Every home requires good ventilation, but there are certain rooms that are more problematic than others. Bathrooms are prone to condensation from showers and other sources of running water in the bathroom. Between moisture that rots wood and fosters mold growth to fumes that fuel mold growth, you need excellent ventilation in your bathroom. That’s why choosing the right fan extractor for your needs is essential for your health, comfort, and to preserve your home.
Here in this quick guide we are going to cover some of the things you should consider when you are looking for the right extractor fan for your bathroom, and some tips and tricks to maintain the fan, and make your installation quick and easy.
1Determine the Right Air Exchange Rate
The air exchange rate is how much air the fan can move in a given time. The air extraction rate may be measured in meters cubed per hour or liters per second. Be certain that you’re comparing fans based on the same metrics.
Every bathroom extractor fan must remove at least 15 liters per second in the standard bathroom. With the correct airflow, you can avoid the build-up of mold in your bathroom as moist air is expelled by the extractor fan. It also helps you deal with any unwanted odors swiftly, keeping your bathroom fresh and clean.
However, there are times when you need a much more powerful fan. A large bathroom will require a higher air exchange rate, and so would a bathroom that is heavily used. If you take a lot of long hot showers, a higher air exchange rate is necessary to prevent mold and mildew from growing in the bathroom.
2Think About the Aesthetics
Bathroom fans are rarely replaced, and you may end up looking at it frequently when you’re in the bathroom. While you may not care about the extractor fan’s internal workings, you can shop for an exterior grille that you can appreciate. With the right cover and installation, your extractor fan can be hidden away from sight, so no one knows it is there, or even turned into an attractive feature with a cover the suits your bathroom’s decorative style.
If you don’t know where to look, you can check retailers like BPC Ventilation. BPC extractor fans range from clean, minimalist white fans you’ll hardly notice to large industrial grade fans that will vent odors or quickly move humid air through the rest of your home. You can also choose extractor fans with basic plastic grills or stylishly shaped fan covers. However, you need to make sure it fits in the existing space you have for it to fit in.
Decide Whether the Fan Needs to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint
Your bathroom fan may or may not connect to your whole house ventilation system. You could have it installed so that the humidity it pulls out of the bathroom is distributed through the rest of the house. You can also opt for a single room heat recovery system that does this. This is an option even if you don’t have a whole house heat recovery system.
Every year, the cost of energy increases and so does the pressure on homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and the impact their home has on the environment. Solutions like these are a great way to reduce energy consumption and conservation and save money. Combined with a home heat recovery system, you can achieve massive savings on bills while reducing your carbon footprint at the same time.
3Consider How You Want to Operate the Fan
The cheapest fans can be controlled via a cord switch. You might turn it on using a switch next to the light switch, or it may be controlled via remote control. Some fans rely on timers – these will automatically turn off a set time after the lights are turned off.
This is a handy and ‘no-fuss’ solution that ensures the fan is used and does its job, without having the risk that the fan is left on and consuming power long after it is required. This can save you a lot of money on energy throughout the year.
A more advanced control system relies on passive infrared sensors. It will automatically turn on the fan when someone enters the bathroom or when the humidity is too high. If convenience is a key consideration for you, look for fans with features like these. These control systems can often be combined with other features of your bathroom, such as the lights.
Having your bathroom fan and lights controlled by an infrared sensor means you don’t even need to use the light switch when you visit your bathroom, just open the door and the lights and fan will come on. When you leave, both the lights and the fan will automatically turn themselves off, meaning you don’t have to do a thing.
4Think About the Noise Level You’ll Tolerate
Bathroom fans range from quiet to noisy things that may keep you up all night. If you’re concerned about the noise level, choose a low-noise model. You can compare them based on their decibel level. This may seem like a trivial consideration, but a fan that makes too much noise can be disruptive to sleepers in the home, and neighbors too.
There are multiple design features that can affect the noise level. Gravity grills prevent back draughts and thus minimize heat loss, but they’re also noisier. Fans with fixed grills are quieter, but you run the risk of outside air getting in.
You should always make sure you maintain and clean your extractor fan regularly to avoid any mechanical problems or excess noise. If a fan becomes blocked by dust or debris, it will have to work harder to extract the air from your bathroom. This can make the fan noisier as it spins faster and can strain its motor as it spins harder.
Bathroom ventilation fans are an underappreciated piece of equipment until they go out. Choose the right model based on your family’s needs and preferences, not just price or the plumber’s recommendation.
Hopefully, this guide has given you the information you need to get the right extractor fan for your bathroom. Remember to think about how you want to operate the fan, and to measure your bathroom to make sure you get the right size fan you need.
With proper maintenance and a professional installation, your extractor fan will serve you home well for a long time.