Ceiling fan oil is oil that is designed to make a fan run for longer with less noise. In a ceiling fan, moving parts grind against one another and make it so the parts will eventually wear out because of the friction created. Ceiling fan oil can reduce the amount of friction created by coating the moving metal parts inside the fan. Instead of the metal parts rubbing against each other and slowly wearing out, it is the oil that wears out as it protects the parts.
The oil has a high viscosity, so it is able to stay in the gears and reduce friction for a long time. Ceiling fan bearings typically come with oil already applied, so for the first year or so that the fan is used, oil will not need to be applied. Depending on how much the fan is used, ceiling fan oil eventually will need to be applied or added to the motor. This typically is an easy process, and the ceiling fan's user manual generally will provide specific instructions for adding oil to the motor or oiling other moving parts in the fan.
Most hardware stores will carry ceiling fan oil or oil that can be used in ceiling fans. The weight should be either 10, 15 or 20, and a particular weight might be specified by the ceiling fan manufacturer. Also, ceiling fan oil needs to be free of detergents, which can gum up the bearings and potentially ruin the fan.
Ceiling fan oil is relatively cheap. Buying more expensive forms of oil generally is unnecessary. Most three-in-one types of oil are not ideal for use in ceiling fans. Other types of lubricants are not recommended, either.
The use of ceiling fan oil can help ensure that the fan will last a long time. If a fan is squeaking while in use and is more than a year old, it likely needs to have oil added. Consumers who are unsure about which type of oil to purchase can ask a salesperson at a hardware store or home improvement store for help.