About three years ago we added a music room (above) and shop (below) to the house. The music room has a ceiling fan, a 52" Hunter "Original" (model 23856A, made in China), which worked perfectly until a few months ago, when it suddenly developed a problem.
It now spins too slowly, making a loud and varying hum, the variation being synchronous with rotation of the blades. I took the control apart today and did some diagnosing. It appears that the motor has a short in it somewhere.
Anyway, my wife called the contractor who built the addition, and reports that he said that ceiling fans only last a few years these days.
One suspicion is that the windings are no longer varnished, and so they vibrate and chafe through the insulation on the magnet wire. I've heard this complaint about the motors on Chinese machine tools.
I'll be calling Hunter next week to collect on their lifetime warrantee, but fans like this should last at least three decades, not three years.
What is the general experience? Are some brands better than others? Even if I have free replacement fans forever, it's a big nuisance to replace a big heavy oil-filled fanmotor 8' from the floor without making a big mess or dropping the damn thing.