close up of gas stove burner that is lit

Why Proper Kitchen and Bathroom Ventilation is Important

If there are two rooms in your house that are the most prone to heat, grease, or water damage, it is your bathroom and kitchen. Where other rooms suffice with a passive air exhaust system, both of these rooms’ systems have the very important jobs of whisking away smoke and steam from the indoor environment. Without any ventilation, both would re-enter the home environment, causing havoc in their own special way.

So how do the conditions of each room while in use play out when there isn’t enough ventilation? Let’s start with…

Results of Improper Kitchen Ventilation

Most rental and for sale units typically come with oven hoods. These are located directly over the stove and serve to remove steam and collect particulate grease from the cooking area. However, older ones may not have these vent hoods installed, and just have a plain ceiling right above the cooking surface.

Over time, all of that grease and water that a vent hood would have caught has been collecting on the ceiling directly above the stove, which is likely by now next to impossible to remove depending on the material. If left further unchecked, this could also lead to mold/mildew, and even structural damage.

So if you find yourself in this situation, even a fan in a nearby window would be better than nothing at all. Most of these older homes even thought of this and typically installed a smaller window in the kitchen, typically near the sink.

So to sum up:

  • Stove vent hoods remove grease and steam from the cooking area.
  • Use a fan in a nearby window if a stove vent hood is not available.
  • Neglecting this can result in mold/mildew, structural damage, and greasy surfaces.

Results of Improper Bathroom Ventilation

Out of all of the rooms in the house, this one has the potential to arguably get the most humid (it’s between it and the laundry room.) When someone takes a long, hot shower, all of that steam will need somewhere to go. With nowhere to go, it typically collects in the corners, and unless vented out through an open door or window, or even a fan, it lingers in the bathroom until it cools, turning into condensation.

Over time, anyone with any drywall in these oversteamed bathrooms would begin to see some crumbling, followed by some mold and mildew damage. Places with no bathroom fan typically have a small window or even a vent to help vent steam, and if not, even an open door with a fan pointing out could help remove the steam and not have it concentrated in one place.

However, passive ventilation should be the exception, not the rule. Bathroom fans are the best way to remove excess moisture from your bathroom, and most of it comes down to choosing the correct fan.

So to sum up:

  • Hot steam rises, and turns to puddles of condensation when it cools.
  • Drywall damage can occur, along with moisture damage, and mold/mildew growth.
  • Vent excess steam by turning on the fan or cracking the door.
  • Always choose the bathroom fan over passive ventilation.

How FAMCO Can Help

We are FAMCO, one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest manufacturers of HVAC parts and accessories. We have a wide selection of ventilation options for bathrooms and kitchens to fit any need, taste, and/or budget. Have any questions? Feel free to get in touch. We would be more than happy to help.

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