Bathroom Ventilator/ Heating Combo Unit

So I have a Miami-Carey combo ventilator in my master bath. Separate switches for light, fan and heater functions. I replaced the vent fan probably 10 to 12 years ago, and it started running rough lately so I did my DIY duty today and decided to pull it and clean it.

The amount of dust and “dirt” accumulation was surprising to say the least. 2 hours to pull out the fans and give them a thorough clean. The mess around the heating fan elements concerned me the most, to the extent of what could cause a fire if used.

As an Inspector, I test systems to see if they function properly and report on that. I wonder if I should recommend further inspection for these type of dual systems to assure that the heating elements are safe from debris buildup?

I think it would be out of the SOP, but just in case?


Why not, I do for the dryer and duct.


Should be on the long list of annual maintenance items a homeowner should be checking and correcting!
This is a topic I talk about with every potential homeowner I inspect for.


Thanks Marcel and JJ. Just never really crossed my mind about bathroom vents, but I sure will make a note for it going forward.

Marcel, just to note, I do recommended dryer vent cleaning in all inspections where dryers are/have been connected and have been used.

JJ is on it. I do my wives’ bathroom fan every 6 months. A big culprit is the hair spray women and some men use (not me!). it causes dust to stick like glue to all parts of the fan, ducts etc.


Bathroom vent fan heating elements are known for collecting dust and particulates which may pose a fire hazard. Inspecting the heating element requires dismantling which is outside the scope of this inspection. Recommend further evaluation and cleaning as needed by a qualified contractor for safety reasons.

According to this insurance company, with or without a heating element…maintenance is recommended to reduce fire risks.

Can Bathroom Fans Cause House Fires? | American Family Insurance.