Bathroom vent fans are mechanical ventilation devices that blow indoor air outside through a flexible tube or metal conduit. Vent fans will remove moisture and odors from your bathroom, which can improve the air quality. It is a smart idea to have one. Many building codes now require them for new construction and major bathroom remodeling. The building code may specify how to match the fan size with the area. This building code requirement is not required in all communities. Make sure to check with your local authority. Vent fans may not be required in certain communities. A vent fan can be a great addition to any bathroom, even if it is not necessary.
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Although many people think that a bathroom vent fan is responsible for removing odors from a bath, it serves a secondary function: to exhaust warm, moist, air such as that generated by a shower or bathtub. Warm, humid air can not only encourage mold growth, but also cause damage to fixtures and surfaces in bathrooms. If you notice that your bathroom is stale or lacking a fan, it’s advisable to get one. Also, make sure to inspect the area for signs of mold growth.
Bathrooms without a bathroom vent fan are more susceptible to moisture buildup than bathrooms. This can lead to damage to bathroom walls, ceilings, floors, and ceilings as well as fixtures. The warm, humid atmosphere created by hot showers or baths can lead to mold, mildew and other microorganisms growth. The moisture levels in rooms can cause damage to interior materials like wallboard, trim, and wall paint. For a safe, healthy bathroom, provide ventilation.
How Vent fans work
The 120-volt household standard electrical current is used to wire a vent fan. This is similar to how ceiling light fixtures are wired. A vent fan can be wired to an electrical circuit similar to a light fixture. The fan can be operated by a wall switch. It may also come with a timer, which will allow it to run for a set amount of time. The fan turns on and the air is pulled out of the bathroom through the fan enclosure. This leads to a metal duct or plastic hose leading to the vent opening on the roof. The vent exit point is protected by a louvered cover plate that keeps it closed. The vent cover is cut into the roof or wall and attached to the outside using four screws and silicone caulk.
There are many options
There are many options for bathroom vent fans. They come in different sizes, styles, colors, and may include a fan only or a combination unit that includes a heat lamp or light fixture. There are now sophisticated models with Bluetooth capability that include a speaker. This allows you to stream music wirelessly via your smartphone, tablet, or other home media system.
When shopping for vent fans, pay attention to their sound ratings. While it may seem minor, loud fans can cause distractions when you’re trying to relax in your tub. A fan with a sound rating of 1.0 or lower is the best option. The quieter the fan, the better.
It is important to ensure that the fan’s capacity is sufficient for the space. CFM, or cubic feet per minute, is the measurement of the fan’s capacity. It refers to the amount of air that the fan moves. The larger the vent fan unit, the better. However, it is possible to have too much air moving through the space. This can cause negative pressure in the bathroom. It can interfere with furnace ducts and/or sucking cold air through windows. Therefore, it is important that you choose the right vent fan unit for your bathroom.
- Below 50 sq. ft.: 50 CFM
- For more than 50 square feet, 1 CFM per sq. foot
The HVI (Home Ventilation Institute), has independently certified that fans meet industry standards. HVI certified fans can perform as promised when they are correctly installed and sized according to industry standards.
Click play to learn how to properly size and install a bathroom exhaust fan
- The vent fan should be placed near the moisture source, such as the sink or the shower. The vent fan can be placed midway between the toilet and the tub in an open bathroom. A fan that is centered in a small bathroom will work well. If the toilet is in a secondary enclosure that has a door, it may be worth considering a second fan.
- You must ensure that the exterior vent louver closes completely when the fan is off. This will prevent cold air from entering the house even if the fan is off.
- Insulate the flexible hose/duct from the fan housing to an outdoor louvered cap by wrapping insulation around it. This will reduce indoor heat loss to the outside.
- You should not seal the space beneath the bathroom door. Allow 3/4 inch space so that the fan exhausts air and can be replaced.
- Vent fans with additional capacity may be required if the bathroom has high ceilings (9′ or more).
- Mold Course Chapter 2. US Environmental Protection Agency
Chapter 2: Mold Course US Environmental Protection Agency