Where Do Bathroom Vents Go?


One of the more interesting questions I like to ask when walking through any type of bathroom project with a Client is,


“Do you know where your bathroom fan is vented to?”


Perhaps not surprisingly, most folks don’t have a clue – nor should they!



After all, most people who move along through life as a homeowner generally assume that when the home was built and along the way, things were constructed properly and everything should be functioning fine in-line with where it correctly should be.


Unfortunately, this assumption could not be further from the truth.


For purposes of this specific discussion, let’s center things around the way a bathroom fan is vented.

Now, if you were to ask where “should” bathroom fans be vented to, the answer is to the outside of the house.


My preference is through the roof whenever possible

(and, yes, if installing a roof vent, it should obviously be properly flashed).



In some cases, through the roof may not be logically feasible, in that type of circumstance, whatever way can be found to get the fan vented to the outside in a place that is least likely to lead to mildew or mold growth (around the exterior vent that is installed) should be done (hence, the ideal situation where it is vented through the roof and the moisture can more easily be directed away from the home).

Even though it is imperative to get bathroom moisture, etc. to the home’s exterior, you might be shocked to find out that in a large percentage of people’s homes, the bathroom fan is vented directly into the attic.



This is a “No, no!!” for a variety of reasons,

not the least of which is that this type of methodology can lead directly to unwanted mold growth on the inside of the attic.


Even beyond situations where the bathroom fan installer is purely ignorant, lazy, or careless and does not relay the importance of venting the fan outside, are accidental type of situations which may lead to a fan unknowingly being vented into the attic.

An example of this would be someone going into the attic who mistakenly, without knowing it, bumps into, shifts, and causes the duct system leading from a bathroom fan to the exterior vent to be dislodged.



If this occurs and is not checked to make sure that everything is secure, the next time the bathroom fan is used, it will be vented to some degree into the attic.

This could happen because of any reason from a tech (HVAC, electrician, etc.) going into the attic to perform some type of service to a homeowner going in to the attic to move something there for storage.


Asking a Client where their bathroom fan is vented to is DEFINITELY a question that almost always causes the individual to then to immediately ask themselves in self-reflection,


“Where DOES my bathroom fan vent out to?”

In fact as you read this, you may even be asking yourself that question right now…



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