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How Can I Recycle a Household Fan?

written by: doriangray•edited by: Tania Cowling•updated: 3/30/2010

While there is plenty of information out there on how to recycle cell phones and computers, you may be left wondering how can I recycle a household fan? Both ceiling and freestanding models can be recycled in a variety of ways.

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    Recycle Your Working Household Fan

    If your ceiling fan still works but you want to change it out for a new style or more efficient model, it may still be valuable to someone. You can make extra cash by selling your old ceiling fan on the Internet on websites such as eBay or Craigslist. Antique or unique fans may bring in considerable amounts of money. Otherwise, you should donate your household ceiling fan to a charitable organization such as a housing program for low-income residents. Or you may simply drop it off at Goodwill or the Salvation Army and be sure to take that tax deduction.

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    Recycle Your Broken Household Fan

    Ceiling fans that no longer work can still be recycled. You may still donate them to charitable organizations if they can be repaired, or break down the parts and reuse or recycle them separately. Some people even make crafts out of old ceiling fans, using the blades as wood scraps for various projects such as making picture frames. If you use your imagination, you can create a decorative flower vase or candleholder out of the glass or metal enclosure.

    Check to see if your city has a recycling program and if they accept ceiling and other household fans. Also consider selling or giving your fan to a local repair shop to be broken down and used for spare parts. It may even be possible to repair the fan yourself if you are comfortable with minor electrical work. You can save money and keep the fan out of the landfill at the same time.

    Don't just throw your broken ceiling fan in the trash. Be aware that some light bulbs, such as those that contain mercury, cannot be thrown away and should be recycled according to the EPA's guidelines. Older fans often contain this type of light bulb.

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    To find organizations that will help you recycle your household ceiling fan, visit these websites:

    • CalRecycle
    • Habitat for Humanity
    • Appliance411
    • Goodwill
    • Salvation Army
    • ARCA
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    Buying a New Energy-Efficient Fan

    Now that you've recycled your old fan, you should be in the market for a new energy efficient model. Look for fans with the Energy Star label, which will save you several hundred dollars or more over the course of the fan's lifetime. Be sure to choose the right size fan for the space that you need to cool by checking the manufacturer's recommendations. Check for a high quality motor that won't wear out quickly. There are three different motor grades: Moderate/Economy, Medium and Performance Grade. Choose the right fan based on your budget and style, but also consider how much it will be in use. Depending on where you live, you may even qualify for a rebate for purchasing an energy-efficient household fan.