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To Blow or Not to Blow?

02.21.2023 01:51 PM By Kate Shahan

How do you use the fan switch in the bathroom?

When I bought my house as a single woman in 2015, the inspector gave me a lot of information. I had no idea what to do with it all. Over the years and with my experience as a realtor, I have learned a lot about my initial inspection report. I have also learned that sometimes inspectors outline "defects" in your home to justify their fee. No inspector will EVER say your house is "perfect, change nothing!"

One of the "issues" with my house was that the bathroom fan vent was not connected to vent out through the roof. That means every time a guest turned on the guest bathroom fan, the air vented into the attic and did not leave the house. When you live in Minnesota, or other states that have high humidity in the summer, pushing more moisture into the attic can lead to other problems. Moisture allows mold to grow. Overall, reducing the amount of moisture in your home is a great idea.

Growing up in Colorado where the climate is ULTRA dry, I never gave a second thought to my bathroom fan. I assumed that the bathroom fan was only used for an impressive bowel movement that left a lingering smell. But at the same time, shouldn't air fresheners do a better job of "making it smell like flowers?"

After years of experience, this is what I have decided about bathroom fans.

1.) Bathroom fans are great for removing moisture from the bathroom. If you live in a humid climate, using the bathroom fan to reduce moisture in the bathroom as you bathe is a great investment.

2.) If you live in a climate that is ultra dry (CO, AZ, NM, CA, NV, etc), showering with the bathroom door open can reduce static electricity in the home as well as provide much needed moisture to keep your wood furniture/floors/accents looking healthy. Now showering with the door open is great when you are single and have no guests. Showering with the door open with children or guests is not ideal. Using the bathroom fan to remove excess moisture when the bathroom door cannot remain open is a great idea. Turn that fan on and let it vent out of your house when bathing.

After analyzing my inspection report, it appeared that all that needed to be done was to crawl up into the attic and attach the bathroom vent to the vent in the attic that would push the hot air out of the house. It was a very difficult personal journey, but I finally found myself crawling up into the attic. Spiders, mice, rats, and other invasive creatures are not my thing. Small spaces are not my thing. But as a single home owner, you have to make decisions. Hire someone for $200-$500 to do 5 minutes of work for you....or conquer your fears and get it done.

I hope to never have to crawl through my attic again. All it took was looping a string on the vent to the nail connecting it to the roof. 30 seconds of work, but had to fight through a few fears to get it done. Calling in a handy man is definitely something you can do. However, conquering a few fears makes me so proud of such a minor task.

Being a homeonwer is not easy. But sometimes simple chores or tasks make you feel on top of the world! You did it! You proved to yourself that fears are very real, but they don't always have to hold you hostage.

I'm not going to sit here and tell you that it's that easy to conquer your very realistic fears. Yes, I went into my attic for 10 minutes. However, I sat on my room for 30 minutes paralyzed in fear. Not able to get down, not able to stand up and use the leaf blower to clean my gutters. Even more embarrassing, the neighbor called me as I sat on my roof. frozen in fear. He asked, " Do you need help?" My pride was too great. I said, "No, I'm good! Thanks for asking." I was able to engage my brain again and get my limbs working. I grabbed a hold of the ladder and climbed down to safety. At the end of the day, I now know my hard limits. It's easy to hire locals on Facebook or other useful apps like Thumbtack. It's ok to push your limits a little and discover something new about your self. However, there is plenty of technology out there to help you perform simple home functions. Being single, there is no one there to spot you on the latter or roof or attic. Don't be afraid to ask for help!

Best of luck with your bathroom fan and your homeownership journey!

Katie Shahan

Founder Yarlow

Realtor, HomApt Realty


Kate Shahan