How to vent a bathroom fan

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website. How to install, specify or improve bathroom venting, reduce indoor condensation, avoid bathroom mold.

Bathroom vent fans, required bath vent fan capacity, fan noise and sones. This article series describes how to install bathroom ventilation systems, fans, ducts, terminations. We include bathroom venting code citations and the text also explains why bathroom vent fans are needed and describes good bath vent fan choices, necessary fan capacity, and good bath vent fan and vent-duct installation details.

We discuss bathroom exhaust vent codes, specifications, advice. We explain how to install bathroom exhaust fans or vents, the vent ducting, the vent termination at the wall, soffit or roof, vent fan wiring, bath vent duct insulation, bath vent lengths, clearances, routing, and we answer just about any other bathroom ventilation design or installation question you may have.

We discuss bath vent routing, insulation, slope, termination, airflow rate requirements and other specifications. We also describe bathroom vent fan ducts, where to route vent air, duct condensation, ceiling leaks; Photographs of bad or ineffective bath fan installations. Ventilation in bathrooms is important to prevent moisture damage to wall and ceiling surfaces, decay of wood trim, saturation of building insulation, and mold contamination.

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Effective spot ventilation in these areas is critical for maintaining healthy levels of indoor humidity levels and an overall healthy indoor environment. Especially in bathrooms where a shower is used, large amounts of moisture are added to room air and are concentrated in this area. Our photo above-left shows a horrible bathroom ceiling vent fan ductwork job: multiple ducts sprawl around in the attic, all joining to terminate at an attempted through-roof vent that has fallen back into the attic.

DIY Home Exhaust Fan Part 4

The building shall be provided with ventilation that meets the requirements of the International Residential Code or International Mechanical Code, as applicable, or with other approved means of ventilation. Outdoor air intakes and exhaust shall have automatic or gravity dampers that close when the ventilation system is not operating. Where exhaust duct construction is not specified in this chapter, construction shall comply with Chapter Duct systems serving heating, cooling and ventilation equipment shall be installed in accordance with the provisions of this section and ACCA Manual D, the appliance manufacturer's installation instructions or other approved methods.

Flexible plastic vent fan ductwork : shown at above left is a common use of un insulated, flexible ventilation fan duct. In this installation the duct is improperly installed, spilling directly into the attic space of the building.During my home inspections, I have come across many bathroom vents incorrectly installed into attics.

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A poorly vented bathroom fan can lead to moisture damage, mold, and other issues but it can be done correctly with a few crucial steps. No, you should not vent a bathroom fan directly into an attic. However, you can vent a bathroom fan through an attic while it terminates on the roof or gable end. It seems like such an easy solution, just leave a bathroom vent hose in an attic. On my home inspections, it is still a common sight for me to see bathroom vents going directly into the attic spewing moisture.

The problem with this approach is that all of the moisture in the air goes onto the wood sheathing, insulation, wood rafters, and wood ceiling joists which can lead to mold growth and rot.

Especially during cold weather months, the excess moisture from a bathroom vent can build up frost on the underside of the roof sheathing, and eventually this ice will melt and leak onto the insulation and drywall ceiling. The correct way to vent a bathroom fan through an attic is to terminate the vent either to the roof or to the gable wall. Either way, the vent will have to go directly to the outside, and installed with a vent hood cover.

The vent hood will have a little flap that opens when air is blowing through the vent, but at other times it will remain closed. The flap will help prevent outdoor air from going into the home when the bathroom vent is not on. The flap will also prevent birds from nesting in the bathroom vent which is extremely common. It's also important to note that if you install a roof vent cover for a clothes dryeryou must remove the metal screen because it will catch lint and may turn into a fire hazard.

It is also important to note that vent hood covers for the roof are a different and specialized type of cover. The roof covers are made from metaland are much more robust, and somewhat more expensive.

How to Vent a Bathroom Fan

The Builder's Best Roof Vent Cap actually has some protection against corrosion because it is powder coated and galvanized which is really important when it's on the roof. And it comes with the required flapper, as well as pre-drilled holes for an easier install. The cheapest part of installing a new bathroom vent will likely be the supplies.

how to vent a bathroom fan

Most of the cost will be in the labor. Also, if you are venting up to the roof, then a roofer will be required which will cost more than if you are venting to a gable wall or soffit. Even though it is not my preferred installation, it is possible to vent your bathroom fan directly to the soffit vent. In this way, you avoid messing with the roof and the associated leak risks. The downside of soffit vent installations is that it may disrupts some of the air flow of the soffit venting.

Soffit vents work because the warmer attic air relative to outside rises, and it creates a suction effect when working in tandem with the ridge vent. However, if a homeowner really wants to terminate their vent at the soffit, I recommend using a specially made soffit vent cover.

These bathroom fan vent covers are designed to be installed on the soffit vent. Another very common thing I see during home inspections is that the bathroom vent is vented just below the ridge vent.We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from.

To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. It's the best way to expel moisture-laden air and odors, and we have step-by-step instructions for adding a bathroom ceiling vent fan.

Installing a ventilating fan in your bath will help eliminate fogged-up windows, steamy mirrors and stale odors. But more importantly, it will help prevent moisture-related problems, such as the growth of mold and mildew. In this particular installation, Tom ran the exhaust duct into the attic and through a sidewall to the outdoors.

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Other venting options includes running the duct up through the roof or down through the soffit. Note that the bathroom vent fan must always exhaust to the outdoors; never allow the duct to simply blow into an attic, crawlspace or other enclosed area.

how to vent a bathroom fan

Also, the installation of the bathroom exhaust fan will go much quicker if you ask a spouse or friend to help be in the attic while you work from below, or to hand you tools while you're on the ladder.

A bathroom without a ventilation fan is like a fireplace without a chimney: If you fail to pull the moisture generated in the bathroom out of there, it will migrate into the walls and grow mold and mildew, or blister paint and peel wallpaper. One reason many households still don't have bath fans is that they can be intimidating to install.

How to Properly Vent a Bathroom Exhaust Fan in an Attic

The bathroom here is below an accessible attic, so Tom ran the exhaust duct across the attic and out a gable end.

Bathroom vent fans are rated by how many cubic feet of air they can move in one minute, known as the CFM rating. To determine which size fan to buy for your bath, multiply the room's square footage by 1. For example, a square-foot bath would require a CFM-rated fan. Fans also have a sound rating, measured in sones. A modern refrigerator operates at about one sone. Vent fans range from as low as 0. You'll find both the CFM and sone ratings printed on the vent fan's box. Tip: Use foil duct tape; unlike fabric duct tape, it won't deteriorate over time.

Tip: If the grille doesn't hold tight against the ceiling, spread apart its mounting wires to create more tension. Cookie banner We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from.

By choosing I Acceptyou consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. How to Install a Bathroom Vent Fan. By Joseph Truini. Pinterest Email Pocket Flipboard. For optimum performance, locate it between the shower and the toilet. Climb into the attic and clear away any insulation from around the hole. Now use the reference hole to determine the exact position of the fan. Measure the vent fan housing. Try to position the vent fan directly between two joists near your reference hole.

Take into account any nearby pipes or other obstructions. Note the final position of the vent fan in relation to the reference hole. Use the reference hole as a landmark to transfer your measurements from the attic to the ceiling.

Use a layout square or framing square to draw the rectangular outline of the intake port onto the ceiling. When you're almost finished making the rectangular cutout, support the waste piece with one hand to keep it from falling and possibly taking some of the surrounding drywall or plaster ceiling with it. Aim the elbow straight up and secure it to the port with foil duct tape.

Remove the knockout hole on the side of the fan's housing and attach a cable connector.

Venting a Bathroom Fan Into An Attic (My Detailed Guide)

Slide the four metal brackets into the tabs protruding from the sides of the vent fan.A bathroom is an ideal place for mold to take root. It is moist, warm, and can remain in that state for quite a while if there is no ventilation. A bathroom exhaust fan is one of the best ways to keep the humidity in your bathroom at a comfortable level and keep mold at bay.

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Use it in conjunction with a device that measures humidity and you'll be able to keep your bathroom dry and mold free. There are really only three venting options. No matter the location of the bathroom, you can vent the exhaust fan through the wall. Ductwork is what will connect the fan to the outside.

how to vent a bathroom fan

The location of the bathroom will determine how extensive the ductwork will be. You may be able to configure a short route. However, bathrooms that are further from an exterior wall will usually have a longer, more complex route. Gravity helps this because when water hits the side of the house, it will run to the ground. There is a fan that you can purchase that can be vented directly from the bathroom to an exterior wall.

While this seems the easiest option, this fan usually requires that a new electrical line be installed. Therefore, this option is the least popular of the three among do-it-yourselfers. If you are doing a complete bathroom remodel or have to have electrical wiring done anyway, you may want to consider this option.

It eliminates the need for routing ductwork through the house and these fans usually dry the bathroom more quickly. Depending on the location of the bathroom, it may be easy to vent the exhaust fan through the roof. This involves running ductwork from the fan, usually though an attic, and out through the roof.

In order to accomplish this, the roof has to have a hole cut in it. It is because of this that many builders tend to advise against this method. Most professionals believe that the roof should not be cut unnecessarily. Construction professionals will tell you that they go out of their way to avoid having to cut into a roof.

Though flashing and roof boots can be used to prevent the penetration of water, eliminating openings all together is the best defense against intruding moisture. While this is a viable option, it should be used only as a last result and it will require additional maintenance to the roof area to make sure that water is not seeping into the house.

You can now make an informed decision on which way you will vent your bathroom exhaust fan. This decision will probably be easier than choosing the actual fan!Bathroom exhaust fans perform an important function by removing excess moisture from your home.

When venting a bathroom exhaust fan, make sure to vent the air to the outside, rather than into your attic where it can cause mold and mildew to form. It can cause you a lot of problems with mold and mildew forming on the underside of your rafters and decking as well as getting into your insulation. Several different ways you can move that hot air to the outside. Another method, a little bit better, is if you have a gable-style roof and a gable vent on one end of the house, you can attach this to the back of a gable vent.

But the absolute best way to get that hot, moist air out of your house is to route it straight up through the roof and out a roof cap on it. Even better, instead of using this flexible type pipe, use a smooth metal pipe to route it through the roof. I ALSO! My bathroom exhaust fan drips water down on the toilet and floor and also the ceiling is wet around it. It vents into the attic. How can I fix this? The master bathroom and the 2nd bathroom vent through the roof and through the same opening.

The 2nd bathroom vent drips on the floor and is ruining the ceiling. None of the pipes are insulated and neither is the box they go into. Thank you for this forum. Pat Thompson. I did this based on your article and for some reason it has me a bit worried. Can you show some pictures of this being done properly? I want to go with option 2, exhausting through my existing gable vent, but I cannot find a fitting that will easily mount behind the vent.

Can I tie it into my gas water heater vent. I was thinking of an in-line backflow preventer just to keep any carbon monoxide from back feeding if that would happen. I have my fan vented out through the roof, but near the inside of the roof in my attic the vent leaks a bit and condensation gets on the wood and a bit down in the insulation around where the vent goes out.

I can feel some water around the metal wrapping of the vent where there is an opening. Would anyone recommend wrapping a towel around this area to absorb the condensation and then switch the towel out monthly or so? Feedback on several of the questions: 1. No, you cannot tie the bathroom exhaust to the hot water vent.

That is a recipe for disaster and may very well not be to code. Two bathroom exhausts should not be tied to one vent. They should vent separately. They will never vent properly otherwise.

Each bend in the duct run reduces the effective distance max. You should call the manufacturer to find out their recommended vent distance. The long run is likely the cause of the water damage. Insulating the duct may also help. You may have a bad boot around the roof vent that is leaking into the attic.The personalized itinerary we received beforehand was like nothing I've ever had before.

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how to vent a bathroom fan

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