Extractor Fans For Bathrooms – Are They Necessary?

The bathroom is one area where extraction of steam and smells becomes a most important requirement and also where at times it is difficult to get right. The necessity of removing uncomfortable smells is obvious and this can easily be accomplished by using an extractor fan to remove the air at the time that the bathroom is being used and for a short period afterwards.

The other problems are a little more difficult in that there is an advantage in removing excess steam without removing all the heat but it needs to be carried out properly, the bathroom is also a place where the people tend to hang out wet washing on days when it cannot be dried outside or as often happens with working families is put their as the washing has to be done in the evening.

Sometimes there is a tendency to ignore extraction in the bathroom and many households do not bother to have any extraction installed at all but there is often a severe penalty to pay when the wooden windows or the floor rots and the paint peels off. There is also a problem if rooms, clothes and towels get damp leaving a bad smell and some major problems. The extraction of dampness is often as important as the removal of smells as an open window can remove a lot of the faults easily but are less effective with dampness.

The strange thing is that the cost of a good extractor fan system is extremely low, it is a little more difficult to install as the electrical fan is usually fitted outside the bathroom or is a totally enclosed motor with a secondary drive onto extraction fan as it must be protected against water ingress and this increases the length of the extraction lines. The usual requirement for a typical small bathroom would be a 4″ fan with a built in humidistat which will have a timer overrun built into it. This at will easily extract at a rate of around 85 cu metres per hour.

This would more than remove all the problems in the bathroom and the system can easily be switched on and off with the lights or it can be fitted with a PIR detection system which will determine any movement in the bathroom and operate the extractor fan when any movement occurs and allow a certain fan over run time when the movement stops. The one problem to be aware of is that if damp or wet clothes are left around then extraction requirements should not be ignored and a PIR system will not help.