Any Recent Upadate Info for NuTone vs. Panasonic Bathroom Vent Fans with a light?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by DanMcD, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. DanMcD

    DanMcD New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    Most of the posts I found are old, so I was wondering if there is anyone out there with more recent experience with the Nutone/Broan and the Panasonic Bathroom fans that have a light?

    Also, which ones have folks found to be the more reliable and perform the best over the years?

    I sort of like the smaller grill size on the Panasonic versus the enormous 13 x 14 inch grills on the Broan/Nutone.
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    I have never like Nutone fans at all. I have installed nothing but Panasonic Fans over the past ten years. I have had a couple complaints about the Panasonic Fan's not working in this time. Both times it was because the client was hard of hearing and could not hear the fan running!

    A simple piece of toilet paper stuck to the grill proved the fan works both times.

    In a guest powder room near the dining room you might consider a cheaper fan so your guests will have the luxury of that noise if needed!!! I bent the vent grill a little in my guest powder room so it does make more noise - I have always discussed this since we where asked to remove a Panasonic and install a cheaper fan that was louder.

    A properly installed Panasonic Fan is very hard to hear when running. We improve the installation with some scrap waterproofing products or sill gasket.

    JW
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    SOlatube light-vent.jpg Solatube basic pic.jpg If you have the roof above the bath, my favorite choice is to use a Solatube with the fan/light option. www.solatube.com. I've had one in for over 10-years, and the remote fan is almost inaudible. For most things, during the day, no lights are typically required. I still sometimes reach for the light switch when leaving the room. On a bright day, it's the equivalent of a 300-watt light bulb, and even glows in moonlight. It's really weird when the roof is covered with snow and you get a city light reflection. I installed just the tube at my sister's house, and it transformed the upstairs hallway from a dark tunnel to an inviting area that rarely needs a light turned on. Of those available, I think these guys have the best one (and, as far as I know, were the original that others have tried to copy). Their light quality is better than the others I've looked at. I'd put more of them in if my condo association would let me.

    The fan kit (not shown) requires a vent, either in the roof or on a gable end wall. They have both an incandescent and a CFL in-line light kit as well, so this can replace a typical ceiling fan/light assembly (which is what I have).
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Jim how quite is it?

    JW
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
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    The fan is a remote, in-line fan. It is hard to tell it is running unless you're listening for it. In my case, the fan is about 6' from the room in the duct, but it would depend on the length of your ductwork, and where in the line you chose to install it - mine is near the end of the run, fed with insulated flexible duct. I chose to install it there, since it is rigid and then it hooks directly to the roof cap. This supports it well and puts it as far from the room as possible. But, even in the attic, it's hard to tell it is running.

    They've added a bunch of options to their line since I bought mine and the grill in the bathroom when using the fan is quite different. One neat addition is the light damper, which would make use in say a bedroom nicer if you wanted to sleep in. Otherwise, it would get very bright when the sun came up! They'd be nice in a closet, too, since the color temp is good and it blocks nearly all UV. Should make selecting dark blue/black eaiser!

    The company started in Austrailia where underground, hillside houses are more common (to avoid the heat). The light pipe can bring in a huge amount of light with little loss. As you can tell, I'm sold on them. The copy-cats' light efficiency and color temperature tend to be worse, but maybe easier to install. For example, there's one company whose light pipe is corrigated and flexible rather than rigid - it doesn't bring in nearly as much light. Most don't coat their light pipe as well, and the color temp tends towards the blue end, giving things a weird color, sort of like some of the older florescent lights. Solatube's is very close to a good mirror, and transmits most of the light spectrum. It comes with protective, peel-off plastic film, and needs to be protected prior to installation. It seems pretty robust, as mine still looks new after over 10-years.
  6. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    Thanks Jim.

    My apprentice's buddy moved into a new basement suite and they have three of these in the suite. David said it was as bright as a South Facing condo in the basement suite!

    JW
  7. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,821
    Location:
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    Thanks Jim.

    My apprentice's buddy moved into a new basement suite and they have three of these in the suite. David said it was as bright as a South Facing condo in the basement suite!

    JW
  8. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    Location:
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    I have 3 of those Solatube units (all without the fan option) and NOBODY would ever believe the amount of light they pour into a room. I did not believe it myself until I went to a local Solatube dealer/installer's showroom. I paid the extra bucks to have him install them. they did a great job. It is not really difficult, but I felt more comfortable paying for the job and keeping a local guy in business.
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
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    The most common sizes are their 10" and 14" which can go between normal studs or rafters, but they do make a larger one - great for warehouses or big rooms where you can utilize the larger light source.

    The hardest part of the install is flashing the fixture into the roof, but they have a bunch of different ones for various roof types. Where I live, I needed the extension so it normally can sit above the snow load. This will be the first winter since I blew a bunch more insulation in the attic...it may not stay above the snow anymore! The way it's constructioned, it shouldn't leak, though.
  10. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    [video=youtube_share;SBWi3NtND68]http://youtu.be/SBWi3NtND68[/video]
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