Posted on Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Steam, humidity, and condensation in a bathroom can cause a number of issues such as warping fixtures, blistering paint, and allowing mold and mildew to flourish. The best way to prevent these issues is to aerate the room with a bathroom ventilation system.
Bathroom ceiling fans are the most effective ventilation system, but it is important to choose the right one for your home. Bathroom fans are rated by CFM – how many cubic feet of air they can move in one minute. To determine which size is right for you bathroom, simply multiply your room’s square footage by 1.1. A fan’s CFM rating will be printed on its outside box.
The best place to install a bathroom fan is in between the toilet and shower. To ensure you are not harming pipes or wire, first drill a reference hole with a small drill bit. If you are installing in a lower-level bathroom, gradually make the hole larger until you can see what’s above. For upper level restrooms, crawl into the attic to remove insulation and ensure you are not too close to pipes or wiring.
Once you are sure you’re clear of obstructions, measure the fan’s intake port to determine what size hole to cut in the ceiling. Using a layout or framing square, draw the outline of the intake vent onto the ceiling. Be sure to use the reference hole as a centering point. Using a jigsaw, drywall saw, or reciprocating saw, cut the section out of the ceiling. Be sure to wear goggles and a facemask to prevent injury, and always support the waste piece before making final cuts to ensure smooth lines.
Once the hole is cut, your bathroom fan is ready to be installed. Instructions for proper installation and wiring should be included with your fan.
Please note: To prevent moisture-related problems such as mold, your bathroom ventilation system must vent outdoors. Pushing moisture into your attic or an upper level may clear the bathroom, but can cause rotting of support beams and other structural issues.