How to Fix an Extractor Fan
Extractor fans are necessary for ventilation in hot or humid rooms, such as your bathroom or kitchen. If your extractor fan is malfunctioning or is too loud, don’t be so quick to resort to purchasing a new one. You might actually save some money by checking up on few things yourself and making the necessary repairs.
Step 1 – Clean the Extractor Fan
Extractor fans work like a vacuum cleaner by filtering out the bad air from your house to the outside. Consequently, similar to vacuum cleaners, dust and dirt can collect on the fans very easily. If your extractor fan appears to be non-effective or noisy, your first approach to fixing the fan should be to clean it. In fact, it is crucial to clean the extractor fans regularly in order to prevent the fans from malfunctioning or even from spreading air pollution in your house.
Make sure to wear gloves and a face mask in order to avoid skin or eye contact or inhalation of the dust particles from the fan. Before cleaning the fan, turn off the electricity and switch off the fused connections. Then, dilute a liquid detergent to 50-percent by mixing it with warm water. Use a vacuum to clean off all the loose dust from the fan, and then use a toothbrush dipped in liquid detergent to clean the corners. Wash the entire fan with a damp cloth and liquid detergent. Completely wipe the water off the fan with a dry cloth.
Warning: It is important that water does not contact any part of the electronic devices of the fan. Take care when using water in the area and only do so in small portions.
Step 2 – Check for Faulty Wiring
If the fan does not turn on or off by the switch, check for a faulty switch connection. Before checking for connection problems, turn off the fuse or the circuit breaker. Then, remove the cover plate from the switch. Tighten the screws on the switch. If there are wire nuts in the box, tighten them. Place the cover plate back on, turn on the fuse or the circuit breaker, and then turn on the fan to see if the fan is functioning properly.
If your fan still does not work, don’t give up hope just yet. Turn off the fuse or the circuit breaker again. Remove the cover from the fan by unscrewing the screws. Take a mental picture of how the cover was placed on, and don’t lose the screws. Remember that you have to reassemble the cover back on the fan. There is a small box under the fan cover. Check for any loose wiring and screws. Put the cover back on, and turn the fan on to see if your fan is functioning properly.
Step 3 – Additional Assistance
If your fan still does not work, the fan could have problems ranging from a faulty motor to a faulty switch. Hire a professional to diagnose your broken fan. If you have a faulty motor, it is recommended that you just buy a new one. If you have a faulty switch, it is best that you hire a qualified electrician to do the job.