Exhaust Venting Maintenance in Your Home

The exhaust venting systems of your home are one of the most important Fall maintenance tasks to put on your must-do list.

Home maintenance tasks are very important and are best divided up seasonally into manageable parcels. Fall maintenance is the most important because of the harshness of winter.
Maintenance should involve those mechanics of your home that transfers from indoors to outdoors, like air flow and gas lines.
Although not electrical in nature, as the Doctors, we know that preventative health is the most effective way to care for your home.

Bathroom Venting

Bathroom vents are super important for health – both yours and your home. They remove humidity which left unchecked causes mould, respiratory illnesses and structural damage.
The important issues in bathroom venting MAINTENANCE AND INSULATION:

MAINTENANCE: Clean the intake grates to make sure the air flow is not obstructed with sticky, fluffy lint.

dirty exhaust fan

Decreased air flow not only impairs the removal of humidity, but shortens the lifespan of the fan by overheating and burning out the motor.

INSULATION: If the vent pipes go through cold space before exiting to the outside, they should be insulated to prevent condensation from occurring on the outside of the pipe as warm exhaust air passes though the cold space. Condensation in the attic can lead to mould growth throughout.
Outside, the vent pipe should have a flapper to prevent cold air from back flowing into the bathroom.

Range Hood Venting

Proper venting of range hoods to the outside should include pre-filters in the hood unit to prevent vapour borne particles from sticking to the actual venting pipe. A large proportion of the airborne particles are oils from cooking. These are flammable, so it is important to stop them before they deposit on the walls of the vent pipes.

These filters are available as washable and reusable (top quality units are dishwasher friendly); and disposable.

Both styles need washing/changing quarterly. The outside should have a flapper and a rodent screen. (Remember Chatterer the Red Squirrel).

Dryer Venting

plastic dryer vent

The Ontario Building Code now mandates that plastic venting that looks like a slinky is no longer acceptable to vent your dryer. This plastic piping has been responsible for many home fires as lint easily gets caught on the rings, dries and builds up, then combusts with the heat from the dryer.

If you have to change your venting the optimum choice is smooth-sided, metal “hard” pipe (aluminum or galvanized is acceptable).

proper dryer venting

Metal flex pipe is still an acceptable alternative, but runs the risk of being pinched when the dryer slides in to place.

Cleaning: Even though your dryer has a lint trap, you will still find lint build-up on the outside discharge vent. Make sure this is cleaned out, that the flaps(if you have them) are functional and that rodent screens are intact.

This also saves on drying time and money.

Gas Piping

Make sure that the flex line feeding your BBQ is not in the fall line for roof ice. As well, check your gas meter. Sometimes on homes with narrow soffits, ice can fall from the roof and smash into the meter. Mid winter is a terrible time to need a repair of this nature. We have built and installed both metal and wood shields to protect both gas meters and air conditioning units that sit beneath the fall line of a roof.

Have the chimneys and exhaust flues for all gas units inspected and cleaned by a qualified technician. CO is the silent killer.

If you would like help updating the venting systems of your homes The Shock Doctors are happy to assist.