Bathroom Vents

josestraussJuly 23, 2006

Using the handy dandy temperature gun someone recommended in another thread, I have discovered that I have a couple of major air leaks into my attic. The first is the recessed lights, which apparently aren't IC and can't be covered with insulation. How stupid is that? I'll replace those.

The second is the bathroom vents. I measured the ceiling at 79 degrees about 2 feet away but the grill measures 94 degrees! I know that these are required by code, but we never use them. They're incredibly loud and they don't do much. I was thinking about pulling off the covers, shoving in some insulation, sealing them off with some carefully cut and taped cardboard, disabling the switch, and putting the grills back on. Aside from the fact that I'll be going through a lot of hassle for not much gain, is there a problem with this approach?

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Sealing up the bathroom vents will increase the humidity in the room. Do you really want the possibility of mold and/or paint problems?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 9:36AM
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I printed this information out recently, but don't know the source... -Grainlady

Depending on the size and type of home construction, about one-fourth of heating costs are attributable to heating infiltration air (uncontrolled air leakage) in residences. But keep in mind the possible problems with indoor air-pollution buildup in low infiltration houses. Do you have mechanical ventilation, in the form of an efficient air-to-air heat exchanger?

Typical Air Leakage in the Home

25% - between foundation and sill (sole plate)
20% - wall outlets
14% - duct system
12% - exterior windows
5% - range vent
5% - fireplace
5% - exterior doors
5% - recessed spotlights
3% - dryer vent
2% - sliding glass door
1% - bath vent
3% - other

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 12:09PM
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Check the back/draft flapper in it. Maybe insulate the fan can & its duct work.

You can probably unplug the fan motor after removing the grill rather than fiddling with the switch, if you go the block it off route.

Reflectix foil insualtion is very nice and easy to work with ! To me its amazing stuff actually.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 12:58PM
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Thanks for the list, Grainlady.

Methinks it is high time to rip off the outlet wall plates and do some caulking! Wow, 20% leakage...

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 1:59PM
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Excess moisture can cause mould, etc., yes ...

... but how do you like the idea of possibly rotting walls, floor?

Are you handy with hammer, saw, wrecking bar and chisel to chisel out rotted pieces at the joist, and cutting and installing new floor?

Incuding under the bath tub?

Just a thought.

By the way - if you plug the outlet, including anywhere near the fan motor and have a fire, the insurance company could refuse to compensate.

Do you know people in the construction business? Home inspection? Electrician?

They'll know what you can do and what you can't.

Good wishes as you seek to (wisely) cut your energy costs.

ole joyful

P.S. Check my Christmas gift to everyone here for the past two or three years for an idea that could save you hundreds, more likely thousands, during your remaining years (assuming that you lack one foot in the grave at present).

o j

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 3:11PM
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