Bathroom exhaust fans are important for indoor air quality and comfort in the home. Like any appliance, your bathroom exhaust fan requires regular care and maintenance for a long life.
Routine cleaning is simple and should be performed at least once a year. Begin by turning off the power source at the circuit breaker. The circuit breaker should be clearly marked for the bathroom, but you'll want to ensure that the fan and light cannot be turned on with the wall switch after the breaker is turned off. Remove the grille, and wash it with a mild detergent and water in the sink. Dry with a clean cloth. Next, remove dust and dirt from the fan body with a vacuum cleaner and brush attachment. Dampen a cloth with mild detergent and wipe the fan body, then dry with a clean cloth. Replace the grille on the fan housing. Then turn on the power source to operate the fan again.
Remember never to use solvents or harsh chemicals when cleaning the fan. Do not allow water to enter the motor, lamp holder, or electrical connections. Do not immerse metal parts in water or immerse plastic parts in water over 140° Fahrenheit.
Depending on the controls on the bathroom exhaust fan, it may have been installed for continuous or intermittent operation to meet ventilation code requirements for the home. This means that the fan will run all the time (continuous) or at pre-set intervals (intermittent). These control settings mean the fans are on for longer periods of time, thus regular maintenance becomes even more important.
Inspect the ducting connections where accessible, and make sure that air is exhausting to the outdoors at the duct termination. Often, the duct termination dampers on the outside of the home are visible and should open when the fan is on, and close when the fan is off to keep out pests and weather.
If it's time to replace the fan, choose only bathroom exhaust fans that are certified by the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI), for peace of mind, confidence, and reliability. HVI, founded in 1955, is an internationally-respected nonprofit association entrusted by fan manufacturers worldwide with the administration of a certified ratings program for residential ventilating products based upon uniformly-applied standards and testing performed by independent labs. HVI Certification helps to ensure that products deliver the performance claimed.
Regular care and maintenance of your HVI-Certified bathroom exhaust fan will ensure optimal operation, increase the fan's lifespan, and improve your indoor air quality and comfort.
And remember, NOT LISTED = NOT CERTIFIED.