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Most homeowners take their bathroom ceiling fan for granted, rarely looking up until something unsightly catches their eye and suddenly they feel they have to take immediate steps to mitigate the situation. Then the most common reaction might be: “Now what do I do?”
Thanks to Doug Cornwell, chief operating officer of Alure Home Improvements, the solution is at hand.
“Nobody can quite understand how to take the covers off because there are no visible screws,” he explains. And there’s a reason for that. The bath fan cover is held in place by two spring clips, lightweight metal contraptions that have a bit stronger resilience than a paper clip, considering they have to fight against gravity to keep the cover on the upside down fan flush with the ceiling.
In this recent installment of Alure Home Improvements’ “60-Second Fix: How To Remove Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan In 60 Seconds,” Cornwell shows you how simple and easy it is to remove the fan cover and replace it once your task is completed.
First, he advises that you slide your fingers under the edges of the cover. The two spring clips are located on opposite sides of the fan cover. Once you find the clips, you’re in business.
“Don’t be afraid to pull it,” Cornwell says. “The cover will pop up.”
Now you’ll be able to better see the two wire assemblies on either side of the cover—these are the spring clips, which are designed to spring apart in order to function.
“Pinch them together,” he says. “They release that side from the slot where the clips were inserted. Then do the same on the other side so this clip pops out.
“Now you can hold the cover,” Cornwell explains.
Fancy bath fan covers may have a light in the assembly. Perhaps it burned out and that is why you want to go through this process. Or, more commonly, you’ve noticed that the fan cover’s openings are clogged with dust and grime, and you rightly believe it’s time for a good, thorough cleaning. Maybe you will also want to wipe the fan’s blades clean. If so, make sure you’ve taken precaution to turn the fan off first!
“Do whatever you need to do with the cover,” Cornwell advises.
Once you’re satisfied, you just reverse the process to put the fan cover back on.
“Aim one spring clip above the slot and pinch the wires together,” he says. “It’s easier if you do one side first. Once you have the spring clip back in place, then you can insert the other spring clip.
“Pinch the spring clip and put it into the slot! Back on it goes!” says Cornwell with a smile.
Of course, Cornwell makes it look easy—he is an experienced Alure Home Improvements professional, after all—but in this video he has a special advantage. He’s working standing up in the Alure Home Improvements warehouse. Bath fans are normally installed in the ceiling. So in the interest of getting the most out of this instructional video, you might want to stand on your head, or put the monitor upside down so you can prepare yourself for the real experience.
But seriously, you don’t need to go that far. And you don’t have to be a magician or a skilled acrobat to undo the bath fan cover. You just need a chair or a stepladder that gets you comfortably within reach of the ceiling fan cover, and a preview of this video so you are familiar with the inner workings of the spring clip. Once you see how simple the spring clip functions—it just takes a pinch for the wires to release from the slot—you could almost do it with your eyes closed. That bath fan never need be dirty or dusty again.
Of course, as Cornwell says, everybody appreciates what this modern appliance does.
“Bath fans take the humidity out of the air when you’re taking a hot shower,” he says. And if the fans don’t do that, you might be in for “a bad hair day,” he jokes.
And, remember, a clean bath fan is a hygienic benefit to everybody who uses that bathroom, including you.