Oven Exhaust Fan Stopped Working? Grab Your Screwdriver


Has your exhaust fan stopped working, and you’re not sure why?

That sucks! Proper airflow is necessary for getting the right baking results whenever you’re in the kitchen, so having your appliance’s exhaust fan fail can turn a great day into a terrible one.

I know how annoying it can be to have your oven’s exhaust fan stop working – especially if you just bought the appliance or are not willing to pay for expensive repairs at the moment. Luckily; you’ve come to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find a list including 3 simple fixes you can try to get everything back to normal.

When your oven exhaust fan has stopped working, try removing debris from the fan, scrapping away any rust present, or replacing the fan as a last resort.

Read on to get your oven’s exhaust fan back to normal!

Why trust us? This article was written by Craig Anderson and James Blackford.

Craig has helped thousands of other homeowners repair their appliances since 2016.

James is one of our resident appliance experts with over 16 years of experience. He currently works as a Master Technician for SquareTrade, and runs his own appliance repair business.

Why Your Oven’s Exhaust Fan Is Failing

Oven exhausts are critical to the proper functioning of an oven, which is why having them fail is very inconvenient. There are many possible reasons why your oven’s exhaust fan is failing – from something as simple as rust buildup on the fan to a more complex problem, such as a fault with the actual fan.

Here are some of the things I typically try first and recommend you do to save time and money and get to the bottom of the issue as quickly as possible.

#1 Remove Debris

The first thing you must try when your oven’s exhaust fan has stopped working is to remove any debris that’s blocking the fan from spinning freely.

Although your oven’s fan is protected and covered behind a large metal plate, over time (especially if you don’t clean your oven often), food residue, hardened grease, and all sorts of particles can start collecting on it. At first, debris might not cause too many problems, but as time passes, you’ll notice the fan isn’t spinning as well as it used to, or in your case, has stopped altogether.

oven fan
Check your oven’s exhaust fan for obstacles and food residue.

Solution: To clean your oven’s exhaust fan, you need clear access to it. Luckily, in my experience, accessing an oven’s exhaust fan is very simple; however, the process might vary depending on your oven’s brand and model. Here are the broad strokes to give you a general idea. You’ll only need a screwdriver.

  1. Cut off power and gas to the oven either by unplugging the appliance from the wall outlet or flipping the switch on your circuit breakers.
  2. Carefully pull out the oven from the space it’s in and go around the back of the unit.
  3. Locate the screws holding the backplate of the oven in place and undo them.
  4. Remove the backplate to gain clear access to the exhaust fan.
  5. Check the fan for any debris, grease buildup, or any other foreign objects that are keeping it from working normally. If you find anything, remove it.

Once you’ve removed debris from your oven’s exhaust fan, plug the oven back in or restore power to it and see whether the fan is now working. If not, don’t worry – there’s still a lot of ground to cover.

Note: Some ovens will have a front plate instead of a backplate, so if yours has a front plate, there’ll likely be no need to flip the oven over to access the fan (see picture above).

#2 Remove Rust

If there’s no debris or food residue present causing your oven’s exhaust fan to fail, my usual advice is to check the fan for rust next.

Although the appearance of rust on an exhaust fan is not necessarily a result of improper cleaning, frequent maintenance can play a key role in detecting the formation of it in a timely manner. There are many reasons why there could be rust on your oven’s exhaust fan, including excess moisture in your home.

Like any other metal object, your oven’s exhaust fan will have difficulty moving freely when it’s rusted, which can overstrain the fan’s motor, cause a short circuit, and significantly decrease your oven’s lifespan.

Solution: If you followed the instructions from the previous step, you already have clear access to your oven’s fan. Carefully inspect the fan to ensure there’s no rust forming on it. If you do spot rust, you’ll have to scrape away as much as you can to get your fan back to normal.

There are products that can help make the rust easier to remove, so if you want to make your job simpler, you can go ahead and use them. Once you’ve removed all the rust from your oven’s exhaust fan, it should work normally again.

#3 Replace the Fan

The last potential fix when your oven’s exhaust fan is not working is to replace the fan entirely. Replacing the fan should only be a last resort, only to be used when you’re certain that it’s severely damaged and you can’t get it back to working condition.

Now, what exactly can damage an oven’s exhaust fan badly enough that it needs to be replaced? Well, there are many potential causes, such as overstraining, power surges, and even factory defects. Whatever the case may be, the fan must be replaced as soon as possible.

Solution: I’ve found that replacing an oven’s exhaust fan is usually easy and not very time-consuming. More often than not, all you need to do is access the fan (which you already did), take a picture of the fan’s wiring for reference, and undo the screws holding the fan in place. Then, disconnect the fan from the oven’s wiring and install the replacement.

The entire process shouldn’t take you more than an hour at the most; however, depending on your oven model, the replacement can range between $100-$275 or more if you own a high-end oven.

Fixing Your Oven’s Exhaust Fan

That about covers it!

When your oven’s exhaust fan has stopped working, you’re left without a key element in your baking process.

Luckily, as I hope this piece has helped you better understand, addressing the most common causes behind an oven’s exhaust fan that has stopped working is easy and quick. More often than not, something as simple as removing any debris and scrapping away built-up rust will do the trick.

Thanks for reading. If this article was useful and answered your most burning questions, please check out our other resources and free guides below and consider subscribing to our newsletter.

Have a wonderful week!


I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more