Are Bathroom Exhaust Fans Really Necessary?

bathroom exhaust fanWhile a bathroom exhaust fan might seem like nothing more than a nice extra touch, in reality it serves a purpose far greater than just getting rid of unpleasant odors. Your exhaust fans help you stay comfortable and protect your whole house from damage.

Improving Your Air Quality

As evidenced by the steam on the mirror, taking a bath or shower puts a lot of moisture into the air. Other activities, such as hand washing delicates, add even more moisture to the room. Unless it’s quickly removed, that moisture will soak into your bathroom ceiling, walls, and other surfaces, encouraging mold and mildew. Eventually, you’ll end up with a moldy ceiling that needs expensive repairs.

Some of the moisture will also escape into the rest of your home, raising your overall indoor humidity. That increases the risk of mold as well as dust mites and bacteria growth around your home. Excess indoor humidity also impairs your comfort by making you feel hot and sticky in summer and chilly in winter. Your exhaust fan removes the moisture from your bathroom before it has a chance to ruin your indoor air quality or your comfort.

Getting the Most from Your Fan

To clean your air effectively, your bathroom exhaust fan should have enough capacity, rated in cubic feet per minute (CFM), to exchange the room’s air eight times per hour. Assuming your bathroom has a standard 8-foot ceiling, you can estimate the fan capacity you need base on the room’s square footage. If your bathroom is 5 by 8 feet (40 sq. ft.) a 50 CFM will work well. Avoid oversizing your fan, which could cause backdrafting from your fuel-burning appliances.

After you take a shower or bath, run your exhaust fan for 10 to 15 minutes, but no longer. By running it too long, you could let in more humidity and air contaminants than you let out.

To learn more about using your bathroom exhaust fan and controlling your indoor humidity, talk with us at Reliance Home Services in the Los Angeles area.