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Buying Guide

As your bathroom is likely to be the most humid room of your house, this can result in the build up of condensation, resulting in mould and generally leaving your bathroom damp. Bathroom extractor fans are the ideal solution to this but there are a number of considerations to make when choosing and installing a new fan.


What does an extractor fan do?

A bathroom extractor fan draws out the moisture-laden air from your bathroom and carries it outside through a duct. This stops the water vapour from condensing back into liquid and allows fresher air to circulate throughout your bathroom or shower room. There are different types of extractor fans but they all operate in line with this basic principle. Axial fans, for example, connect through an external wall while over shower fans have the required IP ratings to be used in very wet areas.

Do you need an extractor fan?

Every bathroom needs some form of ventilation - either a window or an extractor fan. This is especially the case for new build properties, as they generally have a much lower level of natural ventilation. Beyond fulfilling the requirements of building regulations, bathroom ceiling extractor fans have numerous other benefits. This includes reducing the amount of condensation that can build up due to steam from showering, preventing mould and generally extending the life of your bathroom.

What size extractor fan for a bathroom?

Extractor fans come in different sizes. For example, you may see the size of the impeller being referred to. The impeller is the revolving part inside the fan that moves the air stream. Impellers usually come in two sizes; 100mm or 150mm. 100mm (4 inch) fans will be suitable for most domestic bathrooms, although a larger 150mm (6 inch) fan would be needed for a larger room and are even suitable for kitchens.

The most important consideration when it comes to the size of a bathroom extractor fan, however, is the extraction rate. According to building regulations, any fan in your bathroom must extract at least 15 litres per second, but a more powerful shower extractor fan with a higher extraction rate might be needed if you have a particular problem with condensation and mould. Many fans have different speed and extraction settings, so you can adjust them to suit your requirements.

Can I replace a bathroom extractor fan myself?

If you are simply replacing an old fan like-for-like then you may be able to install a bathroom extractor fan yourself, particularly if the existing wires and ducting are in good shape. However, most shower extractor fan installations will require some level of rewiring and cutting holes through walls in order to accommodate the fan. Due to this, it is recommended to hire an electrician if you are installing a new extractor fan. A simple installation should only take a couple of hours, although this may vary according to the type of fan being installed and ease of access.

Do bathroom fans need to be vented outside?

Ideally, a bathroom fan should be vented outside in order to work effectively to remove excess moisture in the air and reduce the build up of mould. This is because bathroom ceiling extractor fans are designed to remove moisture from the air so if they are vented to another room, they will simply cause that room to become more damp.