Bathroom fans

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puzzle
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Bathroom fans

Postby puzzle » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:47 pm

We're refurbishing a couple bathrooms in a 1961 home, neither of which have fans. At first I thought I could do without, but now I'm thinking I would like the option of some extra ventilation (one has no opening windows, and it's not always 110+ in the desert - or so I've been told ;)).

There are already round a/c vents in the ceiling, so I'm looking for something round. The problem - everything I've seen looks so plastic. Even the Nutone heater/light/fan fixtures I bought about five years ago are nicer than anything I've seen today (they're metal, for one thing - unfortunately they've been discontinued, but I don't want the heater, anyway).

Anyone have a good resource? Maybe I should forgo the fans? Consider one that isn't round? I'd appreciate any ideas... thanks! :cheers:

(I did a search and came up with lots of great bathroom ideas, but no fans)

egads
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Postby egads » Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:28 pm

Well, some additional info about your house would help (like if you have any attic space) Here is my favorite:

http://www.nutone.com/product-detail.as ... ctID=10335

Although I usually don't use the register that comes with it. But then again I'm usually installing these for high end clients who are not going for a retro look.

And remember: THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! a bath fan must exhaust to the outdoors. So that means you either have to make a new roof penetration or be able to use a dryer vent type cap on a side wall. Many hack handymen will just vent into the attic. This is unacceptable and will cause mold, dry rot,
and make a cozy environment for termites.

puzzle
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Postby puzzle » Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:04 pm

Thanks! What kind of register would you use (and excuse my ignorance, but is register the same as grille)?

The house is a modest ranch style circa 1961 (hoping to upload pics eventually, but new laptop is not cooperating with old camera). It's a second home, so we're not going for an ultra modern remodel or anything like that - just trying to refurbish and update period appropriate.

We have a great local contractor so the fan will definitely exhaust through the roof, and additional insulation will be applied in the process.

The house has a low pitch rock roof, so the attic is small. If we do bath fans, there will be a couple of those... spinning things (sorry, obviously not a professional here ;)) extruding. I don't like to mess with the clean roof (no a/c unit up there was a selling point), but contractor said they would be small, so...

The fans and fan/lights I've seen so far:

http://www.nutone.com/product-detail.as ... ctID=10177

http://www.nutone.com/product-detail.as ... ctID=11338

http://www.fantech.net/bathroom.htm

http://www.hunterfan.com/product_detail.aspx?id=7902

The first two are white plastic - not the look I want (I have something similar to #2 in other home, but it has a metal grille), but I like the style. The fan tech one is metal and small, but it is a two piece - contractor says usually more expensive to purchase and install. The third one looks ok, but he says is not very good (only 80 CFM).

egads
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Postby egads » Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:57 pm

The fantech is very similar to the one I linked. Those round grills/registers (same thing really) are very retro looking. The style I linked is a remote version. The fan itself mounts in the attic and duct runs to the grill. This makes them very quiet. It also allows you to have a grill in the shower if you want. You cannot do that with any regular vent unit. A plastic grill has it's advantages in a wet bath environment. I bet your existing grill is aluminum. Steel tends to rust. That said, when I install these, I often use a square metal return air grill in a "framed" style (not stamped) These are usually painted to match the ceiling. Like I said, these are usually high end master baths where the details matter. Often the details are best when they do not call attention to themselves. Thus a regular heating vent that is small and inconspicuous. None of this applies to your second home in the desert. Although not round, this is my favorite for remodel situations:

http://www2.panasonic.com/consumer-elec ... 0000005702

These are extremely easy to fit into a hole from below. And really quiet. Even though they may cost a little more, they should cost less to install. Remember, insist on separate switches for the fan and light. Including having switches side by side instead of stacked switches. This way you can add a countdown timer to the fan. That way it can run a while after you have left after showering. It's also easy to leave a quiet fan on.

The spinning things are called wind turbines:

http://www.airvent.com/homeowner/produc ... Turb.shtml

They are better than powered attic vents because powered ones tend to draw conditioned air into the attic from the house. (air conditioning you paid for)

puzzle
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Postby puzzle » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:02 pm

You're right, the Nutone fans in my other house are (heavy) aluminum, and in five years they have rusted a bit on the inside. That's probably why they discontinued them (and why I've never seen any of those cool 60's ones on Ebay).

Our contractor also mentioned the timer (he's very very very energy conscious - solar panels and swamp cooler are on the to do list, though I'd love to spend that money ripping out the not-original saltillo tile first :oops: ). We are guilty of leaving the noisy Nutone fans on way too long (had to replace one already), so it would be a must with a quieter fan.

I should get one of the Panasonic fans. More powerful, low profile, won't rust, not difficult to install, energy star - would make sense to go that route. I tend to get hung up on the retro and lose sight of function. ;)

Thanks for all the help! Much appreciated. :cheers:

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SleazyG
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Postby SleazyG » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:59 am

This link has an article with several suggestions on period appropriate bath fans:


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Postby turboblown » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:31 am


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Postby Dan O. » Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:43 pm

If you find a fan that meets all your criteria other than finish you should not let that stop you, a plastic grille can always be vacuum metalized:

http://www.muellercorp.com/chromeplatingplastic.htm

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JGropp
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A lot of good answers here-

Postby JGropp » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:22 am

A lot of good answers here. That's what
makes LottaLiving worth watching. Jerry

Jerry Gropp Architect AIA PS

7620 SE 72nd St., Mercer Isl. WA
98040 (206)612-7367
eMail
JGropp2@AOL.com
WebSite:
http://jgropp2.googlepages.com/alterationsanadditions

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Krafty Gal
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Postby Krafty Gal » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:15 pm

Here are pictures of one from my 63 ranch. I wonder if there is something like this out there?

Image
Image

egads
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Postby egads » Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:15 pm

A 63 ranch would have had dedicated circuits for those heater,fan/vent units. It's hard to retrofit them. You cannot just put them on the lighting circuit like vent fan.

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classic form
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Postby classic form » Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:08 am

Here is what we have in our '56 home, although the grills have changed here from aluminum to white painted steel. They have a few other styles as well.

http://www.umiphx.com/VQT90.php

remove the /VQT90.php from the link and you can see the rest of the styles offered including a pretty nice looking round one.

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:16 am

nice, classic modern! I need fans for both of my bathrooms and those look great!


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