How to Clean a Tower Fan to Remove Dust and Debris

Tower fans work overtime to keep us cool during warmer months. Keep the appliance running smoothly by giving it a good wipe-down.

Fans create a cooling effect by moving air around, but when a fan is laden with dirt and debris, its ability to circulate air is compromised. It's recommended that you clean a tower fan once every three to four weeks, but this varies, depending on how often you use it. If you don't use the fan every day, aim to clean it at least once every six to eight weeks. You should also inspect your fan, once at the beginning of the season, then at the end of the season, to thoroughly clean it before packing it away..

tower fan in living room
Courtesy of Lasko

How to Clean a Tower Fan

Before you start cleaning, read the manufacturer's instructions. Unplug the fan from its power source, so it isn't accidentally turned on during cleaning. This prevents accidents and stops dust from traveling further into the machine during the cleaning.

Some tower fans, like those made by Lasko and Vornado, are not designed to be opened for cleaning, and doing so may void the warranty. Before you begin cleaning, it's important to determine whether your fan's make and model is designed to be opened. If your fan requires disassembly to clean, use a Phillips screwdriver, or another disassembly tool recommended by the manufacturer, and remove the back of the fan.

What You Need

  • Phillips screwdriver or other disassembly tools (optional)
  • Vacuum with brush attachment
  • Dust brush or soft-bristle brush
  • Can of compressed air
  • All-purpose spray cleaner
  • Rag or cloth

Step 1: Vacuum the Tower Fan

Use a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove dust and dirt from the fan's front and back vents, as well as its external casing. Pay particular attention to the areas where air flows in and out. Freeing these areas of unwanted dirt, dust, and debris will allow air to flow optimally through the fan. A dust brush or soft-bristle brush can be used in lieu of a vacuum attachment.

Step 3: Use Compressed Air to Dislodge Debris

Aim the nozzle tip of a compressed-air can over the vents, and steadily release air across the entire surface areas. This will get rid of any stubborn dust or dirt that the vacuum brush failed to remove.

Step 4: Plug In the Tower Fan

Plug the tower fan into a power source and allow it to run for a few minutes. This will allow any dirt and dust dislodged by the vacuum or or the compressed air to blow out. Turn the fan off once this is finished.

Step 5: Wipe Down the Exterior

Dampen a cloth or rag with a few sprays of all-purpose cleaner and wipe down the fan's exterior, eliminating any stray dust and dirt particles. You might need to wipe the surrounding floor area to clean up any residue from your newly cleaned fan. Now, all that's left to do is plug the fan in again and enjoy its cooling air.

How to Clean a Dyson Tower Fan

Bladeless tower fans, like the ones by Dyson, are much easier to clean.

What You Need

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Compressed air (optional)

Step 1: Wipe Down the Fan

Start by simply wiping the inner ring of the fan with a microfiber cloth. A vacuum attachment can be used to remove dust from the fan's vents. After unscrewing the top portion of the fan (review the manufacturer instructions for this step), use a microfiber cloth to clean dust and dirt from the interior.

Step 2: Use Compressed Air for Difficult Spots

If the dust is caked on, or hard to remove, try using compressed air. All the fan's components should be dust-free before reassembling.

How to Clean a Honeywell Fan

These fan blades require some disassembly in order to get them ready for cleaning, so review the manufacturer's manual to be clear on how to take it apart.

What You Need

  • Phillips screwdriver (or another tool as needed)
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Vacuum
  • Compressed air (optional)

Step 1: Unscrew the Grill

Make sure your fan is unplugged prior to cleaning, and gather a Phillips screwdriver, or another tool, as specified, to unscrew the grill that covers the blades.

Step 2: Wipe Down the Grill and Reassemble

Once it's disassembled, use a microfiber cloth to remove any debris. It's a good idea to clean off the grill as well while the fan is disassembled. Use your vacuum or compressed air to do this before reassembling.

How Often Should You Clean a Tower Fan?

If your tower fan is practically brand-new, it's no doubt still performing at its peak. However, soon you'll need to figure out how to clean away the accumulated dust, dander, and debris. If you've been dreading cleaning your tower fan, the good news is that the process is simple. With the right supplies and a few easy steps, you can keep your fan in top shape, and it'll keep you cool for seasons to come.

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