Episode 18 – What’s All The Stink About?

Donna:
Hi, how are you today? Phil? I’m doing great. Good. I’m good too. I’m good too. So we have a great topic for everybody today. We are talking about bath fans. What’s all the stink about, but in reality, it’s not all about stink, right? So bath fans do a whole lot more than eliminate odor. Yes. Okay. So we’re going to help educate people on that and why they need a well-functioning bath fan. So can we talk first, before we get into the benefits of a bath fan, let’s talk about some of the, the problems that come along with not having a bath fan.
Phil:
Right. Well, one of the major reasons that you need a bath fan, beyond just the obvious of odor control, is moisture control. So when you’re bathing or taking a shower, you’re introducing a lot of moisture into the air, into a small space. And if you don’t have a way to get that out of the bathroom, then you can have issues with mold growing on your bathroom ceiling, you can cause deterioration of some of the building materials in that area. So it’s important to be able to control that and maintain that in the bathroom.
Donna:
I know that we run into situations all the time with people, they have a bath fan, but it’s not necessarily installed properly. RIght?
Phil:
Yeah, definitely. And not only that, there are many bath fans that people have in their homes are just really insufficient at doing what they’re designed to do. It’s important that they’re installed correctly. You want them vented to the outside and not just dumping moisture into your attic. Sometimes it can cause problems, even if you have a duct on it, a lot of times I’ll find them where the duct is pointing directly onto the roof decking in the attic. And you’ll find a lot of mold on the on the roof decking from that while the moisture being put there. And then, you know, the cheaper bath fans, they’re not really moving the kind of area they should be. They’re noisy. And they’re just not doing a great job.
Donna:
Okay. All right. I know one of the problems that we had when we were raising children in this house with our bath fan is one of them didn’t like the bath fan because, he or she, we will just put it that way, so we don’t incriminate any of our children thought it made the bathroom too cold, so they refuse to use it. Right. so the bath fan is only as good as the one you choose, first of all, but also using it. So there are different types of bath fans that you can choose. Some of them are on a separate switch from light or whatever, but some are, come on automatically. Some are on all the time.
Phil:
It depends on the type of switch that you put on for it. You could put it on a motion sensor switch so that every time you walk in the bathroom, the bath fan will come on. They also make, specifically for bath fans, timer switches so that when they come on, they’re designed to run for an additional 10 or 15 minutes after the shower. That way you can keep removing moisture out of the air for a time period, to make sure you get it all the moisture out. A lot of times the fan is shut it off, as soon as your shower is over. Yeah. So it’s a good idea to let it run for a little bit after your shower, to remove all the excess moisture, and that will help prevent, you know, the issues of mold growing on your ceiling. Okay.
Donna:
Is there a benefit to a bath fan that Runs all of the time on low speed?
Phil:
There are that some cases where that is being done nowadays, particularly in newer houses that are really tight. So, at least in Illinois, they have to follow energy standards and they have to do a blower door test on a house when it’s built to check the air infiltration rate. And it’s important that the houses have a certain amount of air infiltration. And a lot of times to achieve that, they’ll put the bath fans in that constantly run so that it is causing or forcing some infiltration to, to meet that standard. Now, some buildings like apartment buildings, you go into, many of those will have have centralized bath exhaust fans located on the roof. This is particularly true in hotels. All the bath are ducted with exhaust and are constantly running. I don’t know if that’s really necessary to do in your home, but if you just have a good quality bath fan like a Panasonic or even Broan NuTone, which would typically have been the cheaper models, they have the extra quiet fans and the way they achieve that is they have a what’s called a squirrel cage, or if you think of a hamster wheel, that’s what the shape of the fan is. And they run quietly and they move more air and they work better. Okay.
Donna:
So really what you’re saying is there’s a lot of things to consider about a bath fan. It’s not just buying a bath fan and having a put in. There is also the process of installation, how much air that moves, how much noise it creates, having it ducted properly outside so that the you know, the are you’re trying to get out of your bathroom actually goes outside.
Donna:
So I know a lot of older homes don’t have a bath fan at all.
Phil:
That’s right. They didn’t back then because they had windows, most older homes. If you notice have windows in the bathroom, and that was your bath exhaust you, when you went to use the bathroom, you’ll be cracked the window.
Donna:
Okay. That’s interesting. So is it complicated or pretty involved to add a bath fan in one of those homes, it doesn’t have one at all.
Phil:
No, usually it’s not difficult at all. A lot of times there’s already a light fixture in the bathroom ceiling, so we can simply use that circuit, take that fixture box out, cut a hole for the bath fan. Use that same circuit and switch and just, we just have to install a duct either through the roof or through the soffit or whatever.
Donna:
Okay. All right. So then the quality of the fan, proper installation, because you don’t want to create mold up in that attic, which we find all the time. Right? We find often that they’re not vented properly. But some of the things that it can eliminate, one being mold on your bathroom ceiling. And overall, it makes for a cleaner bathroom. If you don’t have that moisture collecting on the walls. If you don’t have a bath or you don’t have a properly running bath fan, you probably notice that after a steamy shower, the walls will even be wet. That’s not a good environment for a home. You want to eliminate that as much as possible,
Phil:
Right. It affects not just the bathroom, but your whole home. When you think about, if you have a family of four, everyone takes a shower every day, the amount of moisture that pumps into the, into the house, especially a newer home it’s well sealed. That adds a lot of moisture. So it’s important to have a bath fan and most newer homes have them by code. They have a bath exhaust fan. They just don’t put good ones in. Yeah. So, you know, it’s an easy upgrade, an easy job to do. So that’s something that definitely the rapid repair pro can take care of.
Donna:
So once you’ve installed a bath fan you don’t have to worry about it. Is it sorta like a dryer vent in any way that needs to be cleaned? You need to have any maintenance done on a bath fan?
Phil:
Well, the only thing you’re going to need to do is, is maybe change the light bulb on it or clean the grill
Donna:
Okay. You can brush it or vacuum it off and keep it clean. Okay. All right. So again, this is definitely a service rapid repair pro could do. It’s not super expensive, right? It definitely improves the quality of air in your home Creates a healthier environment, helps guests with that awkward moment. If you have a bath fan it also helps to silence things a bit. So if you have a really quiet fan and it doesn’t help block any of that, that nevermind. We won’t talk about that. But those awkward moments, we want to help help us with that. Great. Well, I hope this has been helpful and certainly if there a need for a bath fan, I hope to give rapid repair protocol. Absolutely.