Bathroom Ventilation Options
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Bathroom ventilation options: why bathroom ventilation is important

One of the most important things to consider when renovating your bathroom is its air circulation. Not only is fresh air healthy, but issues caused by excess moisture in a property - from unpleasant smells to dry and wet rot - can cost thousands of pounds to fix if not dealt with promptly.

An improperly ventilated bathroom can also be dangerous. Bathrooms without good air circulation are prone to mould and mildew - which are responsible for many health complaints - and moisture accumulating on bathroom surfaces can also become a trip or slip hazard.

Poor air circulation is common in the bathrooms of period properties, as the bathroom in your home would not have originally been designed for this purpose. As such, the room is likely to be more prone to damp than a bathroom in a modern property. It is therefore even more vital that you ensure your bathroom is fully ventilated if you own a period property.

There are several bathroom ventilation options to consider to suit both modern and period properties alike.

Bathroom ventilation requirements UK: what are they?

As moisture can cause extensive structural damage to a property, UK Building Regulations are strict about enforcing ventilation requirements for new buildings and new additions to existing buildings such as extensions and loft conversions.

Legislation states that when a ‘wet room’ of any kind is added to an existing building, permanent ventilation must be provided. Approved Document F: ‘Means of Ventilation’ exists TO specifically clarify which types of ventilation are acceptable.

Bathroom ventilation options: extractor fans

The most effective way to fully ventilate your bathroom is to install a good quality extractor fan.

If you are able to attach your extractor fan to an outside wall, a traditional axial fan is sufficient for all but the largest bathrooms. Should you need to duct your extractor fan for any distance or you would prefer not to place it on an outside wall, opt for a more powerful centrifugal fan to ensure optimum ventilation in your bathroom, shower room or wet room.

Make sure that the power rating of the extractor fan in cubic feet per minute (CFM) is equal to or greater than the dimensions of your bathroom for maximum ventilation.

Bathroom ventilation options: how plants can help

Fortunately, mould is not the only organism that thrives in a moist, warm environment with low light. There are several pot plants that grow well in these conditions which are excellent ventilators.

Many plants that thrive in bathrooms - such as English ivy, Boston ferns and peace lilies - also reduce mould spores and other airborne toxins. When combined with an extractor fan these air purifying plants will help to thoroughly ventilate your bathroom.

If you have no natural light in your wet room at all, it is a good idea to install a fluorescent light bulb. Not only are they more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs but they also produce the light wavelengths plants need to thrive.