• Excess moisture in the bathroom can condense on electrical fixtures and become a danger, or cause wallpaper to peel and become a nuisance. If left unchecked, peeling wallpaper will eventually lead to water damaged drywall or mold. Either way, a properly functioning exhaust fan is a must, so if yours does wear out, take 10 minutes and pop in a replacement.

    Get a Look Inside

    Remove the vent cover. The most common type is one that requires you to work your fingers under the edge of the slatted, plastic cover that sits flush against the ceiling. It should drop down a few inches, exposing two spring-loaded clips. Squeeze each one and pull them from the mounting slot on the fan housing. A common sticking point on this type of cover, so to speak, is when a lazy painter (probably you) painted in the edges, effectively gluing the cover in place. If this sounds familiar, some careful scoring with a utility knife can help to prevent a necessary patching job later.

    Try Resurrecting the Fan You Have

    Determine the severity of your problem. Often, a noisy fan or one that doesn't seem to be moving enough air is clogged or otherwise dirty. Use a shop vacuum to remove all the dust or hair from the blades and around the motor shaft. You can also lubricate the shaft with a little vegetable oil. Plug in the fan and see if this simple step has fixed the problem.

    Replace the Fan

    Replace the fan if the problem persists after cleaning. There will be a part number etched on a metal plate attached to the fan assembly. You can write that down, or take the whole unit with you to the local big box store to ensure that you are getting the correct replacement. Install the new fan. If you are replacing the old one with a like model, you most likely can slide it right into the existing mounting bracket and tighten the mounting screws. If not, remove the bracket that is attached to the studs in the roof and replace them with the new bracket that came with the replacement fan.


    The Natural Handy Man: Clear the Air With A Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    R.E. Williams Contractor: A Guide To Ventilation Exhaust Fans

    The Happy Rock: Think Fix It First, Replace It Second-Replacing A Bathroom Fan

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