Installing a Bathroom Extractor Fan

extractor fan installation

The bathroom is quite often the most humid room in many homes, activities such as: taking hot baths, showering and running taps, can all contribute to an accumulation of excessive amount of moisture in the air.

This moisture can then circulate through the home and lead to condensation on cold surfaces that can make a room damp and uncomfortable. Over time, this dampness can even result in mildew, rot, and mould that can damage homes and even lead to health related issues.

For these reasons, some homeowners opt to install an extractor fan in their bathrooms to remove the moisture.

3 Common Types of Extractor Fan Setups

There are three main types of fan extractor setups that you need to be aware of before you make a final choice.

Venting through the ceiling to an external wall vent via ducting located in the roof eaves. Venting through the wall via ducting connected directly to an external wall mounted vent. Venting through a simple glass window.

The first two options are the ones that are most common, and they are fairly simple for our recommended electricians to install.

So, how do you decide which option is the most suitable for your home?

Choosing the Extractor Location

The first thing that you need to consider is that any electrical work should be carried out by a qualified electrician because they can carry out the work to a high quality safely and to regulation.

(If you don't know a qualified electrician you can find the electrical company we have vetted and checked for your area here)

Then you need to consider how you will position your fan in relation to the prospective exhaust location. Remember, you will need to wire the fan into the exhaust and then ducting will be needed to the external wall.

If there is a loft located directly above the bathroom, it’s a good idea to go with a ceiling mounted extractor fan. If the bathroom is located on a ground floor, the solution may be less obvious, and you may even have to lift flooring to find electrical wiring to use.

Choosing the Right Extractor Fan

There are many different makes and models of extractor fans to choose from, and it can be hard to make the right choice.

There are three key factors that you need to bear in mind, such as the air movement rating, switching capabilities, and operational noise which we will go over now for you.

1. Air Movement Rating

This is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and the higher the rating is, the more air that can be shifted.

A more powerful fan will be able to remove the moisture faster, and a larger room can hold more moisture. So, if you have a larger bathroom a more powerful extractor fan may be needed.

An average size bathroom would typically have an extractor fan with a rating of at least 80 CFM.

If you need a more accurate calculation, measure the volume of your bathroom (length x width x height) and multiply that figure by an air change rate of 15 to 20 times per hour.

This will give you a result of the CFM of air that needs to be displaced each hour to find an extractor fan that closely matches your requirements.

2. Switching Capabilities

A switching mechanism may be something that you want as a feature on your extractor fan.

This could automatically turn the extractor fan on when the lights are switched on, or it could even be linked to a timer or humidistat. Always go for a better quality fan instead of a budget option that will not last as long.

An extractor fan has to work hard, and you want consistent and reliable performance.

A good quality extractor fan can be purchased for around £50. All our recommended electricians can supply and install one if you are not sure which one to go for.

3. Operational Noise

A smaller fan can be noisy because it may need to work harder than a larger unit. There are quiet running extractor fan models available for a little more money than a standard unit.

This could be a good investment if the noise will disturb you if someone gets up to use the bathroom at night.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that if an extractor fan is installed further into a loft space, the noise can be significantly reduced.

Hope this helps give you a more of an understanding on what you need to know and what is involved when getting an extractor fan.

If you need further help all our recommended electricians will be able to assist you further.  They have all been vetted and checked to ensure that when installing your extractor fan it will be installed correctly and to regulation.

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