Bathroom ventilation is even more inportant today, than in the past. Today's homes are different
than those built in the past, in that they are built to be very air tight. This has both positive and negative
aspects. While this will reduce drafts, and save energy along with making your home more comfortable, it also
creates an atmosphere where there is little exchange of air, so pollutants and moisture are trapped.
Bathroom exhaust fans are a must, whether you have one of the newer air tight
homes or an older home. Proper ventilation will keep your bathroom smelling fresh, will help reduce the
damaging effects of moisture, and make it a more healthy environment by reducing the possibility of mold and
Mold and mildew can be damaging to the structure of your home, be a health
hazard, and create more work in terms of maintaining your bathroom. It is much better to prevent with adequate
bathroom ventilation, than have to repair damage, or have to deal will cleaning up mold and mildew.
Since a bathroom is such a moist atmosphere, it is ripe for mold and mildew
unless you take adequate precautions. Many of today's new amenities for bathrooms add to this problem unless proper
care is taken....
Plan bathroom ventilation as you plan your remodel
Bathrooms today feature showers with jets, whirlpool baths, large soaking
tubs, high volume shower heads, and many other
features which create large volumes of steam. Just running the bathroom faucet creates more steam than we
For this reason, it is important to be sure your bathroom has proper ventilation.
If your bathroom has a window, this is great, but it is not adequate. The majority of bathroom windows are too
small compared to the square footage that needs venting. Aside from that, there will be times of the year that the
outside temperature makes opening a window undesirable.
When shopping for a ventilation fan you need to know the measurements of your bathroom. Ventilation
fans are rated by how many CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air they can exchange. To get the cubic feet, multiply
the width times the length times the height of the room. Once you have the cubic feet, multiply this factor times
10 to get the recommended air changes per hour. Since exhaust fans are rated in cubic feet per minute you would
then need to divide the final total by 60.
If all this math is just too much, just take the measurements to your home supply
and they should be able to point you to what size unit you would need for proper bathroom ventilation.
Noise factor and venting out
You need to consider the noise factor. It is much better to spend a little more for a ventilation
unit that is quiet enough that you will use it consistently. Having a ventilation unit will do no good unless it is
Noise ratings are based on sones. The lower the number, the quieter the fan will
be. So a ventilation fan with a rating of 4.0 will be noisier than one rated at 2.5. An exhaust fan with a sone
rating of 1 is comparable to the sound of a refrigerator running. While the lower sone rating will increase the
price, staying at or under a sone rating of 2 is probably wise, otherwise you will likely not use it as you
Bathroom light and exhaust fixture combos are available, and some of these
include heat as well.
Venting to the outside is necessary. Many people are guilty of venting into the
attic. This is just moving the problem to another area where you could incur very expensive future structural
The bottom line is, that you must take whatever measures necessary for bathroom
ventilation and vent to the outside and remove the moisture outside of your household