Will no one rid my bathroom of these troublesome smells?
October 13, 2005 8:31 AM   Subscribe

VentilationFilter: My apartment's cramped little bathroom has a small window and no exhaust fan. It's getting cold here in Michigan and I'd rather not open the window to ventilate. Any brilliant ideas short of bashing holes in the wall and ceiling to install a real exhaust fan?
posted by Xalf to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Maybe leave the door open while showering? If there are other people around you could rig a shower curtain across the door frame or something.
posted by aramaic at 9:02 AM on October 13, 2005

Best answer: If you've got a slider or single/double hung window you can get fans that fit into the window, the one I have even has a built in door that can totally block off the opening when not in use. Set the fan to blow out and you won't get blasted with cold air. That is all a bathroom fan does in most cases.
posted by Mitheral at 9:13 AM on October 13, 2005

Response by poster: Mitheral - that sounds like it'd work (except for the electrical cord going through the shower, but whatever). What brand is your fan?
posted by Xalf at 9:15 AM on October 13, 2005

This may be a hack, but:
  • Get a sealed 12V lead-acid battery of the kind that you might find in emergency lighting devices. Home Despot sells them, other places may too
  • Get a bunch of 12VDC fans (old computer fans will be perfect)
  • Wire the old fans to the 12V battery with a small switch
  • tape fans together in a "brick" that's the right size to not fall out of your window
  • open window and pop in fans, turn on switch, shower
This way, no extension cord running through shower (potentially very bad), and no risk of spilled acid (also bad). The batteries are rechargeable, and should last almost forever.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 10:20 AM on October 13, 2005

Best answer: I do just what Mitheral described and it sounds like my situation is pretty close to yours Xalf.

I have Black And Decker Typhoon twin window fan. The reason for this particular fan is that it has a water sensor that will shut off the fan if wet. Good thing for bathroom use.

Not sure if it is sold anymore, but there certainly must be something like it out there. The rain safe feature is nice and has shut off the fan a couple of times.

However, here is a link to the B&D fan manual (pdf). You can get an idea of what you might need.

Most places will sell the Lasko fan which is perfectly fine, but they tend to be more base level. They will do a fine job though.

Regarding the cord; the cord is not the problem, the plug on the end is. Solution: where the fan cord plugs into the extension, wrap it in plastic and tape the heck out of it. It will stay dry.
posted by lampshade at 10:22 AM on October 13, 2005

Install a ground fault protected outlet for use with the fan and change the cord on the fan so that it is the exact length it should be to reach the outlet.

Those steps are cheap and easy, so I think anything less would be negligent.
posted by Chuckles at 10:46 AM on October 13, 2005

Oh the window is in the shower stall.

I wouldn't put a fan in a shower unless it was rated for that kind of use. A 12V fan hooked to a transformer could be mounted in a piece of plywood and still be safe and easily fitted into a window.

I've also seen CSA/UL listed fans designed for overhead mounting in showers. I imagine with a little work they could also be mounted in a window using a piece of plywood. Usually they need to be plugged into a GCFI curcuit.

I don't know what brand my fan is. In the spring they are available at practically all big box retailers however you might have to go online at this time of year.
posted by Mitheral at 11:40 AM on October 13, 2005

Another tip -- burning a candle will help dry out the air in the room while you shower. Place it close the the bathroom mirror and you'll have a nice unfogged patch for all your reflective needs. Plus it lights up the room nicely, I do this when I wake up at 6:00am so I don't wake up my wife with the ridiculously bright light.
posted by soundslikeobiwan at 12:13 PM on October 13, 2005

The force is indeed strong in soundslikeobiwan. I have a really chilly bathroom, and run a small space heater in there when I shower in the winter. In addition to keeping me warm, I love its bonus effect of eliminating all mirror fogging!
posted by Rock Steady at 5:46 PM on October 13, 2005

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