Improve Indoor Air Quality by Maintaining Exhaust Fans

Indoor air quality is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being. Poor air quality can lead to various health problems, including allergies, respiratory issues, and even more serious conditions. One effective way to improve indoor air quality is by properly maintaining exhaust fans in our homes and workplaces.

What are exhaust fans?

Exhaust fans are ventilation devices that help remove stale air, odors, and pollutants from enclosed spaces. They work by drawing out the indoor air and expelling it outside, allowing fresh air to enter the room. Exhaust fans are commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas prone to moisture and odors.

Why is it important to maintain exhaust fans?

Over time, exhaust fans can accumulate dust, dirt, and grease, reducing their efficiency. If not properly maintained, these fans may not be able to effectively remove pollutants from the air, leading to a decline in indoor air quality. Regular maintenance is essential to ensure that exhaust fans continue to function optimally.

Importance of Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality” refers to the quality of the air in a home, school, office, or other building environment. The potential impact of indoor air quality on human health nationally can be noteworthy for several reasons:
  • Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors,1 where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.2
  • People who are often most susceptible to the adverse effects of pollution (e.g., the very young, older adults, people with cardiovascular or respiratory disease) tend to spend even more time indoors.3
  • Indoor concentrations of some pollutants have increased in recent decades due to such factors as energy-efficient building construction (when it lacks sufficient mechanical ventilation to ensure adequate air exchange) and increased use of synthetic building materials, furnishings, personal care products, pesticides, and household cleaners.
  • Pollutants and Sources
  • Other Factors Affecting Indoor Air Quality
  • Effects on Human Health

Exhaust Fan Maintenance to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Ventilation is the key to preventing heat buildup, especially during the Las Vegas summers that can soar above 100°F during the daytime. While an attic fan and rarely needs any maintenance, the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen need routine care to function at their best. These fans pull excess moisture, vapor, smoke, and odors out of rooms. Keeping them in working order helps improve the indoor air quality in Las Vegas homes.

Read on to learn the proper techniques to maintain bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans.

How to maintain exhaust fans?

Here are some important steps to maintain exhaust fans and improve indoor air quality:
  1. Clean the fan blades and grilles: Dust and dirt can accumulate on the fan blades and grilles, hindering the airflow. Regularly clean these components using a damp cloth or a mild detergent to remove any buildup.
  2. Check and clean the exhaust ducts: The exhaust ducts connect the fan to the outside. Inspect them for any blockages or obstructions, such as lint, debris, or bird nests. Clean the ducts thoroughly to ensure proper airflow.
  3. Replace or clean the filters: Some exhaust fans have filters that trap dust and other particles. Check the filters regularly and clean or replace them as needed. This will help prevent the recirculation of pollutants back into the room.
  4. Ensure proper ventilation: Make sure that the exhaust fan is properly vented to the outside. If the vent is blocked or damaged, it can hinder the fan’s performance. Clear any obstructions and repair any damages to ensure proper ventilation.
  5. Regular maintenance schedule: Create a regular maintenance schedule for your exhaust fans. This will help you stay on top of cleaning and maintenance tasks, ensuring that your fans are always in good working condition.
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Bathroom Exhaust Fan Maintenance

How to Clean a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    1. Disconnect your bathroom exhaust from power. You may need to turn off the circuit that feeds your fan at the breaker box.
    2. Gently remove the exhaust grate. You may need to unscrew a few screws, but most modern exhaust fans are held in place with tension clips that only require light pressure to remove. If your exhaust fan has an attached light, disconnect the wire before fully removing the grate.
    3. Gently wash grate-only exhaust fans with dish soap and water. If the grate is particularly grimy, soak it in soapy water for a few minutes before cleaning it with a cloth or brush. Allow it to dry completely. Skip this step if your exhaust fan has an attached light.
    4. Use a hand vacuum, vacuum hose attachment, or cloth to remove dust and debris from the fan mechanism. Vacuum dust off any fan grates with attached lights, wiping grime off the grate and fan mechanism with a slightly damp cloth.
    5. Replace the grate when dry, reconnect any wires, and turn on the circuit for your bathroom.
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Do Bathroom Exhaust Fans Need to Be Vented Outside?

Bathroom exhaust fans need to be vented outside, either through the attic or through an outside wall. They cannot be vented into an attic because they remove and relocate moisture. Depositing all that water vapor into a room in your home encourages mold and mildew growth and can even lead to wood rot and structural damage.

When to Replace Your Exhaust Fan

Sometimes, replacing your bathroom exhaust fan is the only option. Replace your unit if you notice yours is much louder than before, it doesn’t adequately remove moisture or odors, or it’s exceeded its lifespan. On average, bathroom exhaust fans last about ten years. Schedule Now

Kitchen Exhaust Fan Maintenance

How to Clean a Kitchen Exhaust Fan of Grease and Grime

Before you start, check your fan’s manufacturer information. It will tell you whether your grease filter is washable or made to be disposed of and replaced. Make sure you have a replacement filter on hand before you start the cleaning process if you need one.

  1. Unplug the exhaust fan or turn off power at the breaker box if you can’t easily reach the plug.
  2. Using gloves, carefully remove the mesh rectangle under the fan. This is the grease filter. You may need to unhook it from the tabs keeping it in place. If you can’t lift it out by hand, carefully lever it loose with a flathead screwdriver or a butter knife.
  3. Soak a washable filter in boiling water for a few minutes before using a nylon bristle brush to scrub it with hot water and a degreasing soap, like dish soap. Be careful not to burn yourself on hot metal.
  4. Remove the fan blades to inspect them for grease. If they need cleaning, soak and scrub them as you did the washable filter.
  5. Let the filter and fan blades dry completely on a towel for about two hours.
  6. While the removable parts dry, inspect the rest of the still-attached fan for grease spots. Wipe them up carefully with a slightly damp cloth.
  7. When everything is completely dry, reassemble your exhaust fan. Replace a disposable filter if necessary. Plug the fan back in and make sure the power is turned on to the circuit.
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Kitchen exhaust fans should be cleaned once a year unless you see significant grease buildup. Wipe away built-up grease as needed with a degreaser.

How Long Do Kitchen Exhaust Fans Last?

Kitchen exhaust fans last about 12-20 years. Your manufacturer should have more precise information on the expected lifespan of your fan. If the exhaust isn’t working as well as it used to, and it’s been well over a decade since you had a replacement, it may be time for a new fan. Schedule Now


Benefits of maintaining exhaust fans

Maintaining exhaust fans offers several benefits:
  • Improved indoor air quality: By effectively removing pollutants and odors, properly maintained exhaust fans help improve the overall indoor air quality.
  • Reduced risk of health problems: Good indoor air quality is essential for our health. By maintaining exhaust fans, we can reduce the risk of respiratory issues, allergies, and other health problems caused by poor air quality.
  • Enhanced comfort: Proper ventilation provided by exhaust fans helps maintain a comfortable and pleasant indoor environment.
  • Energy efficiency: Clean and well-maintained exhaust fans operate more efficiently, reducing energy consumption and lowering utility bills.
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Maintaining exhaust fans is a simple yet effective way to improve indoor air quality. By following a regular maintenance routine, we can ensure that these ventilation devices continue to function optimally, providing us with clean and fresh air. Prioritizing indoor air quality is essential for our health and well-being, and maintaining exhaust fans is a step in the right direction.

Improving the Air Quality in Your Las Vegas Home

If you want to boost your home’s air quality, keeping your exhaust fans in working order is essential. Supplement your well-maintained exhaust fans with other indoor air quality solutions from the pros at Eco friendly Air Conditioning and Heating Repair of Las Vegas. We install and repair humidifiers and air handlers to keep your home as comfortable as possible. Call us at 702-516-9999to get started.

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