Heat and humidity are normal in bathrooms. However, without proper ventilation, mold and mildew may form. Learn what to consider when choosing an exhaust fan.
For most of us, few things are more soothing and stress-relieving than a long, steamy shower. But while basking in the warmth, we’re also turning our bathroom into a sauna, generating a great deal of heat and humidity. And that humidity can contribute to a number of problems, from peeling wallpaper and paint to mold and mildew.
Fortunately, an exhaust fan is an effective way of dealing with your bathroom's humidity problem. Do you know how to choose a bathroom fan? Which one is right for you? Consider these features and factors when reviewing your bathroom exhaust fan options.
Bathroom exhaust fans are sized and rated by their ability to move air in cubic feet per minute (CFM).
The Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) recommends 1 CFM for every square foot of bathroom floor space. So, a bathroom 60 square feet in size should be outfitted with an exhaust fan rated at 60 CFM or higher.
In addition, if your bathroom is larger than 100 square feet, the HVI recommends adding:
- A 50 CFM fan for every toilet.
- A 50 CFM fan for every shower/tub combination.
- A 100 CFM fan for a whirlpool tub.
Unfortunately, bathroom exhaust fans often simply move moist air from the bathroom into the attic. That simply dumps excess moisture into the worst possible place — an enclosed, darkened and often warm area where moisture problems can still accumulate and mold can spread.
A smarter and healthier venting alternative is to connect your bathroom exhaust fan to ducts that move the moist air completely outside your home.
Bathroom fan noise levels are measured in sones. The higher the number of sones, the noisier the fan. The HVI recommends fans with a noise level of 1.0 sones or less.
The most efficient exhaust fans are those that earn an ENERGY STAR label from either the HVI or the Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA). ENERGY STAR exhaust fans use about 60 to 70 percent less energy than standard fans.
The simplest bathroom exhaust fans have one control: an on/off switch. To remove as much moisture as possible, opt for a unit featuring a delayed shut-off switch. This functionality keeps the fan running for approximately 15 minutes after you’ve left the bathroom. A fan with a motion sensor can also be helpful if family members forget to turn on the fan while showering or bathing.
If you're considering replacing or installing a bathroom exhaust fan, we hope you’ll protect your investment with an American Home Shield® Home Warranty Plan. Check out the reviews from our many satisfied customers, and email or call us at 1-888-429-8247 to find out what's covered and receive a free home warranty estimate.