A problem with your bathroom exhaust fan can spell problems for that important room. Exhaust fans remove the extra moisture that can build up in your bathroom, which can cause mold, mildew and rust. If you’re seeing excessive wetness on the walls and the mirrors in your bathroom after a shower, there might be something wrong with your bathroom exhaust fan. Here are some troubleshooting tips you can try:
Turn on the exhaust fan and hold a thin piece of paper, such as toilet paper, over the grille. A working fan will grasp it tightly. If it doesn’t, there might be a blockage in the duct connecting to the exhaust fan. Remove the grille and try to find and clear the clog with a brush, preferably one that’s specifically for cleaning ducts. Remember, you can easily make holes in the duct, so don’t use anything with sharp parts to unclog your duct.
Once you’ve found the clog and cleared it, do the tissue test to ensure you’ve gotten all the clogs out. You can also go outside and put a plastic bag over the vent hood. If the plastic bag fills with air immediately, your bathroom fan is in working order.
If you’ve performed the tissue test and the plastic bag test and your fan has failed both of them, there are a couple of other things you can do to find out why your fan isn’t working:
- Check if the exhaust duct is connected to the fan; it could be disconnected.
- Check the flapper in the exhaust vent hood; it could be jammed.
- Check if your fan is actually a recirculating fan, which filters out odors instead of removing moisture. If you find filters when you remove the grille, you have a recirculating fan.
Sometimes the problem isn’t with the exhaust fan, but rather other factors in the bathroom are causing the problem. A fan that’s too small for a room won’t be efficient in removing moisture. A lack of air coming into the room can lead to problems as well.
Tip for even better venting: Now that your fan is working properly, think about installing a timer in place of the on-off switch. You can set the timer to a point where it runs 10 to 20 minutes after you leave to get all the moisture out!
Contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Co. for more troubleshooting tips. We’ve been serving the Yuma area since 1952.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about exhaust fans and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.