Are Exhaust Fans Causing Heat Loss in Your Home?

Heat loss can be frustrating when you are trying to warm up your house during the colder months in Denver, North Carolina. And you may wind up turning up the thermostat, ultimately spending more on your heating bill, just to get your home feeling comfortable.

You might assume an improperly sealed window or a poorly framed door is the culprit. But you may need to consider another potential source of heat loss in your home: your exhaust fans.

Exhaust fans are a necessary part of your home’s ventilation system. They remove unwanted airborne particles and moisture from the room and send them outside into the air. The exhaust duct should only operate as a one-way traffic route for these particles. However, cold winter weather may creep in the wrong way, causing heat loss.

Why Are Exhaust Fans So Important?

kitchen stove fanYour home’s exhaust fans provide some pretty important functions. In kitchens, they help rid the room of smoke, oil, and particularly strong odors. Your kitchen exhaust also has the duty of carrying the steam from your pots of boiling water away, which is vital to protecting the walls and ceiling near your stove from moisture damage.

If you are cooking on a gas range, your kitchen exhaust also helps draw away the fumes from lighting the stove. And in the summer your exhaust fan can draw hot air out, letting your air conditioner run with a bit less constraint.

In the bathroom, the exhaust fan serves as a prime function for mold and mildew prevention. Its main job is to remove the warm, moist air from the room after a hot shower or bath, thereby making it harder for mold or mildew to thrive and protecting your walls from moisture damage. It can even allow you to get out of the shower to a clearer, fog-free mirror if the fan is properly sized for the bathroom.

Preventing Heat Loss from Your Home’s Exhaust Fans

kitchen stove hoodThough more modern exhaust fans feature timers or heaters to limit heat loss, many homes still have regular fans. Even with a standard exhaust fan, however, it’s possible to keep that undesirable stale or humid air out of your home and minimize heat loss without purchasing an expensive fan.

Here are some of the steps you can take to prevent heat loss:

  • Insulate exhaust pipes that go through the attic from a second story or top floor to prevent heat loss
  • Ensure your exhaust fans have a backdraft damper installed at the location of the exhaust duct’s exit either on an exterior wall or the roof
  • Regularly check dampers for broken pieces and flaps, especially after a serious storm
  • If you notice a cold spot near an exhaust fan despite a lack of damaged parts, you may wish to consider installing a higher quality system

For more information on duct work services in the Denver, North Carolina area, visit our Services page.


This post originally appeared on Galmiche & Sons.

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