How Effective is Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan?

exhaust fans

If you've ever flipped the exhaust fan switch in your bathroom, your reasoning likely has a lot to do with odor control. However, having fully-functional exhaust fans, that are sized correctly and installed properly, is important for a number of other reasons too. Today we'll look at why you should be using your bathroom's exhaust fan and how to know if it's working the way it should.

But first, what makes having an exhaust fan in your bathroom so necessary?

1. Exhaust Fans are critical in reducing Mold 

Bathrooms are obviously major sources of moisture in homes. Unfortunately, where there is moisture, there is the potential for mold. As such, your bathroom's exhaust fan is essential in removing excess moisture and keeping your bathroom well-ventilated. Removing excess humidity from the bathroom also prevents damage to your drywall, paint, wood and structural components.

You should use your bathroom exhaust fan for approximately 15 minutes (depending on bathroom size, building materials, windows, etc) after using the shower to help move humid air out. Taken a step further, you can install a timer switch in the bathroom that will automatically shut off the exhaust fan after a pre-determined amount of time.

2. Exhaust Fans Preserve Cooling Efficiency

Want to keep your heating and cooling costs down? Getting rid of airborne moisture helps your air conditioning unit operate efficiently, thus preventing your cooling costs from increasing.

Additionally, keeping the bathroom door open while running the exhaust fan will allow for air exchange from other parts of the home.

3. Exhaust Fans Remove Hazardous Cleaning Chemicals

If you value clean living spaces at all, you're going to clean your bathroom on a regular basis with some sort of chemical cleaner. Many times, bathroom cleaners will disguise the toxic smell of chemicals with some sort of fragrance such as lavender, lemon or pine. Unfortunately, the leftover chemicals from those commonly-used bathroom cleaners will degrade your indoor air quality without effective bathroom ventilation.

How do you know if your bathroom exhaust fans are working effectively?

The simplest way to test your fan’s effectiveness (suction) is to take a single square of toilet paper and place it along the fan vent while the fan is running. If the exhaust fan is able to suck or hold the toilet paper, your fan is working properly.

If your exhaust fan is not working effectively, there are a few things you should check:

Do you have the right capacity?

Depending on the size of your bathroom, you may need one or multiple fans. Average-size bathrooms need one cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air movement for each square foot of space. Bathrooms over 100 square feet in size need 50 CFM more for each toilet, shower or bathtub, and 100 CFM more for a jetted tub.

Where is your exhaust fan installed?

If you have a new home, this shouldn't be a problem. Fans should be situated right over the bathroom tub or shower stall, and the entry door should have a half-inch clearance at the bottom so sufficient replacement air gets pulled in.

Are you sending exhaust directly outdoors?

It's incredibly important to make sure that exhaust fans are vented outdoors. In fact, bathroom fans should never be vented into unconditioned spaces like your attic because sending humidity up there can result in mold formation and structural deterioration. No one wants that!

Affordable Wake Forest, Garner NC HVAC Repair, Service, and Installation

Still having a problem with your bathroom exhaust fans? There may be a larger HVAC problem. If it's been more than six months since your system was cleaned and inspected, call Choice Heating and Air Conditioning. Our expert staff can clean and evaluate your current comfort system. Whether you need a simple HVAC repair or part replacement or it's time for a new system, with Choice's flat rate guarantee the price you see is the price you pay. No hidden fees or surcharges, just straightforward pricing and quality service.

Ready to learn how much you could be saving with a new system from Choice Heating and Air Conditioning of Garner? Give us a call today!


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