Q: We afresh bought a admirable old house, but the above owners never installed a aperture fan in the bathroom. After a shower, the mirror is absolutely fogged and the walls are wet to the touch. I apperceive all that clamminess can’t be acceptable for the cabinets or the new wallpaper, some of which is already assuming signs of peeling, so we’d like to install a fan. How can we bulk out the admeasurement (and type) of bath fan we need?
A: Acceptable thinking! A bath blast fan will absolutely abate the clamminess acquired by bathing and showering, and it will assure your bath from damp accident in the continued run. If you haven’t shopped for a blast fan recently, you’ll apparently be abundantly afraid at how far the technology has come. Early models took an inefficient, one-size-fits-all approach, creating added apportionment (and noise) than was all-important in baby bathrooms and not abundant apportionment in ample bathrooms. Fortunately, manufacturers accept spent the accomplished 15 years absorption on bearing awful able admirers advised to clothing bathrooms of specific sizes. Today’s admirers are very able at removing mild air, and they no best complete like jets on the runway. To cross the newer options, we consulted Daniel O’Brian, abstruse able for the online plumbing, heating, and HVAC retailer SupplyHouse.com. With his help, we’ve pinpointed the key considerations back you’re allocation up your bathroom’s needs.
First things first: A bath fan’s size refers not so abundant to the fan’s dimensions as it does to its power, or how abundant air the fan can move. “The best important appellation to attending for [on the fan’s packaging or in artefact capacity online] is CFM, which stands for cubic anxiety per minute,” O’Brian explains. As this cardinal describes the aggregate of air the fan can move, it’s anon accompanying to the size of your bath and acute in accession out which fan is best for your needs. A fan with the actual CFM should draw in abundant air to brace all the air in your bath at atomic eight times per hour. Anniversary time the air in the allowance is absolutely replaced is accepted as an “air exchange.”
To actuate the actual CFM, account the breadth of your bathroom. To get the absolute aboveboard footage, accumulate the breadth of your bath by its width. A fan’s ability is abstinent in “cubic” anxiety per minute, so you ability anticipate that the abutting footfall would be to account the aggregate of the allowance by multiplying the breadth by the beam height. But O’Brian suggests a simpler aphorism of thumb: For bathrooms beneath than 100 aboveboard feet, “You can aloof go with 1 CFM for every aboveboard bottom of attic area,” he says. For example, if your bath is 80 aboveboard feet, you’ll charge an 80 CFM fan, such as the Broan SmartSense 80 CFM Blast Fan (available from SupplyHouse).
Look for added ability if your bath has aerial ceilings. That basal blueprint for an average-size bath needs a little tweaking if the beam stretches accomplished the accepted 8-foot height. If the above 80-square-foot bath has a 10-foot ceiling, we would use the afterward blueprint to determine the actual CFM:
• Accumulate the bathroom’s aboveboard footage by the beam height: 80 x 10 = 800
• Now, bisect that cardinal by 60 (minutes in an hour), and annular the acknowledgment up to the abutting accomplished number: 800 ÷ 60 = 13.33 (which you again annular up to 14)
• Accumulate that cardinal by 8 (the ambition cardinal of air exchanges in one hour): 14 x 8 = 112
So, for an 80-square-foot bath with a 10-foot ceiling, you’ll get the best after-effects from a fan with a appraisement of at atomic 112 CFM. Coming in at 115 CFM, the Broan L100MG Blast Fan (available from SupplyHouse) delivers. As you apparently won’t charge to run this beyond fan at abounding ability every time you admission the bathroom, accede bond it with a capricious acceleration control. This abstracted affection enables you to acclimatize the fan acceleration to clothing your needs, so you can about-face it bottomward back atom in the morning and about-face it all the way up for a mild shower.
In ample adept bathrooms, you can acquisition the adapted CFM through simple addition. For bathrooms larger than 100 aboveboard feet, you can abject your ambition CFM on the cardinal of accessories in the bathroom. Aloof add up the numbers beneath that associate with anniversary accoutrement in your bath to actuate the adapted fan admeasurement for the space:
• Toilet: 50 CFM
• Accepted bathtub: 50 CFM
• Shower: 50 CFM
• Jetted or spa tub: 100 CFM
A ample bath with a jetted tub, a toilet, and a shower—a accepted agreement in new homes—would charge a 200 CFM blast fan, such as the Broan L200 Blast Fan (available from SupplyHouse). If you can’t acquisition a fan with the exact CFM your blueprint produces, acquirement one with a hardly college CFM. “It doesn’t aching to go a little over to be safe,” O’Brian says.
If you accept an amid battery breadth or a toilet stall, you’ll charge an added fan. “Enclosed” agency that there’s a aloofness bank active from attic to beam and a aperture that closes completely. (Note that a abstracted fan would not be bare for a battery aperture that doesn’t ability the ceiling.) These baby amid stalls are accepted for ensuring aloofness in ample bathrooms that avowal accessible admission to applicant closets. The floor-to-ceiling walls anticipate air from circulating to an enclosed battery or a toilet no bulk the admeasurement of the fan in the capital allotment of the bathroom, so it’s best to install an added baby blast fan in the amid area. A 50 CFM fan is usually sufficient. Attending for commodity like the Air King ASLC50 Blast Fan (available from SupplyHouse), which includes a ablaze so it can booty the abode of a approved aerial light. Note that back allotment a fan to install anon over a shower, the fan should be rated for accession in wet areas and should be affiliated to a GFCI aperture or breaker.
Don’t undersize your fan aloof because you’re attractive for beneath noise. Back it comes to bath blast fans, added ability doesn’t necessarily beggarly added noise. The bulk of babble a fan makes back it’s operating is rated in units of altitude alleged sones; the college the sone rating, the louder the unit. Bath admirers are rated from 0.3 to 4 sones, with 4 actuality the noisiest, “comparable to the complete of a television,” O’Brian offers. A sone appraisement of 1, on the added hand, is agnate to the affable hum of a refrigerator. A appraisement of beneath than 1 will be so quiet you may not alike apprehension that the fan is operating! If you’re attractive for a actual quiet fan, accede commodity like S&P’s Premium Choice Blast Fan (available from SupplyHouse), which appearance a capricious acceleration of 80 to 150 CFM and a sone appraisement of aloof 0.3 on its quietest setting.
Replacing your absolute ablaze with a fan/light admixture makes for easier installation. In earlier homes after bath ventilation, a fan/light admixture like the 80 CFM Fantech FQ Series Quiet Blast Fan (available from SupplyHouse) can be installed in abode of an absolute beam ablaze to accumulate from accepting to install a abstracted fan. The Fantech not alone offers a actual quiet 0.4 sones, but it additionally comes with both an aerial ablaze and a night ablaze that can be active to about-face on individually. Fan/light combos with night lights are actual accepted because they acquiesce nocturnal bath users to cross the allowance after accepting to about-face on a acrid aerial light.
Say goodbye to arid bath fans. Today’s blast admirers not alone barrel abroad mild battery air, they multitask to accomplish your morning ritual added enjoyable. After accession out how abundant ability you charge in a aperture fan, ask yourself if you could account from some added options. If your bath is arctic aboriginal affair in the morning, you’ll adulation the toasty-warm air emitted by the Broan QTX110HL Ultra Silent Heater Fan and Ablaze Admixture (available from SupplyHouse). To amuse the techie-geek in all of us, O’Brian addendum that “some admirers now appear with a congenital Bluetooth speaker! Connect your buzz and comedy whatever you appetite from your fan.” If that sounds like commodity you’d enjoy, accede the Broan Sensonic Speaker Fan with Wireless Bluetooth (available from SupplyHouse). Check out this video to see why—once you’ve installed the Broan Sensonic—your morning accepted will never be the same!
This commodity has been brought to you by SupplyHouse.com. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.
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