Bathroom and Kitchen Fans Play an Important Role in the Home

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA-People often overlook the importance of bathroom and kitchen fans, even though they are used every day to improve the quality of air inside the home.

The purpose of bathroom and kitchen fans is to remove odors and moisture from the home, which helps decrease humidity levels in the home. Elevated humidity levels could result in the growth of mold, which is harmful to people. The fans also aid in getting rid of fumes and smoke inside the house from activities like cooking, cleaning or bathing.

Two available types of fans are impeller and blower fans. An impeller fan moves air with blades, like propellers. On the other hand, blower fans look like a hamster's wheel and are able to move air more effectively than a fan with blades.

In addition to an exterior hood, a fan's exhaust system is made up of an exhaust fan and ventilating ducts. The kitchen's exhaust system typically houses a fan and its motor inside the hood. Several systems use an in-line fan, which is a duct or fan located outside the home.

The best time to install a new bathroom fan is during a one day bathroom remodeling project. Many homeowners find their existing fans are noisy, lacking energy efficiency, use a high wattage of lighting and do not effectively move air. Bathroom fans are easy to upgrade if a current fan is already in place. If a fan is not already installed, the homeowner should call an electrician to help with the wiring system.

Bathroom fans should use 20 watts or less and have a noise rating of 0.5 sones or less. Bathrooms that are large or have spas will need to have a bigger fan.

Since a bathroom fan creates static electricity when turned on, it is recommended that the fan, housings, backdraft dampers and exterior flaps be cleaned seasonally with a damp rag. To make sure the fan is clean, unplug the fan and remove the module before commencing the cleaning process. To clean fans in ducts or exterior fans, hire a professional.

A kitchen range hood and fan has to move more air than a bathroom fan. Because of this, kitchen fans are noisier and the lowest noise rating for them is 4.5 sones. Energy efficient models use fluorescent lighting, anti-vibration mounts, duct connections and sound insulation. While the exhaust system typically discharges outside, recirculation fans are present to catch odors and grease. A system like this comes with filters made of carbon, which must be replaced yearly.

A kitchen range and hood system should be installed by a professional, as they possess the knowledge and tools necessary to ensure the exhaust system is fully operational and filtering outside the home. The ideal time to address issues with the exhaust system is during a home inspection after the system has been installed. During this time you will learn how to properly use the system as well as learn how to troubleshoot issues.

To prevent grease buildup, which could cause a fire, the aluminum-mesh grease filters inside the hood system should be removed and washed frequently. Parts that cannot be removed from the system should be cleaned off with a soapy rag. Hire a professional once a year to thoroughly clean or repair the ducts and hood system.
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