Bathroom fan making a humming noise or sound: How to fix

Bathrooms can get steamy, especially if you have a bath or shower. If the vent fan in your bathroom isn’t working as efficiently as it should be, you may notice that the temperature in the room suddenly increases. You also might have problems with mold or mildew in the bathroom, which is why you should check to see if your vent fan is working properly.

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Vent fans are designed to blow air out of a room, not suck it in. However, if the blades on your bathroom fan aren’t working properly, it could be allowing too much air into the room. You can fix this yourself by replacing the blades, which is what we’ll cover on this page.

Here’s how to fix a bathroom fan that is making a humming noise:

Turn off the power

Check if the remote is working. It is possible that the bathroom fan doesn’t get a signal because there is an issue with the remote or button that activates it. If this isn’t the case, we will have to explore further.  You can also check the settings of your fan to see if something changed. It is often possible to set how fast a fan has to turn. If it is turning too slow, it is possible that humid air builds up and takes a long time to get removed.

Before you do anything else, turn off the power to the bathroom fan. This will keep you from getting shocked if something electrically goes wrong, and it will also help prevent damage to the fan from running it with power still on. Wear protective equipment such as gloves, worker boots and goggles.

Remove the cover

Most bathroom fans have covers made of plastic or metal. If yours does, remove it to expose the motor and blades. In most instances, there is a small screw that you have to remove to get the cover off. It is also possible that there are clips that you have to push together. Don’t force things as this plastic or metal piece can break. You shouldn’t do this when the blades are still turning. You can use a small ladder if needed.

If you haven’t opened the cover for a few years, you might have to use a prying tool to get it loose. Dirt and dust can accumulate and make it harder to remove the cover from the wall.

Check the motor

If you don’t know how the motor in your bathroom fan is supposed to work, look it up in the manual. You can also use an electric meter to check if the motor is still working fine. You can often hear this working when it is active. If it is making weird noises or smells bad, it can indicate that something is wrong with it.

If the motor is dirty, clean it. If it appears to be burned out, replace it. You need to have some experience with electricity to work on this. Ask an electrician if you don’t know what is going on. Be careful when you work on a motor and make sure that the electricity is turned off!

Clean the bathroom fan blades

If your bathroom fan is not blowing air out of the vent, you may need to clean the blades. Use a can of air dusters to remove dust, cobwebs, and other debris.

After dusting, use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean the inside of the bathroom fan. Use a damp cloth or soft brush to remove any excess dust or hair from the bathroom fan blades.

Make sure the bathroom fans in other rooms in your home are turned off when cleaning the bathroom fan blades. If you aren’t careful, you could damage the blades on other fans.

Also, check the cover outside your home to see if nothing is blocking it. Sometimes birds are building a nest on top of this, restricting the airflow. You can remove the outside cover and clean the exhaust drain. Removing dirt from the drain with a vacuum can also help to make the fan work again. It can be an annoying job but can really improve the air flow and remove a lot of dust from it.

Install a new bathroom fan

If your old bathroom fan is not working, you can probably just replace it with the same model. Sometimes replacing the blades is enough. This is quite easy and can be done with a screwdriver. Adding a new motor is generally easy as it slides in clips. You then just have to plug it back in.

in other instances, you will have to completely install a new fan. This is harder to do. To do this, you will have to remove screws to get it out. You will also have to work on the wires to do this so it requires some experience with electricity. You will have to attach the new fan to the exhaust hose with zippers. Be sure to install the electricity correctly. Then you just have to attach the fan with screws and test it.

If you don’t find the same model, try to find one that has the same dimensions. If you have to cut the drywall, it will be more work and can make things more complicated. Check how loud and powerful the fan is when you get one. Newer units have sensors as well, making them more efficient.

Test the bathroom fan to see if it works now

After you replace the fan blades or install a new fan, you should test it to make sure it’s working properly. To do so, turn on the bathroom fan, then use a thermometer to take the temperature in the room. If the temperature in the room is higher than normal, but not drastically so, the fan is likely working as intended.

Bathroom fans generally last about 10 years if you clean them regularly. You can often add a timer so that it doesn’t keep turning if you forget to switch it off. The motor can overheat and break if you keep it running for a long time. Adding a timer is often quite easy to do.


Bathroom fans can become dirty quickly, and their blades may need to be replaced. In this post, we have outlined some steps that you can take to fix a bathroom fan that isn’t working properly. 

Bathroom fans are important as they make sure that you have fresh air and that there is no buildup of mold. If there is an issue with the fan, you should try to fix it as soon as possible. An electrician can help you with this as well.