Repair or replace your bath fan

Bathroom fan.jpg

Bath fans are important to maintaining your home.  The primary function of a bath fan is to move excess moisture out of the bathroom.  A poorly functioning or inoperable bath fan can cause water spots to form on the bathroom walls, and may even lead to mold growth.  A noisy bath fan may discourage the occupant from operating the fan.

Common problems with bath fans include

  • The exterior exhaust louver is damaged

  • Birds start nests in the exhaust piping

  • The exhaust piping is a long run of flexible duct, and condensation forms creating a sag and blocking the exhaust line.

  • Noisy operation

  • The fan exhausts to the attic, allowing moisture build-up and mold growth there

Should I repair or replace a bath fan?  Not every bath fan must be replaced.  Some possible repairs include:

  • Replace the motor

  • Use a re-build kit to upgrade the unit

  • Repairing the exterior exhaust louver

Replacing a bath can range widely in its difficulty.  Factors to consider when replacing a bath fan include

  •  Is access available on the opposite side of the bath fan, typically through an attic

  • Will the new bath fan trim cover the old opening in the ceiling?

  • If I have to cut the drywall, is there a texture on the ceiling that I must replicate?

  • Does the old bath fan have an adequate electric supply? - ungrounded circuits in older homes may not allow some newer features to function.  Circuits with only one switch may not be able to operate the fan and light independently.

If a fan is more than twenty years old, it is unlikely that repair is worthwhile.  You may want to replace the fan for a more modern look, or to benefit from some of the newer features available.  When selecting a replacement fan, consider the following factors

  • The size and shape of the existing fan opening is important; stay close to this size to avoid additional drywall repairs.  Remove the plastic grille to check the size.

  • If you're considering a fan with LED lights, are they dimmable?

  • Would you like the fan to operate on a timed switch so that the fan doesn't run for prolonged periods, needlessly dumping your conditioned air?

  • Would you like a moisture sensing fan or switch, to automatically turn on the fan?

  • If your home is a part time residence, would you like a programmable switch so that the fan may operate on a regular cycle and help move fresh air through the home?

Blue Fox Carpentry is happy to assist with your ventilation fan repair or replacement.  If you live in or near Blacksburg, Christiansburg, or Radford, call today to discuss your project.