Panasonic whisper quiet fan not quiet anyone know why?

LaurenPSAugust 7, 2011

Hi everyone, I purchase a Panasonic whisper quiet fan and it is louder than my nutone fan. I cannot figure out why. Someone told me that I should insulate my duct work. I currently have uninsulated duct work that goes up into the attic and runs approx. 5 feet and is vented outside thru the soffit. Anyone have any idea why it would be loud?? This fan cost nearly $200 and I am very disappointed.

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I would like to hear answers to this as well! My Panasonic Whisper Warm is in the garage awaiting installation - If I need insulated duct work I'd like to know what is required! Wow - Whisper is the key word here - not to mention $$$

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 10:01PM
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yeah - that's some bucks for a fan!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 2:46AM
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What size fan are you talking about? We have two: a 70cfm and the largest WhisperWarm (can't remember the cfm size, but it's for a 7x13' master bath - maybe 144cfm?).

Yes, the larger WW Panasonic is definitely louder than the small 70cfm Panasonic, especially when you're inside the bathroom itself, but the fan is much quieter than the Broan/Nutone it replaced. We have flexible ducting, very short run with a single right-angle bend.

I'm sitting in my master bedroom right now, the bathroom door is open and about 8' away. I can hear a low hum from the WW fan, but I don't need to turn the TV up any louder. The fan is a lot quieter than our $1000 KA DW.

The 70cfm fan is really, really quiet. That one you only hear if you're right under it. 6' away, you can't hear it at all.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 3:38AM
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Mine was a bit of a pain to install. Is your unit firmly screwed in? Does it sound like a vibration noise? My duct work is not insulated.

I worry that it is too quiet. Sometimes you want a little noise in the bathroom if you know what I mean. Very effective though.

sorry you are having problems.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 7:45AM
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If you find that the noise is vibration caused by the fan trim, try what I did: I split 4 clear drinking straws lengthwise and slipped over each edge of the fan trim where it touched the ceiling. Invisible...and completely stopped the rattle.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 8:18AM
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We have a problem too - we have 4 of Pan. WQ fans in total - in all our bathrooms. 2 of them are very very quiet, and 2 of them are much louder. It is on my list to ask our electrician why there is such a difference in noise....


    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 10:09AM
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My husbands going to take a closer look at the fan. He did the install himself and it could possibly be a vibration noise. Hopefully a little closer look and some adjustments will help. Will let you all know what the problem was if we figure it out. Any other insight is appreciated. Thanks

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 11:22AM
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Hard to tell without more information. I replaced 2 Nutones in my baths with 2 Panasonics, and the noise level went down dramatically. If you evaluate the installation and it's still noisy, the fan itself might be bad.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 10:00AM
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are nutones unbearably noisy? I need some noise to remind me to turn it off... I'm not springing for a timer switch...

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 8:38PM
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Well I think we figured it out. It is the angle of the tubing coming off the fan. If you disconnect the 4 inch tubing it is quiet. Once we put the tubing on with a 2-3 foot run and then bend the tubing at a 90 degree angle to go out the soffit it gets noisy. Also adding the end cap makes it even noisier as these items cause resistance of the airflow. We bought a different end that will allow an increase of airflow. We will see if this works. I will keep you posted

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 7:11PM
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I love ours, it is very quiet & we did have a timer switch put in so it could run after we left the room if we like it to. Since we have so much wood in our bathroom, I didn't want any problems with extra moisture in there. Everything seems to be working out perfect. Good luck & keep us posted on the solution you end up with.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 11:44PM
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I agree with LaurenPS. We had ours partially installed for a short period (venting into the roof area) and it was incredibly quiet. I didn't even know it was on. Now that the rigid vent (approx 3 feet) is fully installed with a connection to the outside and a 90 degree angle, it became very loud. I think we are going to replace the rigid angle with a flexible tube and see if that works better.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 1:23AM
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I have an update regarding our fan. My husband replaced the soffit vent with something that had less restriction. He purchased the soffit vent called the EVE6 undereve vent. You can purchase it on Amazon or at Home Depot. The noise level went down significantly. Just a warning, there are a couple of bad reviews on this product on Amazon. Some saying the flaps do not stay closed in windy weather. We saw those reviews and thought we would give it a try anyway. It is cheap enough and we can go back to the old one that was a metal cap over the circular area. I will give you an update after the cold windy weather rolls into New England.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 8:45PM
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We are at the stage of plumbers installing things.... is this fan worth the money??? And having it vent out the eves- soffit area...anyone know the pros and cons??

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 7:33AM
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Moist air = bad for wood. Don't do it.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 5:44PM
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I have 2 Panasonic fans.

The secret to any fan noise is proper duct work.

This means as long a run as possible directly off the fan without changing direction or reducing size.

Avoiding 90 degree bends - multiple 45's are better.

Avoid flexible duct work like the plague. It's horrible stuff. Not only will it collect dust and moisture, the turbulence of the air caused by all those ridges contributes a lot to the noise level.

Both my fans are exhausted to the outside with rigid duct work properly installed, taped (not duct tape - silver foil tape) and of course screwed together. They're very very quiet.

Any fan is going to be much quieter with no ductwork attached, which is how they're demonstrated in big box stores which also are massive, tons of ambient noise etc. all making the fans seem quieter.

Also don't oversize the fan for the cubic feet of the room. Very important, as is ensuring there is enough supply coming in under the closed door etc. to feed the fan. As much air as it pushes out of the room has to be replaced with new air coming in under that small crack under the door. If it's not getting enough replacement air, it will be noisier.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 4:34PM
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TorontoTim - what's the downside to oversizing a fan? And how do you actually determine if a fan is oversized? I'd rather evacuate the moisture from the shower quickly - before it forms condensation on the surfaces - and turn the fan off after 5 minutes than use a smaller fan but let it run longer. I currently have 2 150cfm fans in my bathroom running on a timer while I shower. They shut off just about as I emerge and the room is pretty clear. Because they don't have to stay on after I get out of the shower, there's no wind chill on a wet body. Can you explain why, other than increased noise, sizing up is not advisable? Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 10:58PM
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Elessebee, I am no expert, but I think you do have to have make up air coming into the room for the fans to evacuate the moist air. I always keep my door cracked and this helps me. If I keep the doors closed tight it gets steamier. I would be interested in the responses you get.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 7:11AM
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We do have make-up air - door open an inch or 2. The room clears out almost as quickly as it steams up. Our 2 fans work well. If it's overkill for my size room (9 x 12) then I'd oversize every time unless there's a reason why it's not a good idea. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 8:18AM
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