How to Test a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

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A bathroom exhaust fan, an integral part of any home's ventilation system, is designed to remove moisture from the air caused by steam from hot water. Using a fan decreases the humidity and potential for rust, mold and buildup on plumbing fixtures, showers and bathtubs. Exhaust fans, which come in a vast array of sizes, shapes and features, can be tested periodically to ensure they're doing their job in the bathroom.


A bathroom exhaust fan helps remove heat and steam from the bathroom.

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Things You'll Need

  • Toilet Paper

  • Step Stool

Step 1

Tear off a few sheets of toilet paper from a toilet paper roll. Turn on the switch that controls the exhaust fan. You will hear the exhaust fan engage.

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Step 2

Step up on the step stool. Get as close as you can to the exhaust fan.

Step 3

Place the toilet paper an inch away from the fan. The fan should suction the toilet paper up to the vent or grille, and the toilet paper should adhere to the fan. If the paper does not attach to the exhaust fan, the fan is not sucking the humidity out of the room. In this case, use manufacturer instructions to troubleshoot and repair the fan. You may need to replace the fan.


Do not leave the toilet paper next to the grille; if it is sucked into the system, it could cause a clog. Once the test is completed, remove the toilet paper and turn off the fan.



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