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New Concepts in Bathroom Ventilation and Fan Lighting

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Two important functional issues to address in any bathroom update or remodeling project are proper ventilation and lighting. Many bathrooms are small spaces susceptible to mold due to the humidity caused by using showers and tubs in a confined area. Fans help to control this problem. 

New bathroom ventilation fans feature better blade design and high performance motors that are more efficient and quieter. There are also models that offer low-level lighting and/or a night light.

Here are some of the features you’ll see in new bathroom ventilation and fan lighting products:

  1. New fans are up to 65 percent more energy efficient than standard fans.

  2. New fan lights are ENERGY STAR-qualified and equipped for LED or compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, which replace standard incandescent bulbs. LED and CFL lights use up to 75 percent less energy. 

  3. Models now include low-profile grilles that blend into ceilings.  The grilles also have superior light lenses that disperse light to reduce the number of lights needed in the room.

  4. Fan lights are available with humidity sensing options that turn on automatically when humidity rises then turns off when humidity returns to normal levels. 

  5. The units are UL listed for safe use over bathtubs and showers when connected to a GFCI protected circuit.

  6. Manufacturers offer decorative flush mount fan light models with attractive glass globes and a variety of finishes.

One of the products we recommend for bathroom ventilation and lighting is Broan-Nutone ENERGY STAR-Qualified Recessed Fan Lights. Broan-Nutone has been in the business of manufacturing ventilation fans for nearly 80 years and offers more than 50 ENERGY STAR qualified models.

Broan-NuTone also offers a model, LunAura, which uses LED lights. LunAura fans provide ambient lighting, including ambient blue lighting, to create a spa-like environment in a bathroom. LunAura fan lights have a night light feature that is energy efficient and emits a blue light.  

Another product we recommend is the “Whisperlite” fan light made by Panasonic. This unit is quiet and provides bright lighting with a 32-watt compact fluorescent bulb and 4 watt night light for safety. It also has a built-in damper to prevent back draft that brings cold outside air into a bathroom.

Talk with your contractor about installing fans and fan lights. Please note: it is very important when a fan is vented that it is NOT vented into the attic or soffit. It must be vented to the exterior, otherwise all of that moist air can build up and cause mold or rot.