Sunday, February 21, 2010

Humidity Sensing Bathroom Fan!

Broan QTRE100S Ultra Silent Humidity Sensing Fans with Sensaire Technology.

This is my exciting new discovery: Energy Star rated humidity sensing bathroom fan! It turns on automatically when it senses a change in humidity, then turns itself off 5-60 minutes later.

This is huge. In my current house, we didn't run the bathroom fan all the time. It makes a lot of noise and I couldn't hear my daughter while I was in the shower if the fan was on. I noticed a significant difference in the rate that mildew grew in the shower when the fan didn't run!

I also plan to have a roommate in the ground floor of my new house. I've found my first roommate, who is awesome and will most likely be very responsible, but I can't guarantee that future ones will pay as much attention. Since the ground floor is partially below grade, it is extra important that humidity doesn't build up.

I'm putting one of these in the main floor's bathroom too. I have a teenager in my future!

The unit I like best is a low end Broan. This company, who also owns NuTone has a technology that doesn't sense the level of humidity, but rather a change in humidity - this is important because the other fans (with a humidistat) would run all summer in this climate! or I would have to change the settings a few times a year.

The low end models shut off automatically after 20 minutes and are not completely silent. The more expensive models have timers that you can program to run anywhere from 5 - 60 minutes, and are almost silent. I think bathroom fans should have some sound. What else would you use to drown out bathroom sound effects??? The more expensive fans come with lights, night lights, heaters, are recessed, etc.

They all come with a switch to override the automatic settings, which is nice to vent out the room after cleaning it. The reviews that I read about this fan tell me that this fan does a great job of sucking out moisture and fumes.
The fan I like is about $100 more than your basic manual bathroom fan. It may take a while to see the cost redcovery in the electric bill, but avoiding the risk of a serious mold infestation is worth more than $100 to me!

*** UPDATE***

I found a good bathroom fan at ReStore! It looks new and I believe it is an ENERGY STAR model. When I installed it, the fan did buzz a little, but a little adjustment of the fan blades, it now hums quietly. $20. Sweet!

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