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When it comes to bathroom fans, most people want a little bit of noise but not too much. If you’re growing tired of excessive bathroom fan noise, or your fan has suddenly become noisy, there’s an easy solution. Here are the most common complaints about bathroom fan noise and suggestions of what to try first:

  • Squealing bathroom fan: The motor needs lubricant or adjusting. If you need to reapply lubricant more than once per year, it’s time to replace the bathroom fan.
  • Vibrating, humming bathroom fan: The fan blades need cleaning and adjustment, or the vent cover needs cleaning and tightening.
  • Knocking or clicking sound: Clean and remove any debris from around the fan blades.
  • Making a loud bathroom fan quieter: Replacing the entire unit is usually the cheapest and most effective solution. You could add insulation or adjust the ducts, but this might cause more vibrations and more noise. Look for a model with a low “sone rating” of 1.5 or lower.

Fixing Bathroom Fan Noise

Bathroom Fan Noise Using a vacuum cleaner attachment that can reach into a tight space, try to remove all dirt and debris from around the bathroom fan. Then use a dry dusting cloth wherever you can reach. You can even wash the vent under the sink—just be sure to dry it thoroughly. You don’t want to trade bathroom fan noise for a mildew problem, so make sure everything is dry after cleaning.

Lubricating oil can be purchased for just a few dollars at the hardware store. Look for a good “3-in-1” lightweight oil or silicone spray rather than WD-40. Lubricate the moving parts of the fan motor, and now you’ll have less bathroom fan noise and cleaner air, too.

When to Replace a Bathroom Fan

Not everyone feels comfortable climbing up and attempting DIY repairs for a noisy bathroom fan, and that’s okay. In fact, there’s a good chance that you need a replacement anyway.

We recommend bathroom fan replacement if:

  • The fan is more than 10 years old
  • Bathroom fan noise has always been a problem
  • The noise returns within a few months of cleaning
  • The fan does not dehumidify the bathroom enough
  • The bathroom fan noise is bad enough to bother people in other rooms
  • Inspection reveals bad wiring, a burnt motor, broken fan blades, or other issues

While an enthusiastic DIYer might be comfortable with installing a bathroom fan, this job is best left to a licensed electrician. If motor problems were causing the bathroom fan noise, it’s especially important that you get the wiring inspected as part of the replacement process.

To schedule a visit with an electrician to replace a bathroom exhaust fan or to troubleshoot bathroom fan noise, contact us at Spyrka Electric in Sebastopol.