Damp and bathrooms are inextricably linked. And if a bathroom is allowed to remain damp it quickly becomes a breeding ground for mould, mildew and slow water damage that can cause all kinds of problems, some of them rather serious, both for the health of your home and you and your family. Therefore a bathroom vent fan is essential, as it provides a first line defense against such things.
All bathroom exhaust fans need to be vented to the outside in some way, and in some bathrooms that may be rather hard, leading homeowners to look for self venting fan options. But is there really such a thing? Well, the answer is yes and no. What people usually mean when they use the term is that the fan will not need additional duct work to be installed in order for it to work efficiently and transfer moist air from the bathroom outside where it belongs.
Where Would You Install a Self Venting Bathroom Fan?
A bathroom fan that is considered to be self venting has to be mounted on a wall in the space that connects to the outside. Often this is the only choice a homeowner has if they are installing a fan in a downstairs bathroom, as to add duct work up to the attic would simply be too complicated and too expensive.
In order to install a bathroom fan that vents through the wall an opening has to be created and that opening needs to fit the fan as closely as possible to avoid leakage once the fan is installed. For this very important reason it is best that most homeowners choose to have a professional install a self venting fan rather than trying to do it themselves.
How Does a Self Venting Fan Work?
A self venting fan extracts moist air from a bathroom in the same way as a roof vented, ceiling mounted fan can. Instead of drawing the air upwards though it draws it out and then it is expelled outside without having to pass through any other pipe or duct work which can often lead to more efficient operation.
How Much Does a Self Venting Fan Cost Compared to Other Options?
How much a self venting bathroom fan is really going to cost you depends on more than just the sticker price in the local home store. In fact in very basic terms self venting fans are relatively inexpensive and you can certainly pick up a very good one for under $200.
The project gets a little more expensive when you have to start figuring out how much the fan is actually going to cost to install. That is where some people do start to consider trying to install the fan themselves to save some money.
The difficulty there is that it is so important that a bathroom exhaust fan be properly installed in order for it to function. If a bathroom exhaust fan leaks any of the moist air back into the bathroom then it is not doing its job and over time that can be a real problem.
It does not take a lot of moisture for damp, mold and mildew to build up in a room like the average bathroom, which is the main reason for installing an exhaust fan in the first place! If a fan is improperly installed and this happens eventually the structure of the home itself can be damaged. If you truly feel comfortable installing a self vented bathroom fan yourself go ahead, but if not it really is better to turn to a professional for help.