I have a Broan-Nutone exhaust fan / light in the ceiling of my
bathroom. The round light cover is surrounded by an "apron" (call a
"reflector" in the manual) with fluted slots for the exhaust. (See the
Unfortunately, every month or two the slots plug up with dust and
lint, and then I have disassemble and disconnect everything to scrub
it out. Everything else works flawlessly -- so I hate to replace the
whole thing -- but I'm spending more of my life that I care to messing
around with a bathroom fan.
Has anyone run into something similar? Maybe a different "face" for
this unit or some other option that would make it less prone to
getting plugged up??
I do, but it doesn't help. The gunk is damp (this is in a bathroom
near the shower) and stringy so it sticks in place, and the angle/
curve of the housing doesn't allow the hose end to fit tightly over
the slots to get good suction.
I've also tried using pressurized air... which only serves to blast
bits of the gunk up into the light cover, leaving most of it in the
The only solution I've found is to disassemble everything and scrub
the gook out with water pressure, soap and a stiff brush.
Quit attacking the symptoms and go after the problem. Assuming that
you are not the world's most slovenly housekeeper, consider getting
rid of your Dyson Whoopee Vac and get an old fashioned machine that
really cleans (check Consumer Reports). Then look at your household
air filtration appliances, like the air filter in your HVAC system(s).
Other sources of debris are the ubiquitous cheap carpet in too many
homes. Get rid of all you can and install wood or composite, whatever,
flooring. Even bedding could be part of the problem as well as long
haired active pets. The end result may well be that you stop sneezing
for inexplicable reasons.
Of course, if you are downwind from some industrial plant that
processes recycled cardboard or makes cellulose insulation you may
have to move or seal up the house better. Good luck.
Thanks for the suggestion, Joe.
I'm working in the direction, but a major overhaul of air flow in a
three-story house isn't cheap or quick. In the meantime, I'd like to
find a fix for this den of dust bunnies that continues to accumulate.
Well, I've wondered why my hair was getting thinner! :-)
I don't think it's getting drawing too much -- the bathroom is
probably 6 x 10 and 8-feet high.
Part of the problem is that the slots are rough around the edges, so
they make an ideal place for dust and lint to catch and start to
I ran across another individual who had the same issue with this fan.
He sliced through the metal behind the slots and bent them back to
open up the air flow. That would probably work, but will make the vent
look pretty rough.
The exhaust goes out the wall just below the soffit. No indication
that the fan or exhaust portion is plugged. In fact, the system clears
the bathroom quite nicely when the intake slots are clear.
One issue seems to be that the edges of intake slots are quite
rough, which catch detritus and start the accumulation process. Of
course, because of the placement (and size) of the slots, there's no
way to get in and smooth them... and that would probably wreck the
We have the same one in this house we built 3 years ago..NO Dust in slots.
We had the same one in our 1998 house too..No dust..
Do you have a filter in your home's heating/cooling system ? Is your home
Where is all this dust coming from ?
It's an older home with forced air heating, lots of farmland / prairie
in this area so lots of dust and pollen. Yes, we have a good quality
furnace filter and we change it regularly. We do have a couple short-
haired cats, but the gunk in the vents is primarily dust -- not cat
Pets, kids, in and out people traffic, smokers, clothes dryer venting,
vacuuming, air conditioner filtering, outdoor ambient air quality,
frequency of use as in on/off time are all contributing factors. Does it
vent properly? Many things to consider here. I would say that a simple
vacuuming the grill on a bi-monthly basis should benefit you.
I had a problem similar to that. Problem disappeared when three hair
spray users moved out. One of the few benefits of a divorce.
Seriously though just how much hair spray does the SWMBO use? Is the
exhaust fan above and behind someone standing in front of the mirror?
High pressure aerosols can put most of the spray in the air instead of
on the coiffure. If so, you might *ask* her to try the same brand in a
A really good fan can try to exhaust the lacquer cloud instead of
letting it settle on everything in the room. ;)
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.