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- June 5, 2017
Expand all Collapse all Frequently Asked Questions - Bath and Ventilation Fans Can I use a rough service incandescent bulb in my bath fan light fixture if I don't exceed the recommended wattage? Rough service incandescent bulbs are not recommended for Broan light fixtures due to the higher heat output and bulb geometry differing from a standard A19 bulb. Can I replace an incandescent light bulb with a CFL or LED light bulb? Substitution of a self-ballasted Compact Florescent Lamp (CFL) or Light Emitting Diode (LED) for an incandescent bulb can be done if some critical guidelines are followed. Even by following these guidelines, the bulb may still have shorter than expected life or reduced light performance as not all bulbs are created equal. Download this document for more specific information. How do I properly size an exhaust fan for my bathroom? For bathrooms less than 100 square feet, determine the room’s CFM requirements by measuring and multiplying the length, width and ceiling height of the room, then use the multiplication factor of .13 and round up to the next “ten.” For example: 10’ long x 8’ wide x 9’ height x .13 = 93.6, select a bath fan with at least 100 CFM. If the bathroom is larger than 100 square feet, www.HVI.org recommends that you add the CFM requirement for each fixture present - a toilet is 50 CFM, a shower is 50 CFM, a bathtub is 50 CFM and a jetted tub is 100 CFM. For more information download the BROAN Ventilation Fan Catalog and review pages 6 and 7 or call our Technical Support Team at 800-637-1453. What does CFM mean? CFM is the acronym for Cubic Feet per Minute - the measure of air volume moved by the fan blower. Choose a fan with a CFM rating appropriate for your room size to ensure adequate ventilation. What is a Sone, and how is it measured? A Sone is a measurement of sound in terms of comfortable hearing level for an average listener. The lower the Sone value, the more comfortable the listening environment. Sones are not decibels or volume, but rather how sound is "sensed". One Sone is the equivalent of a quiet refrigerator. What is continuous ventilation? Continuous ventilation provides today's airtight homes with a relatively constant and controlled lower level of ventilation. BROAN's extremely quiet and efficient QT Series is ideally suited for these applications. Can I mount BROAN fans above my tub and shower? Most BROAN fans are rated for use over a shower or bathtub with a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter). Can my ceiling fan be surrounded by insulation? Yes. BROAN bath fans are designed to provide adequate cooling for motors and lighting, as well as products with integral heaters. Will BROAN Fans work in wall-mount applications? Some BROAN bath and utility fans may be wall mounted. See the spec matrix for specific models. Improper installation may affect fan life, safety and your warranty. Will a ceiling fan or wall-mount utility fan serve as a range hood? No. Range hoods are specifically designed to handle grease and high temperature environments. Ventilation provided by BROAN fans is only a supplement for odor and moisture removal in the kitchen. What does "static pressure" mean? Static pressure is the measurement of airflow resistance as it is pushed through ductwork which reduces the effectiveness of the fan. Learn more on the Home Ventilating Institute web site www.hvi.org. How long should a bath fan run after a shower is used? The Home Ventilating Institute recommends that a fan should be left on for 20 minutes more to clear humidity adequately and to ensure moisture and condensation in the fan body or ducting is minimized. How long should I run my heater? Our heaters are secondary heat sources so 30-45 minutes is adequate to warm a bathroom. We also recommended a timer be used on the heater in order to avoid nuisance tripping of the UL required thermal protection device in our products. These suggestions are meant to add years of trouble free service from our built-in heater products. What should I do if I can't wait for moisture to clear, but I don't want a fan to run all day long. BROAN has sensing fans that detect the humidity rise caused by a shower and turn on automatically, when moisture has cleared it turns off. Some wall controls also give you the option of humidity sensing, or timer control. Just set it and forget it. What are the timer features? Delay-off timers automatically shut your fan off after a specified time interval. It's a nice feature in high traffic bathrooms where you may wish to let the fan run to clear moisture adequately. A timer counts down the minutes of fan operation selected by the user. Where should the exhaust fan be located? Exhaust fans should be located in or near the shower or tub, and in an enclosed water closet. Keep exhaust points opposite the supply air source to ensure that the fresh air is drawn through the room. Bathroom doors should not be sealed too tightly at the bottom in order to allow "makeup air" to enter the room when the door is closed. Where is the exhaust outlet on the ventilation fan? The exhaust outlet is the point where air is discharged through the body of the fan housing into the ductwork. During installation, orient your fan with the exhaust outlet pointing toward the exit vent on your roof or wall to minimize turns in ductwork that impede airflow. Why do the windows and mirrors fog even when the fan is running? If windows and mirrors are very cold, condensation can still form on these surfaces. And if your bathroom is sealed tightly, replacement air may not be entering the room fast enough to displace the moist air. Be sure to undercut your door sufficiently to draw fresh air into the room. Fan placement can also be a factor. Your fan should be located far from the replacement air source to ensure the moist air is drawn out first. Finally, too many twists and turns in the ducting will significantly reduce the ability of the blower to remove moist air. Make sure your ductwork is as short and straight as it can be, with gradual turns rather than tight corners where necessary. Why is water dripping from the grille of the fan? Dripping water is either condensation (usually due to cold ductwork or improper duct installation), or a problem with the seal on a wall or roof vent. Insulated ductwork can help solve condensation problems, and running the fan longer will ensure moisture is completely removed from the duct. Ductwork should slope down toward a wall vent to direct condensation out of the exterior vent opening rather than back into the fan housing. Can I install a heater over the bathtub or in a shower? No. Heaters are not UL Listed (Underwriters Laboratories) for installation over a bathtub or in a shower. Can I use an inline or multi-port fan in one large bathroom? Yes, this works the best for large rooms because you can install the ports over the areas where the ventilation is needed the most (source control). The size of the multi-port would be determined by the size of the room. Does a duct-free bath fan expel air? No. A duct-free fan is not a ventilating device. It does not remove air from the room. Can I use a smaller diameter duct than what the fan is designed for? This is not recommended. It will cause the fan to run harder, greatly reducing the CFM performance of the fan and create excess noise. Can larger diameter ducting be used with my bath fan? Yes, larger diameters will result in improved performance. What type of duct is recommended, rigid or flexible? It is recommended, where possible, to use rigid duct. It has less resistance to air flow and allows the fan to operate much more efficiently. If flexible duct is used, be sure the duct is as straight as possible. Can I exhaust my fan into my attic instead of out the roof or wall? Never exhaust air into spaces within walls, ceilings, attics, crawl spaces or garages. The humidity may damage the structure and insulation. What type of exhaust fan is best for a sauna or hot tub area? High CFM-rated devices are normally recommended for this type of application. Can I use a fan in a steam shower? No. Since these are normally sealed chambers, a vacuum will be created. Can I vent more than one bath fan out of a roof or wall cap? No. Always follow the manufacturer's recommended ventilation requirements.
Why You Need a Bathroom Fan Moist air from showers, tubs and other fixtures in a bathroom can accumulate on bathroom surfaces, leading to rot and peeling paint and providing a good environment for mold and mildew growth. A properly installed bathroom fan provides ventilation, drawing humid air — and odors — out of the home. Choosing the Right Bathroom Fan Make sure the fan you choose is powerful enough to ventilate your bathroom. Use the room size to determine the necessary cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating of the fan. The CFM rating measures the volume of air the fan moves. A fan that's too small will not remove moisture and odors efficiently and will need to run longer, increasing wear on the motor. In general, for rooms with 8-foot ceilings: A 50-square foot or smaller bathroom needs a 50 CFM fan. For bathrooms between 50 and 100 square feet, estimate approximately 1 CFM per square foot. If your bathroom is larger than 100 square feet, tally the CFM requirements for the individual fixtures to estimate your needs. Plan for 50 CFM for each toilet, tub or shower and 100 CFM for a jetted tub. Note that if your bathroom has an enclosed toilet area, the space needs its own fan. Good to KnowRegardless of the room size, a long run of ductwork connecting the fan to the outside increases the CFM requirements, particularly if there are bends in the run. CautionA bathroom fan must exhaust to the outside. Other Specifications Look for the fan's sones rating, which indicates the sound level. A lower rating means a quieter fan. For example, a fan with a sones rating of 1 or less operates at about the sound level of a refrigerator. Ceiling-mount bathroom fans are the most common models. They connect to an exhaust duct that runs through the attic or between floors. Wall-mount bathroom fans are designed for rooms where venting through the ceiling is not practical. These fans typically vent directly to the outside with little or no exhaust ductwork. Some fans will work in either a ceiling- or wall-mount installation. Check the size of the exhaust port on the fan to make sure it fits your ductwork (if applicable). A diameter of 4 inches is common for exhaust ducts, but some high-CFM fans fit a 6-inch-diameter duct. You can upgrade to a larger-diameter duct for greater efficiency or you can use an adapter / reducer (often included with the fan) to fit the smaller duct. A bathroom fan may be listed for installation over bathtubs and showers when connected to a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protected branch circuit. Make sure the fan won't overload the electrical circuit. Larger, more powerful motors on high-CFM fans draw more power. Features such as lights and heating elements increase the demand. The fan motor and accessories such as heaters and lights can create high temperatures. If you're installing in an insulated ceiling, make sure the fan is appropriate for contact with insulation. Good to KnowIf you're replacing a fan, know the dimensions of the cutout for your existing fan so you can buy one that fits. Bathroom Fan Features Many bath fans include a room light which operates with the fan switch or on a separate switch. You can find fans with integrated LED lights as well as models with incandescent or fluorescent lights. Use only the type and wattage of bulbs specified by the manufacturer. Fans equipped with a night light give you added convenience. Fans with a built-in heater can keep the bathroom comfortable without requiring you to heat the entire house. The heater may operate on a separate switch from the fan. Models with a thermostat let you keep the temperature at a desired level. Fans with humidity sensors and motion sensors automatically help reduce moisture levels, turning on and off as needed. Decorative finishes and light globes (pictured) let some models blend in with your bathroom's decor. Mobile device connectivity lets you stream music to a built-in speaker. ENERGY STAR® qualified bath fans are available. See Ventilation Fans on the ENERGY STAR website to learn about the benefits of these fans. Shop for Bathroom Fans Good to KnowYou can purchase power switches for your fan that include timers, condensation sensors and multi-switches for fan heater and light functions. CautionFollow the bathroom fan manufacturer's instructions for installation and use.