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Choosing the right extractor fan for your bathroom

extractor fanBathroom extractor fans are designed to improve indoor air quality, they work by reducing humidity levels to combat condensation, damp and mould problems.

And with so many different types of bathroom extractor fans on the market, it can be tough to choose the right fan for a particular situation.

So with this in mind, we’ve put together a quick guide with a few helpful tips on how to choose the right bathroom extractor fan.

What should I be looking out for when purchasing a bathroom extractor fan?

Before going on your fan-finding mission for the bathroom, you should get to grips with the best types of fans and exactly what to look out for.

Keep an eye out for bathroom extractor fans that are:

  • energy efficient, so that you can benefit from minimum energy consumption. Not only will this work out cheaper for you, it’s also great for the environment as you are using less energy.
  • quiet running; there are many fans on the market which are incredibly noisy. Quiet running fans ensure minimal noise and are ideal for both bathroom and WC installations.
  • easy to clean and maintain - having a hassle-free fan that is easy to clean and maintain will save you plenty of time and money in the future.
  • easy to install.
  • fans with intelligent humidity trackers: these are brilliant, as they require little user intervention. As humidity rises and falls, the speed of the motor changes in direct correlation, meaning there’s no need for manual operation.

Can I have a fan that’s aesthetically pleasing as well as efficient?

If you’ve just spent a small fortune on a brilliant bathroom then you’ll probably want a fan that is ‘fashion friendly.’ Besides, it seems a shame to spoil your trendy interiors with a fan that is just plain ugly.

You’ll be pleased to know that there are a few types of bathroom extractor fans that have been designed with style in mind, but if you’ve found a fan that ticks all of the boxes before coming to think whether it’ll ‘go’ with the bathroom then you may need to compromise.

Whereabouts in the bathroom can I install the fan?

Your choice of fan needs to be based on whereabouts in the bathroom you can install it. Also it is recommended that a bathroom fan operates on low voltage (SELV) and it’s important to note that when it comes to installing a bathroom fan there are certain regulations, which divide the bathroom into four zones.  Check out this easy guide to bathroom zoning.

The correct type of fan must be installed with the correct zone to ensure optimal safety and efficiency. Different types of extractor fans have different ratings, matching them to different zones in the bathroom.

The technicalities can be quite complicated so it may be best to ask a ventilation specialist to help you figure out the best fan for your specific circumstances.

How do I operate the fan?

There is a range of fans available on the market with different operational features to suit various applications. These include:

  • Fans with an on/off switch: some fans have a switch via the bathroom light or an integral pullcord, which you might use when you go for a shower for example.
  • Fans with timers: these are great in bathrooms where condensation is an issue caused by ‘steam build ups’ from frequent showering or bathing. The fan can be timed to be left running for a prolonged period of time.
  • Fans with PIR sensors: these fans will operate as soon as they sense someone entering the bathroom.
  • Fans with intelligent humidity trackers: as mentioned before - these are brilliant!  They require little (or in some cases, no) user intervention. As the humidity rises and falls in your bathroom, the speed of the motor changes in direct correlation, removing the requirement for manual operation and reducing the time the fan operates at maximum speed to save energy.

What are the different sizes of fans?

Domestic extractor fans come in two sizes: 4 inch and 6 inch. 4 inch fans are the most common and will usually suffice.

However, if you require a more powerful fan or your bathroom is larger than 3m², then a 6 inch fan may be the best option for you.

Home Ventilation offer a range of kitchen and bathroom extractor fans, in addition to whole-house ventilation solutions, designed to combat damp and condensation problems.