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Bathroom ventilation systems are something that most people don’t think about very often, but if you are building a new house or are dealing with a bathroom that doesn’t currently have one, it’s probably something you are trying to figure out.
Bathrooms suffer through a lot of excess moisture which brings a lot of potential for damage. Without proper ventilation, homeowners, landlords, and renters alike could be facing issues like cracked or peeling paint and wallpaper, warped baseboards and other wood fixtures, ruined dry wall, and rusted metal fixtures. On top of all that, excess moisture can cause mold to grow which can, in turn, cause health issues ranging from mild to serious.
If your bathroom doesn’t currently have a ventilation system, here are some options that you can consider which will help mitigate potential moisture issues in your bathroom:
Windows - Whether you’re planning to install one or your bathroom already has a window, the window can be an effective way to vent excess moisture out while letting fresh air in. Opening the window during your shower, though, can cause you to have less privacy and can be a major inconvenience. Especially during the winter time.
If you absolutely cannot open the window during your shower, be sure to open it immediately after and leave it open until all of the excess moisture has evaporated from the room.
Open doors - Like windows, open doors can help to get rid of the extra moisture, but they cause a serious lack of privacy. If you have roommates, guests, or are trying to get away from little children, an open door policy probably isn’t the best ventilation solution.
If you can and do plan to leave the door open to help ventilate, try to create a cross-breeze whether with a window in the bathroom or another window near the bathroom door. This will help make sure that all of the moisture gets evaporated away.
Portable fans - Paired with a window, a portable fan can be an effective way to get the excess moisture out of the bathroom in place of a missing or nonexistent ventilation system.
If your bathroom doesn’t have a window, position the fan near the open door to help mitigate any potential excess moisture issues.
Portable dehumidifiers - If you’re in a situation where leaving the bathroom door open just isn’t an option, a portable dehumidifier would be a valuable investment. The dehumidifier works by pulling in air from surrounding areas that have a high moisture level. It then runs the air through cooling coils which pull the moisture from the air by lowering the temperature.
A portable dehumidifier is a great option for any bathroom without a ventilation system, but especially if you don’t have a window in your bathroom and have no other way of venting out the moist air.
Exhaust fans - Used in most, if not all, modern homes, exhaust fans are a very effective way to ensure that all of the excess moisture is removed from the bathroom. If your bathroom doesn’t currently have an exhaust fan system in place, you can buy a system from your local home improvement store and install it yourself.
If you’re concerned about your ability to install it on your own or are unsure as to whether or not a system can be installed into your existing bathroom(s), contact a qualified professional to receive a consultation and price quote.
Ductless exhaust fans - Ductless exhaust fans are a great alternative to exhaust fan systems, especially if you’re living in a home or apartment where running an exhaust line to the outside of the building is completely out of the question.
Ductless exhaust fans have a charcoal filter system, allowing them to remove moisture from the air as well as mitigate odors. They can be attached to the wall or ceiling and are a quiet and energy efficient ventilation solution.
No matter how you choose to ventilate your bathroom, it’s important that you do all you can to be sure that all excess moisture is removed.
If your only option is to leave the door open during or after a shower, or your current ventilation system isn’t fully effective, be sure to dry off all surfaces including walls, fixtures, and floors completely. This will not only ensure that minimal or no damage is done to the walls and fixtures in the bathroom, but can help prevent the growth of mold which could lead to health risks.