health-averse. It is generally quieter than your TV or social media noise, below 75 dB. Hence, you don’t have to worry about your box fan’s noise causing temporary or permanent hearing loss.

How to Make Your Box Fan Quieter: Step-by-Step Guide!

How to Make Your Box Fan Quieter

Place on a rug or carpet

The first thing to ever do is figure out where the noise is coming from. Sometimes, it’s not your fan at fault but an external factor. For instance, if your pan is on an uneven table, it might vibrate against the hard surface, creating that annoying clicking noise.

So, it’s best to place your box fan on a rug or carpet to avoid the clicking noise. The rug acts as an absorber to muff the noise. Or better, place it on a smooth surface.

Clean the fan regularly

If, after placing the fan on a rug or smooth surface, the noise still persists, the blades might be the culprit. Dust and dirt might clog the fan’s internal mechanism, causing a disturbing raucous. You should clean the blade and other moving components with a soft cloth to stop the noise.

Don’t forget you might need a screwdriver to remove the grill for easy access to the internal components.

Tighten loose fan parts

Should step 2 fail to negate the noise, check for loose fan parts. Most times, the grills have become loose, which causes the rapid clicking noise. You might need a wrench or screwdriver to secure the loose part.

Oil the blade and motor

Oiling or waxing your box fan’s motor and blades helps keep noise at bay—the latest models barely need lubrication. In the rare instance, that your device is overheating, then you should oil or wax the moving components.

Most importantly, it would be best to use the correct lubrication to avoid aggravating the problem.

Oiling the box fan motor is an easy process. Locate the oil port, which is a small opening in the motor, and add some oil at least once every six months. Also, you should oil every other moving part for the best results.

Related FAQs

When should I replace my box fan?

If the box fan remains noisy and frustrating after oiling the motor and fixing the warped blades, it might be beyond saving. It’s best to replace it at this point. These devices are inexpensive and not worth stressing yourself over.

Can I rejuvenate my box fan?

If you have stored your device away for a long time, it’s likely still functional but dusty. The accumulated dirt and dust can be the reason it’s not working as it should. To rejuvenate your device, brush the motor, clean the fans, and lubricate the moving parts.

How do I clean a box fan?

Cleaning a portable fan isn’t difficult. You can clean them with a thin dust wand or a microfiber cloth. Also, a can of compressed air can be effective for eliminating the dust and dirt in the motor. However, I recommend taking the fan outside before doing this.


I’m confident this is the most comprehensive guide to understanding the cause and how to fix a noisy box fan. Therefore, you should try the above-mentioned solutions to regain peace and quiet. If all of these options fail to stop the frustrating clicking noise, it might be time to get a new one. And that rarely happens.

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David Briley

David Briley

My name is David Briley, a soundproofing expert with a burning passion for curating and creating audio since adolescence. The need for a quiescent working and living environment cannot be overemphasized.

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