Combat Mould and Moisture with an Exhaust Fan

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Do you have condensation issues on your bedroom windows?

Are you battling mould caused by a build-up of moisture in your bathroom or laundry?

Is there a lingering musty smell caused by excess moisture under the floor?

Installing an exhaust fan is the most effective way to prevent the build-up of moisture and condensation in your home.

Moisture issues in foggy bathroom
Moisture issues can be caused by inadequate ventilation of humid air from bathrooms

Why do I have condensation and mould issues?

The simple answer is that there is too much moisture in the air. High levels of humidity can cause condensation to develop, and can result in the growth of mould in the affected areas.

What can be harder to determine is the cause of the humidity. Some common causes include:

  • Showering or bathing without using an exhaust fan
  • Using an under-sized exhaust fan that doesn’t provide adequate ventilation for the size of the room
  • Cooking without using a rangehood/exhaust fan (or not having a rangehood)
  • Steam from washing dishes in hot water or opening a dishwasher as soon as it has finished before it has time to cool down
  • Using a washing machine without an exhaust fan (or not having an exhaust fan in the laundry)
  • Drying wet clothes inside without good ventilation (clothes dry by evaporation which will raise the humidity level in an enclosed environment)
  • Using a clothes dryer that is not adequately vented (unless it is a condensing dryer that captures the moisture)
  • Excess sub-floor moisture under the house which can cause rising damp which may damage your floor and walls 
  • Humans breathing! Hard to avoid this one, but if you sleep with the door closed in winter then the moisture in your breath alongside inadequate ventilation can cause condensation on your bedroom windows and even on the wall behind your bed

South or west-facing houses/apartments are especially susceptible to mould growth, as they do not get the morning sun which means they take longer to warm up and clear condensation.

Health risks of mould

Ongoing mustiness, condensation and moisture damage can create the perfect conditions for mould to grow. Mould spores pose a significant health risk, as well as damage to your home, so should be dealt with as soon as possible.

The presence of mould in your home can cause a whole range of symptoms, including sneezing, coughing and rashes. It can also exacerbate existing asthma and allergies.

What can be done to fix it?

Condensation on a door
Condensation can build up on windows when humid air inside is not properly ventilated

Change your habits

Making simple changes to your everyday habits can greatly improve problems with moisture. Try the following tips to reduce the humidity of your home:

  • Use the exhaust fan with the door closed every time you shower or bathe, and keep the door closed after showering to prevent the moist air from spreading
  • Leave your exhaust fan running for 5-10 minutes after every shower to properly remove all the humid air from the room
  • Leave your bedroom door ajar when sleeping to avoid condensation, especially in winter
  • Use the rangehood every time you cook
  • Run your air-conditioner on ‘dehumidifier mode’ to remove moisture from the air without heating or cooling the room
  • Keep your home at a higher ambient temperature to prevent the moist air from condensing on cold surfaces
  • Install a new exhaust fan and consider installing run-on timers to automatically keep your fans running for a set period of time

Install an exhaust fan to assist your moisture-reducing habits

Along with extracting smelly odours, exhaust fans are designed to get rid of humid air from rooms. Removing humid air from a room before it condensates can help to prevent moisture issues and the growth of mould.

If you don’t have any exhaust fans or your existing exhaust fans are inadequately sized, consider installing a fan or upgrading your existing exhaust fan system to improve the ventilation of the affected areas. There are a wide range of exhaust fan options available to suit every situation.

Run-on timers are another great option to ensure that moisture-reducing habits are easy to maintain! When you turn off the exhaust fan at the switch, the run-on timer operates to make the exhaust fan stay on for a period of time. This allows the exhaust fan to do its job of ventilating the room properly, without you having to remember to turn it off later.

Another option to instil good moisture-reducing habits is to wire the exhaust fan so that it comes on automatically with the light switch. This is particularly useful in rental properties where you may need to go to extra measures to ensure that the exhaust fan is being used.

If your moisture issues stem from insufficient ventilation of your sub-floor (under your house), sub-floor ventilation fans are an effective solution to remove this excess moisture. Kenner Electrics can even install timers so that the sub-floor fan operates during the day and not at night when the fan noise may disrupt sleep.

Kenner Electrics designs and installs ventilation systems to help avoid mould and moisture issues. Whatever the problem, we provide customised solutions and design the best exhaust system for your home.