Our master bathroom in our home has a window and code in most areas states that a bathroom with a window does not require an exhaust fan, so to save a few dollars the builders, as usual, did not install one. This has annoyed me for the 10 years we have lived in our home, but as our entire house, which is a manufactured home, has vaulted ceilings and no “attic” (only a 12” void above the insulation) there is no easy way to add an exhaust fan without major drywall work. When I saw that this fan had “room side” installation I jumped at the chance to add an exhaust fan to our master bath even though I knew it still wouldn’t be an easy project.
Packaging – This product was well packaged with an adequate air gap, created by cardboard dividers, around the product to make any chances of damage from dropping or rough handling unlikely. The most fragile parts of the assembly, the light and blower, were located away from the sides of the box as well.
Preparing to Install - I may go into more detail on this section than usual in hopes that it will assist another reader with a similar installation, new install with no attic access. As mentioned earlier, this fan has the option of room side installation, meaning you will not have to go into the attic to install this fan. This is made possible due to the folding mounting ears, and a duct outlet that can be attached to the flex ducting and installed in place from the inside before the blower is installed. For my installation I first had to determine where the roof joists were located. As there was already a light in the vicinity of the desired location, directly over the toilet, I removed the light fixture and the junction box in order to look into the void area for joist location and any possible issues. I could have used a stud finder, but I wanted to be sure I would not hit any electrical wiring or other obstacles. I also removed a gable vent at the peak of the roof to get some more precise measurements. This was all done by site, as it was not possible to enter the void space above my bathroom. I also had to be sure there would be a route available for the duct. I decided to point the exhaust outlet towards the peak of the roof and then make a gentle 90 degree turn and exhaust out the gable end of the roof just under the false eave using a wall exhaust kit.
Installation - Once I had the location selected, I measured and cut the hole in the bathroom ceiling. I tucked the mounting ears in and made sure the hole was a good fit before continuing. I was able to use the hole to put my head and 1 arm into the void space far enough to reach the outer gable and drill a pilot hole for the hole saw, which I finished drilling from the outside. I secured the ducting to the wall vent and installed the wall vent. I also installed a new double gang switch box to allow separate light and fan control and fished new 14/3 Romex to the location as well. I reinforced the area around the hole with some wooden framing to allow the box to be securely screwed in place. I placed the Romex and the flex ducting into the appropriate holes in the box and pushed it into place, and secured it in 4 places. With the box in place all that was left to do is cut the flex ducting to the appropriate length, allowing some slack, and attaching it to the exhaust duct. The duct then is pushed into the attic/void space and is secured in place to the box with an included screw. The remainder of the installation is straight forward, connect the wiring as instructed, slide the blower into place, snap the light into the grill, plug in the blower and light, and finally insert the grill clips in and you are done!
Operation and Appearance – I was pleasantly surprised, both by how bright the LED light is, and how quiet the fan is. The fan also looks good on the bathroom ceiling; it is attractive but still blends in. The bathroom was used for showering later the same evening and with the window closed, there was none of the usual mirror fogging we normally have, despite running the shower very hot.
Overall I am very happy with this fan, and the fact it finally allowed me to install a bathroom exhaust fan despite having no attic access without any drywall work. Although our hall bathroom already has a fairly new fan, which uses a round hole and roof vent, I am tempted to retrofit that setup to install one of these instead to take advantage of the better CFM, reduced noise level, and better light.
Good fan, but pay attention to how big your room is
Please do not cheap out on a fan for your bathroom, especially if you don't have windows. 80 CFM was a little more than what was recommended for our bathroom size, but I'd rather go larger than smaller for this purpose. You change it out every 10+ years so don't cheap out. I didn't care much for the light, but thought the motor was big enough. I usually install 50 CFMs for our rentals but I'm thinking I may upgrade them to 80 CFM like this.
Don't expect it to be silent, but it's quiet enough.
I install enough of these to not have much issues, but if you have any issues, like with the clips or anything, call customer service and they'll help you.
Please clean your fan yearly! Just pull the cover plate off, and get a vacuum hose and wipe down the fan with a damp cloth. It'll work more efficiently and last longer.
a average replacement ceiling exaust fan with light.
came packed in the box without packing to protect it from shipping damage.
The design is relatively simple, their are 2 ground wires, 2 feed wires and 2 returns, so the light and fan can be wired separately.
My old ceiling fan has 2 lights a day light bulb and a night light bulb.
So using this ceiling fan would cause me to have a dummy switch or I would have to remove it and put in a block off plate.
Not to mention I would not have a dim light at night when needed.
But it is great it does not require a special switch so it works as a replacement ceiling fan.
The instructions are straight forward and come in several languages.
It should be noted this unit only has side exhaust so if you need a top venting unit this will not work as it has no option for top exhaust.
It also has its own led propitiatory light bulb assembly, so if and when the bulb fails you have to get the one that goes in the unit.
Additionally if you were planning on using a dimable bulb and have a dimmer switch, that is not going to work for this unit.
This is my third Invent Fan installation over the past year. Like the others, it allows room-side installation. Removing the old fan may be the toughest part of the job in some situations. I was able to pry the old fan case away from the ceiling joist. (It was held by electrical staples of all things.) The installation instructions are quite clear for new construction and retrofit. There is one step that I added. The fan outlet, in my opinion should always point in the direction which the duct heads for the eaves where it exits the home in most cases. But half the time facing the outlet toward the eaves means that the provided mounting holes are on the side of the housing that is not against a the joist where the old fan was attached. So I make a 3-sided U-shape mount that I make 3/4 inches shorter than the distance from the edge of the fan opening to the opposite joist. I screw the bottom of the U the opposite joist. Then I attach a 1 x 8 piece the width of the opening using screws. Now I have the fan fitting snuggly between two joists and NO 180 degree bend in the vent tubing. My vent heads directly toward the eaves keeping the static pressure to a minimum and the actual CFM the fan exhausts to a maximum.
The final look of this fan is great with a clean design and an LED light that is adequate to light an entire small bathroom--perhaps up to 7 ft x 7 ft.. The only minor gripe I have is regarding the spring clips that hold the cover to the housing. On the last couple of fans I installed from two different companies I found these a bit clumsy as far as getting them to properly snap into the slots on the housing. But this is an operation that you might do once or only a few times over the life of the fan so not a big deal.
All in all this is a pretty quiet, good looking unit with a nicely integrated LED light that is easily installed without getting into an attic or from room side in a two story home where access from above is impossible.
The Broan-NuTone fit perfect as a replacement of my old...
The Broan-NuTone fit perfect as a replacement of my old fan. It was easy to install.
Apr 12, 2021
NuTone Flex vs Invent Series
These fans are basically the same. Flex is signifacantly more money and not worth it in my opinion. I would have gone with Panasonic as they are much more quiet but I was replacing contractor grade NuTone and didn’t have access to swap right vent to left which the Panasonic requires. With that said, I wasn’t sure about the differences between the Flex and Invent series so figured I would install one in each bath. The Invent is MUCH quieter than the Flex (both 110CFM), and ironically it is the less expensive of the 2. Don’t waste you money on the Flex. The design is ingenious for retro fit. Extremely easy and I highly recommend if access is limited.
This was a replacement for a 24 year old bath exhaust fan with light that was noisy and didn't have enough capacity for the size of the bathroom. The new unit was easy to install, is quieter, has the capacity needed and the LED light is much more energy efficient and brighter than the one it replaced.
by Al S
Customer review from broan-nutone.com
Nov 26, 2020
Installation instructions were straightforward and easy to follow. The unit looks attractive, wo...
Installation instructions were straightforward and easy to follow. The unit looks attractive, works as advertised, and is much quieter than the unit we replaced. The LED light is a practical feature we did not have on our old unit and should last for years before replacement. It was well worth spending a few extra dollars for a quality bathroom vent fan like this. Happy to recommend it.