Ventilation in the bathroom is probably not the first thing most people would be thinking about when designing it. However, a bathroom remodel is the perfect time to incorporate vent fans as well as correct any problems such as old wiring, inefficient layouts and leaks.
Vent fans suck air from the inside of a room out through ducts using a simple mechanism. Technically, you do not have to wait for a bathroom remodel to put in vent fans, although that makes it much simpler. At any rate, you should definitely consider putting in vent fans if you do not have one yet.
Most people put in vent fans in their bathrooms to eliminate odors, and that is one of its more important functions. However, the most vital purpose of vent fans is to eliminate as much of the humidity as they can from the room.
The air in bathrooms is usually warm and moist, raising the humidity to significantly high levels. This is especially true if there are no windows, such as a powder room with no access to the outside. Even the small amount of heat generated by turning on the hot water tap is enough to keep an unventilated bathroom humid as people usually keep bathroom doors closed at all times.
The main issue with humidity in the bathroom is it encourages the growth of mold and mildew. You might notice that dark and unventilated areas tend to smell musty, which is a sign of this growth. Putting in vent fans keeps the air drier, which would keep mold and mildew at bay.
A humid environment can also cause any wood in the bathroom to warp and wallpaper to peel. If you have any metal in the bathroom, the wet environment might also encourage rust to form.
Overall, vent fans help maintain a healthy and safe environment in bathrooms. This is the reason why the building code in some areas requires the installation of vent fans, and the type will depend on the size of the bathrooms. If you live in these areas, it pays to find out about the regulations you have to follow and not just leave it to your contractor to avoid any problems in the future.
The mechanics of vent fans is hardly rocket science. It works the same way as a standard fan in that it draws in air from one end using rotating blades tilted at an angle of about 15 degrees and sends it out the other end. In the case of vent fans, the movement is from the room through ducts that lead it to a hole in the wall or roof to the outside.
Vent fans come in a large variety, mostly determined by the capacity to draw air from the room. This is will depend on the number and angle of the blades as well as the power of the motor that determines the speed o rotation.
You can usually use the building code requirements to determine the type of vent fan you need for your bathroom. If your area does not have regulations for vent fans, you can use the technical specifications below to help you choose the right one for your bathroom.
Cubic feet per minute
The cubic feet per minute or CFM (cu ft/min) refers to the airflow speed of a particular vent fan, which translates to the speed at which the fan can draw out the air from the bathroom. You want a vent fan with a high enough CFM to draw out air quickly enough to handle the space, so the CFM you need will depend on how big the room is.
As a rule of thumb, you need a minimum of 50 cu ft/min for any bathroom, and that is fast enough for an area up to 50 square feet. Over that, you should add about 1 cu ft/min for every additional square foot of area. For example, if you have a 60 sq ft bathroom, you need a vent fan with a CFM of 60 cu ft/min.
However, if your bathroom ceiling is more than the standard 8 feet, the vent fan will have to deal with more air. You might need to put in a vent fan with higher CFM, or put in two or more vent fans with lower CFM in strategic areas.
Most people place their vent fans near the bathroom door to keep any undesirable odors from escaping. However, it would be more effective to position it much nearer to the source of water and heat, usually the shower or tub. This will make it much easier for the vent fan to draw out the moist air from the room.
Position the vent fan as near as possible to the source of humidity, but not so much that there is a danger of getting wet. If you have a tiny bathroom, or the accommodation for the vent fan near the water source, make sure you choose a vent fan designed for “wet” use.
The danger of an electric shock is always present in a bathroom where you use anything that requires a power source, and that includes vent fans. Proper grounding is essential. You should also make sure you and your contractor know and follow the National Electric Code for electrical requirements for bathrooms such as providing separate circuits for lights and vent fans from circuits for regular outlets.
Vent fans are essential for all bathrooms to keep it a healthy and safe place. You should put one in as soon as possible. If you do plan to bathroom remodel, make sure you discuss its inclusion during the design consultation.
Cabinets City is your best bet when looking for bathroom remodeling, especially when it comes to top quality cabinets and countertops for your bathroom and kitchen. We service cities such as Chicago, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Hoffman Estate, Elk Grove Village, and surrounding areas.
We can advise you on the best vent fans for your bathrooms, and even your kitchens. We always deliver on time, so you will not have to worry about keeping your schedule to stay in budget.
We also carry some of the best brands in the country for your bathroom remodel such as RTA and custom cabinets. We also have better prices compared to Cabinets To Go and Advance Cabinets. These include Schrock, Fabuwood, J and K, Forevermark, and Wolf Cabinets, each of which come with manufacturer warranties.
Give us a call for a free design consultation and quote, or visit our showroom in Mt. Prospect, Illinois.