Monday, January 19, 2009

Exhausting ...

Have you given much thought to exhaust fans? They are efficient at freshening the air quality of a room ... eliminating odors, steam ... even smoke (on those occasions when we're not as attentive in the kitchen as we should be). In most homes they are easy to turn on and off ... a flip of a switch, typically placed next to a light switch. In fact, how many times have you flipped an exhaust fan on ... and forgotten it. It runs and runs ... until someone notices it and shuts it off.

Depending on the room and how it's used, most standard exhaust fans recirculate the air between 6 and 15 times an hour. That means that the air in the room is totally replaced once every ten minutes or less. What happens to the air? Most exhaust fans work by sucking air out of the house while pulling fresh air in from another vent.

These miracles of modern life ... these unsung heroes ... these little machines that we barely notice ... can be big energy wasters. Consider this ... the air that is being sucked up and returned to the great outdoors is usually, at this time of year, heated. And the air being drawn in ... isn't. In the summer, it's the opposite ... cooled air is sucked out while hot air is drawn in. Either way, it's inefficient and a waste of heating/cooling energy (not to mention money). And what about the energy used to run the fans? Sure, it may not be a great deal, but ... how often do we run it for ten minutes or less? Typically, especially in bathrooms, it is turned on and then forgotten until the next time "nature calls".

So here is today's easy tip ... turn off the exhaust fan. If your fan is controlled by a timer ... great ... set it for 10 minutes at the most (one complete recirculation should do the trick). If you don't have a timer, install one or ... set a kitchen timer or alarm to remind yourself to turn it off.

Rather than "exhausting" your energy consumption ... use an exhaust fan efficiently.

As always ... I would love to hear from you!

17 comments :

  1. I've never even THOUGHT about that! I just turn it on to get the steam out after a shower and a lot of times totally forget it's on until I go in hours later. I didn't even think about the energy waste and the transference of hot/cold air.
    Thanks for the tip!

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  2. Lucky for me, or for Green Living, that I hate the sound of the exhaust fan! It just drills in my head, so leaving it on is not an option.

    GMR will leave on the one in his bathroom and in the kitchen and I go round turning them off! laughing...can't take the noise noise noise!

    There is always something good here! :)

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  3. Solved that problem SF, no exhaust fan, I've always reverted to that old-fashioned thing called opening a window.

    AV

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  4. The timer is a fantastic idea. I would like to add that if someone in the home has an allergy to mold, the fan should run a little longer in the winter months to adequately lower the humidity. That is why I love the timer idea. I think I may have a home improvement in my future.
    Thanks!

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  5. I rarely if ever use my exhaust fans. I don't think I've used my bathroom fan in the 5 years I've lived in my apartment. YAY me!!! I only use the one in the kitchen if I'm burning something. (he he he)The kitchen fan is so loud I turn it off nearly immediately.

    Thanks for this tip though!!!

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  6. thank you, thankyou, thankyou! this is something that i can also pass onto my tenants. most of them do not have windows however, when speaking to them about being sure to run their fans to help prevent humidity in their homes[and unfortunate mildew/mold] I will remind them to save energy and money by leaving there fans on a timer.

    thanks again [you rock!]

    have a great week! ~D.

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  7. Once again you made me think of something I take for granted. I run my bathroom one but hate my kitchen one-
    Thanks!

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  8. We're the same as Argentum.... no fans, just open windows. :) We do without electrical appliances that aren't strictly necessary, if at all possible.

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  9. Hmmm...perhaps it's a good thing the exhaust fans in my bathroom and kitchen don't work then, although I was good at remembering to turn them off when they did (I had turning off lights and appliacnces drilled into me when I was a kid. Thanks mum!)

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  10. Great tip! :) Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Nope, never used one of those noisy things. I'd always believe that what gets thrown around COMES AROUND!

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  12. Good tip! I never thought of that. I usually don't use them though because I don't like the noise!

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  13. you will be rather happy about my comment as I don't have an exhaust fan. NOR do I drive a car (i walk a lot!). Pretty good huh? :)
    Glad you liked the veggie recepie, more to come!

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  14. My exhaust fan in my bathroom is so loud, we don't use it. I never really thought about the bigger picture with the exhaust fan too much before. Thanks for opening my eyes.

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  15. Thanks for the tip. I usually wander through the house wondering what that noise is before I realize what that noise actually is! Take care and enjoy your hump day!

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  16. great tips as always.
    Here's another one - putting half a fresh slice of lemon in the fridge will get rid of odors and washing out the garbage can with 1 part water and 1 part vinegar will get rid of odours AND works antibacterial! :)

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