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What Kind of Bathroom Extractor Fan do I Need?

A bathroom extractor fan

One of the main purposes for having an extractor fan in your bathroom is to get rid of bad air and to prevent mould by stopping condensation from forming.

If you have a window in your bathroom then the Building Regulations don’t make it necessary, but even then you may find it beneficial to include one in your plans.

Installation of an extractor fan

This is not a job that should be done by yourself as it requires connecting the fan to the mains electrical supply. Additionally there are strict rules to abide by due to the fact that an electrical item is being installed near water.

For these types of jobs, you must always employ the services of a professional.

Importance of preventing damp and mould

The green build up of mould on walls, tiles and grouting looks unsightly and as if your bathroom could do with a really good clean.

Even more importantly is the long term impact that mould can have on your health. Repeatedly breathing in mould spores can cause asthma attacks and other respiratory and immune system problems.

Installing a good extractor fan will help prevent condensation from settling and therefore the build up of mould from forming.

The types of extractor fan


Extractor fans for bathrooms in the home normally come in sizes of either 100mm or 150mm. Most of the time, the smaller 100mm fans are fine, though for bathrooms over 9 sqm or where there is very little natural ventilation, you may wish to go for a 150mm fan.

Air extraction rate

The rate at which the extractor fan removes air from your bathroom is an important consideration to think about.

This extraction rate is measured in Litres Per Second (L/s) or Metres Cubed Per Hour (m3/hr). The standard air extraction rate of 100mm fans is 85m3/hr, which more than satisfies the Building Regulation requirements, though more powerful fans are available.

Operation options

There are quite a few options you can choose from when it comes to the switching on of your extractor fans. Obviously the more sophisticated the options, the more expensive the fan.

Switching on and off with the light switch, timers, humidistats (to kick in when the humidity reaches a certain level), remote switches and PIR sensors (detecting when a person enters the room) are all possibilities that you can consider.

Noise levels

How noisy your extractor fan is going to be is definitely something to think about, especially if you have an ensuite that is close to where you sleep. It’s also worth keeping in mind that an extractor fan going off in the middle of the night will sound much louder than during the day.

Fans can clock in as low as 24 dB(A) or as high as 55 dB(A) for particularly powerful ones, so check how loud your extractor fan is before purchase.


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