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Last Updated on December 11, 2019 By Jon
Bathrooms tend to be the dampest area in a home because of there being so much running water and steam that accumulates in them each day. All of this moisture then settles on cold surfaces, leaving everything damp to the touch, even hours after the last family member has showered.
Bathrooms that don’t have good ventilation will become permanently damp over time, and this will cause mould and mildew to form. If any wooden or plaster fixtures are present, these will also start rotting due to being exposed to excessive levels of dampness.
Dampness and mould need not take over your bathroom – and home in severe cases – if a good quality extractor fan is installed in your bathroom.
Extractor fans work by extracting excess moisture and damp smells from a room and channelling it to the outside of a house. This helps prevent an accumulation of humidity, which in turn ensures that no dampness-related issues arise over time.
A number of UK homes still don’t have any of these units installed, and in cases where extractors have been placed in bathrooms, they are not powerful enough to get the job done properly. However, this is probably one of the most crucial items that must be installed in your bathroom.
If the bathrooms in your home don’t have opening windows or the windows are simply too small to make enough of a difference when it comes to letting excess moisture out, it is essential to have a good quality extractor fan installed. This will help ensure that your bathroom dries out as quickly as possible after being used.
Extractors that are more than a few years old, are excessively noisy or so small that they don’t seem to make a difference should be replaced as soon as possible. While these units are extremely effective at directing dampness outdoors, it’s also a good idea to leave the window open after bathing or showering. This allows the fan to operate more efficiently because fresh air will be drawn into the room while the dampness is being directed outside.
Although it is sometimes possible to perform a DIY installation of an extractor fan, this is a job that requires the services of an experienced tradesperson.
The most common options for extractor fan installations include:
The main factor affecting the cost of having one of these units installed is the position that it needs to be mounted in. These units have to be wired into the exhaust and ducting will need to be run through an outside wall.
For example, if your home’s loft or attic is right above the bathroom, it will be better to opt for a ceiling mounted fan so that its ducting can be directed through the loft and the wiring tapped into existing house wiring.
Bathrooms that are situated on the ground floor of a house or apartment can be a bit more challenging when it comes to installing these units. In some cases, flooring may even need to be lifted so that wiring can be located.
Choosing an extractor fan that will best suit your needs can be challenging because of all of the different options that are now available. However, there are some basic aspects to consider when shopping around for one of these units:
Air movement rating is normally measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). A higher rating will enable the fan to operate at a faster speed, allowing it to shift more air to the outside of your home. Larger fans will also remove moisture quicker than their smaller counterparts, so they will not need to operate for as long a period of time as smaller devices.
More moisture is trapped in larger bathrooms, so it makes sense to opt for the largest and most practical-sized unit you can afford. A rating of approximately 80 CFM is the minimum recommendation for a fan that should be used in an average sized bathroom.
To obtain a precise calculation, you’ll need to measure the volume of your bathroom (length x width x height). This figure must then be multiplied by an air change rate of between 15 and 2 times an hour. Your final figure will be the amount of cubic metres of air that needs to be displaced per hour. If your current fan is performing below this recommended level, it may be time to have it replaced.
Smaller extractors will be noisier than larger units because they have to work harder at displacing the air in your bathroom. Silent models can be purchased at slightly higher prices than standard units and/or it can be installed further into your loft to reduce noise levels a bit more.
Another aspect to consider when searching for the right extractor fan is its switching mechanism. Some homeowners prefer to have the unit turn on at the same time as the bathroom light, while others prefer to have the unit run on its own time or a humidistat device.
It’s also important to spend a reasonable amount of money when searching for an extractor fan. The cheapest options will usually not be the most effective. A slightly higher priced fan will most likely provide you with more effective use and last longer than the cheapest unit you can find. Pricing for the extractor fans alone can range between £40 and £65 – no labour costs are included in this price.
In cases where an extractor fan needs replacement, it is normally possible for a tradesperson to use existing ducting, wiring and exhaust venting. All of these aspects will be carefully inspected before replacement and if any defects are found, they will have to be repaired before moving on to the installation. It’s also important to ensure that you choose an extractor that is the same size as your existing unit. Failure to do so will result in holes having to be made larger than they already are.
Required labour to install an extractor fan from scratch includes:
It can sometimes be possible to install an extractor fan in a DIY capacity, but this is not recommended because the work will have to be signed off once it’s complete and various legal requirements will have to be met.
When hiring a professional tradesperson to install a bathroom extractor, you can expect pricing to range between £220 and £480. The final price will depend on how long it takes to complete the job and your location. Pricing tends to be higher in and close to central London than in other parts of the UK.
It’s essential to ensure that your chosen tradesperson provides you with a completion certificate for the work that has been done.
After an extractor fan has been installed, it will require maintenance from time to time to keep it running optimally. In most cases, it’s recommended that these units be cleaned out once every six months – or more often if you have a large family. A combination of moisture and dust in a bathroom will cause these units to clog quickly and reduce their overall performance.
Dust covered can be clipped off or unscrewed and a small brush can then be used to remove dust and debris from the vent slots and fan blades.
While the fan is being cleaned, it’s a good idea to check for any damages that may have occurred over time. Carefully inspect the fan blades, exhaust vent and ducting for signs of wear and tear. While duct tape may provide a temporary repair option, it’s better to rather replace damaged pieces of ducting as soon as possible.
If you’ve chosen a large enough extractor fan and you clean it out regularly, it will protect your bathroom against dampness and mould development for many years to come.
If you would like to obtain quotes for replacing an existing extractor or having one installed from scratch, fill in our website contact form today. Once you’ve sent your contact information through to us, we will pass it on to the relevant tradespeople so that they can provide you with pricing and recommendations regarding which size and model will be most suitable for your bathroom area.
When using our website to obtain quotes, you will be able to rest assured that only qualified and experienced tradespeople will contact you. All tradespeople and companies that contact you are also fully accredited, meaning that you will get the job done properly the first time round.
There’s no need to wait any longer to obtain quotes for extractor fan replacements and installations. Get in touch with us today.