Exhaust fans are commonly found in bathrooms. Whether your home has a single bathroom or a half-dozen bathrooms, it probably has an exhaust fan in each of them. Municipal building codes typically require either an exhaust fan or a functional window in residential bathrooms. What are bathroom exhaust fans exactly, and why are they important?
Overview of Bathroom Exhaust Fans
Bathroom exhaust fans work like most other types of exhaust fans by transporting indoor air to the home’s exterior. They consist of an electric fan and ductwork.
Some bathroom exhaust fans feature flexible ductwork, whereas others feature rigid ductwork. Regardless, the ductwork runs from the bathroom to the home’s exterior. As the fan spins, it will pull air from the bathroom into the ductwork before releasing it outside.
Why Bathroom Exhaust Fans Are Important
The main purpose of bathroom exhaust fans is to prevent moisture damage. Bathrooms are a haven for moisture. Taking showers or baths will release moisture vapor into the air. When left unchecked, this moisture vapor will accumulate while creating high indoor humidity levels. The bathroom itself, as well as the surrounding rooms in your home, may have high indoor humidity levels.
Fortunately, you can protect your home from high indoor humidity levels by using bathroom exhaust fans. Bathroom exhaust fans will expel the moisture-filled air to your home’s exterior. As a result, they’ll probably your home from moisture damage.
How to Determine If a Bathroom Exhaust Fan Is Working
You can test a bathroom exhaust fan in just a few easy steps. Start by flipping the switch to turn it on. Most bathroom exhaust fans feature a switch that’s directly next to the light switch. After flipping this switch, you should hear the electric fan spinning.
Assuming you hear the fan spinning, you should now test the suction force. All bathroom exhaust fans should create a suction force. Without a suction force, they won’t be able to draw or expel the moisture-filled air.
There’s a trick you can use to test the suction force of a bathroom exhaust fan. It involves placing a single piece of toilet paper against the fan’s housing unit. If the bathroom exhaust fan is working, it should create a strong enough suction force to hold the toilet paper in place. If there’s a problem with the fan that’s preventing it from creating a suction force, the toilet paper will fall.