The Importance of Bathroom Exhaust Fans
The main reason that most homeowners use bathroom exhaust fans is odor control, but good bathroom ventilation matters in other ways too. Some of the reasons to have well-functioning fans that are sized and installed properly include:
- Regular fan use clears out humidity from showering and bathing, which keeps mold growth at bay and preserves your home’s drywall, paint, wood trim and structural components.
- Sending moisture-laden air from the bathrooms outdoors helps reduce your air conditioner’s workload and keeps your household cooling costs in check.
- Running your fans gets rid of chemicals compounds from various bathroom cleaners so they don’t degrade your air quality.
Tips to Make Using Your Bathroom Fans Easier and More Effective
Following these tips can help you get the maximum benefit from your bathroom exhaust fans:
- Check your fan capacity. Bathrooms can one or multiple fans, so long as they provide sufficient cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air movement. An average bathroom needs one CFM for each square foot of area. Bathrooms over 100 square feet need an extra 50 CFM for each shower, bathtub and toilet, and 100 CFM for a jetted tub.
- Vent fans straight outdoors. Don’t run your fan ducting into an unfinished space, like the attic, where extra moisture can cause structural decay and/or mold growth that may go unnoticed.
- Make fan operation efficient. Make sure your fans are situated right over the bathtub or shower stall, and that the bathroom door is undercut to allow at least one half-inch of clearance to let in ample replacement air.
- Make using your fans convenient. Ideally, your exhaust fans should run for 20 minutes after each bathroom use. You can make this easy by choosing fans with features like auto-start sensors and shut-off timers, or with automatic humidity sensors that run the fan according to the air moisture level.