Believe it or not, a bathroom exhaust fan is a very essential feature in your home. It prevents mold and mildew from growing in your bathroom by pulling the hot or humid air caused by a shower from the room, allowing cool room temperature air to enter the room. This is a very important feature, especially if you live in a home with someone who has severe mold allergies or respiratory problems. When the exhaust fan quits working, it might not seem like a pressing issue, but to prevent mold from finding a cool damp place to grow in your bathroom, you want to take care of the problem sooner rather than later.

The first thing you’ll need to do is remove the cover of the exhaust fan. You’ll need a step ladder and some tools to do this. Once you have the cover removed, place it in the sink to wash and clean later.

Before you start trouble shooting the issue, clean the fan blade. Doing this could simply solve your problem, this is a hidden space that doesn’t get cleaned very often so it is possible that all the grime, mildew and dust that has built up on the fan over time has prevented it from functioning. Once you clean the fan thoroughly with soap and water, turn the fan back on to see if that was the problem.

Once you’ve cleaned the fan and find out that wasn’t the issue, check the wiring and the wire nuts. Overtime the nuts can become loose and need to be replaced. If you see any wiring that has been frayed or charred, consider replacing the entire unit rather than attempting to rewire it.

The problem could also be a dead motor. To find out if the motor is dead, you’ll need to test the motor. This is a bit of an advanced step so if you don’t have experience in this, consider calling an electrician or a friend for further assistance, should the motor be dead, you can simply replace the motor without having to replace the entire exhaust fan.

If you’ve checked all of the above and the exhaust fan still isn’t working, take the entire fan out and replace it. Be sure to take it with you to your local hardware store so you’re sure to get the size you need.