We have owned a Minka Aire ceiling fan for about 4 years and it has been great overall; running for 24hrs a day.

It has 3 settings and when we initially purchased the fan; the speed was noticeable and the air movement was as well. It now seems as though the highest setting is not much different then the middle setting.

What would cause this and how can I get it back to where it was in terms of performance?

It comes with a lifetime warranty on the motor; however I am not certain that the motor is failing here. In researching this it appears the cause could be the need to oil the motor; however I want to get verification from the community before I take on that effort.


Manual rotation produces no shaking or wobbling, they move very smoothly. If you are not familiar with these fans they are fairly heavy duty, not in any way unstable as would a typical $49.99 fan be that was picked up from a local Home Depot.

On occasion there is a humming that occurs, it is not consistent by any means and is fairly rare. In addition it will sometimes make a noise as though it is off kilter slightly, hard to describe. If I move back down to the medium setting, the noise subsides. Sometimes I will wait 10 - 15 minutes, turn it back to the highest setting and it functions as expected again, minus the overall speed. This is rare and will happen maybe once or twice a month. Keep in mind the fan runs non-stop, 24hrs a day.

UPDATE 7/27/12:

This issue still exists. It now appears that the fan operates at roughly the same speed across all three settings. The instances where it sounded as though it was slightly of kilter have not happened in many months. Any ideas what could be causing this? There is a lifetime warranty on the motor however the motor sounds fine, it's the actual speed that appears to be the issue. Should I simply replace it and move on or is there something I could to to potentially fix this myself?

8 Answers 8


Late response, but posting this for people that happen to google the problem... was probably a bad fan motor capacitor. You can find a replacement for a few bucks on amazon.

  • I still have the fan and it still is an issue. Perhaps I should give that a try. Sep 19, 2014 at 4:32

I'd start by checking for physical obstructions first. For example...

  • What happens if you manually rotate the blades by hand? Do they shake/wobble? Do you notice any grinding or irritation?
  • When the fan is running do you hear any strange noises? Grinding? Clicking? Humming? Buzzing? Knocking?
  • Replied in the question; wanted to be as in depth as possible. Sep 10, 2011 at 22:38

Since it is noticed that fan rotates at same speed across all three settings, it must be a regulator (control switch) failure. You may replace the fan speed controller. Also you may confirm this by giving a direct supply to fan motor, avoiding speed regulator (controller).

  • It's not identical per se, but very close. The fan has no option to adjust the speed without the use of the controller. How else could I try this? Jul 28, 2012 at 21:05

The price of the fan has nothing to do with it. You can buy a $400 lemon or a $40 beauty.

The problem is 'component drift' (techspeak for component values changing over time, drifting out of spec.) Most likely a capacitor, as Matt says. In this case a capacitor 'up there' inside the fan housing - the 'run' capacitor in techspeak.

If you know what you are doing, find it, measure it, and replace it if it doesn't measure true to spec.


The slowness of the fan is sometimes cause by the capacitor, if it's running slowly without making noise. If it's making noise then that's because of lack of oil in the motor.


I have had similar problems. We have several ceiling fans in our house. A mix of cheap and expensive. The fans have one motor and no regulator. The regulator on the wall controls the current being applied to the motor (variable amp control). The more amps the faster the motor will run. The less amps the slower it will run. With an old fan I would check to see how freely it rotates if you spin it by hand. There should be little to no resistance. It any resistance is found there could be a problem with the fan itself. So check the fan first. If you are electrically competent change the wall controller. If you are unsure about doing it yourself, get a contractor. Bear in mind though, many electrical contractors charge a heavy hourly rate. It may cost the same to replace the fan and the controller. Talk with the electrician before making a decision.


Install a regular wall switch in place of the touch pad, remove the control module in the fan canopy, and wire the ceiling wiring directly to the fan wiring by passing/removing the control module.


Ceiling fans get really dirty over time. Try a good clean out and a drop of oil on the bearings.

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