Poor ventilation currently affects over 4.5 million British homes and is reported to cost over £500 million per annum. Not only is this problem a financial cost, it also has its health impacts; without adequate ventilation, the air in your home can become stale, condensation can occur, and this can lead to respiratory illness and generally poor health.
A busy household can easily develop stale air from cooking, smoking, bathroom odours, dampness and a general lack of ventilation. Condensation can also develop when steam from a kitchen or bathroom settles on cooler areas around the home. In order to help preserve your health, and to make your home a healthier living space, it is important to provide good ventilation in these key areas of household activity. The best way to help prevent condensation and stale air occurring is to install extractor fans around your home.
Where To Place your Fan:
The key areas to place a fan around your home are typically kitchens, bathrooms, toilets and utility rooms. Each room may require a different type of fan to match the different activity that will potentially impact your health and living space. A fan should be placed at the farthest point from the source of air replacement – usually high in a window or a wall, avoiding short-circuiting the airflow in the room.
For Kitchens, fans should not be located directly about eye-level grills or cooker hoods. For Bathrooms, The Institute Of Electrical Engineers state that the fan must be out of reach to prevent it being touched by any person using the bath or shower, or splashed by water. However, you can now get a safety extra low voltage fan which can be fitted in areas where splashing is a possibility – ensuring optimum ventilation.
How to Install Your Fan:
In A Ceiling:
When wishing to install a fan in a ceiling, make sure there are no joists, pipes or cables above the area where the fan is going to be placed. In places where it is likely that steam and/or condensation will occur, ducting must be used. Sometimes in some locations, condensation can run backward towards the fan. If this is likely to happen, a condensation trap should be installed as close to the fan as possible. To minimise the formation of condensation, ducting or soil pipe should be insulated if installing a fan in an unheated roof void. Calculate the length of ducting that is required and the route that it will take, and then place an external grille on its exit, matching the diameter of the ducting.
In A Wall:
When installing a fan in a wall, it is important to check that there are no buried pipes or cables and that the outside wall is not obstructed by any pipes.
In A Window:
If you wish to install a window extractor fan, we recommend that you have the hole pre-cut by a professional glazier. Check with your glass supplier for the weight or type of glass you will need for your fan to be installed. This is particularly essential where fans are to be installed in roof light situations.
Types of Fan Operation:
When choosing your extractor fan, you will need to bare in mind the following types of fan operation –
Standard: These are controlled by a remote switch (for example, through a light switch).
Timer Model: Timer fans that have a built-in adjustable time delay that is operated by a light switch.
Pull-cord Model: Pull Cord Fans come with a built-in pull cord switch. This would typically be used as a bathroom or shower fan where water contact with a normal light switch is likely.
Humidity Controlled Model: These fans turn the fan on when humidity rises and off again as the humidity drops again.
P.I.R. Model: These have a sensor in to detect movement and will turn the fan off when somebody enters the room, and off when the room is vacated.
What Type Of Fan?
There are a wide range of fans available for different areas of your home. It is important that you know the features of each different type of fan and their application:
Axial Fans: Axial fans are designed to move air over short distances.
Centrifugal Fans: To move stale air over shorter distances, Centrifugal fans are ideal.
Humidstat Controlled Fans: These fans can measure and control relative humidity for 24 hours – with controls turning the fan on as humidity rises, and off when it falls again. Due to its constant humidity monitor, these fans can also prevent the formation of mould and decrease the amount of condensation issues.
Low Voltage Fans: These are usually extra safe bathroom fans where splashing and water contact are likely. The use of these fans is in line with specification set by the Institute of Electrical Engineers, where electrical equipment of up to 12 volts is acceptable when in reach of a bath tub, shower, basin or a person in bath or shower.
Maintaining Your Fan and Your Health:
To help maintain a healthy home through extraction fans, it is important to keep your fan clean and dust-free. Once all electrical items are isolated, clean your fans from dust and dirt about once a month. To also help preserve the longevity of your fan, oil your extractor fan bearings approximately twice a year, always remembering to follow the fan manufacturer’s instructions. Follow these instructions and this will help contribute to your healthier lifestyle an.
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