Bathroom Fan Too Loud? How to Quiet It In 5 Steps


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Whether you’re going number one or number two, the fan in your bathroom is something you reach for every day. A loud and rickety fan can be distracting and irritating. This might leave you with the question, how do I quiet down my bathroom fan? 

If you’re trying to prevent your bathroom fan from being too noisy, never fear. Many easy fixes will quiet a noisy fan. Cleaning the fan, adjusting the blades or duct, and replacing the motor are just a few of the things you can try to muffle the sound of your bathroom fan. 

In this article, we’ll go over some of the reasons why your fan is making noise and some of the easy ways to fix it. The subsequent sections will outline and describe the different ways you can quiet the fan in your bathroom with ease. I’ll also share some tips for choosing the right fan for your bathroom, how to clean your bathroom fan, and replacing various parts of the fan.

1. Clean Your Fan

One of the easiest ways to make your noisy bathroom fan quieter is to clean your fan and its various parts. If your bathroom fan has never been cleaned, a built-up layer of dust and dirt can cause either the fan blades or the motor to work improperly, which can lead to unwanted rattling or clicking noises when you turn your bathroom fan on. 

How To Properly Clean Your Bathroom Fan 

For cleaning your bathroom fan, you don’t need any crazy maneuvers or magic potions. A little soap and warm water will go a long way. All you need is a damp cloth and some suds, and you’re good to go. 

Before you start cleaning the fan, it’s essential to ensure the fan is off and the plug that powers the blades inside is unplugged. To be extra careful, you may want to consider shutting off the power to your bathroom on your home’s circuit breaker

Begin by removing the cover or lid from your fan so that you have easy access to all the hardware inside. Wipe the outside down with a rag using soap and water. If there’s a lot of dirt and buildup, you may want to fill your sink or a bucket with water and let it soak for a few minutes. 

After the cover is clean, you can move on to the actual hardware mounted to the fan. Take your damp rag and wipe down the fan blades and the entire fan housing. Allow everything to air dry. You might want to use a handheld vacuum to suck up some of the dust before you wipe the fan down. Following this, reassemble the fan and its cover, and you’re all done! 

2. Adjust the Duct

Another reason your bathroom fan might be making a lot of noise is that the duct is the incorrect size or needs to be repositioned or even replaced. If the vent is too small, excess air pressure from the fan may be causing the noise. If the duct has a kink in it, straightening it out may relieve the noise from your fan.

First, locate where the air duct from your bathroom fan to its exterior vent runs. For most people, this is located in their attic. After finding the duct, make an assessment. If there are kinks present, consider replacing the connectors with smaller sizes or smaller degree turns. 

Make sure the duct is the appropriate size for your fan. Today, most bathroom fans require a 6” (15.24 cm) vent, but the quieter the fan is designed to be, the larger duct it’ll need. If you’re unsure about the correct air duct size for your fan, consult a professional. 

3. Adjust the Fan Blades or Motor

One of the most common reasons a bathroom fan becomes noisy and loud is the fan blades spinning incorrectly or the motor needing lubricant. As a fan runs over time, the blades may become out of sync or loose in their housing and need to be adjusted to prevent extra sound. 

To adjust the fan blades or motor of your bathroom fan, follow these steps:

  1. Start by removing the cover.
  2. Turn the fan on and observe how the blades are behaving. If they seem to be hitting the interior or aren’t running smoothly, this is most likely the culprit behind your unbearably noisy fan.
  3. Remove the housing and take apart and reinstall the blades. If your fan is still loud, it may need lubricant. 

As a bathroom fan runs for an extended period, the parts will wear down and experience more friction. This increased friction may be causing the loud noise you’re hearing when you turn on your fan

To relieve this friction, you may want to apply lubricant to the blades or motor. It’s recommended that you use WD-40, but you may choose other types of lubricant to smooth out the operation of the blades or motor. 

4. Tighten Any Loose Ends

Another reason your bathroom fan may be producing more noise than usual is if any of its operating parts have become loose or unscrewed. Take a look at your fan’s cover and its housing.

If you notice any loose screws or blades, tighten them or reinstall them. One of the common parts of a fan that becomes loose is its mounting screws, so be sure to double-check that the fan is tightly mounted in place. 

5. Make a Replacement

If you’ve gone through all the parts in this list and find that your fan is still making too much noise no matter what you try, it may be time to replace specific parts or replace the whole fan entirely. 

Over time, parts break down and stop working as they should. Try to identify the piece of your fan that’s not operating correctly by observing the fan as it runs or listening for what is making the noise. Depending on what’s going wrong, you may be able to replace a single part instead of the entire fan. 

If the motor is breaking down, this can be easily replaced most of the time without removing or getting an entirely new bathroom fan. The same is true for the fan blades or the fan cover. If everything you try seems to be futile against the rackety noise of your bathroom fan, it may be time to throw out the old and bring in the new. 

Key Takeaways

There are many reasons why a bathroom fan may be producing excess noise. Some of the significant fixes for a noisy fan are cleaning the fan, adjusting the blades, applying lubricant, or replacing broken and old parts. 

Remember to only make repairs or changes to your bathroom fan if you understand what exactly it is that you are doing. Fans are electrical machines and can be dangerous if you’re uncertain about making any alterations. If you need help, ask! Leave the heavy lifting to the professionals. 

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