Extractor fan or dehumidifier for bathroom?

by Readers Question

10:51 AM, 5th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Extractor fan or dehumidifier for bathroom?

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Extractor fan or dehumidifier for bathroom?

I have a 2 bed top floor flat in Aberdeen. The bathroom has a velux window but no extractor fan. The current tenants have asked me if I could get an extractor fan fitted as they feel there is a lot of condensation and don’t want the window open all the time.bathroom

I would like some advice on the best solution. I could get an extractor fan fitted, it would require going through the wall which is actually a slate roof, or I could get a dehumidifier, but I don’t know much about these and whether this would be a better solution or not. There are portable units but they would require a cable to be plugged in outside the bathroom, or there might be units I could have fitted and wired in by an electrician.

I could say no since there is a window, but it seems a reasonable request and can only be good for my bathroom. I am prepared to pay for a proper solution, I just need some advice on the best way forward from other landlords.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Angela



Comments

Angela Wilcox

23:44 PM, 5th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Thank you to everyone who commented on this post. There was a lot of good information there. I will arrange to get a humidistat extractor fan fitted.

Michael Barnes

16:19 PM, 6th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Green" at "05/12/2016 - 19:14":

can you tell us more about getting "30 litres of water in a 5 litre tank"?

Michael Barnes

16:32 PM, 6th December 2016
About 2 years ago

I can see that in Aberdeen opening a window in winter may not be desirable.

A dehumidifier in a bathroom is not a good idea, for electrical safety.

As you mention a slate roof, it sounds like the bathroom is in the loft, so positive-pressure ventilation systems are unlikely to be suitable.

That leaves you with an extractor fan, but as you have noted you then have the problem of fitting it through a slate roof (and the associated problems of preventing leaks around it).

It may be possible to fit an extractor fan where the exhaust is ducted to enable it to emerge through a vertical wall, or alternatively to extract via a disused chimney stack, but it seems likely that no option will be cheap.

Rod

17:01 PM, 6th December 2016
About 2 years ago

If the tenants prefer the bath rather than the shower which is becoming increasingly popular, ask them to run the cold water first! Works a treat!

Puzzler

18:18 PM, 7th December 2016
About 2 years ago

My Aberdeen flat has a Unibond 360 dehumidifier in each room. They cost £8 from B&Q, ASDA etc. You would have to check the tenant replaced the cartridges....

Harlequin Garden

21:54 PM, 7th December 2016
About 2 years ago

You are joking of course.

Bill Williams

11:03 AM, 10th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Nock" at "05/12/2016 - 12:26":

I agree with Harlequin Garden.

I install positive ventilation fans in all my properties. In some cases whole house ventilation systems with heat recovery. If properly installed and commissioned they do a commendable job in preventing condensation and mould, my tenants do not turn them off as they are installed in the loft, along with the power supply. There again my opinion may be biased as I am an air conditioning and ventilation technician.

Steve Masters

13:06 PM, 10th December 2016
About 2 years ago

This is my approach to reducing condensation and mould:-
I fit good quality humidistat extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms first. I use Envirovent cyclone 7 where possible.
I ensure there is at least 2cm draft gap under internal doors, to increase internal air flow, I cut bottom of doors if necessary. I explain to tenants why they shouldn't use draft stops under the doors.
I have installed air bricks in damp basement rooms and explain to tenants why they shouldn't cover them up.
When I get new double glazed windows I specify "trickle vents" in the frames and explain to tenants why they should keep them open.
I ask tenants to lock windows ajar if possible when they go out.
I have used Glixtone's range of anti mould paints and mould treatments when I decorate problem rooms. I thoroughly clean and kill any existing mould first.
I tell tenants to clean any new mould as soon as it appears, I buy them their first bottle of anti mould cleaner as a good will gesture.
I only consider dehumidifiers and extractors in living rooms and bedrooms as a last resort, as they can be a nuisance. Tenants will be reluctant to use them if they are noisy and considered costly on their electric bill. I can sympathise with that.
I talk to and educate my tenants on how to help themselves, the good ones listen, especially when I explain what I have done towards reducing the problem for them.
This works for me.

Michael Barnes

17:19 PM, 11th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Bill Williams" at "10/12/2016 - 11:03":

Is positive ventilation suitable in this specific case, where it appears that the bathroom is in the loft?

Adam Withford

22:11 PM, 13th December 2016
About 2 years ago

I agree with Gary & Paul,

I have had 2 different flats rented out to numerous different people, a couple of tenants the flats have ended up with mould all over the walls and "don't want to open windows", the tenants that had no mould never even mentioned it. I wonder how they managed??

I've been accused of having a "faulty flat", to "not being sensitive to the cold because I have white skin". I don't have an extractor in my bathroom at home, but I keep the bathroom window open slightly and keep the bathroom door closed.

I would only say that if you don't have a radiator in the bathroom then yes it makes sense to have an extractor, but then most do.

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