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Bathroom fan noise can be surprisingly annoying! If your bathroom exhaust fan is squeaky, squeal-y, or noisy when you turn it on, there are some things you can try to stop it. If it’s super noisy, though, it may not be able to be fixed. And it probably isn’t moving enough air to keep your bathroom free of mold and mildew. Here’s how to tell the difference.

What’s Causing All That Noise?

There’s a lot science involved, but the simple explanation is that while noise is measured in what’s known as “phons,” appliance noise is measured in “sones.” Forty phons equal one sone. Most bathroom fans rate 1.5 to 5 sones. The smaller the sone number, the quieter your fan will be, but too low and it might not exhaust the air.

Your bathroom fan’s ability to move air is measured by “CFM,” or cubic feet per minute. The more square feet in your bathroom, the higher CFM rating you should have. If you buy and install a fan on your own, the packaging will tell you which CFM rating you should invest in. The trick is finding a fan that gives you a good balance between quiet (the sone number) and movement (the CFM rating).

Can I Fix the Bathroom Fan Noise Myself?

If your fan is already installed, it might just need a little screw tightening. The downside to this is that bathroom fans that need screw tightening are usually poorly built to begin with. In other words, they’re cheap with extremely fast motors and very small turbines. So, while they move a lot of air, they’re very loud. On the flip side, fans with more powerful motors and larger fan blades are quieter. If you don’t invest in a higher-quality fan, you’ll simply have to adapt to the bathroom fan noise.

That said, there are times you might be able to do a small fix:

  • If the bathroom fan noise is a recent phenomenon, the motor could be dirty. Some quick squirts from a can of compressed air to blow out dust and dirt may be all it needs.
  • If that doesn’t work, the fan motor may be on its last legs and it can’t be fixed. But you might be able to replace just the motor and not the whole fan. The cost is similar, but the solution doesn’t involve pulling out the old fan.

If you do attempt to fix the fan yourself, remember to completely turn off the power, not just the fan switch. If you’re not comfortable working with electricity we highly recommend hiring a qualified, licensed electrician to do the wire work in a safe way.

Spyrka for All Your Electrical Needs

Whether you need help getting rid of bathroom fan noise or have any other minor or major electrical installation or repair needs, Spyrka Electric can help. To learn more about our local, family-owned, full-service electrical services company, contact us by phone, email, or online. Why listen to a noisy bathroom fan for even one more day?