Category Archives: ventilation fans

The Best Value-for-Money Bathroom Ventilation Fan: Silent yet Stylish

The Best Value-for-Money Bathroom Ventilation Fan: Silent yet Stylish [in the picture: Silent 100 from Envirovent]

We did some research recently into what is the best bathroom fan, especially when it comes to these three criteria’s: silent, stylish, and value for money.

The Best Value-for-Money Bathroom Ventilation Fan: Silent yet Stylish [in the picture: Silent 100 from Envirovent]

We asked both our customers and our consultants over the counter, and the result is unequivocally the Silent 100 from Envirovent (sorry to spoil the surprise).

And here are some reasons why we came to this conclusion.

A Bathroom Fan that is Silent!

The SIL100T Silent 100mm bathroom fan is a 26.5db(A) at 3m fan – which mainly means that it is very silent.

It is so annoying when you go to the bathroom and the fan – which comes on automatically – is loud in its operation! Believe me, I know what I’m talking about. You don’t even want to be there.

But with the Silent 100 fan there is no such problem: it’s incredible silent running will insure you virtually don’t even hear it – it simply operates in the background.

A Stylish Bathroom Fan?

People pay attention to style, but sometimes in the bathroom you may not even need too much style (unless you’re planning to spend a lot of time there). In our research and comparison, we have found other bathroom ventilation fans that are more stylish, but the Silent 100 with timer was alright.

The white or silver finish gives it a plus – it can match the design of the bathroom.

Best Value for Money

This is the tricky part: who wants to pay close to £100 for a bathroom fan? At this point in our research we realized that there’s no other fan yet that can match the value for money Silent 100 Fan from Envirovent can.

A little less than £50 (VAT included) will insure you will have a wall, window, or ceiling mounted fan with timer included, with a full IP45 rating for bathroom use.

Other Gold Stars

Style, silence, and value for money is not all EnviroVent has to offer with SIL100T.

Read more via, New Cheaper Silent Fan (the EnviroVent 100 Fan with adjustable timer), and visit our website to find out more about the IP rating, the high performance, the dimensions, the timer module, the energy saving properties, the guarantee, the motor speed, the light weight, and many other little gold stars on this fan.

Question: if you purchased and installed one of these, or if you have seen them in action, what do YOU think? Are they as good as this article says, or better?

Picture credit: via Envirovent website here.

Bathroom Extractor Fan Comparison: the Silent Design 100 vs the Silhouette S100

Which is the best value extraction fan for the bathroom?

Which is the best value extraction fan for the bathroom?

Today we are putting two bathroom fans against one another. We have a lot of ventilation fans in-store, but they’re not all intended for the same purpose – some fans are more equal than others.

A bathroom fan needs to have a great extraction rate to fight condensation, odours, and the formation of allergens (particularly mould). It ought to be quiet enough to run in the middle of the night without waking everyone up, and with the drive to save energy, it should consume as little energy as possible.

The Silhouette S100 and the Silent Design 100 are similarly priced – but which of them offers more value for money?

Bathrom Extractor Fans Comparison

Silhouette S100Vent-Axia Silhouette S100 Bathroom Extraction Fan Silent Design 100Envirovent Silent 100 Bathroom Extraction Fan
Ducting size 100mm 100mm
Power Consumption 16W 8W
Airflow 26 litres/sec 22 litres/sec
Noise 37 dB(A) 26.5 dB(A)
IP Rating IPx4 IP45
Operation Manual switch Manual switch and timer
Integral Timer No Yes

The Results

The S100 fan is more suited to bathrooms and utility rooms whereas the Silent Design 100 is drip-proof, consumes less power with an 8W motor and integral timer operation, and is – well, almost silent. For intermittent ventilation in a domestic bathroom, this is the clear option.

However, the S100 has a slightly higher extraction rate – and if you remember this video, you might recall that the Silent Design 100’s flat cover is a natural enemy of the extractor fan – or at least it would be, if not for the curved design of the cover that counteracts the effect. As listed, both these items exceed the extract ventilation rates mandated by the Building Regulations ADF (2010).

It should be noted that the Silhouette S100 can be expanded at a little extra cost to include more features than the Silent Design 100, but it runs a higher cost. A timer model, for example, runs to approx. £37 + VAT, but more options are available including motion sensing and humidity-regulating models. In comparison, a humidity-sensing model of the Silent Design 100 costs £57 + VAT. If you need more granular control options, for example in office buildings and commercial properties, this is the model of choice.

How Decibel A-Weighting Works and Why It's Important for Fire Alarms

How to measure LOUD NOISES

If you’ve taken a

look through our Fire Alarms and Ventilation systems (maybe it’s a slow afternoon at the office), you might have noticed that sometimes we give a dB(A) value in the technical information, under something like “sound output.”

This fire alarm sounder has a sound output of 101 dB(A); on the other hand, there’s an extractor fan with less than a quarter of the sound output, at 25 dB(A).

Measuring Noise

dB(A) stands for Decibel A-weighting – it’s a measurement of the level of sound pressure in the air. That measurement is modified so that the measured loudness matches the loudness that is perceived by the human ear as closely as possible.

This is opposed to a straight, physical measurement of the sound pressure in the air; the people in charge of taking the measurements try to ensure that the perceived sound stays reasonably constant in all environments. (Strictly speaking, this isn’t always possible for a huge number of reasons, but it’s close.)

Our examples are human-centric applications, after all; workplace noise measurements are also expressed in dB(A) in order to comply with regulations.

An A-weighting filter de-emphasises the lower frequencies (pitches) of a sound and emphasises those around 3000-6000 Hertz where the human ear is more sensitive.

For the physics geeks in our readership (and we assume there must be a few), Wikipedia has a good primer on the subject of decibel A-weighting, with curves and equations.

This gives an easy, single-number measurement of noise level that we can compare with the noise level in the environment. When we need to install a fire alarm, to carry on with our examples, it should be louder than the ambient noise.

Using Noise

The alarm sounder we mentioned above has a sound output of about 101 dB(A), which is a little bit louder than a newspaper press. The “ultra-quiet” ventilation fan is about as loud as a person whispering to themselves in an art gallery.

The measurement in dB(A) allows a contractor to compare the sound output of a thing with the environmental noise level: if the sound output of an alarm sounder is higher than the general level of noise, then the alarm will be heard. If the source output is lower, then it will be masked.

Sometimes, the distance from the source is also given. This is useful – even essential – for larger environments, where an alarm sounder might be installed far away from someone working at a factory machine, for instance. Generally, as the distance doubles, the sound level in dB(A) is halved. This should be taken into account when installing an industrial alarm system.

Broadly: you’ll want to go as loud as possible with the fire alarms (ideally without damaging anybody’s hearing!), and as quiet as possible with ventilation fans and other such appliances.

It’s an interesting experiment and it opens up a whole new can of worms (as if we didn’t have enough already) – how loud is your office? Your house? Are you using the right appliances for the noise level?

The Silent 100 Extractor Fan Faces the Envirovent Fan Power Challenge

The Silent 100 extractor fan faces the Envirovent "fan power challenge" - will it pass?

 The Silent 100 is the latest fan to undertake Envirovent’s gruelling Fan Power Challenge. It’s a fun video, and full of great information for installers. Did you know that a flat cover is the natural enemy of the extractor fan?

A Silent Fan by Name and by Nature

It’s hard to convey in words just how quiet the Silent extractor fans run, so it’s nice that Envirovent have uploaded some videos. Compared with competing products, the difference is so great that at first, we weren’t sure it was plugged in – the microphone can’t pick up the sound!

Sparks Direct stocks Silent 100 extractor fans, optionally with integrated timers and humidistats. They’re great in bathrooms, utility rooms, and kitchens, where a great deal of extraction is required.

(In the video, the silver model is put to the test: you can purchase one here with a timer and humidistat.)

These fans are extremely reliable – out of all the items we’ve sold, we have had only one return! When it comes to high-power air extraction and humidity control, the Silent 100 is the clear choice for architects, contractors, and ventilation enthusiasts.

Earlier today, Envirovent dropped off a display unit, and we’ll be playing with that in the weeks to come. Keep your eye on this blog for the results!

Tiny Design: Compact Electrical Items and Light Fittings for Small Spaces

As the city populations overtake the number of people living in rural communities, and land prices escalate to ridiculous degrees, the “tiny house” niche is becoming a bona fide movement, with San Francisco reducing the square-footage requirement for its citizens and a 8′ x 10′ (approx. 2.43m x 3.05m) London flat sells for almost £30,000.

Okay, so maybe you don’t need to live in a house quite as tiny as those – but for inhabitants of the big cities there are some useful lessons to be taken from the movement.

It makes sense: with small spaces, there is less to clean, and with the move towards cloud storage it’s becoming more and more possible to free yourself from the mountain of “stuff” – books, desks, racks full of CDs – that was once necessary.

And the smaller the space, the less energy it uses overall!

Celebrity architect George Clarke has been showcasing some amazing tiny spaces on Channel 4 recently, and while we probably wouldn’t

move into one, we took some remodelling and refurbishing inspiration from the tiny spaces scene.

The Practical Elements 

In terms of lighting, maximising daylight is key. If you already live in a place with a huge window, then your work is halfway done. For those of us who aren’t so lucky, we’ll be needing a ceiling light.

With space at a premium, a flush or even a recessed ceiling light is a good idea.

That’s the general “ambient” light taken care of – but what about the fiddly corners in, say, the kitchen, which might even just be a part of the living room? Some under-cabinet lighting will throw some illumination on those tricky areas to help you see what you’re doing!

But what about the aspects we tend not to think about? One area that gets overlooked quite a lot is the ventilation, which can be very noisy – even worse in a tiny space. The 5-inch Airflow QuietAir installed in the bathroom is discreet and near-silent.

The Not-So-Practical Elements

We have talked about the practical aspects of designing a small space, but that’s all meaningless if it isn’t pleasant to live there.

Once the light is sorted out, a large mirror will give the impression of a larger space, and effectively double the illumination in the area. And don’t forget the task lighting – bedroom reading lights are more-or-less essential for relaxation at the end of the day (especially if there’s nowhere to fit a television).

But if there’s a lot of vertical space, why not splash out on a striking pendant like the colourful carafe pendant?

We’d like to hear from anyone reading this in a particularly small space – how do you cope with a reduced floorspace? What kind of design tips do you have for us if we were thinking of moving into a flat the size of a walk-in closet (not that this didn’t cross our mind yet)?

(Images via Did Ya See?, the Tumbleweed blog, and blog.buzzbuzzhome.)

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