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How should the bath vent fan duct terminate, how should it be closed, screened, & at what clearance distances from other vents?
BATHROOM VENT DUCT TERMINATION - CONTENTS: how should the bathroom exhaust fan duct terminate at the buildnig wall or roof?
We also review recommended clearance distances between the bath exhaust duct end opening and other building features such as a gas fired water heater exhaust opening. This article series explains how to install bathroom exhaust fans or vents, the vent ducting, the vent termination at the wall, soffit or roof, vent fan wiring, bath vent duct insulation, bath vent lengths, clearances, routing, and we answer just about any other bathroom ventilation design or installation question you may have. Don't terminate your bathroom exhaust fan ductwork as we illustrate in the photographs shown at left and below.
Our photo at left and two additional examples seen at below left show two typical bath vent fans that spills directly into each building's attic - both are improper vent fan installations.
Terminate the bath vent duct outside at gable end or eaves: horizontally through the building wall at a building gable-end wall (first choice), or if the gable end is too distant, terminate the bath vent down through a building soffit at the roof eaves.
Don't just blow the bath (or kitchen) vent exhaust into an attic, nor, even more crazy, into a ceiling or wall cavity or into a crawl space. If you were not convinced that failure to properly spill bath vent air and moisture outside can lead to attic mold, notice our photo (below left).
Brown mold was found growing on the attic side of roof sheathing in this new home only where the bath vent moisture was spilling into the soffit (but not outside). Reader Question: what kind of ductwork can be used to terminate the run of piping from the fan to the soffit? For soffit ventilation, what kind of ductwork can be used to terminate the run of piping from the fan to the soffit? When we install a vent fan out through an attic and down out of the soffit, we like to use solid metal ductwork (photo above left) to maximize air flow and minimize resistance, keeping the run as short as possible. And I would buy a proper rodent-proof vent opening cover (photo above right) and cut a hole in the soffit to install that device, connecting it to the duct. In my photo at above left we had not yet trimmed the metal duct to proper length to protrude through the roof overhang or eaves at the proper distance to fit the vent opening cover )shown at above right).
If you just drop the end of the duct into the soffit bay that is in turn covered by perforated panels, I worry that a substantial portion of moisture and vented air will just blow back into the attic.
Venting bath fans through up the roof surface?: While we agree that building exhaust ventilation is most powerful and thus effective when it is routed vertically, we prefer to avoid venting bath fans up through the roof, both to avoid an extra roof penetration (and leak risk) and to avoid condensate leaks into the bathroom ceiling.
Terminating exhaust fan duct at the ridge vent: our photo (above left) shows a typical attempt at venting a bath into or actually just below a ridge vent - this direction of vent exit may seem convenient but we don't like it much. In the photo (left) the droopy flex-duct will certainly invite bath moisture to condense and run back to the home's ceiling rather than exiting at the ridge.
Terminating exhaust fan duct on the roof surface: at above-right we show an ugly bathroom exhaust vent installation through the roof surface using a laundry dryer sidewall vent cover.
Venting a bath exhaust fan straight up: Our sketch shows a bath vent fan exiting up through the roof.


The through-roof vent approach gives us another roof penetration, a possible leak spot, and it almost assures that condensing moisture will drip down the vent duct and into the bathroom ceiling. A direct through-wall bath vent fan design may be preferable if the building roof shape, bath location, or other details make it difficult to exhaust a ceiling-mounted bathroom exhaust fan.
In other words, some bathroom locations and designs such as first floor baths in a multi-story home, are vented out thorough the building sidewall not up through the attic. Do not vent bath fans into a crawl space: you're only putting more moisture into an area where it is already going to be a problem, inviting mold growth on wood surfaces and hidden mold growth in building insulation. Protect the bath fan duct outlet at the building exterior, using approved screening or a louvered fitting so that you do not invite birds or rodents into the building through the ductwork. While we don't want a (lint collecting) screen over a clothes dryer vent termination (that's a fire hazard) we do screen bath or kitchen exhaust vent terminations to keep out birds, bats, and rodents. Watch out: an improperly installed bath or kitchen vent fan can draw sewer gases or other odors from outdoor sources right back into the building. Watch out: inspect the kitchen (KITCHEN VENTILATION DESIGN), bath (BATHROOM VENTILATION DESIGN), and especially laundry dryer vent outside screen regularly and clean or clear any blockages such as by debris, dust, lint, leaves, or anything else. See CLOTHES DRYER VENTING for examples of vent duct terminations, screens, and safety concerns.
Are there any restrictions on how close an exhausting bath vent may be placed to an exhausting vent for a gas water heater? You will see that the required distances range from 1 foot to 7 feet depending on what's being cleared-from.
If I ran my bathroom exhaust fan duct outlet out of my soffit is there any minimum clearance from the bathroom window so it will not draw in the odors if someone happened to open the window. Ryan you'd want to be 10 feet from the nearest operable window if you want to avoid odor intake; that is not a code specification it's an opinion. Continue reading at BATHROOM VENT DUCT PROTECTION or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below.
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Does the existing soffit mesh of a newer home need to be cut away and replaced with some other register, or will the existing mesh allow a 110cfm fan to operate efficiently? Certainly use of flexible metal ducting and even plastic flex duct are permitted in many jurisdictions but in our opinion those are less effective choices. That device is automatically opened by pressure of the exhaust fan and snaps shut when the fan is off, avoiding possible back drafts through the bath exhaust vent fan system. Not only were the roof shingles torn up and sealed again to leave a leak-risk around the vent penetration of the roof surface, but because this roof exhaust vent was installed on a home in a snow-climate, in winter with snow cover on the roof the vent is likely to be blocked.
Below this home the clothes dryer, bath vent fans, and even a dishwasher drain all were dumping into a soaking wet crawl space below the building.
My house came with a bathroom exhaust fan that automatically turns on when the overhead shower light is turned on. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Installing vent a bathroom fan will help and rid eliminate fogged-up mirror and windows bathroom, steamy mirrors and stale odors because of atmosphere of it.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Galow specializes in residential construction including both new homes and repairs, renovations, and additions. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material. Note about venting options, to be sure putting it to the duct up through the roof, and keep always exhaust to the outdoors of bathroom. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order.
While about how to vent a bathroom fan, also essential to ask someone to help be in the attic when you will work from below, that for the installation will go much quicker and safety.  Healthy bedroom must have a ventilation fan. That’s problem will migrate into the walls of bathroom, the blister paint and peel paint wallpaper.When you ask, how to vent a bathroom fan?



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