Today we are going to talk a little bit about ventilation fans.
A constant question that comes up is “Do I have to install a ventilation fan? I have a window so why do we need one?”
Most cities and counties now are requiring that bathrooms have a ventilation fan, even if you have windows. The code’s requirements change over time. What the cities and counties have figured out is that when it’s cold outside people don’t open the window. Or maybe you have a high narrow window over your tub or shower that isn’t easily accessible to open. What they want is an active ventilation system in the bathroom. They’re also going to require now that a fan is ventilated out of the bathroom to the exterior and not just into the attic. This can be either through the roof or in some cases the sidewall of the home.
It used to be in the old days that the fan was tied to the light switch so that the fan would get used. And then people would disconnect it later as they hated to hear them constantly running as the noise level was so high on the older units. The city inspectors and code makers realized this and then adjusted the codes, yet again. So now the ventilation fans either have humidistats built into them or built into the switch on a wall, which essentially allows the fan to go on when the moisture in the bathroom grows even if you forget to turn it on. In the end, this is a great feature for the homeowner as it will help keep moisture, mold, and mildew at bay as the units will automatically regulate for this.
The next thing about fans is how much volume they remove out of the bathroom. So earlier on these units were 50 CFM then they started to get to 80 CFM (cubic feet per minute). Now most of them that we put in are 110 CFM. We want the maximum ventilation for the bathroom, and there is no reason not to because the fans we use are super quiet even with that amount of power.
Another feature and benefit to consider is the type of fan unit you install. There are dedicated fan-only units as well as combination units that include lighting and/or heating elements. Fan/heat/light combination units also have a night light associated with them which some of our clients find appealing.
Whichever style of fan you choose, an exhaust fan in your space is not only needed but can be a welcome addition to your bathroom remodel!