Kitchen and Bath Ventilation for Healthy Indoor Air
By: Danny Lipford
In recognition of Indoor Air Quality Month, here are some stats to consider: The average adult takes more than 20,000 breaths a day and spends about 80 percent of their time indoors. That’s why the air quality in your home is so important to your health.
According to a national survey from Broan, nearly 80 percent of homeowners believe indoor air quality (IAQ) can impact their health, yet only 44 percent are worried about the air quality in their homes.
Air flow and proper ventilation are vital to sustaining healthy indoor air, and the kitchen and bath are the best places to start. While most homeowners own appliances that promote air flow, few use them properly. And with homes being sealed tighter than ever, less fresh air is being circulated.
See below for some highlights from the Broan study, as well as spot ventilation solutions for your home. And, visit www.broaniaq.com for an infographic and more survey results.
Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality
- Symptoms such as headaches, sneezing, coughing, congestion, itchy eyes
- Mold and mildew
- Chemical smells
- Foggy windows and mirrors
- Lingering cooking smells
5 Tips for Improving Air Quality in Your Home
- Install a Fan or Hood
Make sure your kitchen is fitted with a range hood, and each of your bathrooms is fitted with an appropriately-sized bath fan.
- Use It Every Time
Remember to use your range hood every time you cook and use your bathroom fan every time you shower.
- Follow the 10-Minute Rule
Run your range hood for at least 10 minutes after cooking to eliminate lingering cooking smells and particulates. Let your bathroom fan run at least 10 minutes after showering to fully remove humidity.
- Clean It Monthly
Clean range hood filters and bathroom fans every month to ensure maximum effectiveness.
- Replace As Needed
The average effective life of a range hood is 10-12 years. Bathroom fans should be replaced when they no longer prevent your bathroom mirror from fogging.
Check out Improving Indoor Air Quality In Your Home for more tips for a healthy indoor environment.
Kitchen Ventilation Solutions
Kitchens have a big impact on a home’s indoor air quality because it’s the place where grease and other carcinogens become airborne during the cooking process. The home’s regular heating and cooling system and air filters aren’t enough to handle the heavy pollutant load that kitchens produce. That’s why every kitchen needs a vent hood to exhaust fumes and pollutants outdoors. See How to Calculate Kitchen Range Hood Fan Size.
Broan is making it easier than ever to maintain a healthy kitchen. The Tenaya BNSC1 Series under-cabinet vent hood offers a modern design to complement contemporary kitchens, but comes with a smart and powerful three-speed blower to rid the kitchen of airborne grease and other fumes. One of the best features is the vent’s duo of micro-mesh filters which are dishwasher-safe.
Remember, vent hoods only help if you use them each time you cook. For optimum results, run the range hood vent for at least 10 minutes following cooktop use.
Innovations in Bathroom Ventilation
Bathrooms are the biggest source of moisture in any home. If you don’t give that moisture a place to go, then it becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew. The good news is that a simple vent fan does the trick to remove moisture from the bathroom during and after showering.
Ensure that the vent is routed to exhaust moisture all the way to the outside of the home. If the vent exhausts into the attic, that could cause problems with mold and mildew in the insulation. See How to Properly Vent a Bathroom Exhaust Fan for details.
The Sensonic vent fan from Broan is an innovative option for homeowners who like to take their music with them wherever they go, since it incorporates Bluetooth wireless technology speakers into the fan itself. Another unique feature of the Sensonic is its UL rating for installation directly over a tub or shower.
The decorative InVent model is a stylish option for any bathroom. Cleverly designed as a high-end light fixture, the vent delivers quality ventilation at comfortable sounds levels with a 2.0 sone rating. Installing a bath fan can be intimidating for some homeowners, so the InVent is a great option because it can be installed entirely from the room-side, without having to climb into the attic.
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