So, I bought an inline booster fan and while I was getting that all set up, it was also time for a deep clean. After wrestling with the tabs holding the left glass top on, and getting very angry about using tools meant for other purposes and how #$%^ difficult it is, I said to myself, “Self. It’s out of warranty, and you’ve already modded it, why not make it easy on yourself.” So I grabbed my handy-dandy Dremel, and got rid of the tabs completely. So now the left side glass top is easily removable, and life is happy again. Just need to get an on/off plug for the booster fan.
I too removed the tabs… the next time I replace the exhaust fan, I expect to inflict less lacerations.