How to Ventilate Your Laundry Room During Renovations
Proper laundry room ventilation is often overlooked by homeowners when remodeling their homes. Laundry room ventilation is important as it can be a major source of contaminants in your house. A poorly ventilated laundry room will have moisture buildup. During the hotter summer months this is a recipe for mold growth, bacteria, and dust mites.
Here are some laundry room ventilation steps you can consider when renovating your home.
1. Install an Exhaust Fan
Exhaust fans work to remove contaminants from your house. In addition, it will pull all the heat and humidity caused by the appliances from the room. This is done when the fan is turned on. The angle of blade rotation draws hot air to the fan to expel it out. Vents or windows then allow the cool, fresh air to enter the laundry room.
For the best laundry room ventilation, your vent should extend all the way through the wall and exhaust directly into the outdoor air. A standard exhaust fan can cost anywhere from $15 to $300. With installation, you can expect to pay $60 to $500.
Consider Installing a Two-Speed Fan
You can look for a two-speed fan. These will keep running at a slow speed when you’re not using the laundry room to eliminate the off-gassing from soaps, detergents, and other chemicals. The fan will run at a higher speed when you’re using the room to reduce heat and humidity. Two-speed fans with motion sensors are also available that automatically switch from low to high depending on whether you’re using the room or not.
2. Use Energy Recovery Ventilators
The most effective way to increase laundry room ventilation is through Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV). These ventilators work to remove the existing contaminated or hot air from the room and replace it with clean, outdoor air. EVRs save on your electricity bill by conserving energy. They reduce the amount of energy required for heating or cooling the fresh air brought into the room.
3. Use Dryer Vents
Your dryer should be vented outside to reduce heat and humidity in the laundry room. The International Residential Code has modified the provisions for dryer vents and hoses. Smooth metal hoses are being used instead of corrugated plastic hoses. This is because corrugated hoses trap a great amount of lint and are a common cause of dryer fires. Smooth hoses, however, can easily be cleaned and trap less lint.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to check your existing dryer vent. If your dryer currently uses a corrugated hose, consider upgrading to a smooth hose.
4. Install At Least One Window in the Laundry Room
Having windows or doors in the room is another effective way to ventilate your laundry room, but only when you keep them open all day. When they are closed, off-gassing from chemicals will be trapped in the room.
It’s recommended to keep your windows open for as long as your laundry room appliances are running. You can close them after 15 or 20 minutes when you’re done washing the clothes. Also, open your laundry room windows early in the morning or at night when the weather is cool. This will eliminate all the off-gassings and contaminants.
Opening the windows during the day, when the weather is super hot, can make you feel uncomfortable. It will also put more strain on your HVAC system since the outdoor air is warmer than the indoor temperature. However, when paired with vents, window installation can be a source of laundry room ventilation.
What Happens When Your Laundry Room Isn’t Ventilated Properly?
Off-gassing from different soaps and detergents combined with humidity from home appliances leads to poor indoor air quality. If your laundry room is not properly ventilated you can expect excess humidity and lint fire hazards to pose a threat to your home.
When your laundry room is not ventilated properly, the running appliances cause excess heat and humidity. This results in the growth of mold and mildew. Eventually, this will lead to the deterioration of your home’s walls and flooring.
Lint Fire Hazards
Indoor temperatures will rise when running a poorly ventilated dryer. This can cause lint to ignite during the drying process. Unfortunately, the fire won’t stay contained to the dryer. Instead, it can spread into the walls of your home through the vent pipes resulting in a life-threatening house fire.
Take the First Step to Proper Laundry Room Ventilation
If you want to avoid any mishaps, you must ventilate your laundry room properly. Experts at Rinaldi’s can help you find the best laundry room ventilation solutions for your home. Contact us now to make the first step toward maintaining healthy indoor air quality.
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