Monday, January 26th, 2015 by Nicholas Nason
Most homes across Maine have regular flexible ducting that has been installed on their ventilation systems and sent through the attic to duct the moist air outdoors. This is very common for the bathroom vent and I have even seen this on many ocasions with dryer vents. There are multiple issues with this ducting.
The uninsulated ducting allows for condensation within the duct which reduces the ability of the fan to exhaust the moisture and can even allow water to run from the fan itself. To fix this problem we replace the ducting with insulated ducting and increase attic insulation to assist in covering the duct.
I also see these vents stuck into the soffit or just left to exhaust in the attic, this causes mold damage and rot and can become a very serious problem. The best place for these vents are out the gable end.
The final issue I commonly find is that the length of ducting that is being used needs help getting the air and moisture out because it is too far for the exhaust fan to push. A “helper” fan can be installed in the ducting and wired to the bathroom fan so it turns on when the bathroom fan turns on and helps get the air and moisture out.
Inadequate or improper ventilation causes many mold problems within a home. This can be found in the attic or even on spots inside the home where a lack of insulation causes a cold spot and creates a point at which we call “dew point”. A common sign of this is also condensation on windows. At times a window needs replacing because the seals have worn out but normally the windows are just giving us a sign that the indoor humidity is too high. When we shower or cook food we introduce a significant amount of moisture to the air. Exhaust fans need to be properly installed and used to remove that excess moisture.
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