The process of designing a bathroom can have you considering all sorts of options related to the sink, toilet, tub/shower, cabinetry, floors, and walls, and amidst all of that decision-making, it can be easy to overlook the importance of creating optimal airflow and ventilation. Bathroom ventilation systems are relatively simple, mainly consisting of an exhaust fan that draws steam out of the room and passively draws in fresh air.

Yet, despite the simplicity of such systems, there are still many bathrooms that are built and designed without ventilation taken into consideration. To illustrate the importance of this sometimes-overlooked aspect of bathroom construction, we’ve compiled the following list of the top four reasons why every bathroom should have a ventilation system.

Bathroom Exhaust Fan

1.      Preventing Mold and Mildew

Steam and moisture are a problem when they can’t escape and there aren’t any fans drawing the moist air out. The steam not only falls to the ground in tiny water droplets seeping and penetrating into any minuscule cracks in the flooring, it also boosts the humidity within your walls, which eventually leads to mold and mildew development. For this reason, bathroom ventilation systems are fundamental topic taught in HVAC schools. On that note, HVAC professionals are in high demand and there are schools around the country that you can find using location-specific search terms (i.e. – HVAC Training San Diego CA).

2.      Maintaining Long-Term Structural Integrity

As moisture seeps into the walls, roof, and floors, it will eventually begin to cause rot and imperfections within various building materials, especially wood. Over time, the rot can result in noticeable structural issues that require repair, such as a sinking subfloor. Furthermore, if mold or mildew does take hold as we mentioned earlier, that can be a costly repair that needs to be done before you would be able to sell the building and to keep a healthy environment, which brings us to our next point.

3.      Avoiding Health Problems

Having mold in your walls can obviously be bad for your health, but beyond that, there’s also the issue of breathing in the humid air every time you bathe. Excessively high humidity can cause or exacerbate breathing-related health problems and may increase the risk of upper respiratory issues as well.

4.      Keeping a Comfortable Bathroom Environment

Without a good ventilation system, you’ll either have to open your bathroom window or deal with being stuck in a steam-filled sauna. Plus, opening the window isn’t really a comfortable option when the weather isn’t pleasant, and some people don’t feel comfortable having their bathroom window open while they’re showering for security reasons. Aside from the aforementioned health issues, standing in a steamed-out room can obviously be uncomfortable and it clouds up mirrors that you then have to wipe down, which is an annoying problem to have to correct every time you step out of the shower and are trying to get yourself together in the mirror.

Don’t Forget the Intake

In closing, don’t forget the importance of having a space below the door, a central air vent, or some other type of vent hole that can allow fresh air to come into the room passively.


Contributed by: Beauty Saunas and Baths Foremost experts in Bathrooms and Bathroom Fixtures.