Damp and mould are serious issues which can affect any home or commercial building.

It is for this reason among other factors that extractor fans an essential component in environments where steam may be produced. This includes residential bathrooms and commercial washrooms.

Working hard on your behalf in the background, extractor fans ensure the health, and safety and also the appearance of a building will be maintained. If you undertake a washroom installation or refurbishment with us, we’ll ensure an extractor fan is included in your plans in line with building regulations. But first, here’s an overview of how extractor fans work.

What Does An Extractor Fan Do?

An extractor fan removes moist or stale air from a room such as a bathroom or a kitchen.

How an extractor fan works is that a motorised propellor spins which draws the air out of the room through a duct. This duct eventually expels the air outside. By drawing the air out, fresh air will be drawn in to replace the existing air. The fresh air will not only smell cleaner but will also have lower moisture and humidity levels.

The fans exhausts must always lead outside, rather than up to the attic for example, as this will ensure the moisture is truly removed rather than simply shifting it to another part of the home or building. Extractor fans can be programmed to work in several ways. For instance, they can automatically turn on when the lights of a bathroom or washroom are also turned on. This ensures that moisture doesn’t have a chance to build up, especially in commercial environments.

Alternatively, extractor fans can work via manual operation, such as during and after a shower. Or, at any other time required.

The capabilities of an extractor fan are measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute). The larger the CFM, the more air will be extracted in a shorter timescale. Commercial bathrooms typically require 8-12 air changes per hour, meaning the CFM rating will need to comply with this need.

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Types Of Extractor Fans

  • Ceiling mounted
  • Combination units
  • Inline
  • Wall mounted

Why Are Extractor Fans Essential In Bathrooms Or Washrooms?

In a bathroom or washroom, removing moist or humid air before it has a chance to condense on surfaces or affect the moisture levels in the whole building, greatly reduces the chances of mould or damp from forming.

Find out how to reduce window condensation here.

In addition, extractor fans also work to freshen the air. Beyond moisture and humidity, washrooms can be subject to unpleasant aromas. Even if the washroom is not in use the air quality can become stale. So an extractor fan will also address air quality as a whole, by encouraging fresh air back into the room.

Bathroom Fan Extractor - Air Ventilation Building Regulations

Having an extractor fan in a residential or commercial bathroom can also be required by building regulations. Anyone undertaking a washroom renovation will need to check the latest guidance, which at the time of writing is The Building Regulations etc. (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2021.

There are two main requirements to ensure fresh air, which are as follows:

Purge - This involves opening a window to manually allow fresh air to circulate in the room. The window must comply with the ability to be opened to a certain degree and angles (these are based on the size of the room). For toilets only, purge ventilation only may be acceptable.

Extractor Fan - Any new bathroom or kitchen installation will usually require the installation or replacement of an extractor fan, in line with ‘Approved Document F’.

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Inspired Washrooms - Design And Plan Your New Commercial Bathroom With Us

Are you a building owner or facilities manager interested in starting a project with us?

Inspired Washrooms is based in Derbyshire and we install our designs right across the UK. Some of the environments we work in include offices, schools, hospitals, leisure centres, hotels and many more.

Download our Inspired Washrooms Brochure to view our full range of products and services.