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All fans should be ducted to the outside

QuestionWe just had a complete tear-off of our wood slat and cedar shingle roof, and new sheeting and asphalt shingles installed. After the work was completed, I went to the attic to make sure that the roofers had picked up all the debris. While up there, I noticed no ductwork coming from the kitchen and bathroom fans. Should they be vented to the attic or outside? Thanks for your help.

AnswerI firmly believe that all fans should be ducted to the outside for several reasons.

First, and most important, venting fans outside may be a code issue in your community, e.g., a direct positive connection to the outside may be required. Because it is necessary to secure a permit for the roofing project, the inspector should also check the vents, both attic and fan. Check with your building department for its code requirements.

Second, kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans vented to the attic can cause damage to framing members and insulation due to condensation and grease deposits. Finally, exhaust fans vented directly to the outside, especially up through the roof, perform better.

It would have been easier to vent the fans at the time of sheeting installation. However, it can still be done. Check to see if the roofers will come back and install the roof vents for you. You will need to run the ductwork from the fans to the roof vents. Good luck!

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Question answered by Leon A. Frechette.

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