A steamy shower can be nice, but tons of steam and moisture can be uncomfortable. And showering in the dark is simply dangerous. If you’ve considered installing an exhaust fan/light combo right above your shower, this is your complete guide! But can it even be done?
Yes, a bathroom exhaust fan with light directly above shower can be done! Not only is this possible, but there are products made for this exact purpose and advantages to installing one!
Keep reading to learn how you can benefit from an exhaust fan/light combo in your bathroom, how to choose the right one, and some tips for installing.
Is an Exhaust Fan and Light Over a Shower Safe?
Yes! Installing an exhaust fan and light combo over your shower is safe as long as you find a shower-rated fan and light. Shower-rated fans and lights are mostly waterproof, preventing any electrical issues. But you should never install a random light and/or fan in your shower.
Factors to Consider
Before you run out and get a new fancy exhaust fan for your bathroom, you should consider some factors and how they’ll work in your bathroom. All bathrooms are different, so make sure you set up your exhaust fan for ideal ventilation and installation.
You’ll see many exhaust fans and bathroom lights in the center of the bathroom ceiling, rather than directly over the shower. Survey your bathroom and your shower ceiling. Consider how the exhaust fan could fit and function in your space.
The bigger your bathroom, the more ventilation it will need to reduce moisture. You need to have enough space and be willing to buy a large enough fan to meet your bathroom’s ventilation, or the exhaust fan will not be effective.
While exhaust fans can be helpful, some people find the white noise and constant hum extremely irritating. Some exhaust fans are quieter than others, but any exhaust fan will produce some level of noise. Consider if you’re okay with this noise before you waste money on a new exhaust fan.
Homes can have different kinds of ducts. Before you buy a fan/light and begin the installation process, try to figure out what type of ducts you have and where they are concerning your bathroom.
Advantages of Exhaust Fan/Light Combos
The only disadvantage of having an exhaust fan and light combo in your bathroom is the noise it creates. After the installation process, there aren’t other downsides to consider.
If you think the noise will bother you slightly, read about the advantages of an exhaust fan/light combo directly above your shower. Most people agree the pros outweigh the cons for this product.
Exhaust fans and bathrooms pull in moisture to keep the mirrors from getting foggy and prevent excessive condensation in the bathroom. This condensation and fog come from shower steam. Installing an exhaust fan directly above your shower will more effectively reduce moisture in your bathroom.
If the light is not directly above your shower, sometimes the shower curtain can block the light, making your shower a darker area.
If you struggle to see in your shower at night, installing a light in the shower can make a huge difference. This is especially true for the elderly, who may struggle with visibility in their shower or bathtub.
Excessive moisture in your bathroom can lead to funky smells, mildew, and mold. Regular cleanings of the bathroom are necessary for avoiding this, but an excellent exhaust fan can also combat these icky substances.
As you shower, the fan will suck up the moisture before it can settle in your bathroom, preventing bacteria growth.
Installation Steps and Tips
If you plan to install an exhaust fan/light combo directly in your shower by yourself, you’ll need to follow the steps below. This section gives a brief overview of the steps.
- Determine fan sSize
- Survey ventilation and electrical system. Ensure you have the necessary ducts, wiring, and an exhaust route leading outside.
- Remove the existing fan if there is one.
- Determine which option below you will need to choose.
- Follow the specific instructions for your duct situation and read the instructions that came with your new fan.
- With Attic Access: For this option, you must install the fan from the attic.
- Without Attic Access: If you do not have attic access, you must install the fan/light combo from the bathroom.
Check out a few tips for installing an exhaust fan/light combo directly over your shower.
Installation: Follow installation instructions religiously. Improper installation can result in loud and annoying fans that would otherwise be much quieter.
Exhaust Route: The air from your exhaust fan has to exit your home to the outside. If you do not have a duct that leads outside, you either need to install one or go without an exhaust fan directly over your shower.
Watch a Video: Sizing and fitting an exhaust fan/light combo requires a certain amount of handiness. If you’re a little confused, watching a youtube tutorial can make the process much easier.
When buying a fan/light for your shower, you need to ensure you choose a product with the correct features and in the correct size. Use this buying guide while shopping.
Bathroom Fan Features
If you want an exhaust fan in your bathroom that can do everything, you need to know what features are available. Below are the top features you can find in an exhaust fan and why you might want them.
Some exhaust fans have lights! That’s kind of the point of this article, so you already knew that. But when shopping, don’t forget to pay attention to the lighting feature to ensure it’s what you want.
Some exhaust fans and light combos will have a warmer glow for a relaxing environment. You can also buy ones with bright LED lights for optimal visibility.
Have you ever been in a bathroom with a red light? This feature has fallen out of fashion, but many people still enjoy having a heat lamp in their bathroom. High-end exhaust fans and lights will have the option to use normal light or warm red light.
No one likes to be chilly and shivering when they hop out of the shower, so a heat lamp can make your showers more enjoyable and luxurious.
If you don’t want to hear the fan noise constantly or want to try and be more eco-friendly, you can choose an exhaust fan/light combo with a timer. Timers typically allow you to run the fan for anywhere between five minutes and an hour.
This feature can help control humidity in your bathroom without having to remember to turn off the fan. It will also help keep your energy bills lower, and the environment will thank you.
Humidity sensors in exhaust fans serve a similar purpose to timers. They can help keep your bathroom cleaner by automating the exhaust fan function, allowing it to work when the bathroom’s humidity levels rise above a certain level.
Having a humidity sensor means you have to think about the fan less, as it will function mostly automatically. A humidity sensor will also save you money on energy bills, turning off when the bathroom humidity levels are appropriate.
When installing an exhaust fan and light combination directly over your shower, you need to ensure it is a shower-rated fan. Luckily, many if not most exhaust fans are shower-rated, but it’s still vital you double check.
Sizing a Bathroom Fan/Light Combo
Buying the correct size fan and light combo is essential for successful installation and use. If it’s too small, it won’t ventilate the bathroom properly. If it’s too big, it can damage your ducts. Follow the steps below to determine what size fan/light combo you need.
- Multiply the length, width, and height of your bathroom to determine the volume of the room.
- Find the number of air changes per hour by multiplying the volume by eight.
- Divide this number by 60, and this is the air movement CFM (cubic feet per minute) you need for your bathroom (see our post on CFM for more information).
- Look for the proper CFM rating when browsing different exhaust fan and light combinations.
Bathroom Exhaust Fan With Light Recommendations
If you’re ready to install an exhaust fan and light combo, it’s time to start shopping for the best one. To help you get started, below are five popular products with excellent customer ratings. Check out these five options, as one may be perfect for you and your bathroom.
If you dream of a bathroom exhaust fan with light directly above shower, you’ll be glad to know it’s 100% possible and common!
Keep your bathroom cleaner, your mirrors less foggy, and your bathroom more comfortable by installing a quality exhaust fan and light combination above your shower!
While you may install the fan yourself, if you have little or no electrical experience, it’s easier to call in a professional.