Make Sure You're Using Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan Properly

When you think about the parts of your HVAC system, you probably include your furnace, air conditioner, and perhaps your ducts. But there's another part of the system that plays an important role: your bathroom exhaust fan. It may not be as big or expensive as your furnace, but it does not deserve to be neglected! Here's a closer look at the role of your bathroom exhaust fan -- and how to use it properly.

What does your bathroom exhaust fan actually do?

You may turn the exhaust fan on when you want to get rid of a pesky smell or clear the mirror after a shower. But the fan's actual purpose is to remove humidity from the air after you take a shower. Removing the humidity is important as it prevents mold from growing on your caulk, walls, and bathroom fixtures.

Turning on your bathroom exhaust fan actually helps regulate the moisture levels throughout your home. If this humidity is left to flow freely through your home in the summer, it will force your AC unit to work overtime since part of your AC unit's job is to remove moisture from the air.

How should you use the exhaust fan?

It's best to turn the exhaust fan on before you even start showering. This way, it will remove moisture from the air as it accumulates. You won't get condensation on your mirrors, walls, and other surfaces -- so they'll suffer less damage and stay looking cleaner. If you wait until you're done showering to turn on the fan, some moisture will already have settled out of the air and these surfaces will be wet.

What should you do if your exhaust fan is not working properly?

Sometimes bathroom exhaust fans are not installed properly, so they might not remove moisture from the air properly. If you're running your fan but your bathroom still stays humid, it's possible that the vent stack is too long to allow air to escape properly. Your HVAC contractor may need to put a new, shorter vent out the side of your home. Your fan may also be undersized for the size of your bathroom. Replacing it with a larger one should fix the problem.

If you are having issues with your exhaust fan -- of if you don't have an exhaust fan -- contact an HVAC company, like Smedley & Associates, in your area. They are simple devices, but they're really important for proper moisture control and mold prevention throughout your home.