Living Smart: Check fan’s mounting bracket

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Balancing a ceiling fan typically poses little challenge for a good handyman. However, not many people realize it’s something they can do.

Tony Griffith, owner of Tony G’s Handyman Service in Burbank, Calif., says homeowners can do it themselves if they know how.

—Check the mounting bracket

According to John Marsh, owner of Ceiling Fan & Major Appliance Service Center in San Antonio, you need to check the fan from the ceiling down, starting with the mounting.

If your ceiling fan wobbles, check the screws in the mounting to make sure they’re all secure.

If the blades still wobble when you turn it on, you need to move on to balancing the ceiling fan blades.

—Tools you need to balance ceiling fan blades

One way to balance a ceiling fan includes purchasing a ceiling fan balancing kit, which you can buy at home improvement stores for less than $5. The kit includes a clip and weights.

Or, you can try using items already in your home. Griffith says you can tape quarters, dimes and other coins to the top of fan blades to balance them.

—Balancing ceiling fans

To start, pick a blade. Attach the test clip or weight to it. Marsh says to place the clip on the center of the blade, on the trailing edge of whatever direction the blades turn.

Turn on the fan and watch to see if the fan becomes more or less wobbly. If less wobbly, you’ve found the right blade. If not, move to the next blade.

Continue these steps until you’ve identified the imbalanced blade. Afix the weight to the blade, adjacent to where you placed the clip.

Griffith says if you’re using coins to try different denominations — quarters, nickels, dimes or pennies — to see which weight works best.

—Hire or DIY?

You may be able to balance a ceiling fan yourself, but when in doubt, call in a professional.

Many handymen balance ceiling fans. Expect to pay a service call of about $50 to $75, plus an hourly fee. If the job goes smoothly, it should take only 20 to 45 minutes per fan.