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Do Steam Showers Need To Be Vented?

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Steam showers create a lot of humidity in a bathroom. And we all know, that extra moisture can damage your property by making an environment for mold or mildew to grow. We don't want that. So, we researched this issue and have answers to share.

No, a steam shower does not require the installation of a vent. But having a vent helps control the level of humidity in your bathroom, preventing damage from water vapor in the air.

If you are considering installing a vent in your steam shower, keep reading. We will talk about the vents you can choose from and give tips. So, you'll know what you can do to reduce steam after using the shower. There's a lot to talk about, so let's start.

A spacious bathroom in gray tones with heated floors and walk-in shower, Do Steam Showers Need To Be Vented?

Venting Your Steam Shower

If you are in the process of upgrading your home, your bathroom must be one of the highlights. Adding a steam shower is probably one choice every homeowner considers. Why not?

White large luxury bathroom walk-in shower with steam modern system

You can have a spa-like experience in the comfort of your home. You can even enjoy advanced features to level up your experience.

There are models with music players, aromatherapy, televisions, foot massagers, a seating bench, etc. This is a great way to de-stress and feel refreshed after a long, exhausting day. Also, it may provide many benefits for the person who uses it. 

Pros Of A Steam Shower

There's a reason steam is an important part of some countries' culture, like Korea, Japan, Russia, Iceland, and Turkey. Public steam baths are scattered along the nation where people gather to bathe together and get health benefits for their bodies inside and out.

Here are some of the health benefits, to name a few:

  • It can clear nasal passages
  • Helps reduce muscle soreness
  • Can improve blood circulation
  • Can add moisture to the skin
  • Act as a detoxifier
  • Can improve metabolism
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Helps relieve stress

With this list in mind, it's very easy to decide on this feature in the bathroom. However, you must also consider the consequences of having a steam shower. But before that, some people should take precautions before relaxing in this warm sanctuary.

Who Should Take Extra Care When Using A Steam Shower?

  • Pregnant women - the high temperature can cause negative birth effects on pregnant women. According to studies, heat exposure can be a factor for defects and stillbirth.
  • Men who can't easily conceive a child - prolonged exposure to heat can temporarily decrease their fertility since sperm require a cool temperature to survive. 
  • People with cardiovascular disease - heat can make the heart pump at a faster pace and eventually cause shortness of breath. 
  • Person who drinks - people who are under the euphoria of alcohol might easily fall asleep or become unconscious. They may experience symptoms of overheating, such as a headache, dizziness, and fainting. 

Cons Of A Steam Shower

A steam shower doesn't have a lot of disadvantages, and the benefits it provides outweigh the cons. If you have one in your bathroom, you might already be aware.

However, for those who are still thinking of getting one, we will talk about the cons of having a steam shower.

First, they're expensive—the steam shower itself, and the installation. You will need a plumber and an electrician.

There are a lot of key points that must be executed properly to prevent further damage. The cost of repairs will only add up to the expense.

Second, you need to have a plan. You can't just put it anywhere in the bathroom. You need to put in a spot that has enough space for the shower (and the bench inside), and the generator to produce and deliver steam.

There should also be a protected electrical outlet for it to avoid frozen pipes during winter. 

Third, it can spike up the amount of your electric bill. Although steam showers only use 1 to 2 gallons per 20 minutes of use, frequent use of this device makes the generator use more power.

Also, it can increase the level of humidity in your bathroom. This can create an opportunity for mildew and mold to grow. We do not want that, since they can be a nuisance.

What Mildew And Mold Does To Your Bathroom

Mildew, which later on becomes mold, can damage the following:

  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Porous materials in your bathroom.

Not only that, they can trigger allergies and asthma for some. Therefore, installing a vent for the steam shower helps prevent mildew and mold from growing in your bathroom. Next, we will talk about the different vents you can choose.

Vents For A Steam Shower - What Types To Choose?

The first thing to consider having is the standard exhaust fan. You can install it near the enclosure of your steam shower to suck up moisture.

Shower room ventilator

Check out this Broan-NuTone's ventilation fan on Amazon.

Next, are the louvers. A louver has plenty of angled blades for steam to pass through, leading to the exhaust fan. An alternative to this is a transom. This is a small, rectangular window that you can install above the door. 

Check out this Vent Systems' door louvers on Amazon.

For another solution, you can put dehumidifiers inside the bathroom. This can help keep the space dry and fight mold from growing.

Check out this compact dehumidifier on Amazon.

Last, there is cold water. This is a trick that some homeowners use. You turn on the cold shower for 15 to 30 seconds once you are done with the steam. It is important to note that you should do this before opening the enclosed door. This can help the moisture condensate and dissipate inside the space. That way, the steam will be gone once you open the steam shower door. 

Planning to add ventilation inside your bedroom also? Learn about that here: Do You Need Air Vents In Bedrooms?

How Long Should You Stay In Shower Steam?

Woman taking a shower in the bathroom with hot steam filling the room

You should only be in shower steam for no more than 15 to 20 minutes. If you stay longer than the recommended duration, you will most likely experience the following risks:

  • Feeling dizzy or nauseous because of the increase in your body temperature
  • Dehydration 
  • You may acquire the bacteria, or germs of the person who used the steam shower before you. A steam shower is not hot enough to kill microscopic particles. And a steam shower is the perfect place for bacteria since their perfect environment is warm and moist

How Much To Install A Vent For Bathroom?

Man is making the wall bathroom fan vent

Installing an exhaust fan for your bathroom ranges from $150 - $950. This cost varies depending on the complexity of the installation. Here is a more specific price breakdown. 

  • Replacing an old fan - $150 to $550
  • New fan - $250 to $950

The labor is already included in the prices above. If you want to know more about the pricing for the new vent in your bathroom, here is another list. 

  • Exhaust fan through the roof - $350 to $950
  • Exhaust fan through the wall - $259 to $800

Remember when we said you will need several skilled professionals for this installation? We also listed their average labor cost to give you a rough estimation of what you'll need to budget.

  • Handyman - $50 to $80 per hour
  • Electrician - $40 to $100 per hour
  • HVAC service - $70 to $150 per hour

How To Maintain A Steam Shower?

Female cleaning polishing shower glass with a washcloth with microfiber

A steam shower is a very good investment for your home. We all want to access its benefits for a long time, so you should know how to make that happen. Here are some tips to maintain your steam shower.

  • Check if the seals and joints are still tightly intact. 
  • Wipe the water off the glass door and wall of the steam shower to prevent mineral marks. 
  • Clean the steam shower regularly.
  • Always open the exhaust fan or windows to allow the air to circulate.
  • Check if the heating coil needs to be replaced. 
  • See if the water line has any existing leaks. 
  • Always leave the steam shower door open after using it.

Don't have any idea how big your steam shower should be? Learn here: How Big Should A Steam Shower Be?

Conclusion

Steam showers do not require a vent, but installing one can help you prevent the damage that comes with the moisture it produces. To accomplish this, you can have an exhaust fan, louvers, a transom, dehumidifier, or use the cold water method.

Even though a steam shower has lots of benefits, you still need to be cautious since there are cons that may harm you.