Get The Facts on Bathroom Ventilation and Why It’s Important

When remodeling a bath, talk to our design experts about a properly sized exhaust fan for bathroom ventilation.

When remodeling a bathroom, properly size your exhaust fan for bathroom ventilation.

Those of us living in Alabama can certainly attest to the problems too much humidity can cause. Doors swell, wallpaper peels, floors creak, and hair refuses to behave. Imagine what it's like on a hot day in August in Alabama.  When it comes to your bathroom every day of the year is like a hot humid day. Moisture from showers can wreak havoc in your home and if your bathroom's ventilation is less than adequate, you are looking for trouble.

A bathroom exhaust fan must be properly sized, installed correctly, and used every time you shower. Without an exhaust fan in the bathroom, you will have problems with several issues, including:

Epidemiologic evidence shows an association between exposure to damp indoor environments and adverse health effects, including Upper respiratory (nasal and throat) symptoms, cough, asthma symptoms in sensitized persons with asthma.
— United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Odor
  • Bacteria
  • Insects

Bacteria, Mold and Bug Infestation

That hot, steamy shower you enjoy daily leaves all of the surfaces in your bathroom wet, and if that excess moisture never dries, it becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Both of those are unsightly, potentially dangerous, and cause a funky odor to go along with them. Children and people with allergies, respiratory illness, and compromised immune systems are especially susceptible to problems with mold and mildew. Mold spores that enter your system can cause serious illnesses including pneumonia-like inflammation of the lungs.

Bacteria can also grow in moist areas and cause conditions that attract destructive insects. Another issue exhaust fans help with is cleaning. While you are cleaning that beautiful bathroom, you may be using strong chemicals and exhaust fan can help alleviate the fumes that come with the cleaners. Finally, the worst thing that too much moisture in your bathroom can lead to is structural damage like rot to your home. Bottom line: your bathroom needs proper ventilation to ensure the health of your family and to maintain the condition of your home.

An Open Window is Not a Solution

In warm climates like Alabama, people sometimes consider an open window adequate ventilation. Without an exhaust fan, a window is a better option than no ventilation at all but unless there's a stiff breeze, a window does not pull moisture from the bathroom like a fan does.

A good designer and builder will recommend the size of fan you need for your specific bathroom. He will also offer a design of where to put the exhaust fan so it pulls the most moisture out of the air. You should run an exhaust fan in the bathroom for at least 20 minutes after you have finished your shower. Some fans come with timers so you don’t have to remember to turn it off. Alternately, others come with sensors that detect a rise in the amount of humidity and turn on automatically.

Fan Noise is Measured in Sones

Bathroom fan noise is always a concern.  If your fan is loud, you will be less likely to leave it on for the length of time needed to clear the bath of moisture. A sone is a measurement the subjective loudness of a fan. For bathroom fan you can barely hear, you want 0.3 or less. For a quiet fan with a slight noise, consider a fan with up to 1.5 sones. Talk to a professional at Toulmin regarding bathroom fans that have a low sone rating and is large enough for the size of your bath.

It is best to let a professional recommend and then install your bathroom exhaust fan. It has to be attached correctly to your duct system and electrical system. It does no good to have an exhaust fan to handle ventilation that is not vented correctly. 

Are you considering a bathroom remodel? The design experts at Toulmin Cabinetry & Design are here to help. Contact us to discuss to get expert advice on your bathroom design.

About Toulmin Kitchen & Bath Design - We're West Alabama's award-winning, premier kitchen and bath showroom. We're experts who are known for a design-build process that makes the construction process stress-free. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a design consultation.