1. What is a Sone?
A sone is an internationally recognized measurement of sound output. Sones translate decibel readings into numbers that correspond to the way people sense volume, and follow a "linear" scale, like inches (see chart below). Sone readings offer quick sound comparisons for laymen and engineers.
2. What is Static Pressure?
Static pressure is a measure of the resistance against airflow as the fan pushes air through a duct. It is measured in inches of water column or water gauge, such as 0.25" w.g. to show that resistance is equal to a column of water gauge. It is expressed as 0.1" w.g. or 0.25" w.g. to show that the resistance is equal to a column of water one-tenth or one-quarter of an inch tall.
For more information, visit the Home Ventilation Institute Web site at www.hvi.org.
3. How do I select the right fan for a specific room size and duct length?
Select from the links below to view specs for Panasonic fans to help you select the right system to suit your needs.
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4. Why are Panasonic fans so quiet?
Panasonic fans are especially quiet for a number of reasons, including:
- Tip Speed
Panasonic fans use a wide blower wheel that moves a large amount of air at reduced RPMs. The larger wheel plus lower RPMs, amounts to less tip speed and noise.
- Double Suction Blower Wheel
The blower wheel draws in air from both sides (see illustration), so there's more area for the air to enter the wheel. This cuts down on noise and makes the ventilation process more efficient.
- Exhaust Outlet
The outlet on the discharge side of Panasonic fans is as wide as the blower wheel, allowing less turbulent airflow as it enters the duct.
- Quiet Motor
Panasonic fans feature four pole condenser motors, which are an advanced version of a Permanent Split Capacitor (PSC) motor. The four pole design helps the fan rotate smoothly and evenly, making Panasonic motors among the most efficient fan motors around.
5. What makes Panasonic fans so energy-efficient?
In terms of input wattage, Panasonic fans are among the lowest in the industry. This low wattage draw is accomplished in a number of ways, including:
- Unique Motor Design
The fan condenser acts like a capacitor to store electrical energy and deliver it quickly and in exact amounts to the coil. This reduces the power draw, thus improving the electrical efficiency of the motor.
- Selective Application
Panasonic builds its own fan motors and components, therefore optimizing efficiency by matching the exact motor characteristics with the desired performance of the fans.
- Wide Blower Wheel
The wide blower wheel improves airflow efficiency, enabling the fan to operate at a lower RPM and reduce energy usage.
6. Why do Panasonic fans have such a long life?
Panasonic fans are designed to provide continuous operation for a minimum of 30,000 hours. They are actually designed to provide up to 100,000 hours of operation, but most fans haven't been around long enough to reach that goal in testing. Some fans however, have reached 60,000 hours of testing with virtually no wear on their components.
The following features enable the longevity of Panasonic fans:
- Motor Production
Panasonic motor production is fully automated, with an automatic defect detecting system. Better yet, Panasonic fans have a defect rate of less than 0.0006%.
- ISO 9001 Plant
The production facilities that build Panasonic fans have been recognized by the International Standards Organization (ISO), as being among the highest quality factories in the world.
- Motor Design
- The electrical design of the fan motor allows it to operate at lower temperatures than most other motors, increasing the life of the motor and its bearings.
- Fan Housing
The fan housing is made of heavy gauge zinc galvanized steel, and painted to protect it from rust.
7. Can insulation material be used over fans installed in the ceiling?
Yes. Loose fill or batt insulation can be placed directly over the fan housing in the attic. The efficient, cool-running motors and fluorescent bulbs in Panasonic's fans do not create enough ambient heat to prevent using insulation.
8. Can a Panasonic fan be used over a bathtub or shower?
Yes, provided it is protected by a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). Keep in mind, however, that any ventilation device located in a damp environment may have a reduced life due to high humidity and a potential for corrosion. Fans used in high-humidity areas should be operated for longer periods of time, to ensure the removal of moisture and to reduce the potential for condensation in the fan body or ducting.
9. Can a Panasonic fan be installed in a wall as well as in the ceiling?
Only WhisperWall™ models are specifically designed to be installed in a wall.
Smaller ceiling fans (up to 110 cfm) should not be installed in the wall due to mechanical concerns (motor orientation, bearing lubrication, built-in damper, etc.). However, if they are installed in the wall, the duct needs to be pointed up to allow the damper to operate, but the bearings may not last as long as specified, due to insufficient oil flow within the sleeve bearings.
Larger fans (190 and 340 cfm) can be installed in either the ceiling or wall. These fans are not prone to lubrication concerns; however the depth of the wall cavity versus the fan height of the housing should be considered.
10. Can a Panasonic fan be used above a kitchen range?
No. Fans installed above kitchen ranges must be listed for that application by UL, and must be designed to handle grease and high temperatures. Panasonic plans to introduce kitchen range-friendly models in the future, but until then, Panasonic fans should only be used to provide auxiliary kitchen ventilation. An alternate approach is to use a ducted range hood or downdraft exhaust, and a Panasonic ventilation fan to exhaust the general odors and moisture in the kitchen.
11. If water is dripping from the grille, or the mirrors aren't clearing quick enough, is my fan not operating correctly?
If this is happening, it might be caused by a faulty roof jack allowing rain to come into the duct, or condensation from warm, humid air in the house striking the cold duct surface.
If your fan has a problem with condensation, two things may help. First, try operating the fan for longer periods of time to carry out more of the moisture, so the air isn't humid when the fan stops running. Moisture will generally not form when the fan is running unless it is very cold, or the installation has a very long duct run in a cold attic. Second, you can insulate the duct to cut down on the probability of condensation.
Also, if the fan does not appear to be clearing moisture from the room, check the ducting and run time of the fan. Poor duct design, installation or damage may prevent the fan from overcoming the static pressure of the duct, which means that it will not be able to get the air — and subsequently the moisture — out.