Moved in to my apartment recently. The bathroom ceiling exhaust fan has been unbearably loud. I called my landlord maintenance and they only made it worse (they thought the problem was the light fixture when I had clearly stated it was the fan). I had a look at it myself and it looks like everyone is too lazy to clean/replace the damn thing! Caked with centimeter-thick dust. There's so much dust on this monstrosity:. dusty Mind you, this thing goes DEEP into the ceiling! Not your average exhaust fan to easily replace... seems very old. And there is only one switch that controls both fan and light, so I couldn't selectively turn off the damn fan. So I disconnected the useless rotating dust magnet from the socket:disconnect Now the light works... and for once I can use the bathroom and walk out without a headache.

My question: what is the risk of unplugging it? To me, this thing is useless with all that dust, and what exhaust and odor is the old, dirty thing REALLY getting rid of? Especially with a big, hole-less, square light cover blocking the entire thing (not pictured). I guess regardless, to me, I'd unplug a supposedly "odor-blocking, air cleaning" machine to reduce headache any day. But tell me your thoughts!

  • 2
    If they didn't fix it properly, try calling them back in and ask them to take another shot at fixing it properly. After you reconnect it of course. You don't want to be caught altering the property. Jun 8, 2017 at 4:45
  • @Harper Good suggestion, thanks. I'll try that and get back to you.
    – pmcg521
    Jun 8, 2017 at 4:48

1 Answer 1


The accumulated dust is going to have minimal affect its performance as a fan. But feel free to vacuum/brush it if that makes you happier. Lacking a description of the noise, it probably needs bearing lubrication.

In many apartments, the bathroom exhaust fan is most of the ventilation you get. Not running it may lead to mold problems due to excess moisture build-up. Aside from being unsightly, mold can be bad for you.

The "big, hole-less square light cover" almost certainly has a gap around the edge to permit airflow.

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