Bathroom extractors: everything you need to know

a selection of different bathroom extractors

Do you have a small, pretty compact cloakroom, or a large, luxurious ensuite? No matter: proper ventilation is key if you want to extend your design’s life. Say ‘no thanks’ to condensation, mould and mildew. Good air quality is absolutely essential to ensure your bathroom remains a relaxing sanctuary. That’s even after the hottest bath or shower.   

So, want to find out more about how to properly care for your space? Here we answer all of your questions about bathroom extractors…

First of all, what are bathroom extractors? 

Do you know those cleverly placed fans either at the top of the wall or right on the ceiling? Well, these are the miracle workers that help keep your bathroom fresh and well ventilated all day long.  Simply put a bathroom extractor extracts the moist air away from the space to the outdoors and ventilates with fresh air, keeping the air inside nice and clear.

Do I really need one?

If you don’t have a window to help with ventilation and you want to avoid any damage to your property, then most definitely yes. All bathrooms in the UK have to have some type of ventilation. This can be purge ventilation, achieved by opening a window, or mechanical, such as extractor fans.

However, this might ultimately depend on the type of bathroom you have or plan to have if you’re thinking of a new build. For example, only new builds require mechanical ventilation as extractor fans, to meet current building regulations. So, make sure you check the Building Regulations Approved Document F to ensure you follow the right rules. This will also help you determine the size, length of ducting and position of your fan.

The benefits of bathroom extractors

So, what are the benefits?

First of all, the air quality will drastically improve. Extractor fans will help refresh the air in your bathroom and get rid of odours and smells. They also help with condensation, so if you love your hot showers, then you might want to think about installing an extractor as soon as possible. This way, you can keep your paint, wallpaper and furniture looking good for as long as possible, which will also save your budget. Plus, these extractors will also help you avoid air pollution and prevent mould and mildew, so your health will benefit from installing an extractor fan in your space, too.

What type of extractors are out there? 

There are three types of extractors to keep in mind when shopping around for one. For example, you can use axial extractor fans if your bathroom is close to an external wall, or has an external wall. These are great if the air doesn’t have to travel throughout your home’s vent.

There’s the centrifugal bathroom fan, which is ideal if you need to move the air a longer distance. For instance, in your shower or bath zone, you can opt for an overhead centrifugal fan placed on the ceiling to help with removing moisture and condensation quicker.

And lastly, you can have an inline extractor installed in the ducting for out-of-sight ventilation. But don’t forget that a fully qualified electrician needs to carry out all the electrical work. So no DIY, please.

But what about the noise?

a bathroom extractor fan fitted by a qualified electrician
Don’t forget to check the Building Regulations Approved Document F before venturing out to buy your bathroom extractor. Image: iStock / photovs

What about the noise?

Centrifugal bathroom extractors are usually noisier than the axial ones. However, thanks to technology nowadays, you can now find quiet fans – yes, you read that right, quiet fans. These low-noise extractors are energy efficient too. What’s more, you can control when you’d like them to function by using a timer or even set a smart humidity detector to ensure your bathroom stays super-fresh.

Now, if you have any more questions about bathroom extractors, make sure to leave them in the comments and I’ll come to the rescue.

Featured image: iStock / Grassetto

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