Bathroom Extractor Fan Staying On

How Long Should a Bathroom Extractor Fan Stay On For?

If you’ve got a bathroom extractor fan that’s keeping you awake at night long after your trip to the loo, you’re probably wondering if this is normal, and how long is the fan supposed to stay on.

The answer is…

A bathroom extractor fan typically stays on for 20 seconds to 20 minutes once you’ve finished in the bathroom. The length of time an extractor fan stays on is usually decided when the fan is being bought and being installed.

What do I mean? Basically, you can either purchase an extractor fan that comes on when you use the bathroom light, a fan that has a built-in timer, or an extractor fan that has a humidistat.

If you buy a timer version, you can decide how long you want to leave the fan on for as it’s being installed. And if you’ve bought a humidistat-based fan, the fan will detect how much humidity there is in the air.

It will stay on for a period of time to decrease the amount of humidity in the room. An extractor fan that’s started by a light switch typically stays on for a few minutes once the light goes out.

It goes without saying, you can get different models and makes of extractor fans which all come with various unique features. You’ll need to do some research into which one to buy.

If your bathroom extractor fan is running on and on for hours, there is a problem! You really need to get this issue fixed because the wiring could be faulty or the motor could be failing.

What Triggers an Extractor Fan to Start Up?

There is usually a set way to start up an extractor fan and these ways include:

  • The light switch and fan usually work via the same switch; when one comes on the other does too.
  • Movement can also be used to start an extractor fan.
  • A lot of extractor fans come on when they sense that there is a great deal of humidity in a bathroom.

If your extractor fan spontaneously switches itself on for no reason, the motor or wiring could be damaged, and this is a problem that a professional should solve for you.


Should You Leave an Extractor Fan On?

There really is no need for you to leave the fan on all day because the extractor fan will have done its work within its allotted time frame.

For example, if you’ve decided to leave your extractor fan on for an additional 10 minutes (timer version) after you’ve left the bathroom, most of the moisture will have been sucked away by that time.

Bathroom Extractor Fan

Plus, your extractor fan should automatically switch itself off regardless of whether or not you’re in the same room (assuming the fan is working correctly).

On the other hand, if you happen to leave your extractor fan on by mistake, it’s okay, just try not to do this too often. This usually applies to homes that have their extractor fan and light switch together.

People usually leave the bathroom light on and the extractor fan stays on in this case.


Do You Need an Extractor Fan?

While the noise of an extractor fan may be really annoying, it’s better if you try and stick with the fan because it does have some serious perks!

These perks include:

  • Decreasing the amount of humidity in your bathroom.
  • Getting rid of moisture on surfaces.
  • Limiting mould growth.
  • Stop bad smells from building up.
  • Air quality should be better.
  • Protects your home from water-related issues.

Extractor fans can prevent a lot of damage from occurring in your home, but you should do your research into the different makes and models available today, so that you pick one that suits your home.

If you definitely don’t want an extractor fan in your bathroom you need to open a window when you use your bathroom’s facilities. Air needs to escape somehow.



A bathroom extractor fan usually stays on for 20 seconds to 20 minutes. You can however decide for yourself how long you want the fan to be on for if you buy a timer model. 

Additionally, an extractor fan will stay on until it has cleared away enough humidity from a room if it is a humidity-based model.



How long do extractor fans last?

Extractor fans have a pretty good life span if you take care of them and maintain them regularly. A fan can last up to 10+ years in a lot of cases.

How do I turn my extractor fan off?

An extractor fan should automatically switch off when you put the lights off, when the timer runs out or when there is little humidity in the bathroom.

If you think there is an issue, you should call for professional help.