At Home with Gary Sullivan

At Home with Gary Sullivan

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Special How-To: Dealing with Bathroom Exhaust Fans!

Have you ever wondered when and how to use your bathroom exhaust fan? That funny, little fan on your bathroom ceiling is more beneficial than you think. Here are a few how-to's and tips on operating, cleaning and installing bath exhaust fans!

How Do Exhaust Fans Work?

The exhaust fan in your bathroom isn't just for removing funky odors! The air flow from bath exhaust fans also helps control moisture-related problems like mildew, mold and surface condensation. The fan ventilates your bathroom which also removes pollutants, such hairspray or deodorant, from the air. Without fresh air intake, the increased humidity and moisture from a shower or bath will stay in the room, enabling mold and mildew growth.

How To Test Your Exhaust Fan's Suction

Here's an easy way to see if your exhaust fan is working correctly. Tear off a single sheet of bath tissue. Place it over the vent while the fan is running. If the fan holds it up, it's running correctly. If not, cleaning your fan is necessary.


· Install a timer switch. It will automatically turn off the exhaust fan after a pre-selected time.

· Have at least a half-inch gap of space between the floor and bottom of the bathroom door to ensure adequate airflow, moving moisture out of the room.

· Your bathroom's dimensions will determine the cubic feet per minute (rated CFM motor size) of the fan you'll need. For example, an 8ft by 8ft bath needs a fan rated approximately 102 CFMs to supply the recommended 12 air exchanges per hour.

How to Install a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Is your exhaust fan noisy, lacking power, or just not doing its job? See below on how to quickly upgrade your fan, by replacing the existing fan and motor with a new unit.

Tools and Materials:

· 4-in-1 screwdriver

· Bath fan upgrade kit (The kit should come with instructions, the new fan and fan cover)

Step 1- Remove The Fan Cover

Grab the edge of the fan cover and pull gently toward you. Squeeze the exposed pins to release them from the slots. Remove the fan cover.

Step 2- Remove The Old Fan

First, turn the electricity off. The fan will be held in by either a screw or a metal tab. Either remove the screw or push on the metal fan housing to release it. Lower the fan toward you and unplug it.

Step 3- Attach the New Fan

Install the replacement parts. Match a new, supplied mounting plate to the dimensions of your old plate. Then attach the new fan to the plate with the screws provided in the kit.

Step 4- Mount the New Fan

Install your new exhaust fan by attaching it to tabs or by screws. Plug in the fan and then install the new cover.

Pro Tip: If you don't have an exhaust fan or if you have a broken exhaust fan, there might be mold or mildew on your ceiling which can be hazardous to your health. Eliminate mold and mildew on your ceiling with Wet & Forget Indoor. To remove both mold and mildew, spray the surface with Wet & Forget Indoor, wait 10-15 minutes, then wipe the surface with a clean cloth or sponge.

How to Clean a Bath Exhaust Fan

Bath exhaust fans are designed to create air flow. Over time, the build-up of lint, dust, and dirt will block up the fan, making it necessary to clean the fan.

Step 1

Turn off the electricity to the fan. Pull the fan cover down gently. It's held in place by metal pins on each side. Squeeze the pins together to remove the cover. If it is dirty, wipe the cover with a sponge or let it soak in warm water and a little liquid dish soap.

Step 2

Unplug the fan. Unscrew and remove any nuts that secure the fan and motor assembly. Lower the assembly and remove.

Use a damp, soft cloth to clean dirty fan blades and the motor assembly. Peek inside the exhaust vent and the fan housing. If you see dirt, use a vacuum attachment to clean. Wipe down the fan housing.

Do all the steps mentioned above in reverse order to reinstall the fan.

Want to learn more about keeping your bathroom in tip-top shape? Click here!

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