When it comes to the topic of HVAC, the “V” which stands for ventilation, is often overlooked by homeowners and home builders alike. Unfortunately, what many people don’t realize is that improper ventilation can be harmful to both your home and your health. This is especially important when it comes to your home’s bathroom. If you’re anything like me, after a long day at work, nothing feels better than taking a nice hot and steamy shower. While the hot water and steam feels great on our skin, I encourage you to take a look at your bathroom next time you step out of the shower.
Is there visible steam clouds floating around? Is your bathroom mirror completely foggy? Now ask yourself, where else is all this excess moisture from your shower going?
How Does Steam Affect My Bathroom?
Hot showers and baths create a lot of steam that can fill up any bathroom. If your bathroom isn’t properly ventilating (or worse…not ventilated at all!), all of the excess moisture will be absorbed by your walls, ceiling, and floors. Having excessive moisture trapped in your home’s structure will result in mold growth and moisture damage that’s expensive to remove and repair. According to Home Advisor, the total cost to remove and repair mold in 2020 ranges between $2,000 and $20,000 depending on which area of your home is infected. Having mold in your home also poses a wide range of health risks to both you and your family. The good news is that there are some very simple actions you can take today to help your bathroom achieve better ventilation.
How To Improve Bathroom Ventilation?
At Minnick’s, we help Maryland homeowners improve and maintain proper ventilation throughout their entire home. We find that many homeowners will ignore one of the simplest methods for improving bathroom ventilation, which is turning on the bathroom exhaust fan. We understand that many of you shy away from using your exhaust fan because you find it too noisy. While that noisy bathroom fan can be a nuisance, it’s still not a good enough excuse for ignoring bathroom ventilation. It’s a lot cheaper and safer to replace a bathroom fan with a quieter unit than it is to expose your family to costly mold remediation. So, now that you understand why you need to start using your bathroom exhaust fan, let’s talk about how you should be using it for the best ventilation possible.
Am I Using My Bathroom Exhaust Fan Correctly?
If you haven’t been using your exhaust fan before, using it now is definitely a great step towards improving ventilation and avoiding mold growth. However, just turning on your exhaust fan while you’re in the shower does not guarantee your bathroom is going to be venting correctly. To help your exhaust fan properly control moisture in your bathroom, we recommend allowing your fan to run for at least thirty minutes after you finish showering to ensure that excess moisture is completely vented out of the bathroom. If you’re turning the fan off immediately when you leave the bathroom, the lingering steam can still lead to mold spots or peeling paint. If you are properly using your bathroom fan and still suffering from moisture damage to your home, then it’s time to examine if your bathroom fan is installed correctly.
Why Is My Bathroom Fan Not Working?
Minnick’s recently helped a client who had issues with mold spots forming on her bathroom ceiling. She swore to us that she always allowed her bathroom fan to run during and after she showered, and was confused on how she still managed to grow mold. After performing a home energy audit, we discovered that her bathroom exhaust fan was venting into her attic. Without a way to properly vent outside, the moisture from the bathroom was trapped within the home’s walls and eventually formed mold. Unfortunately, this is a common problem we see when homeowners allow unlicensed contractors or local handymen to install their bathroom vents. Just having an exhaust fan installed does not mean your bathroom is going to be vented correctly. The bathroom exhaust fan needs to vent to the exterior of your home. If it vents through the roof, it will also require a vent damper so that air doesn’t blow back into the duct. For these reasons, Minnick’s recommends opting for a licensed contractor for work on your bathroom exhaust fan. A licensed HVAC contractor will be able to identify if your bathroom fan is venting moisture properly and will be able to determine the best placement for your exhaust fan.
The Importance of Bathroom Ventilation
A proper bathroom ventilation system is important for every home, and as we’ve shared, you can’t assume the one that was already there is properly venting your bathroom. Exhaust fans without proper ventilation can cause major moisture issues to your home. For this reason, many local counties have building codes with required specifications for bathroom ventilation.
If you don’t already have a ventilation system in your bathroom, or feel as though your current one is not performing well, now is the time to ask for help. Without a properly working fan and ventilation system, your bathroom is putting your home at risk for mildew and mold growth. Save yourself the expensive cost for mold and mildew removal by ensuring your bathroom can effectively control moisture.
Our professional team of technicians at Minnick’s can help you solve for all aspects of your bathroom ventilation. This includes performing all work up to the proper code requirements. If you’re worried about your bathroom ventilation, contact us online or call us at (301) 605-9112 and we’ll be more than happy to help you out with any questions you may have about home ventilation, especially in regards to your bathroom.
Minnick’s is an industry leader in providing Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, Insulation, Indoor Air Quality, and Whole Home Energy solutions to Montgomery County, Howard County, Prince Georges County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City