What You Need to Know About Bathroom Ventilation

What You Need to Know About Bathroom VentilationWhen bathroom ventilation isn’t sufficient, a number of things can happen. All of them are bad for your house. There’s no room in the home that gets more moisture than the bathroom. Long, steamy showers, sinks filling, toilets flushing, wet feet on tile floors — the amount of water vapor generated is substantial. So are the effects. Mildew forms on surfaces and toxic mold growth is triggered inside walls. Paint peels and wallboard swells. The solution to bathroom ventilation issues is to move indoor moisture outdoors with an exhaust fan.

How Much Is Enough?

Bathroom exhaust fans are sized by CFM—that’s cubic feet of air per minute. For bathrooms of average size, the recommended air volume capacity is 1 CFM for every square foot of bathroom floor space. Therefore, for a typical 50-square-foot bathroom, you’ll want an exhaust fan with a CFM of 50.

Where to Mount It

Most bathroom exhaust fans are installed in the ceiling, typically above or close to the shower enclosure. If there’s a separate enclosure for the toilet, that area should have its own dedicated exhaust fan. In some installations, instead of a ceiling, wall-mounted bathroom fans are utilized that vent directly to the outdoors through the exterior wall.

How to Vent It

Bathroom fans should exhaust through a vent pipe routed all the way to an exterior termination point, usually at the roof. In most locales today, venting directly into the attic is not permitted by local codes due to potential damage from attic moisture accumulation.

How Long Should It Run?

It’s important for the exhaust fan to run long enough to ensure complete removal of water vapor from the bathroom—not just visible steam. In most cases, the fan should run for 20 minutes after the shower or bath is finished. To ensure a fan runs long enough (yet isn’t left running nonstop and wasting electricity) it should be controlled by a timer or, alternatively, a motion detector.

Serving the Wabash Valley since 1922, Paitson Bros. has the products and expertise to help solve bathroom ventilation issues.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Voyagerix/Shutterstock”

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