How to Clean an In-Line Exhaust Fan

If you own or operate a Co2 Laser then you know the importance of having a working exhaust fan.  Cleaning your fan can be intimidating, so here are the why's and how's to cleaning your in-line exhaust fans.

First and foremost, why do we need to clean our fans?  There are two main reasons, one being to improve the performance of your exhaust fan.  The more carbon and resin that there is built up, the less debris, fumes and smoke it will remove.  the other being safety, when all those particles build up inside your fan they create a pretty nasty fire hazard, especially when combined with the heat of the fan motor and electrical wires. 

Now that the "Why's" are out of the way lets focus on the "How's".  Keep in mind that you should be cleaning your fan once a month to keep it running smooth and avoid issues, personally i have two of them so i can switch them out to avoid delays in production and cause less wear and tear on the fans.  Cleaning them takes about 15-20 minutes from start to finish and here is how:

  1. Unplug the power and detach both your intake and outgoing hoses of your fan.  There should be a metal ring holding the tubes to the fan and will take either a Flat head or Phillips Head Screwdriver to loosen.
  2. Locate the screws running around the rim of your fan and remove them being careful not to strip them.  On some fans they may be located in the front of your fan instead of around the center edge.  TIP: Before you remove the screws, mark a line across both sections for quick re-alignment. 
  3. Remove the face of the fan to expose the inside components.
  4. Using a hand broom, sweep all parts inside to release the particulates.  Ensure you get inside the rim and around the inside of the previously removed face/hood.
  5. Placing the face back onto the fan without fastening, keeping fingers and clothing clear of the intake and out flow, turn it on to blow the dust out of your fan.
  6. If you are satisfied with the results you can now screw the face back onto the fan.  If not, simply pull the hood back off and scrub it one more time with the hand broom.
  7. Once reassembled, attach the hoses to the fan ensuring the Intake and outflow are attached to the correct sides.  Now tighten the compression rings to secure the hose from slipping.

Congrats, you are now ready to restart your machine and get back to work!  Below i will include some Amazon Affiliate links to all of the products, including the fan, that i have suggested.  As long as you routinely do a maintenance cleaning of your fan, you won't need to do a deep cleaning and your fan will last years. 

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