Greasing Fan Bearings: Tips & Insights by Hartzell Air Movement:

"Mastering Fan Maintenance: Lubrication Essentials & Expert Insights"

By Jerame Painter

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AtHartzell Air Movement, we pride ourselves on being industry leaders in air movementsolutions, particularly in the realm of Centrifugal, Axial, Duct Fans,Industrial Exhauster, Roof Ventilators, and more.   Our commitment to excellence extends not only to our products but also to educating our customers. Today, we're diving deep into the world of fan bearings, a critical component in industrial fans. Let's explore how to grease them, how often, and the common mistakes to avoid. 

Why is Greasing Fan Bearings So Important? 

Greasing bearings in industrial fans is a critical maintenance task that can significantly impact the equipment's performance, longevity, and reliability. Here's why it's so important:

  • Prevents Friction and Wear:Bearings are designed to reduce friction between moving parts. Proper lubrication minimizes wear and tear, extending the bearings and the fan's lifespan.
  • Reduces Heat Generation:Friction generates heat, and excessive heat can degrade the material properties of the bearings. Lubrication acts as a coolant, helping to disperse heat and prevent overheating.
  • Protects Against Corrosion:  Many greases, including Mobil Ronex, have anti-corrosive additives that protect the metal surfaces of the bearings from rust and other forms of corrosion.
  • Reduces Noise and Vibration:  A well-lubricated bearing operates more smoothly, reducing noise and vibration, which can be critical in industrial settings where excessive noise can be a safety hazard.
  • Enhances Energy Efficiency:Reduced friction means the fan motor doesn't have to work as hard, which can result in energy savings.
  • Prevents Contaminant Entry:  Grease can act as a sealant to prevent the entry of dust, dirt, and other contaminants that can damage the bearing surfaces.
  • Cost Savings:Regular greasing can prevent premature bearing failure, reducing downtime and the costs associated with replacement parts and labor.
  • Safety:  A bearing failure in an industrial fan can be catastrophic, leading to safety risks, including fires or other damaged equipment.
  • Compliance:  Regular maintenance, including greasing, is often required to comply with safety regulations and standards, failing which could result in penalties or legal action.
  • Operational Consistency:Regular greasing ensures the fan operates optimally, providing consistent performance crucial in many industrial applications.

How to Grease Fan Bearings: A Step-by-Step Guide 

  1. Choose the Right Grease: Opt for high-quality grease, like an NLGI #2 lithium-based grease or Mobil Ronex. The grease quality plays a pivotal role in the longevity of the bearings.
  2. Use the Right Tools: An automatic grease gun ensures even and adequate application. Ensure the pointed end of the grease gun is placed completely over the zerk valve fitting.
  3. Apply Grease: If your bearings have seals that purge excess grease, add a bit while spinning the shaft. This ensures that a residue comes out from both sides, indicating proper lubrication.
  4. Consult the Manual: Always refer to the Installations, Operations & Maintenance (IOM) manual that comes with your Hartzell fan. It provides the recommended greasing schedule and amounts.

Check out this step-by-step video on how to grease Hartzell Air Movement Industrial Fan bearings.

How Often Do You Need to Grease Fan Bearings?

   The frequency of greasing fan bearings depends on several factors, including the type of fan, its operational conditions, and the manufacturer's guidelines. However, a general rule of thumb is:

  • Upon Installation:Ensure proper lubrication when the fan is first installed. Even if pre-greased, it's essential to double-check.
  • Regular Maintenance:Depending on the fan's operational intensity, you might need to lubricate the bearings as often as twice a week. Always consult the IOM manual for precise intervals.

Common Mistakes When Greasing Bearings

Adding Too Much or Too Little Grease: This is a prevalent error in our industry. Over-greasing leads to increased friction and pressure, resulting in excess heat. On the other hand, under-greasing can also shorten the bearing's life. It's a delicate balance that requires attention and knowledge.

Types of Bearings 

Different types of bearings, such as Imperial Style Bearing and Ball Bearing Style, may have different greasing requirements. Always consult the manufacturer's guidelines for specific instructions. 


AtHartzell Air Movement, we believe in empowering our customers with knowledge. Proper maintenance of fan bearings is crucial for maximizing their lifespan and ensuring the efficient operation of industrial fans. You can ensure your Hartzell fans' longevity and optimal performance by avoiding common mistakes and following our expert guidelines.

For more expert insights and top-notch air movement solutions, trust Hartzell Air Movement. Contact our application engineers for custom assistance, and let's keep the air moving efficiently!

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By Jerame Painter, Hartzell Air Movement, Order Processing & Customer Services Manager