When to Use Bathroom Fans?

Bathroom exhaust fans pull warm, moist air out of your bathroom, and through a vent in the ceiling, that air eventually reaches a roof vent where it is expelled into the atmosphere. The benefit of an exhaust fan in the bathroom is that it helps control moisture---even if you have a window, that might not be enough---and also helps minimize the potentially dangerous effects of harsh cleaning chemicals.


Always use the bathroom exhaust fan during a shower. The hot water from the shower creates steam, which condenses on cooler surfaces. Most of us do not take the time to wipe dry the entire bathroom after we have showered, and if the exhaust fan is not sucking out the moisture, then there is a serious threat of mildew and mold growth. Mildew spores---mold in its early stages--will grow on just about anything. This can be a serious problem for anyone in your home with respiratory problems, asthma or allergies. To ensure that you remove as much moisture as possible from the bathroom, the Home Ventilation Institute (HVI) recommends running the fan for 20 minutes after use of the bathroom.


If you use any number of the hundreds of cleaning products out there, you risk introducing harmful toxic chemicals into your indoor environment. To maintain healthy indoor air quality, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that anyone using harsh chemicals only do so in a properly ventilated room. If you are pregnant or have small children present in your home, avoid use of these products altogether. Instead of using air fresheners in the bathroom, just turn on the exhaust fan for a few minutes and unpleasant smells will disappear.

About the Author

Based in Fort Collins, Colo., Dannah Swift has been writing since 2009. She writes about green living, careers and the home garden. Her writing has appeared on various websites. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature from the University of New Hampshire and is currently pursuing a certificate in paralegal studies.