Bathroom Ventilation: A Guide To Choosing The Right Fan

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One of the largest sources of moisture in your home is likely the shower. When you take a hot shower, the steam accumulates in the air, and then condenses on the walls, floor, and ceiling of your bathroom. Left unaddressed, this moisture can lead to mold – not only in the bathroom itself, but also in the walls surrounding it. To prevent an unsightly and dangerous mold situation, it is essential that your bathroom is fitted with a ventilation system.

Generally, a bathroom ventilation system consists of a simple exhaust fan, which forces the moist air outside, rather than letting it linger inside. There are many types of exhaust fans, so when deciding which is right for your needs, you will want to consider these factors:

What's the airflow capacity?

The airflow capacity indicates how much air the fan is capable of moving in a period of time. It is expressed in cubic feet per minute. The necessary airflow capacity will depend on the size of your room. Most exhaust fans have a capacity between 100 and 500 cubic feet per minute. The labels should tell you what size rooms they are intended for. However, if you have a large family and use your shower back-to-back, you will want to go with a fan one size up from what the size of your room would suggest. You will also want to go one size up if you have a whirlpool or Jacuzzi tub in your bathroom, as these create more steam.

How loud is it?

The quieter the fan, the more expensive it likely is. Decide just how quiet a fan you need. If the bathroom is near your bedroom, and you plan on using it when others are trying to sleep, it is probably worthwhile to buy a fan that is advertised as being extra quiet. If your bathroom is more isolated, on the other hand, you can save money by buying a fan that makes more noise. Sound levels are typically measured in sones. Quieter fans have a rating of 0.5 to 1.5 sones, whereas a fan with a 2 or 3-sone rating is on the loud side.

Is it energy efficient?

Today, it's rather easy to find energy efficient fans that carry the Energy Star label. Don't buy a fan without this label, no matter how good of a deal it may seem to be, because you'll pay an arm and a leg for electricity.

To ensure your bathroom fan is installed properly, it's best to hire an HVAC specialist, like Allied Air Conditioning & Heating Corp, to complete this task for you. This way, you'll ensure the moist air ends up outside where it belongs, rather than in your walls or ceiling.