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It’s important to make your home energy-efficient by sealing all gaps and insulating thoroughly. But don’t overlook ventilation.
Vent fans in the kitchen and bathrooms are required by code in most states, and they’re a good idea everywhere. They help protect indoor air quality and get rid of excess moisture from cooking and bathing that can lead to mold problems and structural damage.
In the kitchen, range hoods now come in all shapes and sizes to go with your cooking surface and decor. They can be ducted through a ceiling or exterior wall. This often requires tearing out plaster or drywall and it’s best done during a remodel. If you don’t want a large hood, consider a cook top with a downdraft vent ducted through the floor. Ventilation fans should always be ducted to the outside, never into an attic or crawlspace.
Bathroom ventilation fans have come a long way, too. Energy Star-certified models with built-in ceiling lights can do double-duty and save you money, especially since these are so often accidentally left on. And they’re much quieter, too.
Some installers recommend the roof-mount type of fan. The fan and motor are installed on the roof and ducted to the interior space. In some homes, this can make installation and service easier since the unit is out in the open instead of built into the ceiling.