Your bathroom fan is designed to help keep your home free from moisture and moisture-related problems. However, too many people forget to use their fans. And if they do, it’s not on for a long enough time to be effective. If you do use your fan correctly, there are times when your bathroom fan is not removing steam effectively. Today we’re going to look at 7 common reasons why your fan isn’t effectively removing steam.
1. Proper Use of Your Bathroom Fan
As we said above, the most common reason why your bathroom fan isn’t removing steam properly is that they aren’t being used correctly. So many people completely forget to use their fan, or they only turn it on briefly after their shower. To be effective, your bathroom fan must be kept on for at least 30 minutes after showering. This will help lower the risk of damage due to excess moisture, like peeling paint, mildew, and dangerous mould. In fact, 90% of moisture damage problems are due to not running the fan long enough.
Generally, your bathroom fan is not designed to be powerful enough to remove all the steam when showering. They are actually designed to run after showering or bathing to dry the bathroom and help remove moisture from the room.
2. The Bathroom Door Gap is Not Big Enough
In order for your bathroom fan to effectively remove steam, you need replacement air coming into the bathroom. If there’s no gap or too small a gap under the bathroom door, no fresh air is flowing back into the room. If you have the fan on, and your door is closed, your bathroom fan will have to fight to pull fresh air through the tiny cracks. As a result, your fan will be less effective.
Your bathroom should at least have a 12mm gap between the finished bathroom floor and the door. A gap this size allows fresh air to flow into the bathroom when the fan is running. A good way to test if the gap is large enough is to close the bathroom door quickly. If you feel some air resistance, then the gap is too small.
3. Your Bathroom Fan Isn’t Vented Properly
Your bathroom fan requires proper venting to transport steam out of the bathroom. Too many people buy ductless fans as they are easier to install. However, there is a huge difference between bathroom fans and ductless fans. Ductless fans will circulate air through an activated carbon filter but doesn’t remove steam. Instead, it filters out odours, making them perfect for pantries and powder rooms.
This is why it is important to have a vented bathroom fan installed. While these are more expensive and tricky to install, they will save you from moisture damage over the years, essentially saving you money in the long run.
4. Your Bathroom Fan Isn’t Powerful Enough
Another common reason for a steamy bathroom is that the fan simply isn’t powerful enough. When you have an underpowered fan you will find that moisture isn’t removed from the bathroom properly, leading to foggy mirrors, moisture build up, and other damage.
Thankfully, Martec has created a Bathroom Heater and Exhaust Fan Calculator precisely to help with this problem. You simply need to measure your bathroom and input the measurements into the calculator. This will let you know the perfect size for your bathroom. This calculator gives you the minimum CFM (cubic feet per minute) for your room, taking into consideration the size and the recommended 8 air changes per hour. You can compare the calculator results to your current fan and see if it is underpowered.
5. A Dirty Fan Won’t Work Properly
Like other appliances and furnishings in your home, your bathroom fan can experience a build up of dust and lint. As the build up grows, it limits the amount of air that can pass through the duct. As a result, the fan is less effective. The blades of your bathroom fan are moist when removing steam from the air. This attracts dust, allowing it to build up so easily. Further, a dust and lint filled fan can be a fire risk. So it is important that you keep your bathroom fan clean.
6. The Bathroom Fan Vent is Too Small or Has Too Many Turns
Another important thing to take into account is the size of the duct and how complex it is, i.e., how many turns there are. This increases the static pressure of the duct, and higher static pressure makes it harder for your fan to push air out of the house. And when you have a small, complicated bathroom and duct system, the airflow will simply not be at an acceptable rate to remove the steam from your bathroom. Some fans may be so small they can’t overcome the static pressure and won’t be able to vent anything. Ideally, you should choose a fan that is the right size for your bathroom, with a short, direct ducted system to the outside of your home.
7. Your Fan Has Been Installed in the Wrong Place
The final thing you need to check is the placement of your bathroom exhaust. If your bathroom is small and the fan is in the wrong spot, it might not be able to properly vent steam. In order to remedy this, have your fan installed in the right place. You will know it is in the right spot if you can see your exhaust aerator from the ceiling, then it is perfect.