Cooling a bathroom in the summer

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by swingerofbirch, May 28, 2012.

  1. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    #1
    I've been perplexed with a bathroom issue for years, and I thought I would write to ask if there's something I'm missing here.

    I live with my parents in a loft above the garage. There's a bathroom connected to the foyer beneath my room that I use. In my room there's a separate heating/cooling system that works quite well, and is a fairly new system. The room that is the bathroom was never intended to be a bathroom and has no ventilation system. It does have heating/cooling outlet, but that is connected to the other side of the house. That heating/cooling system is much older and my parents keep the AC at 77-78 F on their side of the house in the summer, so the bathroom gets very warm. The other issue is the bathroom always "feels" wet. After showering for a few minutes, the walls look like they're crying with tears and everything feels sort of gross in there.

    I have asked my dad, who is the handyman of the family, about the different options for cooling and drying the air of the bathroom. My family will not allow me to buy a window air conditioner because they consider it unsightly. Also, the windows are two casement window, so I'm not even quite sure how a window air conditioner would work. Making any other sort of holes in the wall would be difficult, my dad says, because we have a brick exterior. He also says that putting in a ventilation fan would not help much and would be very difficult since there was no space created for one in the ceiling. I can't really open the windows because I live in the South where it's often 90 F and muggy outside (along with many insects).

    With it becoming hot again, the issue is once again cropping up. My main concerns are my comfort (I take a medicine that makes it very difficult to control my body temperature and so I am always hot, which means just using the bathroom in the heat can make me a sweaty mess, requiring a shower, which means even more steam) and also the health of the bathroom in terms of mildew, etc. (not that I've seen any yet).

    Is there some obvious fix I am missing? (Please don't say move out, however tempting it would be. I have my reasons for living with my parents.)
     
  2. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #2
    I think you've nailed it, no ventilation.

    You could try a heavy duty dehumidifier but I don't think it'll do much. You need to figure out how to properly ventilate the space.
     
  3. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    #4
    Thanks for the advice. I think the ductless system is a bit too much money. In terms of a ventilator system, I think it would be a lot of work for not a lot of effect. It would move the air a bit, I'm sure, but it wouldn't cool the room. I'm starting to think about a window air conditioner and somehow hiding it from the outside, like with planters and an arbor or something.
     
  4. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #5
    Sounds to me like you have to shut-down the flow of air from the main house, then perhaps go with something like this, If you have the room in there.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. jeremy h, May 29, 2012
    Last edited: May 29, 2012

    jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I've got one of those portable aircon units for my little office.

    Very handy on really hot days - do work well. Couple of issues with them you might want to consider before you rush out and get one. The hose length is limited - needs to be sat under a window. Also - the hose just sort of hangs out of the open window. You really need the window open a bit to lock the hose exhaust in place. Mine did get a little sort of baffle that's meant to fit and block the window opening but it just fell out all the time.

    Oh - one other thing - this is a bathroom? I don't know your situation, but here, we're not allowed wall sockets etc in bathrooms because of electrical safety. Don't know if that applies..?
     
  6. iJohnHenry, May 29, 2012
    Last edited: May 29, 2012

    iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #7
    That's easily solved, with a small piece of painted plywood, with a dryer vent in it for the hose to fit in.

    Make it look pretty. :)
     
  7. malman89 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #8
    Cool/cold showers are highly underrated. No steam, all relief.
     
  8. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #9
    That is absolutely ridiculous. You'd have to be dumping water in the socket to do anything. Otherwise there would be mass fires and electrocutions from exterior Christmas lights and other devices plugged by extension outdoors cord every year.

    How do people manage to use the hair dryer, curling iron, electric razor, &c in the UK? An extension cord from another room?
     
  9. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    As a UK sparks would say ... "oooh, no can't put that there... elf and safety init, mate..."

    I've never had a bathroom with a wall socket (You can have a shaver point in a light fitting). Light switches are generally outside the bathroom or pull switches (string) if inside etc... If you're really interested look here.

    In a nation with often only one bathroom I suspect it's really done to ensure teenage girls don't spend the entire evening in there. (Can you imagine how long they'd be if they could plug in their hair tongs, music players and recharge mobiles etc )
     
  10. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #11
    It's not the water in the socket that they are worried about, it's the electric appliance that is plugged into the socket getting dropped into the water that was seen as a problem. Also - if I understand things properly, UK electrics are very different than North American ones. We (in NA) use - I don't know the technical term - a back and forth system. One big box with circuit breakers/fuses and all the different outlets and lights run from the box to the light/socket and back. In the UK, if I understand it properly, there is a main high energy circuit that runs a circle around the house. Each socket/light is branched off this main circuit (or directly attached) and each light/socket has its integrated fuse. If you blow a fuse, it's easy to find because it'll be right there in the room with you.

    I don't know that the ban on any electric stuff in a UK bathroom makes sense, but it may be a way to keep the high energy main circuit out of a room with lots of water to drop appliances into.
     
  11. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    Stick a dehumidifier outside the bathroom and leave the door open when you're not using it...it'll dry the air out, and the drier air will feel cooler. You don't have to vent a dehumidifier, just empty the water tray every so often.
     
  12. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    Yes, my previous reply was a bit flippant but spot on - this is the fear. We have ring mains with 240v. People have committed suicide by getting in the bath with a toaster or something. So, we're sort of conditioned here not to put or have electrical devices in the bathroom.
     
  13. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #14
    A fart fan in the ceiling would be a relatively simple solution, but still not all that simple. I would suggest showering with the door open, maybe putting a box fan in the doorway blowing outward. Unfortunately, without installing something relatively permanent, there's not much you could do.
     
  14. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #15
    Yes, others not in the know probably have only 120v.

    This can still kill, it just takes a little more effort. ;)

    A ground fault interrupter plug will solve that problem.
     
  15. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #16
    Here's something that may help get the parental unit more involved in finding a solution.....

    If the bathroom gets as well as you are saying, then it's likely that the wood framing in the walls are also getting moist... which then leads to mold and wood rot. The mold is bad for your health. Can be seriously bad, and can exhibit in symptoms that are hard to diagnose. Look up "black mold" in a house in conjunction with "health".

    The wood rot is bad for the house. If it's not caught and resolved early it can lead to a serious renovation/repair project - i.e. $Big $Bucks. The only way to resolve this is to properly control the humidity in the bathroom. The money spent to do this now will save your family much higher bills in the future. If it's not too late already.

    If there is any kind of an access panel so you can reach an arm into the wall surrounding the bathroom, then slide your hand in with a small pen-knife. Lightly push the blade into the wood frame (don't let the blade snap back on your fingers! Adding blood here won't fix anything ... :) ).

    Spongey = not good! Solid = good for the house, but you'll have to work harder to convince the parents to do properly control the humidity.

    But play the "bad for the house" card... it can't hurt, eh?
     
  16. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #17
    +1 (on both points)
    An exhaust fan would make a huge difference. It doesn't have to fit into the ceiling if there's no space. I know you can't go out the wall because it's a brick facade and your Dad doesn't want to do that. It can be done, but why fight that battle? You can surface mount it on the ceiling and build some trim to go around it so it looks decent. The main thing is running a duct out through the roof.

    I work in a program that does this kind of thing all the time. In my own house, we were getting condensation on our windows when it was cold outside. We have four exhaust fans in the house, but they were not designed to run all the time. We replaced one with a model that is designed to do that, and it runs very quietly. We did not have any condensation on the windows after that. Like a Mac, it just works. Move the air, exhaust the moisture, problem solved.
     
  17. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #18
    Did you also install a heat exchanger? Basically there is a 2nd duct that brings fresh air in, and the heat exchanger allows the warm air going out transfer its heat to the cool air coming in. The exchanger itself is just a metal box (no motors or moving parts) though of course it involves the addition of 2nd air duct.

    Otherwise, you are pumping your heated air inside the house into the great outdoors. It's the same as leaving a window wide open, and can cost you some serious bucks. The cost of installing the exchanger can be recovered in a very short time if you live in a cold winter climate.
     
  18. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #19
    We had that problem 20+ years ago in a shower located in a basement. We installed a kind of air filter above the window. It really didn't show at all from the outside. It was a slider that you used to either open it fully or gradually close it to being air tight. It worked wonders. No fan, no nothing.

    Another solution to add to this could be to buy one of those small bucket-looking things that collects moist from the air. Sorry for not knowing what things are called, but people with the know how (stores or whatnot) should know exactly what it is :)
     
  19. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #20
    Voltage isn't overly important amps are ;)
     
  20. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #21
    I would leave the door open to the bathroom at all times or just shut it when you use it. This would let it vent out into the living space which would breath better any how
     
  21. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #22
    I agree -- and I've installed several bathroom fans. If you have to frame it down, so what? A good job will make it look just fine. And above it, all you'll need is enough space for a 3" flex duct.

    I recommend the Panasonic line. Amazingly quiet. A few weeks ago I installed one of these

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EDUIZ0/ref=wms_ohs_product

    in an unventilated closet that was mildew-prone. I wired it to one of these

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004AP92N2/ref=wms_ohs_product

    and set it to exhaust the closet for an hour each day.

    It works well. But again, the key would be to find a carpenter who can frame it in nicely.
     
  22. sviato macrumors 68020

    sviato

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    HR 9038 A
    #23
    You can:

    - leave the door open and put a fan on while you shower
    - stop taking sauna level showers (colder showers are better for you anyways, be the James Bond you want to be)

    Also mildew will eventually form and your paint may get messed up if it's old, happened to one of our bathrooms before we did reno.
     
  23. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #24
    The problem is ventilation. It can be an expensive problem to sort out. So short of ducting the bathroom I'd recommend cooler showers and an open door with a fan, either blowing air at you or turned out the door to suck the hot humid air out while you're showering.

    You really don't want to leave walls looking like they're dripping wet. Mold can be a serious problem and once it's settled it's really difficult to get rid of. Towel the walls off with a designated wall-drying towel if you have to.


    American ex-pat living in London - this can an annoying problem. We have special "shaver" sockets in bathrooms which have transformers that isolate it from the mains power. Rechargeable electric toothbrushes and shavers can be plugged into those sockets but not higher power appliances because they all come with plugs that won't fit. You have to do your hair in another room or use an extension cord.
     
  24. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    The World Inbetween
    #25
    A ~100v line needs to carry more amperage than a ~240v. Assuming resistances are the same in the circuit.

    All meaningless really, a car battery can kill.
     

Share This Page