The exhaust fans in your home are one method of removing moisture and indoor pollutants. Often times these fans are ignored which may cause an abundance of moisture in bathrooms and kitchens. Too much moisture may allow mildew and other moisture borne issues to thrive.
You may believe the exhaust fans in your home don’t do anything. There is a quick and simple test to find out if your exhaust fans are pulling air.
With the fan on, take a piece of toilet paper or tissue and hold it under the fan. If the tissue doesn’t move and “sticks” to the fan it works, try it in a few places if it doesn’t stick the first time. If your exhaust fan is covered with lint and dust, take the extension on your vacuum and remove as much of it as possible.
Next, check to find out if the exhaust fan damper is working properly. The damper is a piece of plastic or metal that closes shut when the fan turns off so that air doesn’t move as easily in or out. To make sure it’s working, turn the fan off and listen closely. If the damper is working you will hear a click noise, try this a few times if you don’t hear it at first. If still nothing then you may not have a working damper and will be loosing energy to the outside.
One last thing to check (if accessible) is if the duct carrying air from inside to outside (typically in the attic) goes up and through the roof. You may want to contact a professional if you believe that your exhaust fan is not working or if the exhaust damper isn’t working.
Exhaust fans are an important part of the ventilation system in your home, especially in colder months when you are more likely to keep windows closed. After a shower it’s recommended to run your exhaust fan for 15 minutes or more. While cooking you should run the exhaust fan, especially if you have a gas stove top.