Stock photo licensed from

Fixing a Noisy Bathroom Fan

Posted July 27th, 2008 under renovations and repairs, smart selling. Updated August 1st, 2012

Many times I have been showing a home, turned on the lights in the bathroom, and been assaulted by an infernal racket coming from the ceiling. This is one of the most unappealing sounds a buyer can encounter during a showing. Sometimes, the racket is even loud enough to drown out conversation, which certainly doesn't help me show the home.

Most bathroom fans accumulate dust and dirt relatively quickly on the fan blades. In addition, the bearings often dry out. When the dirt accumulates unevenly, the fan becomes unbalanced, which combined with the dry bearings leads to a loud noise.

It's actually very easy to maintain your bathroom fan. Most of us just forget to do it!

Bathroom fans are plugged into a receptacle inside the fan housing, and are made removable so they can be easily cleaned.

To service your fan, first remove the grille, usually by gently pulling it down, then unhooking the springs or unscrewing the thumbscrews holding it in place.

Then, unplug the fan inside the housing, and unscrew one or two screws that hold the motor in place, allowing you to remove the fan/motor assembly.

Now clean the fan blades, and check that the drum is securely mounted on the motor shaft. (Vibrations can loosen it over time.)

Now lubricate the sleeve bearing and reassemble the fan by reversing the previous steps.

The fan should now run quietly, allowing you to read your bathroom magazine in peace and quiet!

Do you have questions about preparing your home for a showing? Just ask me, I'll be happy to help.


Get monthly real estate advice in your inbox, free! privacy policy