A bathroom extractor fan is a ventilation device that removes air from the indoor to the outdoors through a metal duct—an extractor fan helps in exhausting odour and moisture from your bathroom for air improvement purposes. By nature and what it is used for, the bathroom is a humid, damp place. A bathroom ventilator is a solution in getting rid of wet and humid conditions.
A bathroom extractor fan will help limit the amount of moisture in your bathroom and help prevent the growth of mildew and mould, which may be a breeding zone for bacteria.
Whenever there is an excess build-up of mould, you may start experiencing respiratory complications such as asthma. Also, excess mould build-up can cause skin problems such as skin rashes. Away from the health implications of poor ventilation in bathrooms, bathroom extractor fans also help to prevent premature wearing out of your bathroom accessories, plaster, and paint.
We are going to major in the following areas:
- How condensation takes place in your bathroom?
- How can you prevent Condensation in your bathroom?
- How to clean up Bathroom Mould?
- What different types of bathroom extractor fans are there?
- Why you need a bathroom extractor fan?
- Which Bathroom extractor fan is best for my Home?
- Tips for positioning a bathroom extractor fan
- Factor to consider before buying a bathroom extractor vent fan.
- Our best bathroom extractor fans.
How condensation takes place in your bathroom
Before we get into the intricacies of how to prevent condensation in your bathroom, let us first focus on how condensation occurs in your bathroom.
Condensation in bathrooms is an inevitable occurrence due to its nature and what it is used for. By just taking a shower, moisture is released into the air making the place humid. Moisture in the form of water vapour mixes with the air and lands on cold surfaces such as window and bathroom mirror as droplets. The hotter the water, the more water vapour will be released, and the more air will hold it, leading to more of it being deposited on cold bathroom surfaces.
Whenever you take a hot shower, a lot of steam rises from the water. The steam undergoes a condensation process and ends up misting your windows and mirrors. Another annoying thing about condensation is, your bathroom accessories like the wallpaper may get ruined.
While it is hard to eliminate condensation in your bathroom, at least you can reduce the levels of condensation.
How you can prevent condensation in your bathroom
Below are some tips that may help you to prevent condensation in your bathroom. Note that each bathroom is different; hence you will be required to choose a method that work best for your bathroom in different situations.
1. Proper ventilation
When running a shower, always keep your window open. When you take a shower while your bathroom window is closed, you will notice the amount of condensation is higher than when your window is closed.
You should consider double glazed windows if you have a single glazed one. Single glazed windows are much colder, which make them attract condensation. Never open your bathroom door, hoping it might help to reduce condensation. It will spread condensation effects to the rest of your rooms.
2. Wiping surfaces dry
After using your bathroom, take time to wipe your surfaces using a towel to keep them dry. You should do more often on your bathroom mirror and glass window.
While it might be monotonous to carry out this every time you take a shower, the time taken is relatively short and wiping saves you a lot of grief in the future.
3. Using a dehumidifier
A dehumidifier reduces condensation in your bathroom by taking all moisture from the air in water form. The device runs while still using your bathroom; hence it collects all moisture before the condensation takes place. This will lead to a significant drop in condensation.
Dehumidifiers are expensive devices, you should use them as your last option. You can opt to rent one for a couple of days as you figure out the problems in other approaches.
4. Examine your house structure
Check whether your home has a damp proof course; a barrier in your wall that is placed horizontally to resist raising moisture from below.
You should ensure that your house does not have any structural issues which are favourable for mould development. Also, check your water connection to see if there are any issues that need to be fixed.
5. Warm up your walls
Cold surfaces facilitate condensation. Ceramic tiles and painted walls tend to be colder, and water vapour settles there in the form of droplets in your bathroom. Underfloor heating or using a heater in your home can help in keeping your bathroom walls warm.
6. Use an extractor or exhaust fan
Typically, bathrooms that do not have windows alternatively have an extractor fan. Without a bathroom extractor fan, there is no way the moisture in the air can escape. This might cause detrimental health issues such as asthma. A bathroom extractor fan exhausts moisture through a metal duct to a loft area or outside your home.
An extractor fan is also useful in reducing condensation even when there’s a window in your bathroom. Here, you will have two ways through which moist air escapes.
If your bathroom has one, make sure you clean your extractor fan regularly. When dirt and dust build up around your extractor fan, the fan becomes less efficient. If you do not want to forget to turn on your fan, make sure you buy one that comes with the bathroom light.
7. Get de-mistable mirrors
When you use hot water, mirrors easily become covered with condensation. It is important and easy to wipe these surfaces dry when you notice condensation taking place on them. However, some mirrors do all this work for you.
Demistable mirrors are designed with heating pads that keep mirrors warm. Remember, condensation does not take place on warm surfaces. These mirrors ensure condensation does not take place on them. If you want to get rid of condensation, this is the way to go. If you do not have a budget for buying these kinds of mirrors, you don’t have to worry. You can separately purchase heating pads to upgrade your existing mirrors.
8. Using anti-condensation paint
Anti-condensation paint is a paint that is resistant to condensation. Using this paint is another excellent idea of preventing condensation. All you need is to cover the ceiling of your bathroom with this special paint.
How to clean up bathroom mould
Reducing the amount of moisture in your room is the biggest step to combating mould growth in your shower. If you keep your bathroom damp, mould will consistently continue to grow, and it will not matter the number of times you will try to get rid of it. Even with efficient ventilation in your shower, you will still come across mould. Ensure you turn on your extractor fan and open windows while cleaning up mould so that you don’t breathe any of it. Here are some ways to get rid of mould in your shower:
1. Use bleach and baking soda
Mix baking soda and bleach with water and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Spray the parts of your bathroom that have mould. As you spay, use a sponge to wipe out the mould.
2. Use vinegar
Take mild white vinegar and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray onto the mould and leave it for an hour. Using a towel and hot water, clean the area, and there will be no mould left after that.
3. Use hydrogen peroxide
Take a dark spray bottle and put hydrogen peroxide; the chemical diminishes when exposed to sunlight. Spray hydrogen peroxide onto the area with mould and wait for an hour. A reaction between the mould and hydrogen peroxide will take place to form a white foam. You can use a towel to wipe off the mixture.
Why you need a bathroom extractor fan
All bathrooms need some ventilation source, whether in the form of a window or an extractor fan. In the UK’s Building Regulations Document F, there are well-laid regulations on how much your bathroom needs ventilation. The document is lengthy and heavily red for the average homeowners. We have simplified the requirements you need to be aware of, saving you the headache of reading the whole document.
A bathroom in the UK must have an extractor fan or window ventilation. In cases where a bathroom is only a toilet, using a window as the only ventilation source is acceptable. In modern bathrooms where toilet and shower are combined, mechanical ventilation will be required: an extractor fan. In these kinds of bathrooms: combined toilet and shower, their design makes them airtight, and a natural ventilator can not work efficiently to prevent condensation.
The standard bathroom ventilation requirements are 54m³ per hour, which is equivalent to 15 litres per second. The requirements are the measurements of how much the new air from outside should replace older air. Most standard extractor fans achieve these requirements. Before you buy an extractor fun, read the product description keenly to check whether it indicates these basic requirements.
If your bathroom has an old design whereby the window is the only ventilation source, it will be good to provide another ventilation. A fan can help if mould and dampness persist; it reduces effects brought by mould.
A good number of people think that an extractor fan is for removing odour from bathrooms or kitchens. They do not know that its primary function is to remove warm and moist air created after using a shower or bathtub. If your bathroom starts to smell musty and it lacks extractor fun, you need to install one. Make sure you get rid of the mould if they have started to form before you begin using the fan.
Without a shower extractor fan, your bathroom becomes susceptible to moisture build-ups. And if the build-ups continue, there are high chances of your ceilings, floors, bathroom walls, and bathroom fixtures getting damaged. In addition, excess moisture can break down the room’s interior materials, such as the entry door, wall paint, and wallboard. To be safe, ventilate your room properly.
Without a bathroom vent fan, bathrooms are susceptible to excessive moisture build-ups that increase 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 mould, 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.
What different types of bathroom extractor fans are there?
With different types of bathroom fans available in the market, it may be challenging for you to choose one. There are factors that you need to consider before you buy one: to be discussed later. There are various types of extraction fan in the market for you. Here are the most common ones:
- Axial: These kinds of extractors fans connect through an outside wall and are best when you don’t need the air to move within.
- Centrifugal: They are for bathrooms that are far away from an external wall. Through ducts, they can move air too long distances. This means that these fans are more potent than axial in terms of air extraction. Typically, they are fixed in feelings.
When you are searching for a bathroom extractor fan, you will definitely come across the term ducting. The term refers to the pipe that moves the moist air to an external vent. If your bathroom is far away from the external wall, you will need a longer ducting system. A centrifugal fan will be the best in this case. However, the axial fan is the most common extractor fan you will find in many homes.
Are bathroom extractor fans a standard size?
Typically, bathroom extractor fans are in two sizes: 6 inches/100mm and 4 inches/150mm. The measurements are the size of the impeller, the part that revolves inside the fan to sack out the air.
Which Bathroom extractor fan is best for my Home
After determining the bathroom extractor fan requirement, the next thing is finding which fan is best for your home. Some various features and options suit your preferences, budget, and needs. They include:
1. No-noise extractor fans
One of the issues that most users have reported is that extractor fans tend to be too noisy. If noise is a big concern for you, you should look for fun that produces less noise. Some bathroom extractor fans have silent running ball bearing motors, which help in reducing the amount of noise produced. These fan extractors produce noise that is equivalent to a whisper and they are suitable for en-suite bathrooms.
2. Over-shower extractor fans
Bathroom extractor fans function best when they are placed near the source of moist air. In this case, the fan is likely to be fitted over your bath or shower enclosure. Note: fans are electrical devices, and it is important to ensure the IP rating is correct for your bathroom zone.
3. Extractor fans with timers, sensors & cords
The amount of sensors and timers on bathroom extractor fans is something you should consider before purchasing one. A humidity sensor in an extractor fan automatically switches on when it detects moisture in the air. This saves you the energy of switching on and off the fan. Also, you get assurance that your bathroom is being taken care of without any effort.
Extractor fans equipped with timers are very popular in the market. Their period of running is determined by the number of minutes set after turning them on. Immediately the time set is over; they automatically turn themselves off, saving you the time of going back to switch them off.
These fans are also ideal for users who wish to connect theirs to their bathroom light switch. Yet, you can opt for a bathroom extractor fan with in-built light.
Tips for positioning a bathroom extractor fan
Choosing where to position your bathroom extractor fan involves the following two practical issues:
- A location where the fan will accomplish its mission.
- An area where ductwork will run efficiently.
Here are tips that can help you if you are finding it tough positioning a bathroom extractor fan:
1. Follow the moisture
You should place your fan in the area most exposed to moisture, for example, over the shower or bathtub. The primary goal of an extractor fan is to remove wet air that can facilitate the development of mould. Also, it helps in deducing the damages that moist conditions may cause. Placing a fan over your shower base or bathtub is more effective in preventing condensation as the fan quickly exhausts most of the moisture in the air.
If your bathing area is in a separate room, the room ought to have its own fan. The main bathroom fan alone might get overwhelmed, giving room for condensation to take place.
2. Plan your vent ductwork route
After identifying the areas where your extractor fan works best, next is to plan the fan location. The location should be somewhere the duct will have the shortest route to the wall vent or roof. Your fan unit is best positioned within six feet of the external vent cap whereby all old air exhausts to the outdoors through the straightest route possible. The longer the duct, the less effective it is, and the chances of condensation inside the duct are also high.
3. Drill a locator hole
Before you create a hole for your fan housing in the ceiling, drill a pilot hole through the material of the ceiling at the centre location of the fan. In the attic, ensure there are no wiring and plumbing runs in the duct’s way. A locator hole is more precise than measuring from surrounding features.
The same technique applies when creating a hole in the attic or roof to install a venting cap.
Factor to consider before buying a bathroom extractor vent fan
If you are wondering what to look for in a bathroom extractor fan before you buy one, here are some points that might help you:
1. Noise level
Some bathroom fans sound like jet engines. Such fans distract your peace, and you can not operate them at night when people are asleep. Typically, most fan buyers prefer the quieter model.
The sound produced by a fan is measured in sones. A sone relates to the ability of the average listener to sense the sound. An equivalent of a single sone is a quiet hum of a refrigerator in a kitchen.
When choosing a bathroom fan, pick a model with a sone rating of below two. Fans that exceed two sones produce too much noise.
When purchasing any device, the efficiency of the device is always top of mind. Modern fans are more efficient than ever, which is commendable. For example, non-Energy Star models use 70% more energy than Energy Star models. This helps in reducing the cost of running a bathroom fan.
An efficient fan uses less energy, has low sound emission, and is very powerful in its operation. Choose modern Energy Star fans for high efficiency. Also, you can invest in an extractor fan equipped with a humidity sensor to ensure an automatic run whenever there is moisture in the air.
3. Aesthetic appearance
Traditional bathroom extractor fans used to be simple square plastics with broad grills. Although some components such as motor and housing are still the same, the current models in the market are more advanced with decorated finishing, and some have automatic features.
The availability of more options in the market allows the bathroom extractor fans consumer to choose based on the appearance of the products: aesthetic appearances.
4. Motor Selection
You should choose an extractor designed with an appropriate electric motor. If the application requires explosion-proof equipment, then the fan ought to meet all local regulations covering flammable dust and gassy conditions. The issue here may come if your fan operates with a variable frequency drive (VFD). Most electric motor companies provide XP motors without UL rating to function with a VFD.
If an extractor fan is not specified with safety factors, you should purchase it. Choose a fan with a standard motor and from a very reliable manufacturer.
Although bathroom extractor fans do not require regular maintenance, Murphy’s principle still applies. In case of any issues, you can call a plumber or bathroom extractor fans specialist to help you get things moving. If the issues come before the motor’s warranty expires, the supplier should manage warranty claims. Buy a bathroom extractor fan from reputable manufacturers who would make your problems a priority.
Choose a bathroom extractor fan that will give you value for your money. It is always good to work with your budget. However, invest in a quality fan that would save you grief in future.
Our Best bathroom extractor fans reviews
We have picked up the top five best bathroom extractor fans for you. For each extractor fan, we have written a product description, main features, reasons we have chosen it, and a nutshell of its reviews. Below are our top picks:
This is a product from Xpelair, which functions silently with two speeds intermittently at the same time. It is suitable for ceiling, wall, panel and window mounting. This product integrates ghost airflow technology that comes with many benefits. Flow straighteners ensure airflow in laminar by guiding it through the ducts, thus reducing the turbulence. The cone facilitates the reduction of turbulence in front of the fan resulting in air being directed into the impeller ball bearing motors for noise suppression.
The product has main selling points that make it unique in the market. Below are the main features of this product:
- As its name suggests, this product operates silently without causing any distractions at any point.
- The fan is designed with two speeds intermittent:
- You can easily replace the front cover if you wish.
- The twist and turn baffles ensure it easier to clean this fan
- It is easy to install and maintain.
- The facial of this item can be wiped clean easily.
- It has a two-year manufacturer’s guarantee.
- It is ideal for wall, panel and ceiling fitting.
Why we have chosen it
It is amongst the bestsellers for furnace fans on amazon. The rating of this product on amazon is above 2,000, which is pretty high. For this reason, we found that it ought to appear in our top category of best bathroom extractor fans. It is a simple item with comprehensive features ideal for removing wet, humid air in your bathroom.
The motor of this fan is designed in a way that makes it operate silently. Nobody wants a jet noise in the middle of the night in the name of a bathroom extractor fan. This product is simply the best.
Being the top-rated product means that almost all reviews are positive. Take time to read the reviews and get more reasons why you need this product. Negative reviews are also present, and they will help you see the other side of the product.
This is the latest bathroom extractor fan with a high extraction rate and a pretty quiet running volume. Its design makes it easier to mount it on ceilings or walls. The product is also ideal for toilets and bathrooms.
The unit is designed with a turning vane system to enhance performance. Placed in the spigot, the system improves performance and delivers high output. The manufacturer uses high ABS thermoplastics to deliver a durable and robust product. The Manrose QF100T Quiet Extractor Fan extraction rate is impressive: 75m³ or 21 litres per second. Also, the fan motor consumes less energy, 4.8 Watts than other extractor fans in the market.
The unit comes with a complete integral backdraught shutter and complies with part F as well as L. This product has passed through the anechoic chamber: makes it earn a recognised standard.
Manrose QF 100T Quiet Extractor fan is an excellent product in the market. The Manrose manufacturer has designed the product with unique attributes that makes it stand out in the market. These attributes are the key market points for this product. They are:
- The product’s motor consumes less energy allowing users to pay less for electricity bills.
- When in operation, the Manrose extractor fan works quietly.
- The extraction rate of this product is quite high and can exhaust old air within a very short period.
- The item has a turning vane system that enhances performance.
- Compliance with regulations: both part F and L makes the product safe for use.
- You can easily mount the Manrose bathroom extractor fan on your wall or ceiling.
Why we have chosen it
We used this product, and the results were impressive. It exhausts all the moisture in the air within a concise period. Another thing that impressed us was its quiet operation. Nobody wants to get disrupted by some devices’ noise. Choosing this product was a wise choice.
Mounting the product on the wall or ceiling is pretty easy. Also, another major feature that stood out is the motor’s energy consumption rate. The item consumes less energy which is economical on electricity.
Our experience with the product might be different from other users. Reading all reviews helps you in getting detailed information about this product. If you are a serious buyer, you will take your time to read all the Manroses’ fan reviews.
The Environment bathroom extractor fan is white with 13.6 x 16 x 16.6 centimetres (L x W x H) dimensions. It is made of plastic material and it has a timer: Controller.
The product has an extraction rate of 96 m3, which is among the fans with the highest rates in the market. Its sound output is 26.5 dB 9 (A): one of the quietest bathroom extractor fans in the market. Its quiet feature made it earn a Quiet Mark award in 2013. The Environment bathroom extractor fan power consumption is 8 Watts which relatively low.
If you want to operate with the timer, you need a permanent live and neutral connection: three wires and earth where you have positioned your fan. The unit will not function if you have only two of the connections.
After reading all about this product, we pulled out some product’s selling features that would help you to evaluate the product. They include:
- The motor is mounted on elastic blocks. The blocks enable the motors to run quietly.
- The airflow guide vanes and backdraught shutter enhance pressure development and the fan’s performance.
- It is equipped with a humidity sensor which enables the fan to run once it detects the moisture in the air.
- You can operate using a timer; the fan can run within the set period.
Why we have chosen it
We could not ignore the uniqueness of this product. You can opt to run the fun using a timer. This makes the product flexible for the user. Some other bathroom extractor fans lack this feature. You can set the time you want the timer to run, and it will switch itself off after the compilation of the mission.
Also, the Envirovent SIL100T Silent-100T Axial Silent Extractor Fan has a humidity sensor. It runs automatically when there is moisture in the air. After all the moisture is exhausted, the fan switches itself off.
The timer and humidity sensor saves you the energy of switching on and off the fan.
If you want to know whether this product is for you, you will have to read all reviews of this product. Read all the positive and negative reviews: Do not discriminate. They will give you a full picture of the Envirovent SIL100T Silent-100T Axial Silent Extractor Fan.
Blauberg has outstanding contemporary bathroom extractor fans that are more efficient than conventional ventilators designed for bathrooms. The fans have higher airflow rates, and they also function quietly. They come in a range of colours that make them have aesthetic appearances. These fans fit well in both traditional and modern bathroom, the kitchen or any wet room.
Blauberg fans comply with both Part F and L of Building Regulations. You can easily mount the Blauberg fan within both zones of your bathroom: sink or shower area. The fan has multiple control options: a two-wire pull cord, humidity control options, and an automatic PIR movement detection.
The fans are designed with anti-vibration mounts to ensure a low volume of operations as well as a timer. The airflow rate of these extractor fans is 27 litres per second or 97 m3/hour.
The CALM 100 IR fan has comprehensive features. We gathered information about this product and came up with the following features that make it stand out in the market.
- It has a timer and a humidity sensor. These features allow it to function automatically. You can also set the time you want the fan to run.
- The fan operates in silence. It is designed with anti-vibration mounts that absorb the motor’s vibration.
- The German Blauberg fan comes with a five-year warranty. If the fan starts having issues within the warranty timebound, the company stands behind you to make sure the items are functioning.
- You can easily mount the extractor fan on a wall or ceiling.
- It is a light device: weighs 0.65 kgs, hence moving it is not a big task.
Why we have chosen it
Blauberg is a really stylish and quiet fan. The German Blauberg motor makes it more efficient in removing wet air in your bathroom. With basic DIY skills and tools, you can easily mount this fan on your bathroom wall or ceiling.
The fan allows you to adjust the humidistat to suit your requirements. Also, the rate at which it extracts air is quite impressive.
The best way to judge the product is to read different users’ experiences with the product. If possible, read all the reviews- or if you in a hurry, read the top positive and critical reviews.
Reviews give you insights about the product that the manufacturer won’t. Reviews are honest experiences with the product. Both balauberg’s fan positive and negative reviews will be helpful in decision making.
The Knightsbridge LED Backlit Extractor Fan has an overrun timer, made of stainless steel, and has a black insert. It is suitable for bathrooms, kitchen, and toilets. The product fits nicely on ceilings and walls. The modern design of a Knightsbridge LED Backlit Extractor fan has an in-built LED array that is easy to clean and duct over short distances.
The product’s package contains one extractor fan and an installation guide. The product is ideal for removing odour, dump moist air and airborne pollutants from toilets, bathrooms, and kitchens.
We have looked at the main selling points of the Knightbridge LED Backlit Extractor Fan, and we came up we the following list:
- The product is suitable for removing odour, airborne pollutants and damp moist air.
- It can easily fit into walls and ceilings.
- They have LED lighting when they are in operation.
- The product is compliant with the latest regulations of the building, which requires double insulation.
- It is easy to install this product; you just need to follow the simple instructions in the guide.
- During operation, the product is fairly quiet.
- It has an extraction rate of 90 cubic metres, which is much higher than some other extractor fans.
- It is easy to clean and wipe this product because it is made using stainless steel.
Why we have chosen it
Although a bit expensive, many users seem to love this product, it has a high number of excellent reviews. Its features make it stand out in the market.
Also, it is a simple stainless machine that you can use to remove dump conditions, odour and airborne pollutants in your kitchen or bathroom. People nowadays love less complicated devices, and this is one in the list of simplicity.
Although it has fewer reviews compared to others, the fan is a prime product. Make sure you read the reviews before you make an order.
With all the information above about the bathroom extractor fans, we believe you will make an informed decision when you are purchasing one.