Fans-Indoor Air Quality

Bath fans, what a brilliant invention for those of you out there who can’t stand the sulfur smell from a burnt match! I am CONSTANTLY walking past the bathrooms and laundry room in my own home and shutting these things off. Obviously I leave them running if the house plants are wilting but as soon as the odor dissipates I want those things off.

How Long Should You Run Your Bathroom Fan For?

Did you know that a bath fan has the capability to remove heat from the home? Think about it for a second, where are your bath fans typically located? What happens to warm air? The warm air rises and hovers at ceiling level as the insulation does it’s job to keep the heat in as your bath fan sucks it right out of the house.It is advised to only run bath fans and kitchen exhaust fans for a short period of time to prevent the home from losing heat.

So when is it a good time to run your bath or kitchen exhaust fans and for how long?It is always a good idea to run your bath fan when you shower or bathe. The effects of moisture trapped in a home is an easy way to breed mold, bacteria, spores, polen etc. that could damage the home and affect your health. Newer homes pose a greater risk for trapping moisture and all the fun things that breed and grow from humidity.

Recommended Fans for Newer Homes

Newer homes are a perfect candidate for an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator) or HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator). It depends on what part of the country you live in but for the NW region of the coutry we use Heat Recovery Ventilators. Energy Recovery Ventilators actually pull more moisture out of the inside of the home and run a higher risk of freezing up in our typically cooler temperatures. The job of the HRV is to bring fresh air into the home from outside and send out the stale air from inside the home to the outside. The most important benefit is the fresh air is brough to room temperature before entering your home so it doesn’t fight the function of the furnace’s ability to heat the home. Our position is that installing one of these HRV systems yourself if not recommended, let the professionals do the work for you and make sure they back up their work with a parts and labor guarantee.

So to recap, a bath fan when used properly can help extract moisture (and the nose hair curling bombs that “Uncle Ron” left behind after enchilada night) but do little in the way of exchanging the extracted air with fresh, room temperature air. The HRV addresses both of those issues and actually prevents any loss of heat that’s being produced by the furnace or heat pump. In other words the HRV isn’t fighting the function of the furnace. Either way running the bath fan for a short period of time can really help reduce the moisture in the home that allows for bacteria to grow and improve indoor air quality.


Call A-TEMP Heating, Cooling & Electrical today at (503) 694-3396 or contact us online for a quote on bathroom fan installation!


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