Exhaust fans are an essential addition to every bathroom, as the building codes and IRC requires having one exhaust fan, even if you have one or two windows in this place. In addition, they perform various functions to keep the inside environment fresh.
Can a Bathroom Exhaust Fan Be Too Powerful? A bathroom exhaust fan can be too powerful, depending on the bathroom size and the type of fixture, because it can remove moisture and condensation and add fresh air. However, it creates more noise, requires more energy consumption, and is expensive.
The right size of a fan is necessary to make it work more efficiently because you will end up with different problems if you have a too-small or too-powerful fan in your place.
You can select various kinds of exhaust fans, such as wall-mounted and ceiling mounted with different power, depending on the interior of your place.
What are the advantages of using a too powerful bathroom exhaust fan?
You can use a powerful exhaust fan if you have a spacious place and many fixtures installed in this place. Here are a few advantages of using it in your bathroom.
A strong fan can remove moisture if you have a large bathroom because the humidity level is high in a spacious place, and a small one cannot work efficiently to remove high humidity.
Water splashes on the floor and countertops after using the vanity can cause the bacteria, worms, and drain flies to accumulate and infest the place, as they are attracted to moisture and a wet environment.
You can install a high-power fan to prevent these problems and keep the place moisture-free.
In addition, it takes less time for a strong vent system to eradicate the humidity than a small one which takes much more time to remove humidity.
Condensation is a significant problem you face in the bathroom after a hot bath and shower, especially in winter.
The steam or smoke from hot water fills the space around you and will start condensing into the wall and floor of the bathtub and shower area.
Condensation can cause the cupping of wooden plank floors and walls and damage the decoration and interior of the place over time.
In addition, the paint on the walls starts peeling off due to the water and steam that goes into the wall sealing.
It can cause mold and fungi to grow on the wall and around the corners and grouting of floor tiles and planks.
It can remove the excess steam and smoke in a short time from this place and prevent condensation and mold development.
There are germs and bacteria in the wet atmosphere of the bathroom, and the air around this place can contain these germs that affect your health and spread many diseases.
The nasty and irritating smell from the toilet area can make the air more unhygienic and reduce fresh oxygen.
A large exhaust fan can extract the foul smell and unhealthy air and throw fresh and breathable air into the place from the outside.
A small fan takes a long time to do this task in a big place, and you have to turn it on until it removes all the smell and stale air outside the house.
What are the disadvantages of using a powerful exhaust fan in the bathroom?
A high-power exhaust fan also has many disadvantages and drawbacks, especially in small places, and some of them are listed here.
A strong fan has more capacity to draw cool and fresh air from outside and takes it into the bathroom.
The outside temperature in winter is low, and sometimes the snowfall makes the outside environment freezing.
So you can get a cold after a hot bath in winter when you get out of the shower or bathtub, and cool air is circulating there.
It works by exchanging the warm inside air with the outside, as the temperature outside the house differs from the inside temperature and causes cold drafts.
For example, a fan with CFM higher than 300 creates a more cold draft as compared to a CFM of 80-100.
The cold drafts by a small one are not notable in a large bathroom, but they are more noticeable if you have a small size place and use too strong a fan installed there.
More energy consumption
Installing a strong and more CFM fan cannot remove the water splashes on the floor and walls, but it will cause more energy consumption because high CFM can increase the airflow through the vent pipes, and more energy is required for the powerful device to operate.
This can also cause an increase in electricity bills, and you might turn it off all the time to save electricity and reduce the bills.
Instead, you can select a vent system that can work on the optimal energy level with a correct CFM for the required place.
The professionals recommend having a fan with 20-25% more CFM than the calculated CFM for the bathroom, which can perform well and does not cause much increase in electricity bills because of less energy consumption.
Back drafting and noise
Back drafting is the process of pulling the toxic combustion gases from the fuel-burning devices, such as fireplaces, dyers, space heaters, and water heaters, back into the house.
Modern houses have airtight interiors to meet the standard energy efficiency rules instructed by building regulations to save energy.
A strong fan can create a vacuum inside its atmosphere, increasing the chances of back drafting. This is one of the common problems with these fans.
High-power ventilation sucks more air from the airtight place when the doors and windows are closed, which causes noise.
It can disturb your sleep if you have a bathroom next to the bedroom and another family member uses it with an exhaust fan.
They are more expensive than the small ones with standard efficiency to perform in different situations.
Therefore, it is a waste of money on strong and large-size ventilation devices when you have a small-size place.
The machinery, blades, and other parts are expensive if they get damaged, and you want to replace them.
Moreover, they are heavy, and the electrician can cost more money to install or repair the motor.
How do I know my bathroom exhaust fan is too powerful?
You can determine if the existing exhaust fan is suitable for the bathroom by calculating the CFM of this fan. The National Electric Code requires a minimum CFM of 50 for the bathroom with or without windows.
Cubic feet per minute is the unit that tells its capacity to move air in one minute, and you can select 300-400 CFM, which is too powerful for a large space.
The CFM calculation includes floor size, ceiling height, air changes per hour, and other plumbing fixtures in this place, such as shower, bathtub, and toilet.
It produces sharp noise when you turn it on, showing that it is too strong for this place.
It can produce noise of more than three sones that is quite loud, and it will also have high CFM.
It is better to consult an electrician who can guide you properly about the correct CFM and exhaust fan size that can work efficiently and last longer with minimum electricity consumption.