Reasons to Include Vent Fans in Bathroom Remodeling

Vent Fans in Bathroom

Upgrading kitchens and bathrooms are a great way to make a home more functional as well as marketable. Bathroom remodeling is also a good time to address issues you might have, like a bad layout, broken tiles, or leaky pipes. While these are certainly important, many people overlook something equally important: ventilation.

Bathrooms need a lot of ventilation, especially if there is no window. Some local building codes address this by making the installation of vent fans a requirement. However, even if this is not true in your case, you should still include vent fans in your design. Here are the reasons to include vent fans in bathroom remodeling.

Remove bad smells

Most people put in vent fans to remove smells typically associated with bathroom use, and this is certainly one of its basic functions. You should put in vent fans for that reason alone, although it is to the most important one.
Vent fans work the same way as regular circulating fans in that it takes air in from one end and blows it out the other end. The action of venting also moves the air inside the room, keeping it smelling fresh.
Typically, a vent fan will extract the air from inside a bathroom and blow it out to the outside either through a hole in the wall or a duct cut into the roof. As it does so, it brings any smell with it.

Reduce humidity

One of the most important reasons for vent fans is to remove excess humidity from bathrooms, which tend to be wet and warm at all times. This is particularly true for bathrooms with no windows, as there is nowhere for the moistness and warmth to go. Additionally, most people choose to keep their bathroom doors closed, so that adds to the humidity.

The humidity level in bathrooms can lead to many issues. One of these is discomfort. Nothing is more uncomfortable than an excessively humid bathroom, so using it is no pleasure.
Another issue with a humid bathroom is mold and mildew, which thrives in dark, moist, and warm environments. It does not take long for mold or mildew to take root, and you can typically tell if you have this problem by the musty smell in your bathroom.
A humid environment can also cause damage to a number of items in the bathroom. This includes anything made of metal, wood, or paper you might have in the bathroom. It could be the walls, ceiling, cabinets, vanities, or fixtures. Prolonged exposure to wet air can lead to the wood swelling or splitting, wallpaper peeling or showing unattractive brown splotches, and metal parts corroding or rusting.

Vent fans will not completely remove humidity in the bathroom. However, it can reduce it drastically to acceptable levels to avoid health issues and property damage.

Choosing a vent fan for bathroom remodeling

diagram of vent fan
As mentioned previously, vent fans work the same as regular fans, and use blades to create an air current. A typical vent fan will have plastic or metal blades set at an angle between 12 and 15 degrees. The idea is to use this tilt to move air as the blades turn, and it will move the air as long the blades are turning.
However, the speed at which the blades turn, or rotation, as well as the number of blades, will dictate the capacity of the fan to move air. When choosing a vent fan for your bathroom you need to know a couple of technical things about them.


The CFM, or cubic feet per minute, refers to the capacity and speed of a fan to move the air over a given area. When choosing a vent air for your bathroom, make sure to ask about the CFM. It should be enough to provide good ventilation for the size of the bathroom.
Typically, you want a vent fan with 50 CFM if you have a bathroom less than 50 square feet with a standard height (8 feet). If it is more than 50 square feet, add 1 CFM for every additional square foot. If you have a bathroom with an area of 80 square feet, for instance, you want a vent fan with 80 CFM or more. You will also need a higher rated vent fan (or more than one fan) if you have a bathroom with a high ceiling.

Electrical codes

The building codes in your area might specify the type and rating of vent fan you need for your bathroom, so make sure you know the requirements. If that is not the case, you still have to fulfill the requirements of the National Electrical Code for bathrooms, which indicate a circuit for vent fans and lights separate from outlets. It also specifies the grounding needed to avoid electrical shock in such wet conditions.


The best place for vent fans is as near the source of heat and moisture as possible, and not near the door as most people believe. This is to make it easier for the vent fan to do its work. However, since it uses electricity, you want it to be beyond the reach of anyone who might be standing in water to avoid an electric shock. If the space does not allow for this, choose a vent fan rated safe for wet situations.


Vent fans keep your bathrooms healthy, safe, and comfortable, so they should be included in your bathroom remodeling. Experienced re-modelers will actually suggest putting them in, so now you know why. You do not need a professional installer to put in a vent fan, but it does help when you incorporate it into your design during a remodel. Cabinet Land Kitchen and Beyond is a local remodeling company with a showroom located in Schaumburg, Illinois. We service the areas of Chicago, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Hoffman Estate, Elk Grove Village in Illinois.
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