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Why Exhaust Fans Are A Must

Do you enjoy really hot showers in the morning? Or after a hard day at work? If so, you are no doubt familiar with the huge amount of steam that is produced when a typical household shower is ran for a long period of time. For a lot of showers, it is not uncommon for the walls and mirrors to be covered in condensation after just a few minutes. You may think that the steam is harmless and some people even like the copious amounts of steam. But, the truth is that allowing steam to build up in large quantities can be incredibly damaging to your bathroom. The build-up of moisture can cause a large amount of damage to your drywall, tiles, any wood surfaces in the bathroom, etc. While the physical damage caused by steam is annoying, it is also easy to fix with a sander and some paint. The real threat from steam build-up comes in the form of mold and mildew. The excess moisture seeps into your bathroom ceiling, where it will promote and foster the growth of mold or mildew. In some extreme cases, the moisture can even cause minor structural rot. If you do not deal with the steam problem ASAP, your bathroom can quickly become infested with mold and mildew. Thankfully, solving your steam problems is not difficult. All you need is a good quality exhaust fan.

Do I really need an exhaust fan?

It used to be that if your bathroom was full of steam, you would just open a window to ventilate the bathroom. But, many modern homes do not have a window, so that option is not available. If you do not have a window to ventilate your bathroom, then yes, you absolutely need an exhaust fan. If you live in a recently built home, then chances are good that you already have a good exhaust fan installed in your house; in which case you do not need to worry about mold or steam damaging your bathroom. However, if you live in an older house, then there is a good chance that either you do not have an exhaust fan installed, or the one you have installed currently is inadequate. Exhaust fans wear out with age and use, like all appliances, so even if you have an exhaust fan, do regular checkups to make sure it is working at full capacity. If you suspect your exhaust fan is not working at full capacity, then you can test it yourself. Simply grab a stool, and a small piece of tissue or toilet paper. Hold the small bit of tissue right up to the exhaust fan and turn it on. Now let go of the tissue. If the piece of tissue is held in place by the pull of the exhaust fan, then you know it is still working correctly. If the tissue falls to the ground, then you know something is wrong with your exhaust fan.

But it is also worth nothing, that preventing mold is not the only reason to get an exhaust fan. By getting rid of the old air and pushing in new air, exhaust fans can actually help keep your bathroom smelling fresh. So you do not have to worry about one person stinking up the bathroom for an hour.

How powerful does the exhaust fan need to be?

Not all exhaust fans are made the same, some are faster or more powerful than others. The measurement you want to pay the most attention to when looking at an exhaust fan is CFM, or cubic feet per minute. This measurement will tell you how much air the exhaust fan can move per minute. You then want to calculate the rough volume of your bathroom (use the fairly standard equation of the room’s height multiplied by its length and width). Using your bathroom’s volume, you can roughly guess just how high the CFM of your exhaust fan needs to be. Of course, if you do not feel like doing this, you can always just ask the contractor who is going to be installing your exhaust fan to give you a recommendation.

Can I install one myself?

Some basic exhaust fans are very simple to install. But, due to safety concerns, heavy duty exhaust fans will need to be installed by a licensed professional. Improperly installed exhaust fans can be dangerous due to the fact that it is an electrical device working in an environment with lots of water and mist. If you do not install the exhaust fan properly, there is a good chance that mist or water from the shower could potentially damage the fan and potentially cause bodily harm. So do not take chances, get a professional to install your exhaust fan.

Some factors to consider

What factors should you consider when picking out your exhaust fan? Well, for starters, you probably want a quiet exhaust fan; it may not seem like an important quality, but a really loud exhaust fan can be very annoying, especially if you sleep next to the bathroom. The sound of an exhaust fan is measured in sones. To give you a comparison, the average refrigerator has a noise level of around 1 to 1.5 sones. So, when looking for an exhaust fan, look for one that has a noise level of 2 sones or less.

If you want to make the installation process a bit easier, try getting an exhaust fan that also has a light fixture attached. This allows you to replace both your bathroom fan and bathroom light at once, without making major changes to your bathroom wiring or the bathroom switch. If you do not, then you will have to get a new light switch panel, with multiple switches installed in order to control both the fan and the lights.

Make sure you are familiar with the size of your ducts. If you are upgrading your bathroom exhaust fan, then you want to make sure the new exhaust fan you pick out matches the measurements of your ducts.