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Thread: Overhead Light-Fan-Heat in bath

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Default Overhead Light-Fan-Heat in bath

    I need to replace my old ceiling unit that has died.
    Need: Fan-Light-Heat functions.

    Brands to consider/avoid?

    Are the current infrared heating units comparable in heat output to heating elements?

    Also I'd like to change out the older 3-way wall switch and go with something more modern if possible.


    just realized this should be in "electrical"....

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    We're not fussy about where you post!

    Nutone/Broan is the big gorilla brand. Panasonics are good, but not as widely available in store. Google is your friend.

    In any brand, the big differences in price boil down to CFM, and especially noise level. With me, and a lot of people, the noise is a big issue, so I opt for maximum 1.0 sones, and 0.8 or 0.6 are even much better. You will pay a lot for the lower sones levels.

    For CFM, I usually calculate a minimum 8 air changes per hour. Codes probably accept 6 or less.
    eg. 10 X 12 room, 8 foot ceiling = 960 cubic feet. 8 change per hour = 8 X 960 = 7680 CF per hour; div. by 60 = 128 CFM.
    ( short cut: 1 cfm per sq. foot)

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    CFM is much more important to me because any new unit will be vast improvement of this old junky unit re: Sones
    Thanks for that Jimbo.
    And even more important is how fast it warms up the bathroom to an acceptable temperature.
    This is a small bathroom with cross ventilation so odor isn't a big issue.

  4. #4
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Ceiling heaters are intended to "take the chill off" but not to be the principle source of heat in a cold climate. If heat is a major item, I would opt for a wall heater, or even in-floor electric radiant heat if you are doing a major remodel.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    I've just remodeled a large (225 sq. ft.) bathroom and installed a remove Panasonic vent fan; found a good deal on the web but I can't recall the website. I was concerned about noise because of the 250 cfm, but even withoutthe sheetrock or ceiling insulation I could barely tell the vent was on. I've seen other posts praising the Pansonics for their quiet operation.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Jimbo I need the heat feature for showering purposes only.
    My home is heated with a wood pellet stove which works great.
    Which I only need here in the high desert Nov-thru March
    This is my best option----and the current unit is trashed anyway.

    I need to buy from local big box in case I need to exchange it.

  7. #7
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I put a Broan in my basement bathroom. As noted, they are OK for taking the chill off, but not for really heating. The Nutone/Broan are found in most any hardware, electrical, or plumbing supply including the Big Box stores.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Today I saw a Nutone at big box with average sones, 100W light and 1500 watt heater. Price is right at 75 dollars. But it's rated for 40-80 sq ft (small in comparison to others) and is 14 5/8 inches long,which is pretty big which would require cutting the ceiling
    substantially.

    You get what you pay for so I'll compare with the other big box later this week and decide.

    I wish some panasonics were available locally reasonably priced. They look pretty nice.
    Last edited by Mike50; 10-10-2006 at 03:20 PM.

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The things almost never arrive DOA...what's the aversion to buying over the web if you can save substantially?

    I buy locally when the prices are close, and once in awhile, actually less (especially if it is big - shipping can be expensive).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    I love buying on the web. Im only concerned that it wont fit and I'd need need to exchange it...
    maybe you're right.

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you must, using the dimmensions from the spec sheet, make a box and check it out first.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    I picked up a Broan at big box for 75 dollars. About 70 CFM and 4 sones.
    It has fan driven heat I need so I think this will be fine--we will see.
    Not an item I want to spend a lot on. I still need to get a good 3 way switch.

    Unfortunately I had a catalog of all the 3 way switches available and threw it out a couple weeks ago. Ideally I'd like a timer on the heater and motion on/off light but that may not be realistic.
    Last edited by Mike50; 10-13-2006 at 07:13 AM.

  13. #13
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you are skimping on the fixture, you'll faint from the fancy motion and timer switches...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    I've installed premium items in about 4 projects in 2006. But..you are right Im willing to skimp on the actual fan. I'm determined to get this done
    inexpensive but safe.

    I like the exterior design of this unit. I dont buy anything-I dont care what a technical marvel it is--if I don't like the design.
    As it turns out -many of the premium fans look like crap imo.

    I'm willing to pay more for the switch than the fan...and knew that going in.

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member chris8796's Avatar
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    I got a broan l/f/h for my basement bath. I picked up a 20 amp timer on sale for $10-15 and put the fan and light on regular single pole switches. The good thing is the broan has separate neutrals for each item, so you have alot of flexibility in wiring it up.

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