Hot steam causes the body to sweat without drying out the sinuses and lungs like a dry sauna does. A steam shower may be the next remodeling project your bathroom needs if you enjoy the effects it produces. Proper ventilation helps keep the rest of the bathroom from being damaged.
One of the most important parts of the steam shower actually blocks air movement, but helps protect the rest of your bathroom. Steam showers are designed to be completely enclosed units, with walls and doors running from floor to ceiling, according to Steam Sauna Bath. This keeps the moisture produced by the hot steam inside the shower, where it can condense again and drain instead of soaking into drywall or puddling on the bathroom floor.
Adding an exhaust fan inside of the sealed shower enclosure helps remove the steam quickly if you want to wait for it to condense, but it needs to be used correctly. Using any device that draws air out of the steam shower will create a vacuum if used while the enclosure is still sealed, warns Nutone Ventilation. Only install an exhaust fan in your steam shower if you plan to operate it with the door cracked to let in fresh air.
Installing a fan in the bathroom outside of the steam shower is a safer and easier ventilation alternative. You can install a fan that vents to the exterior of the home near the entrance of the steam shower to handle any steam that escapes when you exit the enclosure, according to the Home Ventilating Institute. This prevents the accidental creation of a vacuum and helps with other ventilation needs in the bathroom.
For quick release of hot steam if the heat and moisture get to be overwhelming while you're in the steam shower, consider installing glass walls with transom vents in the top. These vents push open to release steam quickly, states Dulles Glass and Mirror, but you'll need a fan in the bathroom to deal with the moisture that will pour out of the vents. Without an exhaust fan pushing the steam to the exterior, it will soak into the floors, walls and other furnishings in the bathroom.
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