Your bathroom has no windows and every time you use your shower, the room fills with steam. It’s a big problem, but you don’t know what to do about it. You don’t need windows to ventilate your bathroom. Here’s how to effectively ventilate a bathroom with no windows.
Choosing Bathroom Exhaust Systems
If you can’t open a window in your bathroom, you need an exhaust system. Basically, the exhaust system works like a fan in reverse. It sucks the moisture-laden air out of the room and expels it outdoors. Because there is so much moisture in the air, it’s not enough to expel the air into a ceiling cavity. The system should be ducted to enable the air to be released outdoors.
A kitchen exhaust doesn’t need to handle the same amount of moisture as a bathroom exhaust system. For this reason, it’s important to buy a system that is designed for bathrooms. Bathroom systems are designed to expel the moisture rather than allow it to condense and settle inside the ducting.
The capacity of the exhaust system will also make a difference. Before you get quotes from ventilation suppliers/installers, measure your bathroom. The amount of air a system can transfer is determined in cubic metres. For example, one system will be able to handle 225m3 per hour while another can transfer 350m3 per hour.
Another determining factor will be the amount of ducting you need. Two bathrooms of the same size will need different sized systems if one bathroom needs more ducting than another.
Your installer may also recommend that you install a grille on the bottom of your bathroom door. The purpose of the grill is to draw in fresh air from a low elevation. This creates better air circulation and helps the exhaust fan work more efficiently.
Types of Bathroom Ventilation Systems
You can choose between three types of bathroom ventilation systems:
- A basic system will have a wall switch. The drawback to this type of system is that everyone in the household has to remember to switch it on before they shower.
- Better systems have built-in humidity sensors that turn on the fan when moisture reaches a certain level. These can be more energy-efficient than manually operated systems because the fan will only use electricity when it is needed. The humidity sensor doesn’t “forget” to turn on the system, either.
- Some systems have lights, heating and exhaust in one unit.
The cheapest systems cost* around $100 to $150 (not including installation). A moisture sensor will add to the cost, but make up for it in energy savings. A budget three-in-one system might start at around $150 (not including ducting or installation), but better quality three-in-one system might cost around $350 to $400 (including ducting, but not including installation). If you need lighting and a heater as well as an exhaust fan, it’s probably a good investment.
Installing a bathroom exhaust fan can be a DIY project, but if you’re not handy with tools, you can have your system installed by your ventilation dealer. This may be a better option because the installer will also be able to install your electrical wiring and other connections. Installing electrical wiring is never a DIY job.
*Costs and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.