Just like any other type of fan, the tower style fans are inclined to build up a lot of dirt and dust particles inside. Because of this, your fan can benefit from a clean or service at 12-18 month intervals to ensure it continues to provide safe and reliable operational performance.
Any tower fan can use a clean when it is easy to notice dust building up in the area of the plastic venting. A regular clean is more important in homes that have family members with allergies that are made worse by dust build-up. Instead of clean air circulating through the fan the build up of dirt and dust particles will be blown through the home. Plus, any dirt left inside the fan will make the motor work harder, which can lead to more noise while in operation and also shorten the potential lifespan of this home appliance.
Use this guide to learn how to clean a tower fan using the most efficient steps. With a handful of useful tools, you can easily give the fan a clean to avoid issues with a dusty breeze in the home or office.
How to Disassemble, Clean & Quiet a Tower Fan (video)
For a visual step-by-step reference to tower fan cleaning and maintenance you can check this video, which highlights each of the essential steps to clean a tower fan. Jared, the guy behind Mr Everything, did a great job shooting it. You can check the other videos of Jared on his channel.
Tools needed for disassembling and cleaning a fan
If planning to disassemble a fan for cleaning it helps to have the right tools and equipment handy to make sure the project goes as smooth as possible. Here is a list of the things you’ll need:
- Screwdriver (Phillips head)
- Can of compressed air or an air compressor
- Cleaning brush
- Paper towels
Optional extras include a small bowl for safe keeping of the screws as well as a protective mask and eyewear to avoid issues with breathing in dust or getting dirt particles in the eyes.
How to disassemble a tower fan
Start by finding a clean and safe place to work on the tower fan. Put on the protective mask and eyewear to avoid issues with dirt and dust particles getting in the lungs and eyes throughout the cleaning process.
If applicable, remove the plastic base of the tower fan to make it easier to manage and handle the appliance while working on it. While this step isn’t essential it usually makes the entire process of cleaning the fan a lot easier.
The next step is to start removing the screws on the rear of the tower fan. Most of the screws are fairly easy to find and the overall number that needs to be removed depends on the specific make and model of appliance. If you have difficulty removing the rear panel of the fan, carefully look for hidden screws which might be concealed behind plastic tabs or in the handles recess.
Once the screws are removed, the panel is likely to be held in place by a series of clips or latches. At this point it is a case of working out how the panel dislodges from the clips or other locking mechanism. Usually the rear panel will slip off by sliding up or down. A certain amount of force is usually needed to get the fan open.
But check the internet for further info if you have particular difficulty with your specific model of tower fan. Avoid using excessive force in the attempt to remove the rear panel as this could result in damage to the plastic housing which might prevent future safe operation.
With the rear panel removed it is necessary to remove several more screws inside the fan, which holds the fan cylinder in place. Generally, there are one or two screws to remove at the top and bottom of the cylinder.
Leave the screws in the bowl and place that in a safe area until next needed.
How to clean the cage and vents
Clean a tower fan using compressed air. This is the most effective tool to clean the dirt and dust that has been left to slowly build-up inside the fan. If practical it can benefit to move the tower fan to an outside location (garage, patio, deck area, etc.) to avoid blowing the dirt and dust inside the home.
Compressed air is easily purchased at local office supply or hardware stores. Do not shake the can with compressed air before using it – otherwise it may spray liquid instead of gas. Direct the nozzle of the compressed air at the dust on all exposed surfaces, such as the cage, vents, exhausts, blades, or other accessible crevices. Make sure to start at the top of the tower fan and work your way down.
If any remaining dirt or dust is still noticeable after using the compressed air, use a soft brush to give a final sweep to clear the last of the grime. Other options to clean the plastic parts like the housing is a damp cloth, but make sure these parts are given enough time to fully dry before attempting to reassemble.
Other tools to clean a tower fan include the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner. Also, there are certain models of vacuum cleaners that blow as well as suck which will make it more effective at blowing the dirt from the appliance. An air compressor is a practical tool for a variety of jobs around the home, including cleaning appliances like a tower fan.
How to clean the motor including the motor disassembly
With the tower fan open and the main cylinder removed it is now possible to open the motor for lubricating purposes to avoid issues with squeaking or other noises. Start the disassembly by removing the screws / washers that hold the motor in place. Once the screws have been carefully removed the top housing of the motor should come apart to show the inner components.
To prevent noise it helps to apply a grease or lubricant to the metal shaft that rotates the cylinder or cage – this is usually the area that the noise is coming from. Also, apply the grease to the top bracket to ensure all moving parts are fully greased up. Use a high-quality lubricant that is intended to work on metal on metal components such as a white lithium grease or car grease. Preferred grease should be long-lasting, hard-wearing, and heat-resistant. Avoid using WD40 or similar because this isn’t very effective and might only last for three or four weeks.
If any old lubricant is still in place, make sure to clean this up using a kitchen towel or similar before applying a new application of grease. Give a good application of grease in any areas of the motor that can cause noise or friction, especially the metal shaft and the hole it spins in. Use the grease at both ends of the shaft for best results.
Assembling and testing the fan after cleaning
Once the tower fan is cleaned and lubricated to your complete satisfaction it is time to reassemble. But, before the outer housing is attached, you may want to give the fan a test to make sure it is fully operational.
Hold the fan safely in an upright position and off the floor. Also, avoid touching any of the metal components that are exposed while the fan casing is open. Now plug in the tower fan and switch it on. The tower fan should now be running at full speed and be free of any squeaking, rattling or other noises. Some people may prefer to wait until the fan is fully assembled before testing for the extra safety aspect.
When assembling the fan make sure to secure the individual parts (motor, cylinder, and case) using the correct size screws, while also remember to use the washers when securing the motor. Plus, the final piece to attach is the plastic base.
When the tower fan is fully assembled it is worth testing once more to ensure it is operating as it should. Also, for the fans that come with extra features like oscillating control, make sure to switch this on to ensure it is still working as intended. Plus, while the grease is handy it might be worth applying a small amount to the parts that form the oscillating control to make sure this continues to operate freely.
So, the cleaning of the tower fan is now complete. Not only has this step-by-step guide helped in the process of removing any squeaking or other noises it also made sure the air circulating around the living room or bedroom is that much cleaner. Even though there are many different makes and models of tower fans, the basic process of cleaning is quite common across the different brands. Now that you know how to clean a tower fan, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty in maintaining the fan appliances in the home.
Featured image: Jeff Kramer