What is an exhaust fan?

by | Sep 3, 2014 | Construction and Maintenance, Uncategorized

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There are both residential and commercial exhaust fans; although they are different in design and duty they both perform the same function, which is to control the internal environment by venting unwanted odors, moisture, smoke or other air borne contaminates. Exhaust fans are often integrated into the HVAC system. In a home common locations for exhaust fans are in the kitchen and bathroom, in commercial and industrial situations they are normally used to eliminate heat and chemical odors.


A classic use for an exhaust fan is in the kitchen or bathroom of a home. These rooms are notorious for filling with odors and moisture that must be eliminated if such things as mold and mildew want to be avoided. In a commercial setting such as a restaurant kitchen the situation is the same, just more so and a commercial kitchen also generates considerably more heat than in the home. These cooking odors and heat are vented outside the kitchen, especially good for the elimination of cooking smoke.


Commercial exhaust fans are also used for temperature control. Although many commercial establishments are air conditioned, not all are, especially if the space is used for light manufacturing or warehousing. The fans are used to direct the warm air outdoors; the fans can be installed in the walls, ceiling or inline in ducts. When fans are used for this purpose the objective is to create a low pressure area in the building allowing for replacement by outside air which is usually cooler. Commercial or Industrial exhaust fans  can be used in lieu of air conditioning or as a supplement to it.


The same type of exhaust fans are often found in garages and workshops. These types of enterprises often are filled with fumes, some of which can be potentially dangerous to those who work in these areas. In these cases the exhaust fan is being used for safety and worker comfort. Exhausting the air from an environment which is laced with solvent fumes is a must, the same holds true for any paint fumes or similar vapors.


Commercial exhaust fans are often found in labs where scientific experimentation is ongoing. These environments may have hazardous substances in the air that must be extracted. The truth is that any enclosed space, whether it is residential, commercial or industrial is a target for the installation of exhaust fans to keep the areas free from contaminates, heat and moisture.