Bath Exhaust Fan Not Working: How to Diagnose and Repair
LESLIE: Diane in Minnesota has got a steamy bathroom. Tell us what’s going on.
DIANE: Yes. The exhaust fan, it just does not seem to take the steam out of the bathroom at all. It just doesn’t work, for some reason.
TOM: Well, where is the exhaust fan mounted? It’s on the ceiling and goes into an attic? Is that correct?
DIANE: Yeah, it’s in the ceiling. I just live in an apartment, so I’m not exactly sure where it goes but …
TOM: OK. Well, see, that would be a good place to start. Because you want to make sure when you turn on an exhaust fan that you can see it actually exhaust somewhere. And generally, it’s going to be a vent outside the building somewhere. And you can turn on the exhaust fan and see that vent open. So you need to figure out – or if it’s an apartment, you need to have a super figure out where it’s exhausting. Because it could be obstructed, it could be crushed, it could be blocked, it could be terminated. There could be a lot of things wrong with it.
And the other thing that you might want to think about – and you may or may not want to do this, because it’s an apartment and not a condominium that you own, but there’s a different type of exhaust fan that’s out now. Broan and NuTone make it. Same company. It’s called ULTRA. And what’s cool about it is it has a moisture-sensing switch built into it – a humidistat – so it runs whenever the room gets moist. So, you can kind of set it and forget it. And you take a shower, it’ll just stay on until all the moisture is evacuated out of the room and then go off again.
DIANE: OK. Well, thank you so much.
TOM: Alright, Diane. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.