A Guide to Bathroom Ventilation: What Should You Consider?

A Guide to Bathroom Ventilation: What Should You Consider?

For all they are relaxing and practical in equal measure, bathrooms can be very particular! This is a space quite unlike any other in your home. No other room is quite as humid and damp, so you need to be extra careful with ventilation. In fact, there are UK standards you’ll need to meet to ensure your bathing suit is safe to use.

That’s why it’s vital to ensure your bathing or wet room space is breathable. Poor or no ventilation in humid areas can lead to serious health issues and structural problems. As specialists in bathroom extractor fans and ventilation, Arrow Electrical’s catalogue contains many choices.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the importance of bathroom ventilation. We’ll also consider what you need to look for and how we can help you!

Why Bathroom Ventilation is So Important

Bathroom ventilation is a must – in fact, all UK bathrooms and wet rooms must have extractor fans in place! It’s a result of building regulations – but what is the science and the health concern behind this? As it happens, a bathroom without any form of ventilation could cause untold health woes and unsightly mould.

Mould and mildew conditions may arise, for example, through condensation. This can build up if an

internal space is not ventilated enough under humid conditions. Mildew and mould will then grow on windowsills, grouting and more. However, these grim-looking growths are more than just nasty to look at.

Mould can pose various problems for both your breathing capability and your skin. Skin rashes, lesions, and irritations can arise from mould growth indoors. What’s more, those suffering from breathing conditions such as asthma may find symptoms increase.

For a healthy bathroom space, it is vital to set up appropriate ventilation. Units such as our two-speed quiet extractor can help reduce the appearance of natural nastiness.

Do also consider the look and longevity of your bathroom, too. A little mould here and there may not seem like much, but given a chance to grow, your suite may risk deterioration. You may therefore need to consider costly fixes later on. In addition, mould and mildew conditions – and damage – will seriously impact the value of your space and, indeed, you’re home.

Therefore, when it comes to condensation and the unsightly stains that arise, it’s not worth taking the risks. Plaster and grouting can suffer and fail without appropriate airflow, too. If your setting up a bathroom space, you may be forgiven for overlooking such things!

However, if you have a bathroom fitted, your builders and suppliers should adhere to the relevant codes. That said, if you are upgrading your bathroom and need to replace or reinstall a fan, it makes sense to shop around. At Arrow Electrical, we have many hugely beneficial choices available to peruse!

Buying a Bathroom Extractor Fan

Investing in a bathroom extractor fan is the quickest route toward removing the risk of condensation, mould and mildew. Opening a window or two isn’t enough – especially in the winter months when you want to keep warmth in! However, providing your bathroom at least has a window it’s enough to satisfy building regulations.

Extractor fans, however, are recommended in most cases. They are required if you have a bath and shower in place. If your home is new, it’s likely that your spaces are tightly designed – and therefore need greater ventilation. The great news is that extractor fans are extremely powerful and easy to use!

Generally, you should look for an extractor fan that runs at least 15 litres of air every second. This makes sure that old air in your room effectively ‘swaps out’ for fresh air from outside.

Beyond this, consider the benefits of bathroom extractor installations. Not only can extractor fans stop mould from building up, but they are also great at freshening up a space. What’s more, they can help stop condensation in its tracks during colder months. There’s no need for you to risk getting chilly by opening the windows every five minutes!

An older bathroom is more likely to need an extractor fan than most. It’s perfectly reasonable to install an extractor alongside a window, too. In fact, this will effectively mean double the ventilation support, keeping you and your space healthy. A flexible Envirovent 100HT in white, for example, will look great as part of any existing suite setup.

Above all, bathroom fans really can enhance your experience! Whether you enjoy taking deep soaks or singing in the shower, it’s worth enjoying the little things. A bathroom space that’s humid and stuffy, and causing all manner of structural and breathing worries, isn’t delightful. Therefore, it’s easy to choose and set up an extractor fan to turn your bathing time around.

Do also consider your guests! Bathrooms may only be practical spaces for visitors – but it pays to create a fantastic impression. Can you do that with mould galore? Probably not!

Choosing, Sizing, and More

Of course, it is easy enough to assume that choosing any given extractor fan will be enough for your bathroom. However, as mentioned, there are some recommendations for airflow potential. Experts, in fact, recommend you look carefully at the cubic metres covered by prospective fans.

This usually is pretty simple to account for. You’ll need to measure your bathroom’s cubic area. That means measuring height, width, and depth in three dimensions. Then, use this figure to look for the equivalent metres cubed when shopping for an appropriate fan.

Beyond this, consider the type of extractor fan you need to install. If you have a bathroom built onto an external wall, you’ll need an axial fan. This is the most common type of extractor on the market, and it delivers fresh air across short distances.

Centrifugal fans, meanwhile, are great for bathrooms far from external walls. This is where you will need to have internal ducting. Ductwork will, therefore, carry external air through to your fan and redisperse it as necessary. Effectively, a duct run is much like a hose that transfers air to and from the outside.

Much of the time, it’s worth considering hiring a professional to install your fan for you. Models such as our XT100 range bathroom fan are simple to set up. However, it’s always prudent to reach out to an electrician if you are unsure. This is especially the case if you have a lot of ductwork available!

You should also take the time to consider budgeting appropriately for your extractor fan. Buying an affordable fan outright is a great start – but what about removing your old model? It may be worth accounting for its disposal. Again, if you hire a professional to help install, there will be costs involved here.

Think carefully about budgeting if you don’t already have a fan. This may require considered building work that will add costs to proceedings. Therefore, while our extractor fans are affordable as-is, account for your circumstances!

This may all seem like a lot – but it’s for the best!

Further Features to Consider

Beyond the intricacies of fan types and styles, it’s worth remembering different fans have unique features. The best fans – of course – should quickly and conveniently move air in and out. But have you considered the noise your fan is likely to make?

Thankfully, modern extractor fans are much less noisy than their predecessors from decades past. In fact, models such as the Envirovent Silent 100 PIR effectively extract without noise. The threat of noise can be off-putting to some buyers – so shop accordingly!

You may also find that there are fans with sensors and timers! Sensor technology built into modern units can kickstart into action when it detects humidity. Therefore, you have little need to pull a cord or activate your fan manually. This also means that you can effectively let your space filter itself out.

Fan timers are great for the same reason. If you know when you’re likely to want to bring fresh air into your space, you can start a schedule. Of course, traditional corded extractor fans work just as well – if you prefer to take a bit of control back!

It’s also worthwhile prioritising the look of your fan, too. Thankfully, the majority of modern extractor models arrive in a simple white. However, some carry a classic aesthetic, while others align with a more minimalist standard. Ultimately, extractor fans are hardly the most outlandish of units – so don’t worry about them spoiling your look.

IP ratings, too, are worth considering if you wish to place your fan close to a water source. For example, you may want to set up near a shower. We’ll look at positioning basics below, but IP stats will tell you how water-resistant a fan is.

An IPX7 fan, for example, can be completely immersed in water. An IPX4 needs to be positioned a little further away, while IPX5s usually need dry supplies. These details are helpful depending on where you need your fan to go!

Positioning Your Fan

Finally, let’s consider where may be best for you to place your fan. As mentioned, axial extractors will do best installed onto the interior face of an external wall. Centrifugal fans and those dependent on vent ductwork will need more planning.

Ideally, those fans needing duct runs should cover as little distance as possible. Crucially, this is because the longer the run, the less efficient – and effective – your extraction. Therefore, try and place your fan as close to an external wall as possible.

In addition to this, you need to consider moisture control. It’s practical to install extractor fans within the remit of the moisture. Therefore, try to position your fan units within reach of your shower or bathtub steam. As mentioned above, looking into your chosen fan model and brand’s IP rating will help narrow it down.

An IPX7 fan is ideal if you wish to place it over your shower. This will be most effective for many people, as it takes away steam at the source. This could make a lot of difference, but you need to balance it with external wall proximity carefully.

The closer your fan is to the source of vapour and an external wall, the more efficient it will be. This may not be something you can easily account for if you upgrade an existing suite. However, if you are building or designing a bathroom from scratch, it’s worth keeping these measurements in sight.

It’s easy to worry about where best to install a fan. After all, you need to consider wiring, too. That’s why it makes perfect sense to reach out to an installer if you have any queries. Arrow Electrical products arrive with our quality assurance and full instructions on how to get started, too.


Extractor fans may get overlooked when setting up a new bathroom or upgrading a suite. How many of us know ventilation is a legal requirement, for example? Beyond this, poor ventilation can cause serious problems for you and your home. Thus, it does pay to look for an efficient, effective extractor to take care of your vapour.

Arrow Electrical is pleased to present a wide variety of extractor essentials for bathrooms of all shapes and sizes. Whether your extraction needs or your bathroom setup – it’s important to shop around. Don’t ever feel lost in choosing the best fans, either. Our knowledgeable advisors are ready to help you whenever you need us.

Are things getting stuffy? Don’t fall prey to condensation and mould. Please take a look at our fan options now and make an informed choice.

28th Jun 2022

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