Bath Fans

Bath Fans

As a hub of activity in your home, the bathroom is also a large source of moisture. From steaming showers to relaxing baths to even the regular washing of hands, bathroom activities can use a lot of water and thus create a lot of moisture in the air. If left unchecked, this moisture can wreak havoc on your home—especially when it comes to mold and mildew. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent this. With the installation of a bathroom fan, or the repair of an old one, you can keep your bathroom safe with the circulation of clean, cool air. You can also keep your bathroom smelling fresh by removing toxic odors.

With a functional bathroom fan, you can prevent:

  • Mold and mildew
  • Damp spots on the walls / ceiling
  • Condensation / frost on windows
  • Peeling paint on the walls

What size bathroom fan do I need?

The size of your bathroom affects the size of the fan needed to expel moisture.

Fans are rated by CFMs and sones. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute – it’s a measure of airflow. The size of your bathroom can help determine how many CFMs you need. Some manufacturers recommend the number of CFMS based on square feet or cubic feet.

Some manufacturers use the CFM formula below:

Length x Width x Height x .13 = Number of CFMs (round up to nearest 10)

For example, 8.5 feet x 9.5 feet x 8 feet x .13 = 83.98 (round up to 90)

Choose a fan 90 CFM or larger.

If you’re not interested in doing the math, small bathrooms typically require about 50 CFMs, while large bathrooms require around 100 CFMs. If your bathroom is larger than 100 square feet, add up the CFMs for each fixture below:

Toilet: 50 CFMs
Shower: 50 CFMs
Bathtub: 50 CFMs
Jet Tub: 100 CFMs

Another factor when buying a fan is sones, which is a measurement of sound. The higher the number, the louder the fan — 2 is considered quiet.

Should I hire an electrician to install my bathroom fan?

Installing a bathroom fan from scratch is complicated. You’ll need a special kind of drill, a ladder, ducts and many other specialized tools. Unless you already have all the tools and experience, you will likely pay more to DIY a bathroom fan than to hire someone.

Working with electricity is dangerous, even for experienced electricians. It is safer to hire an electrician to wire in a replacement fan or install a new one.

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