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Ventilation Equipment Maintenance

The ventilation system in your home brings in fresh air and helps control indoor moisture levels. Part of your ventilation system is designed to operate continuously and it is important that it does. Always operate and maintain your ventilation system according to manufacturer instructions.

Time Needed: 30 minutes
Frequency: At least 4 times per year
Number of steps: 5
Tools you might need: toothbrush, flashlight
Skill level: easy

Step 1: Locate Ventilation System

The ventilation system in your home may be one self-contained unit known as a "balanced ventilation system" or your ventilation may be provided by two or more simple exhaust fans. In either case, part of this system is designed to operate continuously. Also, ventilation systems all have openings to the outside of your home. See also: Air Opening Maintenance

Step 2: Locate Controls

Balanced ventilation systems tend to look like a metal box or perhaps a small furnace. They may have different colors or shapes. The controls for these appliances are located centrally in the living area of your home. Read manufacturer instructions for proper use of ventilation system controls.

Step 3: Clean Filters

Balanced ventilation systems have filters that must be washed or replaced. These filters should be checked at least once each month. Find the latches to open the ventilation system. Locate the filters and clean or replace. Be sure the access panel is closed and tightly latched. See also: Forced Air Furnace Maintenance

Step 4: Locate Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans used as a ventilation system must be maintained and operated as designed. If you do not have a balanced ventilation system, at least one exhaust fan is designed to be operated continuously. It is important that you do not shut this fan off, except when cleaning the fan. Other exhaust fans in your home are designed to be used when showering, bathing, cooking, doing laundry, etc. using these fans will help control the moisture levels in your home.

Step 5: Clean Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans can accumulate dust very quickly. Remove and clean the exhaust fan register regularly. Most can be removed by simply pulling straight down and releasing spring clips. If the fan itself has dust and dirt accumulation, unplug the fan and remove one screw to take the fan out for cleaning. Never use water to clean the fan! Replace the fan and register after cleaning and check for proper airflow by holding a piece of tissue paper up close to the fan. The tissue paper should be pulled toward the fan.

Ventilation Equipment Maintenance Checklist.pdfVentilation Equipment Maintenance Checklist.pdf (Acrobat - 18K)