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Cleaning the Ceiling Fan
Cleaning the ceiling fan is a very important step in cleaning any home. Ceiling fans are great at evenly distributing warm and cool air from heating and air conditioning units. Many homes run ceiling fans 24x7x365, in order to evenly distribute warm and cool air, effectively reducing the cost of heating and cooling the home. The only time however, that it occurs to the owner to clean the ceiling fan is twice a year when they reverse the direction of air flow. This can cause untold discomfort to anyone with allergies because even though the blades are always moving, when the fan is turned on, they still accumulate an astonishing amount of dust and allergens. In fact I've cleaned homes that when I turned the ceiling fan off to clean it the blades literally looked like they were growing hair.
Cleaning the ceiling fan on a regular basis is critical to keeping it running smoothly and quietly. Dust and grease build up on the blades will throw them out of balance causing vibration, in turn causing noise, and eventually wreck the motor.
If your ceiling fan is reachable from a regular step ladder, with 2 steps, then cleaning the ceiling fan regularly will usually be a quick and easy job. However; if you have 14'+ ceilings then you will be limited to what you can do without pulling out a 6-8' ladder. You are the best judge of whether you can clean your ceiling fan if it is that high. I recommend using a professional cleaner the first time for fans that are not within easy reach but if you decide to tackle cleaning this ceiling fan then never attempt it when you are alone. To keep it clean on a regular basis, at least once a month, purchase a special ceiling fan cleaning tool on an extension handle.
Use your step ladder to get at least blade high on your fan leaving room to rotate the blades as you clean. Take two rags and spanning the width of the blade maneuver one below so that it will be slightly ahead of the one you place above. With moderate equal pressure, avoiding tilting the blades, gently wipe the length of the blade allowing the dust on the top and the edge to drop into the rag below the blade. Repeat this process until the dust has been removed from all blades. Depending on how dirty your blades are you may have to take the rag outside after every 1 or 2 blades and shake it out.
Carefully remove light bulbs and light globes or shades. Set the bulbs in a safe place until ready to replace and wash the globes or shades in warm soapy water and rinse in hot, set out to allow them to drip dry as you continue cleaning your ceiling fan.
If your motor housing has screens over the vent holes take the paint brush and very gently dust them while holding a rag underneath.
Wet a clean rag and wring out very tightly until all excess moisture is removed. You do not want to get any moisture what-so-ever in the motor housing. Mist lightly with all purpose cleaner and wipe down the motor housing and mounting above the fan blades. If you have a smoker use 409 and rinse your rag remisting frequently until the housing and mounting are clean.
Now using a new clean rag again wet it, leaving it slightly damper and mist with all purpose cleaner. Using one hand to brace the blade you are working on to prevent tilting thoroughly clean the top and bottom of each blade. Again if you have a smoker use 409, rinse and remist frequently.
Using the first damp rag, if it is clean enough, clean the light fixture.
Depending on whether you have globes or shades, replace the bulbs and globes/shades making sure to catch the screws inside the rim and do not over tighten to avoid breaking.
Turn your ceiling fan back on and put the supplies away.
Clean at least once a month, twice during high pollen events, by using a microfiber cloth and dusting in the same seqence above.
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