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Old 10-14-2013, 09:38 AM   #1
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Mounting bathroom fan right over HVAC duct


I think I already know the answer to this, but I will ask it anyway. I was out of the house the other day when our designer came to our home and recommended to my wife and our electrician that our new bathroom ventilation van be mounted on the ceiling just a few inches away from the wall vent that expels hot and cool air from our gas hot air HVAC system. She thought it would look better in that position.

I came home (after the designer was gone), looked at it and quickly concluded that it would immediately suck all of the heated or cooled air out of the bathroom when it was turned on. I told my wife that the fan needed to be moved a couple feet to the right so it was directly over the shower stall (where I think it will look fine and be even less noticeable). Furthermore, in the fan's current position, the ductwork has to be routed around a skylight to get to the soffit where we are venting it. If it is mounted over the shower, the ducting can be run in a straight line between the rafters down to the soffit. (If anyone is questioning the soffit vent, I live in an HOA community that is not keen on people venting things through walls and we would rather not go through the roof.)

Am I correct?

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Old 10-14-2013, 10:49 AM   #2
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Mounting bathroom fan right over HVAC duct


you are correct but to be diplomatic and keep her happy I would tell her that the shorter and straighter the pipe from the fan the better it works due to less resistance. with the other scenario you may have to run it a LOT longer to get rid of steam and smells. try sound scientific and not critical. my better half is the same way, color and looks trump function.

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Last edited by yuri; 10-14-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 10-15-2013, 03:56 AM   #3
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Mounting bathroom fan right over HVAC duct


Also consider there are lots of different kinds of fans, with lots of grille options. We went with some round grille units from Fantech, with remote in-line blowers. This gives me a smaller, round grille in the ceiling and moves the motor noise away from the space.

The combination of using a better looking grille and your issues about duct routing might make for a winning argument.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:46 AM   #4
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Mounting bathroom fan right over HVAC duct


Is diplomacy necessary, or can OP just tell the wife that they hired a nitwit for a designer and enlist her help in isolating their designer from the engineering decisions?

Or, did you mean diplomacy with the designer? For example, a suggestion you think is mechanically wrong can be met with a noncommittal "we'll mention that to our HVAC contractor" (if the designer isn't in direct control of the contractors)

Last edited by taxmantoo; 10-15-2013 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:06 AM   #5
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Mounting bathroom fan right over HVAC duct


The nitwit for a designer comment may go over like a lead balloon and end him up on the Dr.Phil show
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Last edited by yuri; 10-15-2013 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:12 AM   #6
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Mounting bathroom fan right over HVAC duct


Yeah, nitwit was unnecessarily harsh.
Would "not mechanically trained" be more diplomatic?
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:24 AM   #7
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Mounting bathroom fan right over HVAC duct


Telling my gal anything does not work real well, diplomacy and some reverse psychology does however work most of the time.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:36 AM   #8
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Mounting bathroom fan right over HVAC duct


I'd think presenting the multiple installations issues, combined with design alternatives, is among the better ways to avoid the placement problem. Sure, there may well be something to be said for putting it there. Instead let's choose this whole other grille, put it over here and avoid a ton of other installation complications (and their costs).

One suggestion, get a countdown timer for the fan. This lets you turn the fan on for a set period of time and then it automatically shuts off. Lutron makes one in the Decora paddle format that we've used on all our bath fans. Works great for letting you keep the fan running longer to better eliminate excess humidity without having to remember to go back and turn it off.

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