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HHI-Pedia Entry

Bathroom Fan


It’s important to use the bathroom fan during and after a bath or shower. The excess heat and humidity generated by hot water can promote condensation both inside the bathroom and within the walls around the bathroom, since air is cooler in these locations. If neglected, excessive condensation can promote the growth of mold inside the walls. Resulting mold spores will compromise indoor air quality and may lead to health problems in susceptible people.


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Reducing humidity also has a positive impact on your cleaning efforts. Humidity will cause dust to bond to many surfaces. When this happens, dry dusting won’t remove the soil. The surface must be cleaned with a wet method.

If you’re in the habit of using the bathroom fan regularly, dust and cobwebs will collect over time on the grille and inside the fan assembly, reducing airflow and effectiveness. Clear this debris from the grille annually using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment.

The fan and fan housing may be cleaned occasionally in the same way on models featuring a removable grille. Removable grilles “snap” downward on two tensioned metal clips as you pull on the grille by hand. In many models, this gives you sufficient access to the fan housing above.

Caution: To reduce shock hazard, verify two things before you begin:

  • That the power switch controlling the fan is turned off, and
  • That the fan motor is unplugged from the housing.

On most models, the metal fan housing has a small outlet, and a removable plug is attached to a cord running to the fan motor. Unplugging this fan is as safe as unplugging a lamp or any other appliance.

If you have access to the housing but can’t complete both steps above, consider turning off the circuit breaker that powers the fan before vacuuming dust from the housing.

When done, be sure to plug the fan back into the outlet before replacing the grille.



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Bathroom Fan:  Created on June 4th, 2009.  Last Modified on November 10th, 2009


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