15 Apr 2014

Ventilation in bathrooms is important to prevent moisture damage to wall and ceiling surfaces, decay of wood trim, saturation of building insulation, and mold contamination, say our certified Long Beach Electricians.

In Long Beach, bathrooms produce moisture, odors, and VOCs from aerosols and various personal hygiene products. Effective spot ventilation in these areas is critical for maintaining healthy levels of indoor humidity levels and an overall healthy indoor environment.  Especially in bathrooms where a shower is used, large amounts of moisture are added to room air and are concentrated in this area.

Some signs of excessive, uncontrolled bathroom moisture include:

  • Stains, thermal tracking, or mold growth on bathroom walls and ceilings, possibly also on bath vanities and cabinets
  • Damaged bathroom window trim
  • Bathroom window condensation, and frost forming on bathroom windows during freezing weather
  • Frost found in the attic on the roof underside over the bathroom area during freezing weather
  • Stains and mold growth found on the roof sheathing in attics or roof cavities over bathrooms
  • Damaged or curled roof shingles concentrated over a bathroom
  • Leak stains in bathroom ceilings, especially around ceiling penetrations for light fixtures or ceiling vent fans

Flex duct routing details: If you are using flexible fan duct, stretch the flex duct tight to keep it as straight and smooth inside as possible. Long sloppy bending flex duct runs significantly reduce the performance of the vent fan. Connect the flex duct to the fan itself using plastic ties, or second best, duct tape. Keep all connections tight and avoid air leaks.

Vent the bathroom exhaust to outside: Every manufacturer’s bath vent fan installation guide that we reviewed emphasized: make sure that the bath vent fan carries moist air all the way outside of the building.  Do not spill bath vent air into the building attic or roof cavity where it will condense on and damage building insulation, roof sheathing, possibly framing, and where it will certainly encourage mold growth.

Protect the bath fan duct outlet at the building exterior, using approved screening or a louvered fitting so that you do not invite birds or rodents into the building through the ductwork. Typically the bathroom vent fan is powered by the bathroom ceiling light fixture circuit; some installers, particularly in hotels or rental units, hard-wire the bath exhaust vent fan to force it on when the bathroom ceiling light is on – thus assuring that the vent fan is in fact used. If the bath vent fan is noisy this forced-on status can annoy everybody.

WarningElectrical wiring should be done by a licensed, qualified expert. If the fan is installed over a tub or shower, its electrical circuit should be GFCI protected. Never put electrical controls where they can be reached from a bathtub or bathroom shower.

At United Plumbing Heating Air & Electric our certified Long Beach electricians, specialize in the installation of all Bathroom ventilation fans. Give us a call today for a free estimate and save up to 20% on your service.