At AC Chicagoland we talk a lot about the big appliances in your homes. From humidifiers to heating and cooling systems, they all get their due. However, there is on appliance I don’t believe has been highlighted yet. So, in an effort to make amends with this very important fan in the home, we pay tribute to exhaust fans and show a way to test their strength.
The Benefits of Exhaust Fans
The exhaust fans are located in your bathroom and above your stove. Usually you just flip them on out of habit, not really recognizing their importance in home maintenance. An exhaust fan has two primary functions, and one potential (easily moderated) drawback
- Remove Smells: The bathroom and kitchen can… how do I put this delicately… stink to high heaven. Whether you are answer the call of nature or frying up a tuna melt, odors are common in these rooms. The exhaust fan is used to suck up these odor-causing particles in the air and expel them from your home.
- Remove Moisture: After a long hot shower the steam will collect on the walls and mirrors of the bathroom. If left to sit, this will warp wallpaper, crack paint, and serve as a breeding ground for mold. The exhaust fan sucks up this steam and safely expels it outside.
A Minor Drawback
- Sucks the Heat/Air Conditioning as Well: The exhaust fan expels any air in the room. This means your expensive temperature controlled air is bring shot out of your home when you turn on your exhaust fan, thus lowering/raising the temperature in the room. The dip in energy efficiencyis completely worth it when you consider the disastrous effects of mold. However, all this means is that you must use a degree of care when operating your exhaust fan.
- Use the bathroom/shower with the door closed as to not suck up the air from the rest of the house.
- Don’t leave it running after you are done.
The Tissue Test
If you suspect that your exhaust fan is not operating correctly or see moisture collecting on your walls and mirror long after your shower is done, you can quickly test the strength of your fan with a piece of tissue paper. Turn on the fan and hold the tissue up to the grills. A strong healthy exhaust fan should be able to hold the tissue to the grills without your assistance. If it cannot, then you may need to consider maintenance.
The exhaust fan is the unsung hero of home appliances. It gets not credit, but keeps our home smelling fresh and mold free. It deserves as much respect as any other appliance in your home.