Questions on Panasonic Whisper fans

bluekitobsessedNovember 17, 2008

I gather that this is the preferred brand but even after going through dealer websites, searching this forum, and the Panasonic website, I still have questions.

1. Measuring: do I count the shower space or not? Main area is 5 x 6 (30 sq ft), plus 5 x 3 (15 sq ft) shower, plus 3 x 4 (12 sq ft) hallway attached to bathroom. Ceiling is standard 8' high except in shower where it's 6" or so less (shower floor height might change??? so that measurement is approximate). One website indicated I'm borderline between a 50 cfm and 80 cfm.

2. What's a sone and why should I care?

3. Do the options with heat and light require more switches, and is that complicated for an electrician to add?

4. Do you like your heat function? Do you like your light?

5. What makes some of the fans "green"?

6. I'm in California. Does Title 24 change any answer above?

7. Best places to obtain online or otherwise? I'd like to see in person....

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Ok I have three of them, only one could actually be in stalled, but I have three. So the first thing is, they're only whisper quiet if you have the area to install them correctly (the motor has to be located a significant ways from the actual in an attic). Ours is not whisper quiet...well the one that was installed. The other two were too big to fit in the space alloted them (too deep for the joists).

How many questions did that answer?

Sones are a noise measurement aren't they? The quieter the better, which would be nice, but given the variation in install can increase or decrease the noise, you can only consider that with optimum install.

I don't have heat or lights, but just picking the box up made my electrician curse given he could see he was going to be spending quite a bit of time in the attic.

Title 24 has been changed to Title 26 due to confusion.

I'm sorry you're in California :oP

Oh, yes to determine your needs you measure everything. IF you're hovering between two sizes, get the larger.

Mine are considered green because they're still in the boxes not wasting electricity I guess :oP

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 11:21PM
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Ichic, don't make me readthis after too manh glasses of chardonnay or I'll end up with chickens in my chandeliers and my fans!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 1:35AM
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LOL Me thinks it's too late my dear :oP

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 2:22AM
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Ichic oh onyx expert, check out my onyx pix and let me know what you think. I'm usually not a fan of anything fake or dyed but this is so amazing pretty drop dead gorgeous it's a good thing I didn't find during kitchen remodel

click through for mor pix including real blue marble or check out other posts

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 2:43AM
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As you gleaned, Panasonics are well respected. I have one in my own house and have installed many. The only push-back happened once, when the client didn't think it was working because it was so quiet. A sheet of paper held up to the fan proved otherwise.

Anyway, go for the bigger size. Sones are a relative measure of noise levels (lower=quieter), and if I remember correctly, they're logarithmic.

Extra options are going to be extra switches, but it's not a lot more cost at the electrician side.

My personal one has a light, but not heat. The only quirky thing was difficulty finding bulbs in a "warm" light color. That said, the bulbs seem to last forever.

I don't know why they claim green status. Maybe the bulbs?

Serious plumbing supply stores tend to stock them. Most people look at them there and then buy them online for noticeably cheaper.

One thing you didn't ask about is ducting. Get rigid piping -- not flexible -- if at all possible. Rigid is more efficient and quieter.

And I have no idea if California changes any of that...

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:29AM
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I love mine. It is a lot quieter than the previous fan but not THAT quiet due to what I believe are ducting issues. I have no light (I heard it easily discolors) but I do have the heat and I LOVE it.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:41AM
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We have 2- one just fan, one Whisper Warm w/o a light.

I don't know more than what iglochic said, but it isn't unusual to need to box out a hole if the fan is bigger than the joist spacing. I think our fans didn't need it, but I did do this for the vent hood in the kitchen.

As for green-ness, they are Energy Star rated (exc. the heater models) in part b/c their fans use less energy. Add to that that the lighted ones use 4-pin CFLs. I haven't paid that much attention, but I believe the "Whisper Green" line runs either off a humidity sensor, at variable speed, or both.

FYI, I like the heat, but the bathroom is big and it takes a while for it to have significant effect. And both fans run on Leviton 5-10-15-30 min timer switches. I'd originally planned to put the heater function on a programmable timer, so that it could turn on before we got up in the AM and warm things up. But DW, the ultimate light sleeper, nixed that after it woke her up.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 9:51AM
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Thull makes a good point - the heater fan is noisier than the exhaust fan on the WhisperWarm.

I have both the Whisperwarm and the BOL smallest fan. Both are solid performers and unlike the Nutone crap they replaced in 2003, they have remained very quiet. The WW is definitely louder than the much smaller 70cfm exhaust-only unit, but if I walked outside the bathroom into the master bedrm, I can't tell it's on.

The WW needs 4 switches: heat, exhaust, big light, small nightlight. You can combine some functions or just eliminate them. We didn't need the big light, for example, and only had 2 switches available. So we combined the exhaust with the night light, and have the heat on separate switch.

Our 13x7' master bath is the coldest room in the house - we live in coastal Northern CA, so altho it doesn't freeze often it can get windy, rainy and cold - and the Panasonic WW works far better than the idiot infrared bulb that was almost totally useless unless left on for hours and hours....!

If you have a large bathroom, I'd get two rather than trying to overwork a single WW unit. They are big, but we had no trouble with it fitting between the joists in the ceiling when we replaced the Nutone.

The smaller Panasonic in the main floor bathroom is so quiet, it's often left on accidentally because even inside the bathroom, it's barely audible. The WW in the master, when you put the exhaust on, is louder but still quiet compared to the Nutone it replaced - not at all obtrusive or objectionable.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 3:57PM
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Rather than start a new thread, I found this one while searching and not finding an answer to below question:

We have Panasonic fans in our other bathrooms, but for the last one, in the basement, I thought a WhisperWarm might be nice.

My qustion is, do you really feel warm with this thing blowing air on you? It's a very, extremely, mightily small bathroom and it'll be difficult, if not impossible, to escape the fan blowing directly on one.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 1:06PM
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I have the wisperwarm without light, my thoughts....

I think the warm air only comes out of one side, and in my bathroom mainly blows against the wall and reflects.

I would say this.... it is large, I don't mean kind of big, I mean HUGE. my brother in law thought our bathroom was going to get airborne when we were installing it.

It is very quiet, moreso on the fan.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 4:12PM
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Really! Well, we probably can't use it then, the ceiling isn't that big. I mean seriously, this could be the world's smallest bathroom.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 8:14PM
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