Bathroom ventilation can remove VOCs.

Photo: Jessica Sain-Baird

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Freshen Up with a Fan
I started to detail this journey last week, explaining that my priorities were to create more space and use fewer resources. Bathrooms are notorious water hogs. The varieties of ways to improve upon water efficiency were the subject of last week's post and will be addressed again next week in my interview (in honor of World Water Day) with The Green Blue Bookauthor Tom Kostigen.

Renovating the bathroom has also given me an opportunity to use products that incorporate the core tenets of environmentalism: reducing pollutants and waste, reusing inputs and recycling materials. Selecting eco-friendly paints and varnishes is one way to minimize indoor air pollution. Ensuring you have proper ventilation is another. Spot ventilation can reduce the indoor air pollutants ranging from formaldehyde offgassing from furniture to, well, the smells one finds in a bathroom. I'd never paid any attention to ventilation fans until this project. Now, I understand they are an important way to control moisture and prevent mold. An EPA Energy Star rating is a good starting point for seeking out the appropriate ventilation. My choice was a Panasonic WhisperGreen fan, seen in this photo. The company has a great online application to help you determine the most appropriate fan for your needs and sells units that are more than 300 percent more energy efficient than Energy Star requirements.