If there is one thing that I have noticed during this winter, it’s that the bathroom is really cold in the morning. I keep the door closed because I want to concentrate the heat, so that might be the reason. Either way, the whole thing got me thinking.
Can bathroom exhaust vents cause your house to lose heat? I am thinking yes. I did a Google search on this and came across a good article on “Ask The Builder” entitled, “Bathroom Exhaust Fan Leaks Cold Air.” It pretty much covered what I was thinking.
Basically, a bathroom exhaust fan is simply a fan attached to a hose that leads outside. The fan pushes the moist air you create from taking a shower outside, so you don’t rot everything in your bathroom. Some of the fancy fans have lights in them and I am told that the fans vary in quality. I guess they are supposed to have flaps in them too. The flaps stop the cold outside air from leaking directly into your bathroom and house.
I just walked into the bathroom to see if any cold air was leaking through the fan. I put my hand up to the vent and didn’t feel any cold air. Since that felt okay, I pulled down the attic door and went upstairs to see what that looked like. I saw both bathroom vent hoses leading outside. Nothing seemed too out of place.
Now that I am downstairs, I am thinking that I didn’t really do much to see if there was a problem. I mean, I still have to take the vent cover off to see if the vent flap is closing nice and snug. If not, I have to fix that. Then, I would like to cover the exposed vent hoses with insulation. An exposed vent hose in a cold attic can cause the air in the hose to get cold. That air can enter the house if the vent flap isn’t working correctly. Do you see where I am heading with this? I guess it doesn’t help that the boiler is kicking on and off all night, creating a vacuum in the house. Cold air is probably being pulled in through those vents.
I might need to do some more exploration to see if there is some sort of a “makeup air intake port” anywhere around. If not, I probably need to put one in.
Now, I admit, I am no expert at this. Any advice would be appreciated.