Chill your mood: Keep the heat in
Whether you are a lifelong North Dakota resident or a recent occupant, sometimes it seems that wintertime is an endless battle with Mother Nature. If you are looking for a way to lower your winter heating costs and keep your home warmer and more comfortable, you might want to think about how exhaust fans can impact your efforts.
Exhaust fans are a key part of your home’s ventilation system and using them properly could help lower your winter heating costs. Exhaust fans remove unwanted moisture from the room and sends it outside. The exhaust duct should only operate as a one-way traffic route. However, cold winter weather may creep in the wrong way, causing heat loss.
Your home’s exhaust fans provide some pretty important functions. In kitchens, they help rid the room of smoke, oil, and particularly strong odors. Your kitchen exhaust also has the duty of carrying the steam from your pots of boiling water away, which is vital to protecting the walls and ceiling near your stove from moisture damage.
In the bathroom, the exhaust fan serves as a prime function for mold and mildew prevention. Its main job is to remove the warm, moist air from the room after a hot shower or bath, thereby making it harder for mold or mildew to thrive and protecting your walls from moisture damage.
Though more modern exhaust fans feature timers or heaters to limit heat loss, many homes still have regular fans. Even with a standard exhaust fan, however, it’s possible to keep minimize heat loss without purchasing an expensive fan.
Here are some of the steps you can take to prevent heat loss:
- Insulate exhaust pipes that go through the attic from a second story or top floor to prevent heat loss
- Ensure your exhaust fans have a backdraft damper installed at the location of the exhaust duct’s exit either on an exterior wall or the roof
- Regularly check dampers for broken pieces and flaps, especially after a serious storm
- If you notice a cold spot near an exhaust fan despite a lack of damaged parts, you may wish to consider installing a higher quality system
- Consider swapping in a timer switch in the bathrooms