Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a sone?
A: A sone is a measure of sound, the lower the sone the more comfortable the listening environment. In a typical installation a Panasonic Vent Fan operates at less than 0.3 sones. To put that in perspective, the average refrigerator runs at 1 sone. Sone readings mean we can easily compare sound levels of different products or situations. For a look at how some common sounds compare in sones, see the chart below.
Q: What is static pressure?
A: A fan uses energy to move air through ducts. Static pressure measures the resistance against that airflow as the fan pushes air through a duct. Static pressure is measured in inches of water column or water gauge, to show that resistance is equal to a column of water gauge. If a static pressure is expressed as 0.1"" w.g. or 0.25"" w.g., this measurement shows that the resistance is equal to a column of water one-tenth or one-quarter of an inch tall. (Listing ratings at 0.1 w.g. means there is little pressure or distance a fan ‘push against’ to exhaust while ratings at 0.25 w.g. are more typical of the fans’ performance when fans are installed in a project.) For more information, visit the Home Ventilation Institute website at www.hvi.org.
Q: What makes my Panasonic fan so quiet?
A: Panasonic fans are especially quiet. Their tip speed, blower wheel, exhaust outlet, and motor all combine to form a uniquely quiet design. Tip Speed: Panasonic fans use a wide blower wheel that moves a large amount of air at reduced RPMs. Both the larger wheel and lower RPMs mean less tip speed and noise. Double Suction Blower Wheel: The blower wheel draws in air from both sides (see illustration), so there is more area for the air to enter the wheel. Giving air a greater access to the blower wheel 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. Keeping the exhaust outlet at the same width as the blower wheel means less turbulent airflow as it enters the duct, and less noise. Quiet Motor: Panasonic fans feature AC and DC four pole condenser motors. The four-pole design helps the AC motor fan rotate smoothly and evenly. Not only does this mean reduction in noise it also makes Panasonic motors among the most efficient fan motors around.
Q: What makes my Panasonic fan so energy efficient?
A: Panasonic fans are among the lowest in the industry when comparing input wattage use. This low wattage draw is accomplished with unique motor design, selective application, and a wide blower wheel. Unique Motor Designs: • Panasonic’s AC 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 and improves the electrical efficiency of the motor. • Panasonic's DC brushless motor provides unparalleled energy efficiency with its magnetic rotor and print circuit board. The magnetic rotor prevents energy loss while the print circuit board incorporates a unique IC chip which monitors and directs the RPM of the fan blade. The combination of these two unique features allows the DC motor to have higher energy efficiency than an AC motor. Selective Application: Panasonic builds its own fan motors and components. Because we build our own components, we can optimize efficiency by matching the exact motor characteristics with the desired performance for our fans. Wide Blower Wheel: The wide blower wheel improves airflow efficiency, enabling the fan to operate at a lower RPM and reduce energy usage.
Q: If I run a Panasonic fan continuously won’t that be expensive and not energy efficient?
A: Panasonic WhisperFit FV-08VF2: The 80 CFM WhisperFit uses 24 Watts, or .576 kWh each day. Over the course of 365 ¼ days the consumption is 210.38 kWh. The US average electricity cost is $0.1297 so the cost to run the WhisperFit fan over the course of one year is $27.29 annually. Panasonic WhisperGreen Select FV-05-11VK1: The DC Motor WhisperGreen Select at 80 CFM will give even more energy savings than the AC Motor fans. The WhisperGreen Select uses 9 Watts, or .216 kWh each day. Over the course of 365 ¼ days the consumption is 78.89 kWh. The US average electricity cost is $0.1297 so the cost to run the WhisperGreen Select fan over the course of one year is $10.23 annually. The reason to run the fan is to increase the ventilation and fresh air throughout the house. Ultimately, the cost to increase the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) of the home more than balances out the possibility of not having fresh air circulate which help maintain the health and well-being of the home and occupants.
Q: Will my Panasonic fan have a long life?
A: Panasonic fans are renowned for their long life. Our fans are designed to provide continuous operation for a minimum of 30,000 hours, and a typical life of 100,000 hours. That’s about 11 and a half years without ever shutting it off. They will probably last longer. Motor production, our quality production plant, and our fan housing contribute to this long life. Motor Production: Panasonic motor production is fully automated, with an automatic defect detecting system. Defects are rare - 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. Fan Housing: The fan housing is made of heavy gauge zinc galvanized steel, and painted to protect it from rust.
Q: Can I put insulation materials over a Panasonic fan installed in the ceiling?
A: Yes. Loose fill or batt insulation can be placed directly over the fan housing in the attic. The efficient, cool running motors, LED, and fluorescent bulbs in Panasonic fans do not create enough ambient heat to prevent using insulation.
Q: Can I put my new Panasonic fan over a bathtub or shower?
A: Yes, provided a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protects it. Keep in mind that any ventilation device located in a damp environment may have a reduced life due to high humidity and the increased 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.
Q: Can I install my Panasonic fan in a wall as well as in the ceiling?
A: WhisperWall®, WhisperValue, WhisperSupply Wall and WhisperComfort models are specifically designed to be installed in a wall (they are UL Listed for wall or ceiling installation). Smaller ceiling fans (up to 110 cfm) should not be installed in the wall due to mechanical concerns like motor orientation, bearing lubrication, and the built-in damper. Larger fans (190 and 340 cfm) can be installed in either the ceiling or wall. These fans are not prone to lubrication concerns. The depth of the wall cavity versus the fan height of the housing should always be considered.
Q: Can my Panasonic fan be used above a kitchen range?
A: 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 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. "