Venting a bathroom fan

Pitfalls of adding bathroom ventilation

and venting that new fan outside with the lowest risk

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Ok great, this bathroom remodeling project includes a new ventilation fan and light. All the air moved by the fan needs to be vented outside somewhere. A new fan installation also needs new ventilation duct work to route the exhaust air out of the house.

Since this is a new bathroom ventilation fan installation, the contractor will need to run new venting out the roof of the home. You'd be quite right to get a queasy feeling at the thought of cutting holes in the roof - what with rain on the way and all.

The worst thing you could do is to create a rainy day roof leak that give water a chance to enter the home and ruin or stain the ceiling area around the new fan.

In our case, our roof has a few good years of service left so rather than cut vent holes in it, we opted to have the fan temporarily vented out the eve vents so the roof would not be disturbed.

But venting the bathroom fan out the eve vent came with it's own set of problems. It seems in our local, that there are rules for everything. There are even rules that say this type of venting must be 3 feet or more from any door or window in the home - oh great!

The 3 foot rule meant that eve vents couldn't be used. Our contractor finally came up with the idea to vent the fan out the gable vents located on the side of the house at the high-point of the ceiling.

The gable vents job is to allow for some convection cooling - the hot attic air exits out the gable vents up top, while pulling fresh air in through the eve vents. Blocking off the gable vents with a bathroom fan vent would not be a good idea.

Fortunately, the bathroom fan vent is only 4 inches - hardly big enough to interfere with the job the gable vent was designed to to.

Finally an option that works - no three foot rules, and no cutting holes in a perfectly good roof. When the times comes to replace the roofing, we can have the vent re-routed through the new roof with fresh materials and sealants. A good compromise.

Since the bathroom fan vents out from the ceiling through the gable, there's not much to see. So we have no pictures of rthis page in the chapter.

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