Here's a test for checking if your Exhaust Fan needs cleaning, as suggested by a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. Hold a tissue up to the grille where the air enters the exhaust fan in your bathroom, kitchen, basement or attic. Turn on the switch. If the tissue stays tight against the grille, that's good. If the tissue flutters, that's bad. Your exhaust fan has become an exhausted fan. Dirt may be the problem. Attic and basement fans should be cleaned once a year. Bathroom and kitchen fans, every 6 months.
1.To clean an exhaust fan, Unplug fan or disengage circuit breaker.
2. Remove the grille and wash it in warm water and dishwashing soap. Rinse and dry. A kitchen exhaust fan will also have a filter that needs washing.
3. On many models, you can remove the fan and motor by unscrewing the mounting bracket and unplugging the cord.
4. Whether you remove them or not, vacuum the fan blades with the nozzle attachment. Then wipe them off with a damp cloth. Also vacuum and wipe the inside of the housing.
5. Clean the motor and other dusty parts with a stiff paintbrush.
6. If you notice bad wiring or if the fan doesn't work, call an electrician. Don't attempt to fix it yourself.
Wash the filter in a range hood exhaust fan every month or two. This filter, usually aluminum, is for catching cooking grease. Remove it and wash it in the dishwasher or in a solution of hot water and dishwashing detergent. Don't use ammonia, which will darken the metal. Rinse, dry, and reinstall the filter.
Range hood fans that recirculate the air, rather than venting it outside, have a charcoal filter that must be replaced about every six months, says a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. All of the above are in the book, 2,001 amazing Cleaning secrets by Jeff Bredenberg.