Love Your Home: How to Clean Your Bath Exhaust Fans

Bath exhaust fans are the small-yet-mighty, unsung heroes who keep our bathrooms free of humidity and stale odors. The Home Ventilating Institute recommends running your fan for 20 minutes post-shower to clear not only the moisture in the air, but the condensation that accumulates in the fan's ducting, as well. If you calculate based on 1 shower per day, per person in a 4-person household, that's nearly 500 hours of run time for that little guy each year! Show your fan some love by performing a thorough cleaning every 3-4 months, following these easy steps:

Tools Needed: Screwdriver, step ladder, cup, towel, mild soap, dishrag or soft sponge

1. Turn off all power to your bathroom. Just flip the breaker at your main panel, located inside the garage.

2. Locate your bathroom exhaust fan. It will be found on the ceiling - a white, square cover with louvers. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws, but remember to hold the cover in place with your other hand so that it does not fall. Remove the cover carefully. Place the screws inside your cup so that they're not misplaced!

3. Locate the exhaust fan blade. Locate the screws holding the fan in place and remove them. Place the screws in your cup.

4. Clean the cover and the fan blade. Using a mild soap and warm water, carefully wipe down the fan blade and cover. Take care to clean up any dirt or debris so that it doesn't end up circulating around the bathroom when your fan is reassembled. After cleaning both sides of the blade and both sides of the cover, place on a towel to fully air-dry before reinstalling. Tip: While waiting for the items to dry, take your damp cleaning rag and wipe down your vanity lights! Dust tends to accumulate on top of the globes as well as the bulbs themselves.

5. Reassemble & power up. Securely reattach the blade, then the cover. Flip the power back on at the main panel. Turn your fan on and make sure there is no rattling noise from a loose blade.