Since beginning construction on my retro pink master bathroom, the hall bathroom has been seeing a lot more action. We’ve never had guests complain about the moisture issues in there, even though we knew they existed. But when we started using it full time ourselves, we realized just how bad it was. So when the electrician returned to finish working on the pink bathroom, I asked him to install a new fan in the green bathroom too.
In case you don’t have time to watch the video, here’s the gist of my bath fan woes:
- Before we began work on the pink bath, both fans vented into the attic instead of outside. That’s a code no-no these days. Also stupid, because you don’t want wet moist air pouring into your attic.
- The fan in the green bath didn’t seem to do much other than sound like an airplane landing — our towels wouldn’t dry and funk grew back quickly on shower tiles as soon as four or five days after being cleaned.
- As long as we were paying the electrician to come finish up our master bathroom work and vent that fan out of the roof, we had him replace and vent our hall bath fan at the same time, saving $$$ since he could do it all in one trip to our house and one trip into the attic.
- When the electrician removed the old fan he discovered a problem that went back to the fan’s initial install: The damper that opens when the fan is on (to let air out through the ductwork), and then closes when the fan is off (to prevent back drafts), was stuck in the closed position. This meant that no air could be pulled out of the bathroom through the fan.
- The reason the damper wouldn’t open was that when the ductwork was attached to the fan, it was mushed up against the damper, impeding its ability to function.
- The old fan — probably installed in the 1990s — never did anything but use electricity to make noise for all that time.
- Since the installation of the new fan, we’ve noticed a huge difference. The mirror is no longer completely fogged when we get out of the shower — in fact it usually has no fog at all. Also, our towels have been drying and there has been no “funk” regrowth since the last bathroom cleaning.
The moral of the story here — if you suspect the fan in your bathroom only sounds like it is working, it might be worth checking (or having a professional check) the exhaust vent. If the damper does not move freely, or there is an obstruction in the ductwork, your bath fan may not be able to do its job.