Author Topic: off the wall question about exhaust fans  (Read 796 times)

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Offline Nan D.

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off the wall question about exhaust fans
« on: March 08, 2018, 11:50:28 AM »
Ok, so we have these little exhaust fans in both bathrooms and the kitchen, high up on the wall near the ceiling. The one in the kitchen turns itself on periodically, so I have the power switch to it turned off because that's just weird.   ::)

But for all of them, during the Beast from the East we had some serious drafts coming in through them. As in, when I tried to cover them with aluminum foil the wind blew the foil across the room when it gusted outside. (Had to tape them to get them to stay on.)  Is that like normal for exhaust fans to allow air in so readily? I mean, logically it's nothing but a fan over a filter in a hole in the wall, so it doesn't seem as if that's not expected. But we are in such an otherwise energy-efficient flat that I wonder why something like that was not addressed. It was like penguin city in my front bath, with the cold air pouring in that fan vent. Until I foiled over it.

The next thought would be, do they make vent covers that maybe velcro on so that when you've got force five gales coming in through the vent you can stop them?

Oh. And the utility guy came yesterday, was decipherable (completely! Yea!) and installed new smart meters on my gas and electric.  It's really cool - I can set target budget amounts and it tells me if I'm going to make them for the day based on usage, tells me how much I've used, shows bar graphs of when we've used the most power/gas, etc.  Spiffy!   :D

Offline jimbocz

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Re: off the wall question about exhaust fans
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2018, 12:49:39 PM »
Hey Nan, I hope you like big brother watching when you take a shower because those smart meters are all about gathering data. There's already been several court cases where people's alibis have been proven wrong by their water meters.  Just keep it in mind before your next crime spree. 

I'm afraid I don't have any special knowledge about exhaust fans, but I can confirm that ours is weather tight, I never hear the wind blowing in there and it's always toasty. 

Offline jfkimberly

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Re: off the wall question about exhaust fans
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2018, 01:10:43 PM »
Ok, so we have these little exhaust fans in both bathrooms and the kitchen, high up on the wall near the ceiling. The one in the kitchen turns itself on periodically, so I have the power switch to it turned off because that's just weird.   ::)

The fan that turns itself on is humidistat-controlled.  It comes on when it detects that the air contains too much moisture, to vent the damp out and reduce the chance of mould.  You really do want it to let it do its thing.  I don't know how old your fans are, or how they're made, but modern ones should contain shutters that close when the fan powers itself off, to prevent draughts from coming in.
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Offline KFdancer

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Re: off the wall question about exhaust fans
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2018, 01:43:07 PM »
The fan that turns itself on is humidistat-controlled.  It comes on when it detects that the air contains too much moisture, to vent the damp out and reduce the chance of mould.  You really do want it to let it do its thing.  I don't know how old your fans are, or how they're made, but modern ones should contain shutters that close when the fan powers itself off, to prevent draughts from coming in.

All of this.  We had ours installed as our bathrooms didn't have exhaust fans.  Zero change in temperature before and after.  Sounds like a piece or two is missing from yours.

We have these ones.  The little propeller things "peel" back when on and close when off.

https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/ADICON15ECO.html?source=adwords&ad_position=1o3&ad_id=45425533757&placement=&kw=&network=g&matchtype=&ad_type=pla&product_id=ADICON15ECO&product_partition_id=174053578387&test=finalurl_v2&gclid=CjwKCAiA24PVBRBvEiwAyBxf-ansJgMj9PdIl9jtSIDFjgEOV330nX6gXgHStRZVS1TjxJWYrCNEaxoCHx0QAvD_BwE

Offline Groover

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Re: off the wall question about exhaust fans
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2018, 02:03:25 PM »
Hey Nan, I hope you like big brother watching when you take a shower because those smart meters are all about gathering data. There's already been several court cases where people's alibis have been proven wrong by their water meters.  Just keep it in mind before your next crime spree. 

Or wait until they roll out a software update that wasn't properly tested and half the country loses power. I'm a professional software developer and they will have to prise my 50 year old dumb meters out of my cold, dead hands.

Offline camoscato

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Re: off the wall question about exhaust fans
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2018, 02:26:45 PM »
But for all of them, during the Beast from the East we had some serious drafts coming in through them.

The ones in our bathroom have louvered covers on the outside wall that help keep the drafts out. I'd check there to see if yours do (or should), too.

Offline Nan D.

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Re: off the wall question about exhaust fans
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2018, 02:32:31 PM »
Hey Nan, I hope you like big brother watching when you take a shower because those smart meters are all about gathering data. There's already been several court cases where people's alibis have been proven wrong by their water meters.  Just keep it in mind before your next crime spree. 

I'm afraid I don't have any special knowledge about exhaust fans, but I can confirm that ours is weather tight, I never hear the wind blowing in there and it's always toasty.


Hahahah, well I'll just have to be sure to have a few appliances on timers set to be actively working while I'm out robbing the crown jewels then, right? ;)

Yeah, I am wondering if there's something they forgot to do when they refurbed this flat. (Which was done just before we moved in.)

Offline Nan D.

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Re: off the wall question about exhaust fans
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2018, 02:37:51 PM »
The fan that turns itself on is humidistat-controlled.  It comes on when it detects that the air contains too much moisture, to vent the damp out and reduce the chance of mould.  You really do want it to let it do its thing.  I don't know how old your fans are, or how they're made, but modern ones should contain shutters that close when the fan powers itself off, to prevent draughts from coming in.

Umm, no, I think that one is in the hallway closet - big unit. There is a moisture-abatement system installed, separate from this one. It brings in a certain amount of outside air, heats it slightly, and then discharges it right at the door to our bathroom so that when you are getting out of the tub and it comes on it freezes your buns off.

The other fans look pretty old and decrepit, and the one in the kitchen that goes on by itself has a cord you are supposed to pull to turn it on. Originally it wasn't working at all, and I had them send someone in who said whomever had worked on it last had the wires hooked up backwards. So he left, and I could turn it on with the string. And then a few times when I was in the kitchen it turned itself on.... so, either it's the resident house-ghost or malfunctioning. It doesn't appear to be wired up to anything. (See photo - holy-frijoles that thing is filthy! Don't get up there to eye level and now will have to so I can tidy it up!)
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 02:56:07 PM by Nan D. »

Offline F4mandolin

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Re: off the wall question about exhaust fans
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2018, 02:41:30 PM »
I used to live in a place that had the same problem. My landlady insisted I not cover them....I covered them....for the same reason as you. If I wanted to take a shower/bath outside.....that's what I'd do. The breeze that came in was as good as opening the window....which is what I do if I want to air out our bathroom now. We had the small (pathetic) fan removed from our bathroom when we had it re-done last year. The fans here are seriously wimpy. I can still remember my father putting in a ceiling fan in our small house back in the 60's in the US.......if that thing hadn't been attached to something it would have taken off. I used to open the windows of the house during the summer and turn that thing on and you could feel the breeze coming in from the other windows in the house. Serious power (think Home Improvement tv show).
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Offline jimbocz

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off the wall question about exhaust fans
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2018, 03:02:07 PM »
Thanks for the memory Mr. Mandolin!  My dad did the same thing in the 80's.  It was a square hole in the ceiling about the size of a desk covered with a louvre.  When you turned on the industrial fan behind it, it made a noise like a  jet plane and sucked every piece of paper and anything else that was not nailed down in the whole house into the hole.  What were they thinking?  I don't remember that we ever actually used it for real.

I think the fantasy was that we would have it on while we slept but that was utterly ridiculous.  If you fell asleep with that thing going you would be vulnerable to levitating in your bed and getting sucked in as well.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 03:05:36 PM by jimbocz »

Offline Nan D.

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Re: off the wall question about exhaust fans
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2018, 03:03:30 PM »
hahahah, great visual image there!

Offline KFdancer

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Re: off the wall question about exhaust fans
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2018, 03:03:59 PM »
Thanks for the memory Mr. Mandolin!  My dad did the same thing in the 80's.  It was a square hole in the ceiling about the size of a desk covered with a louvre.  When you turned on the industrial fan behind it, it made a noise like a  jet plane and sucked every piece of paper and anything else that was not nailed down in the whole house into the hole.  What were they thinking?  I don't remember that we ever actually used it for real.

My parents have one of these.  An attic fan.  SPECTACULAR.  LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

They recently replaced theirs.  They are seriously so good.  I really wish I could put one in here.

Offline jimbocz

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Re: off the wall question about exhaust fans
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2018, 03:07:43 PM »

I really wish I could put one in here.
It would certainly solve the childcare issue. 

Offline jimbocz

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Re: off the wall question about exhaust fans
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2018, 03:08:22 PM »
And maybe the excess cat issue as well.

Offline Nan D.

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Re: off the wall question about exhaust fans
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2018, 03:17:40 PM »
ooooooooooooooooo