A Guide To Bathroom Exhaust Fans
It’s not difficult to guess the bathroom is the most volatile room in your home. Nowhere else do you have conditions that can change so rapidly, with moisture and humidity in abundance at certain times of the day.
If this moisture is allowed to sit in the air for any length of time without being vented, it can cause a variety of issues within, including damage to the structure of the home. That is why each bathroom should have an exhaust fan to suck the moisture out of the room and blow it outside of the home.
However, installing an exhaust fan isn’t an easy task. Any time you have moisture mixing with electricity, risk elevates. If it isn’t connected properly, your entire home could be threatened.
Bathroom fans typically come in one of three styles: ceiling mounted, wall mounted, or incline or remote.
Ceiling mounted fans are installed in the ceiling and vent into the attic or out through the roof.
Wall mounted fans are mounted on an external wall of the house and are generally used when there is no other practical way of venting through the roof.
Incline fans, also known as remote fans, have a fan located in a remote location – the attic, for instance – and use ductwork to connect the fans with an opening in the bathroom ceiling. This is often used to vent multiple bathrooms, or include several vents in a large bathroom.
A bathroom fan is a key component to preventing humidity and moisture buildup. As this happens, it leads to damage to the paint, eventually to the drywall and wood beneath, which ultimately leaves it susceptible to the growth of mildew or biological growth.
According to the Home Ventilating Institute, a bathroom should have a system that changes the air eight times per hour. That equates to about one cubic foot per minute (CFM) per square foot of bathroom space. So for a room with 80 square foot of space, that would equate to a fan rated for at least 80 CFM. The Home Ventilating Institute also suggests adding an additional 50 CFM for each toilet, shower or bathtub, and an additional 100 CFM for a whirlpool tub.
Energy efficiency is also a consideration. Bathroom exhaust fans can have an Energy Star rating; selecting one can reduce energy use by as much as 20 percent or more. Many exhaust fans also come with an on/off timer, which allows you to use it only when needed, or offers humidity sensors that will turn the fan on only when certain moisture levels are present.
Do you have the right exhaust fan for your bathrooms?