Pros/Cons of External vs In-line blowers

CT_NewbieNovember 4, 2013

We purchased a Zephr Okeanito 48" wall hood. Initially, we thought that the external blower would have to be right over our patio so we got an in-line blower. The vent for the inline is coming out a few inches more than originally thought and it has to go through the master bath and then up through the attic (so it's a pain and more work and the contractor has never done this method before.) We will renovate the master bath in a year and wer thinking there could just be a wall around the vent and shelving and that maybe the door frame could be moved over an inch or so

Then just today, one of the contractor guys got the idea to put the blower on the side wall which I think would be OK. It's near the patio but wouldn't be facing the patio because there is a little nook. Chances are, if we are cooking and using the blower, we wouldn't be outside on the patio anyway.

I am not sure if we can exchange the in-line blower for an external one. If we can, are there other negatives to the external blower? I thought someone had said it could be hard to find people to service them if they break. Is that true even though ours would be in a very accessible spot? We know that we would have to have some sort of cover built for it and the air comes out at the bottom. Would love some photos of creative covers.

Do you think we should exchange and if we cant, do you think we should just purchase an external blower and try to sell the in-line? What are the benefits of inline? Unfortunately, I didn't see the external blower priced at The hood was damaged so we have to wait for a new one anyway so waiting for a blower isn't an issue.

Would love opinions.

Thank you!

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Beyond possible differences in manufacturers' equipments' reliability and quality (e.g., quality of balancing), fans and blowers are defined by their fan curves (cfm vs. pressure differential across the fan), and neither has a intrinsic claim to superiority that I'm aware of in any particular size range. They do differ in physical configuration; roof blowers are typically lower profile than roof fans. In-line units are usually axial fans, but large buildings may use large internal blowers in HVAC machinery rooms. (For visualizing the difference between a blower and a fan, see Ametek's website, or think hair blower vs. room fan.)

Repair of a unit on a high, steeply pitched roof difficult to access from inside an attic would certainly be harder than a unit on a wall that could be reached by a ladder. And it is also possible to install an in-line fan where it is hard to service, so every configuration has to be judged on its own merits.

Given adequate cfm at the predicted pressure loss, I personally would choose a configuration I could best access for repair or replacement. Visual appearance would be secondary, but that might vary with how obtrusive the best mounting location actually was.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 1:04PM
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The only thing I would think about for an external unit is that I could see it, versus an inline that I could not see from the outside. Or inside for that matter.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 4:16PM
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Thank you both! External in this case would be easier to access, not that the inline would be horrible, but the inline also takes a long path.

I don't think it is that visible from the outside (it comes out 7 or 8") so one would generally have a side view from the yard if looking at the house or if you're walking in from the driveway through the gate into the back yard to get to the patio. If you are going straight to the back yard from the gate, you probably would turn left and not look at it. You definitely can't see it from the inside.

So, I guess external wins! Let's hope that they approve an exchange. Even so, the restocking fee is steep - 25%

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 5:52PM
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