An exhaust fan is the unsung hero of any bathroom. From moisture control to odor prevention, it serves several important purposes that often fly below the radar. Below, we discuss the role your exhaust fan plays in your home and how to tell if it’s functioning properly.
The Purposes of an Exhaust Fan
Most exhaust fans serve three intertwined purposes:
Bathrooms are prone to high levels of moisture and humidity due to activities like showering, bathing, and handwashing. Excessive moisture can lead to mold growth, peeling paint, and even structural damage over time. Furthermore, excess moisture can damage the fixtures and finishes in your bathroom–corroding metal surfaces, deteriorating wood, and discoloring paint.
An exhaust fan’s primary purpose is to remove this excess moisture from the air, helping extend the lifespan of your bathroom accessories and preventing these issues. This is particularly important in newer homes which have a tightly sealed building envelope that prevents moisture from escaping.
Air Quality Improvement
In addition to moisture control, exhaust fans can improve air quality. Stagnant, humid air can feel uncomfortable and make bathrooms feel stuffy. Mold and mildew thrive in humid spaces and can contribute to various respiratory problems, including asthma and allergies. By keeping the bathroom dry, an exhaust fan helps reduce the amount of respiratory triggers in the air.
Bathrooms are no strangers to unpleasant odors–both from regular usage and moisture. An exhaust fan helps to quickly remove these odors making the bathroom a more pleasant place.
Exhaust Fan Troubles?
Even if your exhaust fan appears to be running normally, it might need some TLC to keep it in good condition. These fans get dusty and dirty, but you can easily clean them by wiping down the grille, removing it, and dusting the blower wheel inside. If you need help, your local handyman should be able to assist.
If your fan is louder than normal or won’t turn on, you might be dealing with an electrical issue or a broken internal component. In these cases, it’s best to contact an electrician.
Other exhaust fan problems involve ductwork. Sometimes the ducting from the fan to the outside penetration may disconnect–if this happens, you’ll need to get it replaced. Where your exhaust fan ducts end is also important, particularly in newer homes. Because of their tight building envelope, it is crucial that all moisture is removed from newer homes and not just redirected to another place, such as the attic, which is common in older homes. If you suspect there may be an issue with your exhaust fan ducts, give your HVAC technician a call.
Looking for the right HVAC technician for the job? North East Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing’s experienced technicians can quickly diagnose your issue and perform any needed repairs. Give us a call today or visit our website to set up an appointment.