Bathroom planning guide

How to Improve Bathroom Ventilation Problems

Having bathroom ventilation issues? Here are some ways to solve them.

Bathroom ventilation is typically not a concern in most homes. These ventilation systems are installed in the bathroom ceiling as a fan or fan/light combo that is then vented through the roof, a soffit or a side wall. Odors and excessive wetness are quickly vented outside with the flick of a switch. But what occurs when the layout of a structure makes it challenging or impossible to vent a bath fan to the outside? Here are some signs if you have bathroom ventilation problems and how you can solve them.

Follow these steps for more ventilation. 

Signs of Ventilation Problems

The homes that are being built (and refurbished) now are more airtight and well-insulated than those that were constructed in the past. A higher degree of interior comfort (particularly during temperature extremes), cost savings on fuel and energy, and reduced levels of carbon emissions are only a few of the significant advantages of the “build tight and insulate well” mandate.

Yet, the possibility of indoor air pollution is significantly increased by tight construction. Mold is a direct result of too much moisture and is one of the most dangerous indoor air pollutants. Mold can lead to a variety of respiratory conditions and allergic reactions, which is a severe health concern. Moreover, basic building materials like wood and gypsum board will be harmed or destroyed.

Plumbing leaks can result in mold growth in bathrooms, but splotchy spots on walls or ceilings typically suggest poor ventilation—too much moisture in the bathroom air. In an attic space above a bathroom, this may also result in the growth of mold on wood or insulation. Mold can be detected even if you can’t see it because of the musty smell. While there are other reasons to address bathroom ventilation issues, such as the annoyance of hazy mirrors, preventing mold is by far the most compelling one.

Install a Quieter Fan

Put in a more silent fan. If the fan’s noise prevents you and your family from using it, think about switching to a quieter one. These exhaust fans are designed to draw out steam, odors, and excess moisture, while at the same time significantly reducing the noise level. Not only will this help improve the overall air quality in your bathroom, but it can also give you a more peaceful, tranquil experience overall. Check the fan’s decibel level (dB) and the cubic feet per minute of air it extracts (CFM). Bathroom fans should have high CFMs and low dBs. With a quieter exhaust fan, you can have the peace of mind that your bathroom is well-ventilated without having to endure the loud noise of a traditional fan. Valor Home Services’ home repair technicians can help install new exhaust fans in your bathroom. Get your appointment booked by calling us.

Lead Floor Vent to the Exterior

Consider a situation where the bathroom is not close to an exterior wall and the fan cannot be vented through the roof. This might be the situation if a bathroom is tucked away beneath a flight of stairs or in a newly remodeled structure with tall ceilings. Constructing a duct run from a fan positioned in a bathroom wall through the floor and (between floor joists) out to an outside wall is something you should discuss with your HVAC contractor. To more effectively capture warm, humid air, mount the fan high on the wall. Build the duct run out of rigid metal or PVC. Install a stronger fan as well to combat natural convection and push the air below and outward.

Open Bathroom Windows

When taking a shower, using the vanity or using the toilet, open the bathroom window. Just a few inches of window space will do the trick. Open the top and bottom sashes of your double-hung windows for cross ventilation. This will help prevent odors from becoming trapped and will help reduce the levels of humidity in the room. During showers, you can boost ventilation by cracking open the door, which draws air from the home. Opening your windows can also help reduce the number of germs and bacteria, as fresh air can help kill airborne pathogens. If you’re having issues with ventilation in your bathroom, try opening your windows and see if it makes a difference.

Call an HVAC Technician

If you are having bathroom ventilation issues, such as condensation on the walls or water pooling on the floor, it is important to call an HVAC technician. A qualified technician can diagnose the problem and provide you with a solution. They will be able to inspect the ventilation system, identify the source of the problem, and come up with an effective plan of action. You will rest assured knowing that the ventilation system is working properly and that your bathroom is healthy and safe for everyone.

In bathrooms with limited airflow and hidden areas, like behind the toilet or under the sink, mold frequently able to develop. With a table fan placed in the doorway to draw fresh air into the bathroom, you may increase circulation to most areas of the room. Check for leaks, fix any that you find and leave the doors open while the ceiling fan or table fan is on if mold starts to grow in the vanity.

If you’re having issues with moisture yet the fan appears to be operating, ensure sure air is venting out by checking the exhaust vent outlet. A piece of paper should flutter in the presence of sufficient airflow. Your next home repair project should be to check the ducts and make any required adjustments to increase bathroom ventilation if there is no airflow. Give us a call if you’re still having problems with moisture buildup in your bathroom. Most bathroom plumbing problems, no matter how big or small can be handled by our skilled home maintenance and repair professionals.