HGTV's Mike Holmes Shares A Clever Trick For Testing Bathroom Exhaust Fans

Renovation expert and HGTV host Mike Holmes recently shared a helpful tip on Instagram for testing the effectiveness of your bathroom exhaust fan. With just a few simple steps, you can make sure your bathroom's ventilation system is working properly and preventing any excess moisture and mold growth from developing.

"A shower produces a large amount of water vapor and steam. If you don't have proper ventilation in your bathrooms, you can end up with mold," wrote Mike Holmes in his Instagram post. He highlighted the significance of adequate bathroom ventilation as a preventive measure against mold-related issues, which can not only damage your bathroom but also pose health risks to you and your family.

Holmes' advice revolves around a quick and practical test to determine the strength of your bathroom exhaust fan. Simply hold a tissue paper to the fan near the grill or the opening where the air is being sucked out and observe what the tissue does.

Effective bathroom ventilation

As Mike Holmes demonstrates above, the air movement created by the exhaust fan should be strong enough to hold the tissue in place; this indicates the fan is functioning well and has the necessary strength to eliminate moisture in the bathroom effectively. If the tissue paper doesn't stay in place during the test, then your fan might be clogged. To clean it, turn off the fan and disconnect the power. Remove the cover or grill and wash it with warm, soapy water. Carefully clean the blades, motor, and surrounding components. Make sure everything is entirely dry before you put the cover back on and turn on the power. Cleaning your bathroom fan yearly is recommended.

If the exhaust fan still doesn't work as it should, inspect the ductwork. Sometimes, ducts can become obstructed with lint, dust, or even bird nests. If cleaning and maintenance don't improve the bathroom fan's performance, it might be time to consider replacing it. Upgrading to a more powerful model can provide better ventilation for your bathroom. Look for fans with higher cubic feet per minute (CFM) ratings, which indicate greater air-moving capacity.