Bathroom Vent Needs

Bathroom Vent NeedsEffective bathroom ventilation is critical inside what is sometimes called “the smallest room in the house.” It’s not only a matter of air quality such as odors, ventilation is vital to remove damaging moisture in the form of high humidity and steam generated by bathing. High moisture content triggers damaging mildew and toxic mold growth. It also inflicts structural damage, deteriorating drywall, warping doors, rusting bathroom fixtures and causing paint and wallpaper to peel. Over the long run, moisture can even infiltrate the walls and ceiling to rot wooden studs and joists.

In older homes, bathroom ventilation meant, “Open a window.” For optimum moisture reduction and mold/mildew prevention, however, a powered bathroom ventilation fan installed in the ceiling or a wall is considered essential today.

Here are some guidelines when considering a bathroom vent fan:

Fans are rated by CFM: cubic feet per minute of air removed from the room. The basic formula for sizing a fan is one CFM per square foot of bathroom floor, with a minimum of at least 50 CFM for rooms of 50 square feet or less. A 10’ x 7’ bathroom—70 square feet—would therefore require a fan rated for at least 70 CFM.

Bathroom fan vent pipes must extend all the way to the exterior of the house and exhaust air outside. Fans should never discharge moist bathroom air into the attic or an interior wall space. The continuous influx of moisture will cause major structural damage and mold contamination.

Following showering or bathing, it’s critical for the fan to keep running at least 15 to 20 additiona minutes to adequately remove moist air and steam. This means the fan will need to run even after the person using the bathroom has left. To ensure that the fan run for the correct duration—then shuts off automatically—a timer switch is preferable to a standard on/off switch or to wiring the fan to the bathroom light switch.

Upgrade your home to improve bathroom ventilation. Ask the professionals at Paitson Bros., serving Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859. 

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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