Buzzing Ceiling Fan

You know that somewhat familiar 'buzzing' noise that ceiling fans make, right?
We have one that came with the house. It *looks* fairly new, at least as far as I can tell from the floor- it's a nice stainless steel Hunter. When we moved in in December, it only made this buzzing noise when you turned it up to its higher speeds (it is on a dimmer switch on the wall). As time as progressed, it has gotten noisier and noisier at lower RPMs until now it makes noise at its slowest possible setting.
Do they do this because they're dirty, worn out, or otherwise broken? Is there anything dangerous about operating them in this fashion? What's the recommended fix for this?
Part of the problem is that the ceiling that it is on is vaulted. When I say vaulted, don't think of your average house ceiling, think of a church ceiling. This damn thing is about 20 feet off the floor, taller than any ladder I own. I'm highly unmotivated to climb up there and take it down, but I'm sure that any fix will involve doing just that. If this sound doesn't mean it's about to burst into flames, then I'll wait till I can budget someone to come in and do it. Otherwise, I'll leave it off until then.
Thanks for any and all!
-phaeton
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First thing I would try is a new speed control, preferably one that is not "infinite". Lutron fandial is a good one

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phaeton posted for all of us... I don't top post - see either inline or at bottom.

Call Hunter. I believe they offer a lifetime warranty. The buzzing is caused by the windings vibrating. Not sure if a different speed control would help.
--
Tekkie

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A loose neutral can cause a loud hum as well.
CWM
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You don't top post, I'm very proud of ya...

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wrote:

While on medium speed, feel of the housing to check the temperature. If it is hot then you you need to rplace it. Otherwise, let it buzz until you can't stand it anymore.
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Does it have a light kit? If so, make sure any globes that are on it are tight. I had a fan with 4 lights on it, and it would buzz terribly if the screws holding the globes were loose.

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Temporairly replace the dimmer with a switch to see if the buzzing goes away. Then you heve some direction as to if it's the fan/fan wiring or the dimmer. Then put the dimmer back on to see if the problem returns (assuming it went away). If it doesn't return, then a bad connection at the dimmer.
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