How to Care for and Clean a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Table Of Contents

Overview

A bathroom exhaust fan is a very important component of your house. A bathroom that has no exhaust fan or windows can accumulate lots of unpleasant smells. The smells are normally removed after you use your bathroom by an exhaust fan. Bad odour can linger in a bathroom that doesn’t have an exhaust fan as soon as you poop or use strong cleaning products.

Apart from the foul smell as a result of using your bathroom, other issues that a bathroom exhaust fan addresses are dust and humidity. Humidity from showering covers the mirrors and walls with fog. Afterwards, it condenses into water droplets that dampen the walls and can cause moss growth. An exhaust fan plays a crucial role in expelling this fog from the bathroom thus keeping your bathroom in a nice and dry condition without any dampness.

A bathroom exhaust vent fan should be regularly cleaned and maintained. When carrying out home maintenance, make sure your bathroom exhaust fan and vents are cleaned too. Exhaust fans tends to accumulate lots of dust and grime due to negligence. In this article, you will find great cleaning tips for your bathroom exhaust fan, whether it is coupled with a heater or LED lights.

It is also prudent to have a bathroom exhaust fan that vents outside your house. It does not matter if it is a ceiling or wall-mounted fan. You should also run the exhaust fan each time you take a shower or after bathing for about 10 to 20 minutes to vent out the resulting moisture. If this moisture is trapped in your bathroom, it can result in mildew or mould formation.

If you notice a lot of dampness or wetness on your bathroom mirrors or walls during and after taking a bath or a shower, then your bathroom exhaust fan could be having issues. And it means that you need to find a professional to examine it. An issue with your bathroom fan can result in a serious problem in your bathroom. Over time you will find out that foul odour still lingers minutes after a call of nature and this is something that can embarrass you when you have visitors in your residence. It can also lead to moulds, mildews and even rust if you do not get the excess moisture out of your bathroom in time.

Some bathroom exhaust fans usually come with LED downlights. These types of bathroom fans are usually ceiling mounted. Your ceiling fans generally remove excessive moisture, dust and smell while also providing lighting through its LED lights.

How Does a Bathroom Exhaust Fan Operate?

Your bathroom exhaust fan utilises its fans and motor to suck air into the component. The sucked air, which is usually moist or stuffy, is then channelled out via a running duct to outdoors. When installing a bathroom exhaust fan, ensure that all the components including, the vent cover, safety switches, fan blades and motor and fan covers, are properly installed. You should also insist on having exterior venting. Please get the help of a professional when installing the fan to have it operating seamlessly.

For example, a ceiling-mounted exhaust fan should expel odours and moisture from your bathroom by removing the moist and stale air which is sucked out of your bathroom through ductwork and out via an overhanging soffit.

When you switch on your bathroom exhaust fan, you reduce potential issues that can result due to trapped moisture. All you need to do is turn on the fan every time you run water. You should always have it running for around 15 minutes after you use your bathroom. If you often forget to do this, have a fan timer installed in place. In addition, you should have your bathroom fans cleaned at least twice a year too.

How to Select an Appropriate Bathroom Fan 

Before having a bathroom exhaust fan installed in your home, you should keep in mind that bathroom fans are categorised in cubic feet per minute in airflow. If your bathroom is smaller than a hundred square feet, you will require about 1 cubic foot per minute (CFM) for every square foot of the bathroom. Therefore, for optimum effect, if your bathroom is around 80 square feet, you will have to install a fan with around 80 cubic feet per minute.

In short, if you had not followed this formula when installing your bathroom fan, you will be required to reinstall the bathroom fan with one that suits your space effectively. Your bathroom exhaust fans are rated in CFM with the most powerful rate being at around 150 CFM. If you have a huge bathroom, install in place a powerful exhaust fan to effectively ventilate your bathroom space.

Another crucial consideration when deciding on which bathroom fan you need to install in your bathroom is sones. A Sone is the unit used to measure how loud or silent a fan is during operation. Quieter fans are rated with low sones while louder ones with high sones.

When selecting a bathroom fan, it is also important to consider the noise level of the exhaust fan, especially if your bathroom is more adjacent to your home library or bedroom. Louder bathroom exhaust fans have about 3.5 sones or higher while the more silent ones have a sones rating of 0.5 or lower.

Advantages of Having a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

• The main reason you need to have a bathroom exhaust fan is so that it can get rid of moisture in your bathroom. An exhaust fan also helps to expel and control odours in the bathroom and generally increase the cleanliness of the room.

• A bathroom fan also helps to keep your family safe. It does so by expelling toxic fumes from washing and cleaning agents that can turn out to be harmful. Please note that a ceiling-mounted exhaust fan is ideal because it usually sucks out the hot, damp rising air.

When you call a professional to install your bathroom exhaust fan, ensure that the fan vents the air outdoor. Avoid venting the air into a crawlspace, ridge vent or your attic. If you let the damp air vented out into these places which are indoor and enclosed then mould, mildew and rust might develop.

• You can also opt for a wall-mounted exhaust fan that is capable of sending the damp air out directly. As for a ceiling-mounted fan, the air is usually sent out through the roof through ducts.

Below are other important things that a bathroom exhaust fan take care of:

• Expels Moisture 

Without ventilation in your bathroom, moisture can cause a lot of problems like, rust of appliances and hardware, growth of mildew and mould and even peeling of paint. By switching on the exhaust fan you can also get rid of contaminated air.

• Gets Rid of fumes from Strong Cleaning Chemicals

Commercial and home restrooms are mostly cleaned using very strong cleaning chemicals. If you are constantly exposed to these harmful fumes, especially if you are an elderly or child, then the fumes can cause serious health issues. A restroom must have a functioning bathroom fan to expel these fumes immediately after the cleaning agents have been used.

• Improves Air Circulation and Keeps Your Bathroom Fresh

We all know how moisture can trap bad odour and make your bathroom foul and stuffy. A bathroom exhaust fan will help get rid of moisture and improve air quality and circulation in your bathroom.

How to Clean and Take Care of Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan

The fan blades and motors of your bathroom exhaust fan should be free from dirt and grime. This is because dirt can shorten the lifespan of your exhaust fan. A dust-filled bathroom exhaust fan can also be a potential fire hazard.

A dirty vent cover is also not a good sight to see. Therefore, as you clean your bathroom, ensure that you use a microfiber cloth to dust both the cover and bathroom vent occasionally. Also, make an effort and try to leave your bathroom windows and doors ajar for a little bit as the bathroom fan runs. This will significantly improve air circulation and preserve your exhaust fan and motor from degradation.

How to Clean Your Bathroom Fan

As soon as you have your bathroom exhaust fan installed and running, the next step is to understand how to clean and maintain it properly. If you clean and check the electrical wires at least twice or once annually, you ensure that there is no build-up of dirt and grime and that the system runs smoothly. If you cannot figure this out on your own, it is best to have a professional technician handle it.

A typical bathroom exhaust fan is composed of the fan housing, electrical wiring, the extractor fan, and a vent cover. Here is a simple guideline of how to clean your bathroom exhaust fan:

• The most important thing to do before you attempt anything is to turn off your bathroom circuit breaker.

• Secondly, remove the vent cover to have access to the motor and fan blades.

• Now get hot soapy water and submerge the vent cover in it. Using a clean microfiber cloth, wipe the vents cover and let it dry completely then reattach it.

• Next, use a vacuum cleaner to clean the fan housing whilst carefully wiping the motor and fan blades.

• When each part is pristine and dry, assemble back your fan’s components and reattach the vent cover.

• Last but not least, turn on the bathroom circuit breaker, switch on the fan then ensure that it is up and running.

Summing Up

Now that you understand how important it is in your daily life, be sure to remember to clean and maintain your bathroom exhaust fan at least once or twice a year. If you think you will forget, put a bi-annual reminder on your phone. And if you cannot pull the fit on your own, don’t worry. You can always reach out to a great professional technician that can do a decent job for you at a great price.

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