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Thread: Bathroom Exhaust Fan

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  1. #1

    Default Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    I'm remodeling my bathroom and one of the first things I'll be replacing is the exhaust fan. My home is a 1 story home and I have a stair case up to the attic which is just insulation and about 6' tall in the middle. Today I went up there and was surprised to find that I have a double ceiling in the bathroom area. Should I pull the ceiling and add vapor barrier or should I just leave it? Secondly I was going to use a rigid line for my exhaust, should I run it straight up/over/and through or over/up/across and through or should I just buy a flex line?

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    what do people do in your area? Is it humid enough to justify vapor barriers in bathroom ceilings? I'd not put a vapor barrier in. I'd put a few dollars into a "rigid" exhaust line, one with smooth sides. Not the one shown in these 3 pictures. I'd put a lot of money into a quiet fan on a variable speed controller; that's because I need the quiet.

    David

  3. #3

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    I've bought the NuTone QTRN110c which is rated at 110 cfm and 1.5 sones and will be putting it on a timer. Compared to the the one I have now it's much more powerful and it doesn't sound like a jet engine which will be a nice improvement. I did buy some 4" rigid but I'll have to buy some more and some 45 degree elbows.

    Thanks,
    From the Great White North

  4. #4
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedi
    ... should I just buy a flex line?
    In my own opinion, no. The flex has more friction and restricts flow, and moisture can accumulate in the corrugation.

  5. #5
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    if you are that far north then you need more insulation. I saw your photos and I read that you have a 1-storey.

    A radiant barrier insulation, like a foil faced foam panel, will be a vapor barrier and more. It'll seal the envelope between conditioned space and unconditioned space. It'll reflect a portion of heat energy that conductive insulation never catches (known as radiant or radiative, it is the heat energy you feel coming through space when you stand next to a fire.) It'll also be an additional layer of conductive insulation.

    david

  6. #6

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    Is this foil faced foam panel material available at Home Depot? I assume this should be used in the space between the two ceilings.

  7. #7
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    i've seen it at Reno Depot stores in the aisle at the far end where they also have foil faced bubble wrap insulation.

    Both HD and RD stores are run by individual decision makers who may or may not stock whatever they wish, within certain limits, so you'll never know unless you phone the store first. They'll always tell you what they have, but not the price. The product is not a "standard" in every store.

    Unfortunately this may sound like a wild goose chase. I'd check the 411 web site and call each store in a row, and ask for whoever handles the department that insulation materials are in. Ask if anything is foil faced.

    david

    edit: i just remembered, that I actually bought at HD a rigid 4'x8' panel of foil faced product and I still have a piece of it right in front of me. Here is what it says on it: "ENER MAX" BP "acoustical barrier" ((not a big concern if they sell it as acoustical insulation)) with "supported vapor barrier" : 0 Perm (whatever that is); "supported air barrier": 0 L/(s mm) at 75 kpa(whatever that means); structural insulation: R4.7, with an asterisk describing more... So the good news is that you can get something foil faced at HD. It is wood fiber semifluff that you can slice with a bread knife, covered with a tin foil like membrane.

    p.s. just f.y.i. there are no R values associated with radiant heat energy transfers. No R value lab test can measure it, as the test is not designed for that purpose. I predict that our grandchhildren will look back at this period and say that we just didn't get it. If kilns can insulate thousands of degrees of radiant energy, why can't building insulation also have a layer to stop heat from radiating through space too?
    Last edited by geniescience; 04-23-2007 at 07:21 AM.

  8. #8

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    Are you suggesting removing the lower ceiling? That's the only way I think of getting insulation into the section between the two ceilings. It looks like to me that the upper ceiling was only cut out in a 2'x2' section directly about the fan.

    BTW - In the past the ceiling in the bathroom was always wet after taking a shower. I assumed it was a combination of long hot showers and a crappy fan. Today my wife had to go to work early and showered 30 minutes before me and after my shower the condensation that was accumulating of the ceiling was so much that it was starting to drip. I assume this has something to do with the fact that yesterday I removed a bunch of the insulation out from around the fan to look at it.

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