A 4” fan is often seen as a standard, even simple piece of kit. However, Tom Emson, Product Marketing Manager at Vent-Axia, reveals why these fans are not as modest as they may ﬁrst appear.
According to a recent survey, at least half of electricians want to offer a better quality fan – even if that means paying a little bit more. There port, commissioned by Vent-Axia, shows that electricians were found to fall into two segments: 50% were ‘price driven’ and 50% chose quality over price.
The quality-driven electricians wanted satisﬁed, happy customers with a fan that “looks good”, “isn’t noisy” and provides good indoor air quality (IAQ). As well as keeping customers happy, this group also commented that their choice of fans meant fewer call backs which can damage reputation and cost money.
Luckily, manufacturers have been working hard to develop premium fans that tick all these boxes.
The evolution of the fan
Over the years residential fans have significantly evolved from the first intermittent bathroom fans.
Manufacturers have been working hard to improve the energy efficiency, silence and comfort of unitary fans as well as ease of installation, to ensure product design is developed in advance of market demand.
In the past, a bathroom fan was mostly seen as a functional item that needed to provide good IAQ. But old inefficient unitary fans can be very noisy and some households are so distracted by the noise that they turn off their extract fans altogether, potentially leading to damage to the fabric of their property, and the twin blights of mould growth and poor IAQ which can lead to ill health.
So with ventilation essential to health and comfort in the home, consumer demand for silent products has led to manufacturers investing in continually improving bathroom extractor fan acoustics. One such example is Vent-Axia’s innovative Silent Fan. It boasts a sound rating of just 14dB(A) in operation – an impressive 75% quieter than standard intermittent bathroom fans.
An increased focus on interior design is also driving improved aesthetics of everything in the home, including fan design. Following consumer research, Vent-Axia redesigned its Silent Fan to improve the simple, clean lines to provide an attractive slimline fascia that makes it look like a tile.
The evolution of installation
For electricians, a quick and easy fan installation saves time and money as well as helping to gain customer satisfaction. That’s why the latest intelligent fans with app control, such as Vent-Axia’s Svara, use a smart phone to set up the bathroom fan. This offers multiple installation options, ensuring you only need one fan and no more ﬁddly switches and jumpers. App control allows this type of fan to be programmed to cope with the vast majority of installations, offering variable speed modes and a boost option which can be set on a smart phone. It also allows electricians to easily select whether to opt for intermittent or continuous ventilation and whether the humidistat triggers operation or not. Once the fan is set up all these sensors and speeds can be altered via a smart phone to change the level of sensitivity that triggers them and the speed of the fan. So an app-controlled fan really does mean electricians only need one fan for most installs.
The technology behind the evolution
Behind this evolution is extensive R&D, with manufacturers using a range of design tools. One example is computational ﬂuid dynamics, which is used to map the airﬂow through a fan to ensure it ﬂows as quietly and efficiently as possible. Fan blade design is another important area, with designers ensuring they move aerodynamically through the air to increase effciency and reduce noise.
As technology has advanced in other industries, the ventilation industry has beneﬁtted too. For example, the rise of 3D printing means that manufacturers can use this in-house in their product development programmes, allowing them to produce prototypes very quickly and easily and make design changes swiftly. In-house testing is advantageous too. Vent-Axia has its own R&D laboratory, including a laboratory for sound testing. This ensures its products are designed in-house to meet the lowest sound levels possible before these are conﬁrmed from an outside testing house.
As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for” and behind these premium fans is cutting edge design. All the complexity is designed into the product at the manufacturing stage so that it’s simple to install and use whilst offering high functionality.
For more information about the range of fans on offer from Vent-Axia visit: www.vent-axia.com