There has been a lot of fuss about exhaust fans as homeowners continue their search for the perfect HVAC and ventilation appliances to have the perfect indoor temperature and air quality. Exhaust fans are designed for use in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, garages, and even some basements.
Their major function is to pull damp, stale and hot air from the room and send it outside. This helps to reduce the temperature in some way and keep indoor air fresh. Odor, humidity, and heat are the three main targets of exhaust fans.
But you may have wondered at some point whether exhaust fans are also capable of removing dust or do they make it worst? That’s a million dollar question because dust is airborne and it is easy to assume that everything floating in the air should go along with it.
However, it may not always work that way, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this topic. Perhaps, after reading this post, you’ll know for sure if an exhaust fan will keep your room dust free or if you need to use something else.
Does Exhaust Fan Remove Dust?
This is quite a complex question because exhaust fans are not primarily designed to remove dust.
So, while the unit may pull out dust along with indoor air, it lacks the capacity to keep the dust out.
Most exhaust fans are not equipped with air filters, so would allow a free flow of dust in and out of the room.
What this means is, that if you live in a very dusty area, whether uphill or close to the desert, your exhaust will not be able to stop dust from entering the room along with replacement air from outside.
So, will an exhaust fan keep the room dust free? The answer is No. What matters most when it comes to dust removal from a room is the air filter and not the blade. You need air filters to trap dust particles and allow only fresh air back in.
That brings us to some specifically designed exhaust fans made for kitchens. These units are equipped with filters and tend to have a higher CFM to deal with the heat, grease and other particles.
This may work better than regular exhaust fans in dust removal, but are also not specifically designed to remove dust.
How Effective Are Exhaust Fans in Removing Dust?
Not very effective. Like we said before, removing dust from a room is better done by an appliance that is built for the purpose. There’s a reason air purifiers have multiple filtration systems; to cater to large particles and even the tinier, finer particles.
Exhaust fans do not have these. They may pull some amount of dust outside and still let a sizable amount of dust back inside.
It will be counterproductive to rely on an exhaust fan to remove dust in a room because it has no mechanism for restricting dust coming in.
Specific exhaust fans and vent hoods meant for kitchens are the only types that can remove dust to an extent. Regrettably, these units are only designed for use in the kitchen.
Using them in other places like bathrooms and laundry rooms can be problematic because they may not have the resistance needed to work in the midst of so much moisture in the air.
If you need to remove dust from any part of your home, you should get an air purifier that’s suited for the purpose, especially those rated for particles as tiny as 0.3 microns and at least 99.9% accuracy.
Do Fans Make Dust Worse?
There’s now some evidence that fans, ceiling fans, standing fans or even exhaust fans can support dust movement in your home. Ceiling fans, especially, are known to provide a breeding ground for dust and mites.
This can happen whether the ceiling fan is switched On or Off. But we can tell you for free that it’s worse when the fan is turned Off with the blades in a static position.
Dust tends to rest on the blades and sit there. Then when you turn the fan on, this dust is blown around the room and may cause severe allergies.
This is even worse in homes without ventilation. Sealed homes without air purifiers have no route for the dust to leave. With the fan On, dust simply circles around and around over and over again.
Truth is, dust will settle on furniture, TV stands, and other surfaces in the room if left undisturbed.
But, the moment you turn On the fan, you make them airborne and dust is more dangerous when it’s airborne because that’s when it can be inhaled and that’s when it can cause irritation and allergies.
Leaving a window or door open when the fan is On may make only a minor difference because the fan cannot prevent dust from outdoor air from coming into your room, but it can also force some amount of indoor dust out of the room.
So, will an exhaust fan remove dust? Our answer is No; at least, not in the way you’d expect. Exhaust fans are simply not built for dust removal and they may even make a mess of the situation.
Exhaust fans will do a good job removing damp, smelly, and warm air but you’ll be asking for too much if you also expect them to remove dust from a room. There are appliances built to handle indoor dust and, unfortunately, exhaust fans aren’t one of them.