Keeping Your Bathroom Properly Ventilated

by Carmen Corbin on November 27, 2011

Whether your bathroom is large and spacious or small and cozy, maintaining proper ventilation is essential in preventing moisture problems and keeping the air refreshed.

The location and size of your bathroom will determine your ventilation options.  Because a half bath doesn’t contain a bathtub or shower, it doesn’t house as much moisture as a full bathroom would.  Still, an exhaust fan for venting odors and maintaining good air movement is beneficial.  Another example would be a basement bathroom.  It might not be a good candidate for a window that opens, but a short row of vented glass blocks could be a possibility.

What’s a CFM, Anyway?

Ventilation Fans:  A CFM is a measurement of air flow, so you’ll see references to CFM’s on exhaust fan packaging.  The Home Ventilating Institute (HVI.org) recommends 1 CFM per square foot for bathrooms up to 100 square feet.  For example, if your bathroom is 10 feet by 6 feet, you should look for a fan that is rated at 60 CFM’s.  For bathrooms over 100 square feet, HVI recommends using your fixtures as a guide.  Figure 50 CPM’s for each toilet, shower and tub (100 CFM’s for a jetted tub).  Separate toilet rooms need their own fan.

Ask your bathroom remodeling contractor about heat lamp fans – instead of being greeted by a rush of cold air as you step out of the shower, you can towel off in warm comfort.

Bathroom Windows:  Bathroom windows that open can be a great way to refresh the air.  If you don’t already have a window in your bathroom, your bathroom remodeler can suggest plenty of options.  Privacy can still be maintained with opaque and stained glass windows, or by simply installing the window above eye level. 

Ventilated Skylights:  Skylights have always been a popular choice to bring in lots of natural light, but new vented models can also bring in fresh air, too.  Some skylights even come with remote control operations, making them very easy to open and close.  Many homeowners decide to include one when doing kitchen remodeling as well.

One final, common sense tip for better bathroom ventilation is to choose a bathroom door that leaves a larger gap at the bottom.  Home improvement stores can help custom order any size you need.

For more information on bathroom remodeling or ventilation, call or visit your local home improvement contractor.

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