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Keeping Your Bathroom Fan Working In Tiptop Shape

Keeping Your Bathroom Fan Working In Tiptop Shape

Bathroom exhaust fans tend to be one of the more neglected parts of the house. After all, they are a very big hassle to clean, and you really do not know how much you miss your bathroom fan, until it stops working. Bathroom exhaust fans may not seem that important, but in fact, they are extremely important. A quality bathroom fan serves two important purposes, first, it helps get steam out of your bathroom. If you do not get rid of excess steam, the moisture can cause damage to the bathroom walls and foster mold growth. Secondly, the bathroom fan helps keep the bathroom smelling nice and fresh (if you want to see more reasons for why you should get a bathroom fan installed, check out our earlier article on the topic). So, it is important you keep your bathroom fan clean and in tiptop shape.

Cleaning your bathroom exhaust fan

I know this can be a hassle. Most people do not bother to bring in a screw driver and a small step ladder when they are cleaning their bathroom, but unfortunately both are likely going to be necessary to clean your bathroom fan properly. Although, the job will be much easier if your fan is easily accessible, and if your fan cover comes off without the use of a screw driver.

Before starting to clean the fan, you are going to want to take some precautions. First off, you are going to want to turn off the power to the fan if possible. If you cannot, then just turn off power to the bathroom as a whole. Then make sure before you start cleaning, that you test to make sure there is no power going to the fan. Generally, whenever you are working on anything electrical, you want to shut off power. That’s especially true when working on your fan, because if it accidently starts when you are cleaning it, the fan blades could be easily damaged, and you may injure yourself.

If you haven’t cleaned your bathroom exhaust fan for a while, then it is probably coated in a thick layer of dust. If this is the case, before you start cleaning you are going to want to lay some coverings down on the floor to prevent dust from getting everywhere (you may also want to put something on your hair if you are concerned about dust getting in your hair).

You have a couple of options when it comes to cleaning the blades. If you have a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner that can actually reach the exhaust fan, then use the brush attachment to gently suck up the dust. If you do not have a vacuum cleaner that can reach the exhaust fan, the next best option is to grab a bucket, fill it with some water or cleaning solution (depending on what you want to use) and grab a cloth. Use the wet cloth to wipe the individual fan blades until they are completely clean. Make sure that if you use a cloth, that you wipe very gently, you do not want to damage the blades in any way. After wiping the blades with a wet cloth, you will want to go over the blades once or twice with a dry cloth, just to get any extra dust particles or moisture left on the blades. If there is only a light amount of dust on the blades, just use a duster instead of a cloth.

As for the cover, you are going to want to clean that as well. For cleaning the cover, it is recommended that if possible, you soak it in water for a few minutes to get all the dust particles off’; and then wipe it dry. If that is not an option, you can always use a vacuum or can of compressed air to get the fan cover clean.

Once everything is clean, you can just throw the cover back on, turn the power on, and your fan will work as if it was brand new. There are a lot of benefits to keeping your bathroom exhaust fan clean, but the one you will probably notice right away is that fan will be quiet. Most people think of bathroom fans being extremely noisy, but if you keep yours clean, the noise created by the fan will be severely reduced.

Depending on how dusty your fan is, you may also want to consider detaching some of the parts, like the motor, and giving them their own individual cleaning. Chances are the motor on your exhaust fan will be covered in dirt and dust, so give it a good leaning. Of course, unless you have experience with exhaust fans, you will not want to go rooting around in your bathroom’s exhaust fan. So, if you do not know what you are doing, just stick to cleaning the blades, and get a professional in to look at the motor.

How often do you need to do this?

Yeah it sucks to have to clean your bathroom exhaust fan, but on the bright side, you really only need to do it around 3 to 4 times a year, depending on how dirty the fan gets. And if you make a regular habit of cleaning the bathroom fan every couple months, then you will never have to do a major clean up like above, and can instead just run a vacuum or duster around the fan.

Possible vent issues

When you are giving your bathroom exhaust fan a thorough cleaning, you may want to also consider making sure that the exhaust fan is correctly moving the moisture and air outside. Some houses have issues where in the moisture and air is moved into the other parts of the house, instead of outside. This can cause damage, so you will want to make sure that your exhaust fan is installed correctly. Unfortunately, you cannot fix this problem yourself, and you will need to call an expert.