Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
I never leave my ceiling fans on when I'm not home. Why? Because the one we had in our open kitchen/living/dining room area had the motor burn out. Luckily, we were home when it happened, & although it didn't produce a fire, it darn sure could have.
Except for the heat/air conditioning & refrigerator, I never EVER leave ANY electrical appliance on when I'm not home. Not worth the risk, in my opinion.
You raise a good point. We have a very expensive Casablanca Ceiling Fan over our bed. We thought it was worth the extra money because it's the quietest fan on the market, and it has six speeds, from hardly noticeable to full hurricane. It has electronic controls that are operated from a wall-mounted unit that includes buttons for speed, reverse direction, lights, and a button that turns off all power to the unit. Turning off the power cancels the speed, direction, and light settings you've previously selected. The wall unit communicates with the fan itself by radio signals.
One night several months ago, in the dead of winter, the fan, which was off, made a strange noise and suddenly came on at full speed, scaring the holy living you-know-what out of us. I jumped out of bed, clutching my chest, and fiddled with the controls, eventually shutting it off with the master power switch. I turned the power back on and it immediately went to full speed, then died completely.
The repair guy came within a few days and said that there apparently had been a power surge that had zapped the electronic controls in the fan itself. Naturally, that design flaw (it should have a surge protector built in, IMHO) wasn't covered by the warranty, and the replacement part cost me about $165, including installation. The repairman recommended that we keep the power off when we're not using the fan, which we now do.
Given the power shortages we're now experiencing during this unusually hot summer, and the increased possibility of brown outs, black outs, and voltage surges, it seems a bit risky to run the fan when it's not needed. Of course, this problem probably doesn't affect fans with simpler, non-electronic controls.