Exhaust fans provide necessary ventilation to areas of the home, such as bathrooms, to prevent excessive moisture. Exhaust fans can decrease the chance for mildew growth, leaving your home’s environment comfortable and healthy. If your home doesn’t have an exhaust fan, consider getting one installed as soon as possible to prevent costly damage.
Which Rooms In My Home Should Have an Exhaust Fan?
Any room that produces moisture will benefit from an exhaust fan. Bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms will naturally produce moisture from use. Removing excessive moisture will prevent the growth of mold and mildew and protect fixtures, furniture, paint and trim.
- Bathroom- Bathroom exhaust fans eliminate foggy mirrors, excess heat and mold growth.
- Kitchen- Kitchen exhaust fans, such as range hoods, dissipate cooking smells, heat and grease. Range hoods capture the air directly above the oven, also removing smoke, steam and gasses. Exceptionally large range hoods might need an air supply from outside to replace the air removed from the fan.
- Attic- Attic exhaust fans prevent the area from becoming too warm. A fan will prevent mold growth on items stored and wood rot.
- Garage- Garage exhaust fans are necessary because they clear out dangerous fumes that can accumulate from car exhaust, lawn mowers and chemicals stored such as paint thinner or glue. This is especially important if you have an attached garage. While most garages are sealed off from living areas, gasses and contaminants from the garage can enter the home when you open the exterior door.
Exhaust fans that serve the entire house are also available. These systems are set up in many different ways, but they all improve indoor air quality. These can used in conjunction with HVAC systems, as well as kitchen, bath and other fans that are installed.
How to Choose an Exhaust Fan
Choose exhaust fans based on airflow and noise level. All fans have an airflow rating measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The amount of airflow needed is based on the size of the room and how the fan is used. Airflow requirements do differ from room to room.
Choose a sound level that that is tolerable in a quiet home. Expect to see a more expensive price tag on quieter fans, though quieter isn’t always better. Some people prefer louder fans in bathrooms as they can minimize noise from the sink and toilet.
Fans come with many extra features, such as light switches, heaters and automatic timers that detect humidity levels. Avoid fans that turn on and off with the light switch as they are often turned off before the fan has time to work.
The type of fan you choose will also be determined by your existing duct systems. Bathroom fans come in three main types:
- Ceiling-mounted exhaust fans are installed in the ceiling. This is the most common type of bathroom exhaust fan and is best for removing hot, damp air from the shower as it rises to the top of the room. The exhaust fan then vents it to the outside through the roof or ducts.
- Wall-mounted exhaust fans are installed in exterior walls and pull air directly to the outdoors. These fans do not need ductwork, but might have a visible register on the wall.
- Inline exhaust fans are installed in the ceiling or wall, but the motor sits between ducts, remotely pulling the air to the outdoors. Because the motor is not attached directly to the ceiling, this is a very quiet bathroom fan. These are ideal when there’s not enough space in the ceiling.
Whichever fan you choose, make sure that it vents outside and not to the attic as it could cause mold and mildew to grow.
Should I Install an Exhaust Fan Myself?
Proper exhaust fan installation is crucial for your family’s health and the preservation of your property. Electrical wiring and correct venting require the skills of a professional electrician. Many people don’t know that exhaust fans must be vented to the outdoors to work properly, and are instead incorrectly vented to the attic or a nearby crawl space causing expensive damage.
When improperly installed and not vented to the outdoors, exhaust fans just send the excess airborne moisture to another area of the home to rot wood, cause mold growth, and more.
It’s always better to be on the safe side when it comes to your family and your home. In Wichita and nearby areas, call the professionals at Graf Electric at 316-686-2090.