Ventilation: Its Most Common Problems

Wrestling with ventilation problems in your home? There’s nothing worse than sitting in your house on a hot day, bound by warm, stagnant air. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can lead to overusing unproductive fans, cranking high-costing Air Conditioning and unknowingly encouraging mold. This is why ventilation is so important. Done properly, ventilation ensures you get a better temperature, safer home and lower energy bills!

What are the top, common problems seen with ventilation?

1. Exhaust Fans: Important for your Home’s Air Quality

You want to make sure your home has air flowing through it, especially in your home’s kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms. Why? Between showers, washing machines and dish washing, these rooms are usually the biggest sources of moisture and odor in the entire home. The most gruesome of these ventilation systems can trigger some truly terrible mold growth. Let’s help you avoid that! One great way to do so is through exhaust fans.

Kitchen-wise:

The immediate oven area is the ultimate trap for moisture from cooking, so it’s important to circulate the air properly. Well-used fans are especially critical if you have a natural gas or propane-using oven. The typical stove-top fan isn’t particularly energy efficient because it simply blows air around, so we recommend an exterior-venting exhaust fan. Why? When moist air from cooking is pushed towards walls and windows, the moisture builds up and leads to mold. Prevent this by having an exhaust fan that vents moist air to the exterior of the home. This mold-causing air is sent outside and keeps your home’s interior safe and dry. It takes less energy to make this fan get the air properly circulated, which makes it more energy efficient.

Bathroom-wise:

Poor ventilation in a bathroom leads to mildew, peeling paint, and other more expensive issues both in the room and other areas of the house.  How do you know if your fan is doing its job? A great way to start is with the Tissue Test, suggested by CAZ Energy Services: Simply hold a tissue up to each bathroom fan in your home when the fan is turned on, and if it sucks up and sticks to the fan, there is sufficient pull to vent a normal sized bathroom.  The next step is to confirm where that air is being vented.  Often times in older homes or remodels, shortcuts were taken that send this “vented” air directly into the attic or even the joist area between floors.  While this may be sufficient for a powder room, a full bath or shower has much more moisture to vent and needs to be vented directly outside.

2. Aerating Your Attic: Why it Matters!

When your attic and lower crawlspace aren’t kept aerated, your home’s circulation can get stagnant and hold in warm air on hot days. This leads to turning on expensive Air Conditioning and fans that use costly electricity. Make sure air is flowing through these areas to reduce these costs and improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Lack of aeration in your home can also lead to rot and mildew that cause dangerous structural and foundational problems. We highly recommend having an expert in to inspect and act on these areas, before they become problems.

3. Roof Deterioration: Proper Ventilation can Prevent it! 

Both metaphorically and otherwise, you want to make sure there’s a solid roof over your head. If an attic gets too humid and heated, it can lead to roof deterioration. A way to prevent this from happening is to be sure your attic has sufficient circulation and is well insulated. Installing ventilation fans or having vents put in gets pretty technical, so it’s worthwhile to hire a trained specialist.

Winter can mean a lot of rain, snow, and damp air in many states. People sometimes see ice in their attic during wintertime and assume installing more vents is the best solution, as it is in summer. However, this a problem more related to insulation. This is because the following process happens:

  • Wet, cold air comes through the attic vents, hits the roof’s cold underside and freezes.
  • When the frost warms up, it then melts and drips down into the home. When enough water drips, it leads to mold and structural damage.
  • Having a local expert inspect your roof in this situation is highly recommended, as they can present solutions catered specifically to your home, such as insulating your roof to warm it up. This makes your roof too warm for water to freeze and then condense on.
  • You can read more about this at our related post, Attic Insulation.

The Important Stuff: Cost, Timeframe & Season

Cost:

The price will vary based on your home’s size, specific needs and the particular company you contract. However, we can estimate that on average, it costs between $500 and $800 to install a fan. That’s usually the installation alone; it’s typically $100 to $200 more if you need to purchase the fan itself.

Time frame:

How long does installation take? Even if a fan space needs to be designated and created, a good and efficient team should be able to have a fan installed and ready to go within a half-day.

Season:

Like booking plane tickets, installation has different costs at different times of the year. Because most negative effects from lack of ventilation happen during cold months, the highest demand for fan installation is in winter. This means companies have less opened schedule and less negotiable prices. Think ahead and take care of your installation in the spring time, when the professionals’ schedules are more open and, in more need of business, can offer lower prices!

Who to Hire

Hiring a team specialized in ventilation means feeling confident that they’ll recommend the right solution; they are trained in installing and replacing whatever it is you need. Find local experts near you at our directory. Say goodbye to rotten roofs and potential mold, and say hello fresh, circulating air!