How to Fix a Noisy Extractor Fan?

A noisy extractor fan can really be quite annoying and are fairly common. For most of us, we just want a nice quiet extractor fan that extracts the air from whichever room we want it to work in – quietly!

Unfortunately, things can go wrong from time to time but do not fret, we will help you get to the bottom of why exactly your extractor fan is noisy, as well as how to fix it once and for all!

Let’s get into it.

What can cause a noisy extractor fan?

There are many reasons for a noisy extractor fan, these include:

  • High extraction rate
  • Running for too long
  • Dirt, dust or debris buildup on the motor shaft or fan blades
  • Dirty filters blocking airflow
  • Incorrect ducting
  • Defective motor
  • Faulty wiring
  • Loose mounting

High Extraction Rate

A loud or noisy extractor fan doesn’t always mean it is faulty. Has your extractor fan been noisy from the start? If so, this could be because it has a higher extraction rate (you have a more powerful extractor fan) and therefore has a higher sound or decibels output. If you opted for a powerful extraction fan because you require it for a larger application or room, then the noise may not be something you can fix – unless you replace the fan itself.

There are plenty of great quiet-running fans out there. Also, if power is something you need, you can opt for a good inline fan instead, as they are both fairly quiet and powerful at the same time.

Related: What size bathroom fan do I need?

Your Extractor Fan is Running for too Long

Is your extractor fan running for too long? Most extractor fans make some kind of noise but when they are running for too long, this noise can become quite irritating.

As a general rule of thumb, for an average domestic bathroom, a bathroom extractor fan should stay on for between 10 to 15 minutes. This gives it enough time to extract the air in your bathroom, toilet or shower so that there is no mould buildup and the room is ready for the next user.

Anything longer than this is excessive and means the length of the time the noisy fan runs can be reduced.

Related: How long should my bathroom extractor fan run for?

Dirt, dust or debris buildup on the motor shaft or fan blades

Now that we have checked whether the fan simply is a noisy fan or is running for too long we can start looking at whether it just needs cleaning.

A common cause of a noisy extractor fan is some kind of dirt or debris buildup affecting the running of the fan. An extractor fan works via the motor spinning the fan blades to expel air. If the path of these blades is blocked by dirt or dust, this can make your fan become noisy.

Once turning the power off safely, you can simply remove the cover of the extractor fan and give it a quick clean to resolve the issue.

Related: How to clean an extractor fan

Dirty filters blocking airflow

Another common cause of a noisy extractor fan is dirty filters that block airflow.

The filter is designed to catch particles and debris, so it will become clogged with the buildup of dirt and lint after it has been used for some time. When this happens, the fan can’t work properly and may not be able to remove as much air as it should. Over time, moisture and dirt can cause the fan’s filters to become blocked causing it to become noisy until cleared.

Once again, after turning off the power safely, remove the front cover of the extractor fan and check the filter to see if it is blocked and give it a quick wipe or even vacuum, to resolve the issue.

Related: Best Extractor Fan for Bathroom Condensation

Faulty Mounting

Another common cause of a noisy extractor fan is faulty mounting. This doesn’t just mean the extractor fan wasn’t installed correctly. It also could mean that some screws have become loose and therefore each time the fan runs, the vibration is not being contained and therefore it is hitting the surface where it has been installed.

To check if this is the case, take off the fan’s front cover and gently press down on the different parts to see if you get any movement there. If you do, just push it correctly into place. Also, double-check all the different screws to see if any are loose and give them a quick tightening.

Incorrect Ducting

An extractor fan extracts and expels air out of your room and through the ducting work. When the air is removed from the room, it is then transported through the ducting and expelled outside your home, through a vent. If you do not use the correct ducting length, it can cause some noise. Similarly, your ductwork should also be as straight as physically possible, as twists and turns increase the air pressure and therefore increases any noise as well.

Related: How to install an extractor fan

Defective Motor

As mentioned above, an extractor fan extracts air via its fans or blades which are powered by the motor. If the motor is not working correctly or has become worn due to wear it can become noisy.

Carefully inspect your fan and if you see any signs of damage it might be time to replace it. Ultimately, it is usually always cheaper to replace the fan altogether, rather than hiring a professional to come and repair it.

Related: Best Bathroom Extractor Fans

Faulty wiring

Faulty wiring is another cause of noisy extractor fans. If the wiring or conductors are faulty, this can cause noise. In these situations, and after checking the above steps, it is best to get a professional to come and take a look, for safety reasons. After tests have been carried, out if it is faulty wiring of your fan, you will need to get a replacement to resolve the problem.

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