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The importance of kitchen & bathroom ventilation

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Keeping your kitchen and bathrooms properly vented is key for good indoor air quality as well as for the longevity of your home. Exhaust fans help remove excess moisture, harmful cooking gases, grease, smoke and odours. It is recommended to exhaust both types of fans to the outside and not to an attic, crawl space or other indoor area. This is especially important for newer homes that are better insulated and have tighter air seals that trap bad air inside. The power of all types of fans is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and this is how much air the fan can move. The higher the CFM, the faster the fan can remove bad air.

Kitchen fans

Also called range hoods, there are basically five types: wall mount, under cabinet, island, microwave combo and downdraft. The type you choose will depend on function, budget, style and the layout of your kitchen. The most common and budget friendly version is the under cabinet model which is installed directly under a raised upper cabinet. The microwave/fan combo also attaches under a raised upper cabinet. Wall mount hoods attach directly to a wall without cabinets and have become a popular style feature in today’s kitchens. Styles vary from sleek stainless steel to a custom cabinet built around the fan to match the rest of the kitchen. An island hood attaches to the ceiling above an island stove or cooktop. A downdraft fan is integrated into a specifically designed stove or cooktop that pulls air downward and vents through the floor.

Bathroom fans

Proper air flow within your bathroom prevents the growth of mould when humidity is high. An improperly vented bathroom will accumulate moisture on surfaces which can cause peeling paint, rot and mildew. Your bathroom’s square footage will determine the size of fan you need. Some models include lights, heaters and motion sensors. Quiet bathroom fans have a sone rating of two and under. Look for Energy Star® models that contribute to low energy costs.

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