Like all good homeowners, you know when spring rolls around and it’s time to start cleaning up after the long winter.
Now that the frigid weather is generally done wreaking havoc on our lives, many of us are opening windows and getting into every little dusty corner and crevice of their homes… looking to refresh and clean for a new season. If you’re of a mind to join them, there’s one thing that many of us forget out: ceiling fans. You want to be sure to give them plenty of TLC along with the rest of the house.
Appearances Are Tip of the Iceberg
Sadly, we’ve all seen a fan that’s been neglected. When the dust bunnies are bigger than golf balls, and clinging to the fan blades that haven’t seen a dusting in months, perhaps it’s time to add them to the spring cleaning checklist. It’s pretty unsightly, true… but keeping your family health is probably a more important issue.
As you know, the job of a fan is to circulate air inside a home. Plain and simple: if the fan blades are dirty, that air’s gonna be dirty. Dust particles, allergens and even mold can get released into the air, and worse, into your lungs, if not tended to. And if anyone in your home has allergies or asthma, respiratory health problems or other needs for high indoor air quality, you should think about cleaning those fan blades at least monthly.
Begin at the Top
We always think of ceiling fans as the first fans we notice that need cleaning. They’re there, right over our heads, displaying that nasty dust that has built up over the winter. It doesn’t help that ceiling fans with built-in light fixtures tend to amplify the presence of dusty matter.
Ceiling fans are relatively easy to clean, with common cleaning supplies and a stepstool. If there are big clumps of dust present, it’s best to begin by vacuuming with an upholstery brush, then use your favorite dusting tool to get the rest. There are easy to use fan dusting tools widely available at the big box stores. You should expect dust to fall on surfaces below the fan, so you may want to cover those surfaces first… or be prepared to clean them as well. Finish the cleaning process by wiping the blades with the appropriate cleaning product. We like wiping with a paper towel to catch any left behind dust.
Don’t Exhaust All the Possiblities
Kitchen and bath exhaust fans should be part of your spring cleaning routine as well. The exhaust fan above your kitchen range can get grease built up and possibly pose a fire hazard.
Cleaning most exhaust fans are fairly straightforward. Start by tripping the breaker on the fan’s power circuit. You might need a screwdriver to remove the fan cover and filter. We recommend soaking the filter and cover in a grease-cutting detergent and water. Note: only soak the filter if it’s re-usable. Then, go to work cleaning the blades.
Wipe the blades with a damp, soapy sponge. Sometimes a small scrub brush is needed to remove tough, caked on grease. Rinse any soapy residue and thoroughly dry the fan blades. Be sure to rinse the filter and cover, and dry them, before putting it all back together.
If you have additional household fans that circulate air — like box fans or pedestal fans — they’re just as guilty of collecting dirt and dust like most other fans. Many will disassemble for easy cleaning.
Obviously, unplug the fan, and remove the blade guards. You may need a screwdriver for this part, but some pedestal fans have little levers to easily release the covers. Don’t even attempt to clean it without removing those guards — it’s just too difficult to get in all the nooks and crannies. One final note: always be sure to wipe and dry everything thoroughly before you reassemble the fan. And especially before you plug it in. Water and electricity don’t mix well.
Cleaning fans is a fairly easy job, but is well worth the time. Keeping them in good working order can be a little more complex. Keeping your AC in good working condition is a LOT more complex. For air conditioning service, call one of our customer satisfactions specialists at (614) 837-4026 or visit our online appointment page to schedule a service call today.