Kitchen & Bath – Indoor Air Quality

Normal daily activities create pollutants and high levels of moisture in the home. Eliminating pollutants from the home is ideal, but everyday things like cooking and showering do impact air quality. Byproducts of cooking include heat, smoke, and moisture. Showering, and bathing produce large levels of moisture in the air that can lead to mold, mildew and damage to furnishings. These byproducts need to removed from the home and exhausted outside. This may sound complicated, but probably already own the equipment you need to control indoor air quality.
Kitchen exhausts are incorporated into range hoods or over the range microwaves. Both are available ducted or ductless/ recirculating. Ideally, the exhaust is ducted. A properly ducted exhaust removes heat, moisture, smoke, and odors. Ductless exhaust do not remove the heat and are limited in their ability to remove smoke and odor. They use charcoal filters to capture some of the odors but these filters need to be replaced usually every six months. The initial installation of a ductless model is cheaper, but the reoccurring cost of replacement charcoal filters and the inferior performance of a ductless design should be considered when purchasing a kitchen exhaust. In order to obtain maximum performance from either design,the grease filters
need to removed and cleaned periodically.
Bathroom exhaust are essential for removing undesirable moisture. They should always be exhausted outside and never directly into the attic. It’s recommended that bath fans run for twenty minutes after a shower has taken place. This helps remove moisture from the bathroom, ductwork and the physical fan itself. The installation of a timer or a humidity sensor in place of a traditional wall switch is a simple upgrade that is worth considering. It eliminates the need to return and turn off the fan and with a humidity sensor it will turn itself on when necessary.
The kitchen and bath are areas where dedicated exhausts are essential. Properly exhausting these areas will improve the comfort level and air quality within the home. Additional information can be found at the websites listed below.