How to Ventilate My Bathroom? The Importance of Bathroom Ventilation

With all of the water involved in showering, bathing, washing your hands and even brushing your teeth, it isn’t surprising that bathrooms contain the dampest air in your house. This brings with it some challenges, and as such it is very important to make sure that your bathrooms are well ventilated, either using natural ventilation or in the form of bathroom extractor fans.

bathroom ventilation
Photo by Cameron Smith on Unsplash

Without efficient bathroom ventilation you might find that condensation turns into mould and mildew build up in your bathroom. This can lead to an unsavoury appearance for your bathroom, and even respiratory problems such as asthma. Additionally, poor ventilation can lead to the premature wearing of your bathroom itself, as plaster and paint may ware away and bathroom accessories, such as towel rails, could begin to rust.

So what can be done about it? As always it is better to fix the issue before bigger problems appear down the line, so you are much better of fixing the source of the condensation, rather than buying lots of mould spray or mould friendly paint.

If you want to reduce condensation the old fashioned (and cheapest) way, you can open your bathroom window. If you are using this method, it is important to leave it open long enough for the damp air to leave the room. Leaving the window open whilst you have a shower, and closing it when you are finished, is not likely to be enough. Additionally, bathrooms have a tendency to be cold places, and leaving a window open for a prolonged period of time will only make them colder.

There are concerns that leaving your window open, will not do enough to overcome condensation turning into mould and damp. In fact to comply with Building Regulations, all new homes in England are required to provide extractor fan in bathrooms which contain baths or a shower.

A bathroom extractor fan is the easiest way to overcome condensation worries. Whilst there is inevitably a cost to installing a bathroom fan, the initial cost could save you money over the long run, as your bathroom fixture and fittings may last longer.

There are two common types of extractor fans, which are:

  • Axial fans – They connect directly through an external wall, and the connection is a short distance away. Axial fans are used where the bathroom is located against an external wall, which is the case for most family bathrooms.
  • Centrifugal fans – They are designed to carry the moist air a long distance. As such, they are used where a bathroom isn’t located against an external wall. They are more common for on-suites and bathrooms located under the stairs in the middle of the house.

The prices having an extractor fan fitted in your bathroom will depend upon a number of circumstances, including the location of your bathroom. Axial fans tend to be cheaper as they have lower extraction rates as the air doesn’t need to travel as far. Additional cost factors include how experienced your plumber is, where the electricity is supplied to your bathroom, and your location (prices tend to be more expensive in London and the South East).

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