A bathroom exhaust fan is a mechanical ventilation device that draws indoor air outside. In the process, the fan will get rid of moisture and unpleasant smells, as well as keep the humidity levels in check.
Nowadays, most building codes require you to put a fan in when you’re building or remodeling your bathroom. But even if the law isn’t telling you to install it, having an exhaust fan comes with a ton of benefits you can’t ignore.
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How a Bathroom Exhaust Fan Works
A bathroom fan is wired in pretty much the same way as the light fixtures in your bathroom. It uses standard 120 V electrical current and you usually operate it by flipping a switch. Some newer models have built-in timers so that you can choose how long you want them to be running.
Once you turn the exhaust fan on, the air is drawn out through a metal duct or plastic tube that leads to an opening in a sidewall or the roof. There’s also a cover plate with slats that protects the vent’s exit point and keeps the duct closed when you’re not using it.
Reasons to Get a Bathroom Exhaust Fan
Most people seem to think that the only thing an exhaust fan is good for is getting rid of steam. But it can do so much more than that, including removing humidity, reducing contaminants, and preserving your bathroom fixtures.
Not only that, but depending on the fan you get, it can also replace your existing overhead lighting or warm up your bathroom.
Improves Air Quality
By extracting moisture and steam from your bathroom, a bathroom exhaust fan can drastically improve your air quality. It’ll also stop moisture from accumulating in your walls and bathroom fixtures, thus preventing mold and mildew growth.
And if you’ve already had a problem with mold, an exhaust fan will suck up all the spores left in the air and kick them out of your bathroom. In addition to that, it will also get rid of the particulate matter that went up into the air when you flushed your toilet.
One of the most popular reasons people install exhaust fans is odor control. While you can certainly light a match or a scented candle, these are only temporary solutions. Not to mention, but forgetting a lit candle in your bathroom is a fire hazard.
On the other hand, if you install an exhaust fan, your bathroom will smell clean and fresh much longer.
Reduces Airborne Contaminants
Oftentimes, to clean and disinfect our bathrooms, we use heavy-duty chemicals that have strong scents. When inhaled, they can cause all sorts of breathing problems, allergies, and headaches.
But just like with odor, an exhaust fan can get rid of these fumes and create a healthier cleaning environment. That’s especially important if you have kids because they can be more sensitive to them.
Lowers Maintenance Cost and Repair Expenses
Having your bathroom fixtures fall apart and break down because of moisture is not a pretty sight. Depending on the damage, you might have to replace appliances, change wallpapers, or even do a full remodel.
Getting rid of mold and mildew from your bathroom can cost an arm and a leg sometimes. But by installing an exhaust fan, you can save yourself hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on remodels and repairs. Instead, you can spend that money on something more practical, like a vacation in Hawaii, for example.
Downside: Exhaust Fans Can Get Loud
Once upon a time, when exhaust fans first became a thing, they were extremely loud. When you turned them on, they would sound like jets flying directly above you. That’s because they were built for speed, not comfort, which meant they had fast motors, but small turbines.
Another reason your typical exhaust fan might seem noisy is that it’s on the fritz and you need to tighten the screws. Your exhaust fan could also be acting up if it’s dirty or full of dust. Either way, these are usually pretty small repairs that you can handle with a few tools.