Having a house near the water is great, but it does mean something always needs replacing or repairing. The damp air and breezes that we love aren’t always kind to our home. As a property owner, I always had a couple of lists with things I must do and things I wanted to do.

Sometimes, items on the list seem to still be on my list months later. Or, in the case of a ceiling fan, years later.

A few years back, I had noted the ceiling fans in our waterfront home seemed dingy and outdated. A fresh coat of paint on the walls and refinished hardwoods only made them stand out more. But replacing them required an electrician, time and money, and since the fans were functional, it just didn’t happen right away.

Then one spring, I arrived to find a ridiculous-looking outdoor fan on the front porch. Somehow, the old blades became warped. Instead of being firm and parallel to the floor, they drooped and were curved like a banana. They’d finally just given up in the moist air. A new ceiling fan had moved from the just-want-a-new-one to the must-have-a-new-one list.

Those droopy blades were one of the best things that could have happened. At the store, as I studied the many fans for sale, I stumbled up a package of fan blades. I wasn’t aware you could buy only the blades! Since my motor worked fine, new blades were just the item I needed—and no electrician was required.

Follow These Useful Tips To Update Your Ceiling Fans

Back at the house, I set up my ladder, climbed up and removed the three screws holding each blade in place. Then, I attached the new blades. Climbing down, I flipped the switch and did a little happy dance. I had a good-looking, working fan once again.

My discovery of new blades was just the beginning. During my shopping trip, I also found pretty light covers and decorative pull chains. In a couple of bedrooms, I was able to give the old fans new life with a thorough cleaning and modern light covers. Since our house was by the sea, an anchor pull chain was just the right touch for our porch fan.

It was amazing how different the fans looked after cleaning and a few new accessories.

Tips for Cleaning Ceiling Fans

Deep-clean your ceiling fan for a fresh start. Once it is clean, it is easier to keep it that way.

  • Begin by removing accumulated dust. You can do so with a microfiber dust cloth or by using your vacuum and a soft brush attachment. If your blades have a thick layer of dust on them, you may want to spread a sheet under the fan to catch falling debris. Once you are done cleaning, the sheet can be washed.
  • Gently wipe the fan with a slightly damp cloth to remove grime. Polish with a dry cloth.
  • Clean the glass on light covers. Both open and closed light covers seem to accumulate dust and small bugs. Remove the covers carefully and clean with glass cleaner or soapy water. Dry well and replace.
  • Dust your ceiling fan every week with a microfiber dusting wand. Dust from the top down, beginning at the ceiling, and be sure to get the top and edge of each blade.

How are you planning to update your ceiling fans?

Lea Schneider writes online about her experiences owning a vacation home, as well as professional organization tips, for The Home Depot. Lea is a big fan of do-it-yourself and she often writes about her DIY projects. If you are researching ceiling fans or accessories for a vacation home rental, you can view a wide selection on The Home Depot website.