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Old 06-14-2011, 11:17 AM   #1
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worth it in terms of energy savings to replace bathroom exhaust fans?


Since buying our home 10 years ago, we've replaced all the major appliances, including the lovely avocado green refrigerator in our tenant's apartment. I've been thinking if there's anything else should be replaced for energy savings.

We have two bathroom exhaust fans. One is our main bathroom and the other is in our tenant's bathroom (lower level).

For years we were confused about our tenant's exhaust fan because we couldn't figure out where it was coming out. Another mystery was why on the east side of the house there was a second vent, right next to the dryer vent. Turns out that vent does belong to the basement bathroom vent but we couldn't believe it. The bathroom is against the west side of the house, the duct work, between two joists, runs across the house (24'), makes a bend, a straight stretch (5'), and then another bend to the outside. Which means that the exhaust vent is pushing air 29' with two 90 degree bends. Because this is a bathroom with no windows, the tenants run the exhaust fan a lot. Remarkably there's no mildew problems.

The exhaust fan looks oldish - I'm going to guess by the styling maybe from the 80s. I can feel air when I put my hand on the outside vent so I know it is doing its job but I'm not sure how well.

Our bathroom exhaust fan upstairs is probably pretty old too but since we don't use it often, I don't think it makes economical sense to replace it. The basement bathroom exhaust fan runs for much longer times and I think is more critical. On one hand, if it's not broke, don't fix it. On the other hand, I wonder if I should replace it for energy/economic savings.

Now that I think of it, maybe I'll re-post this over in HVAC.

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