Ventilation for Designing Better Buildings

Zehnder: Benefits of a Continuously Ventilated Bathroom

Posted by Sarah Lozanova

Jan 26, 2017 11:32:00 AM

Does your bathroom have mold growth around the shower, cabinets, and fixtures? Does your bathroom have stale air, excessive odors, or a musty smell? Common problems like these may be affecting your bathroom without you even realizing. Here are the facts about these issues and how to fix them before they start harming your indoor air quality.

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Issue: Exhaust Fans May Not Properly Vent the Bathroom

Bathroom humidity levels rise during and after bathing and other activities. In most cases, this problem is caused by inadequate bathroom ventilation. Mold in the home can cause respiratory problems, difficulty concentrating, and sinus congestion.

Lack of airflow hinders exhaust fan performance

Exhaust fans are the most common way to ventilate bathrooms. Although this is an effective strategy in some homes, it isn’t adequate in all bathrooms or humid spaces. Exhaust fans typically rely on cracks or gaps in the exterior of the home to bring in makeup air. If a home is tightly constructed for greater energy efficiency, there may be inadequate makeup air to offset the air being vented out.

No control of home air intake

When sufficient gaps and cracks exist to provide the makeup air necessary for an exhaust fan to function properly, the homeowner doesn’t have control of where this air originates. In homes with attached garages, an exhaust fan can pull in airborne pollutants from the garage. Likewise, homes with moist basements, musty air can be pulled up into the living spaces above. This pollutes the air quality and threatens the health of the environment indoors.

Improper venting creates excess humidity levels

Some exhaust fans vent into the attic instead of outdoors, creating humidity issues in the attic instead of in the bathroom. Sometimes issues with the ductwork impede airflow, making the exhaust fan ineffective. In other cases, the exhaust fan does not run long enough to adequately exhaust excess humidity and odors.

Warm air is vented out in the winter, increasing energy bills

Even when exhaust fans work properly, they exhaust conditioned air to the outside, wasting energy. This makes your heating and cooling system work harder to compensate, increasing your energy bills.

Solutions: Continuous Bathroom Ventilation

Continuous bathroom ventilation with a balanced ventilation system solves many common indoor air quality issues in bathrooms. Zehnder ComfoAir heat recovery ventilators and energy recovery ventilators are balanced ventilation systems that promote indoor air quality throughout the home.

Ideal ventilation rates promote indoor air quality

Zehnder heat recovery ventilators supply and exhaust an equal amount of air into the home, which solves the issue of inadequate makeup air hindering the movement of air. Because Zehnder heat recovery ventilators run continuously to maintain ideal ventilation levels, they don’t rely on occupants remembering to turn the system on and off depending on use.

Fresh, filtered air promotes healthy indoor air quality

Zehnder heat recovery ventilators supply a constant stream of fresh, filtered air to the home and exhaust an equal amount of stale or moist  air from the home. This helps prevent creating a vacuum in the house, which could cause air from the attached garage or basement to be pulled into living spaces. In addition, heat recovery ventilators provide filtered air, thus removing many common indoor air pollutants before air enters the home.

Adequate ventilation promotes cleaner indoor air

Removing excess humidity after bathing helps prevent mold and mildew growth around the bathroom. Although a heat recovery ventilator won’t prevent mold growth from water leaks, it is designed to remove excess humidity resulting from common household activities which minimizes indoor mold growth.  

Heat recovery ventilators boost energy efficiency

Zehnder heat recovery ventilators are up to 95% efficient in transferring heat from the exhaust air to the intake air, which helps homeowners save money on their utility bills. This means that homes can have a constant supply of fresh air throughout the year without driving up heating and cooling costs.

In many homes, good indoor air quality is the missing ingredient for healthy living. Zehnder heat recovery ventilators ensure that homes have plenty of fresh air throughout the seasons to promote better health and easier breathing.

 

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Topics: Ventilation Strategies