A bathroom vent fan is a mechanical ventilation device that exhausts indoor air to the outdoors via a flexible tube or metal duct. A vent fan will draw out moisture and odours from the bathroom, improving air quality. Not only is it a good idea to install one, but many building codes now require it for new construction or when major bathroom remodelling is underway. Where a vent fan is required, the building code may have specific recommendations for matching the size of the fan—as measured by CFM (cubic feet of air per minute)—to the square footage of the room.
Many people imagine that a bathroom vent fan serves the primary function of removing odours from a bathroom, but the more important function is actually to exhaust warm, moist air, such as that created from the use of a bathtub or shower. Warm, moist air not only encourages mold growth but also can cause damage to the fixtures and surfaces in a bathroom. If your bathroom doesn't have a fan and it smells musty, you would be well advised to install one—and to check to make sure that serious mold growth hasn't already begun.
Without a bathroom vent fan, bathrooms are susceptible to excessive moisture build-up that increases the chances of damaging bathroom walls, floors, and ceilings, as well as bathroom fixtures. Warm, humid air, caused by running hot water for baths and showers, is a perfect environment for mold, mildew and microorganism growth. High moisture in rooms can also break down interior room materials such as wallboard, wall paint, and trim, not to mention the entry door. For a safe, healthy bathroom, provide ventilation.
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