Panasonic WhisperGreen Select Exhaust Fan Review: Bathroom Home Improvement

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Panasonic WhisperGreen Select Exhaust Fan Review

The Panasonic WhisperGreen Select exhaust fan features excellent performance that will  protect your new or existing bathroom, large or small. The fan/light combo unit is customizable and features an integrated 110/130/150 CFM selector, self adjusting airflow technology, dual LED lighting and 3 slots for optional add on modules to enhance and automate functionality.

Why upgrade your bathroom fan?

Water cleanses, water provides life but water also creates mold. Prolonged moisture in your bathroom will not only ruin your tiles but it can create black mold which will affect your family’s health and begin to spread. Once you get black mold it can be a lengthy and expensive process to get rid of. The FV-11-15VKL1 is powerful enough for residential as well as commercial applications.

Panasonic has provided the WhisperGreen Select FV-11-15VKL1 bathroom exhaust fan as a courtesy so that we could provide first hand review coverage of the unit and install experience to our readers.

Let’s take a closer look.

Panasonic WhisperGreen Select Exhaust Fan Review
WhisperGreen Select -FV-11-15VKL1 fan/light combo, 2x 7w LED lights, Fast Bracket with optional Motion sensor FV-MSVK1 add-in, Nightlight FV-NLVK1 add-in

WhisperGreen Select Features & Specs

The fan we’re installing is the FV-11-15VKL1 WhisperGreen Select exhaust fan. The customizable unit provides a built-in, easy to use speed selector switch that can manually adjust from 110/130/150 CFM and attaches to our existing wall switch and a 6″ duct. The fan/light combo unit comes with two GU24-base 7w LED lamps that provide bright lighting. You can purchase an aftermarket duct reducer or the Panasonic FV-05-11VKL1 comes with an integrated adapter for both 4″ or 6″ duct lines.

At the 110 CFM setting the fan should be able to handle a 10′ L x 10′ W x 8′ H bathroom without an issue to give you a reference point. There are plenty of CFM calculators on the web for you to determine what your CFM rating should be for the square footage of your bathroom.

The pair of 7w LEDs provide good lighting to see however they can come across a bit on the dim side. In our case, this isn’t an issue since we have a dedicated switch for the fan and a separate switch for the vanity that provides us with more natural lighting temps. Replaceable 7w bulb specs are as follows: 3000 Kelvin/80+ CRI, 550 Lumens per lamp, 80 Lumens per watt, 40,000 hours rated average life.

The Panasonic FV-11-15VKL1 weighs 14.4 lbs and measures 7.38 x 10.25 x 10.25 inches. Energy Star Certified for efficient use of power and is made of Galvanized Steel.

“Can be used to comply with ASHRAE 62.2, LEED, CALGreen, California Title 24, WA Ventilation Code and ENERGY STAR®for Homes 3.0”

Panasonic WhisperGreen Select Exhaust Fan Review

Built-in Self Adjusting Airflow Technology

The DC Motor has Panasonic’s self adjusting airflow technology baked right into it for on-the-fly optimization. The automatic motor speed adjustments allow the WhisperGreen Select to optimize the CFM by increasing the airflow if it is presented with static/back pressure in the exhaust duct. Depending on the length and how many turns your ducting has can vary the airflow rate and air pressure. The fan will auto adjust speed to fine tune and optimize performance automatically.

Plug ‘n’ Play Modules

The WhisperGreen Select provides you with 3 module snap-in slots to add in your choice of add-on features. In our installation we have installed the plug-n-play SmartAction Motion Sensor (FV-MSVK1) and NiteGlo Night Light (FV-NLVK1) modules.

Panasonic WhisperGreen Select Exhaust Fan Review
SmartAction Motion Sensor (FV-MSVK1)

The NiteGlo Night Light is only a 1Watt LED so it’s pretty dim by comparison but it’s enough light to guide you when you wake up in the middle of the night and forget to flip the light switch.

Panasonic WhisperGreen Select Exhaust Fan Review
NiteGlo Night Light (FV-NLVK1)

On our install the Motion Sensor doesn’t seem to engage the fan and NiteGlo Night Light automatically. It’s unclear at this time if this is a product issue or installation/wiring issue but we’ll update the review once the add-on modules function properly.

The WhisperGreen Select has 3 plug and play slots for add-ons. Additional modules include a Multi-Speed with Time Delay (FV-VS15VK1) which allows you to fine tune the delay and speed. A Condensation Sensor (FV-CSVK1) that provides RH sensitivity adjustment 30% – 80%.

Although primary installation requires professional installation, mostly due to the electrical wiring, the add-on modules are easy to snap in and can be replaced or removed without the need of a professional.

Panasonic WhisperGreen Select Exhaust Fan Review
WhisperGreen Select FV-11-15VKL1 wiring harness & exhaust port

Installation

The WhisperGreen Select exhaust fan isn’t a DIY home improvement project unfortunately and does require a professional to install the unit. That said our installation cost wasn’t ridiculous and was relatively painless. Check with your general contractor and/or electrician as prices will vary. If you’re handy, it is possible to install the hardware itself but two things we don’t mess with are electricity and gas. Works well for new builds/remodels as well as upgrading an existing exhaust fans.

The Whisper Select provides a Flex-Z Fast Bracket that makes physical install a bit easier. The Flex-Z Fast Bracket allows the installer to articulate the joints to align for installation between the joist and/or ceiling hole and folds back down for the actual install.

Panasonic WhisperGreen Select Exhaust Fan Review
Existing 7.5″ x 7.25″ exhaust fan

The installation also requires some cutting of the ceiling drywall to accommodate the larger 10.25″ x 10.25″ size. The duration was approximately 1.5 hrs (including a quick run down the road to the hardware store) and minimally intrusive from tip to tail; the entire install was done through the ceiling and the installer did not have to enter our attic crawl space as we had initially anticipated.

In our case we are replacing an older 7.25″ x 7.5″ fan that has seized. The existing broken fan vents directly upward and the WhisperGreen Select vents out to the side; a 90 degree 6″ duct elbow makes it easy to attach to the duct line that exhausts out the roof area of your home. Your contractor will be able to plum the line properly for the path of least resistance to optimize airflow. If you don’t need as much power the FV-05-11VKL1 is rated at 50-80-110 CFM and comes with an integrated 4″/6″ duct adapter making install a bit simpler for the installer.

The process overview in a nutshell: Remove the existing hardware, The ceiling drywall cut out area was increased to accommodate the larger size fan then the electrical wiring completed and finally the unit was raised into the cutout and secured. Once the hardware is installed and wired, the plug and play modules are easily installed and accessible behind the removable ventilation cover.

Panasonic WhisperGreen Select Exhaust Fan Review
WhisperGreen Select FV-11-15VKL1 Fan & Light Combo

WhisperGreen Select Noise & Performance

Panasonic’s WhisperGreen Select FV-11-15VKL1 performs with exuberance. At the 110/130 CFM speed setting it produces less than 0.3 Sones which is indeed very quiet. At the highest speed setting of 150 CFM it produces 0.6 Sones which is still pretty quiet by comparison.

The noise/sound level can be a bit subjective as in the middle of the day the fan might not be as noticeable, in the middle of the night when it’s dead silent 150 CFM at 0.6 Sones can seem quite loud. Depending on the square footage of your bathroom the 150 CFM setting may be slightly overkill.

Panasonic WhisperGreen Select Exhaust Fan Review
WhisperGreen Select FV-11-15VKL1

The fan is very powerful, does what it says and does it well. So well that during the winter season the fan can exhaust all the heat in the bathroom as well as the adjacent hallway. The manual speed selector is a nice integrated feature that does not require the Multi-speed module. When guests are over, we opt to select the highest 150 CFM speed setting to quickly exhaust any odors while normally the lowest setting is more than sufficient.

Sones are a measure of perceived noise. It isn’t a direct measurement of decibels or volume but rather a system developed for the lay person to measure perceived noise levels. The measurement is linear, so 2 sones is exactly twice as loud as 1 sone on the ruler. The CFM or Cubic Feet per Minute is the measure of airflow.

There’s about a 12 second delay for the fan to engage from the point you flip the switch and another 12 seconds or so before the fan ramps up to full speed. While this can be somewhat counter-intuitive for many, we don’t mind the delay.

There’s Finish up with some drywall repair, spackle and repaint the ceiling and you’re good to go.

Panasonic WhisperGreen Select Exhaust Fan ReviewComplies with ASHRAE 62.2, LEED, CALGreen, California Title 24, WA Ventilation Code and ENERGY STAR for Homes 3.0

Wrap Up

Water is your best friend but it can also be your worst enemy. It can destroy your bathroom and create black mold which can spread affecting your home and health.

Panasonic’s WhisperGreen Select FV-11-15VKL1 bathroom exhaust fan features excellent performance, low noise levels with efficient airflow. The fan allows for 3 plug and play modules to customize and enhance your performance. Integrated with Smart Flow DC Motor technology, the WhisperGreen is able to automatically increase or decrease its speed depending on static or back pressure to optimize performance on the fly.

We recommend Panasonic’s WhisperGreen Select FV-11-15VKL1 for larger sq footage bathrooms or high performance applications. All products can be found online for less than half the MSRP shown below.

Comes with a 6 year warranty on the DC motor and 3 year warranty on parts

Panasonic WhisperGreen Select fan FV-11-15VKL1 MSRP $515.00
SmartAction Motion Sensor
(FV-MSVK1) MSRP $28.00
NiteGlo Night Light (FV-NLVK1) MSRP $40.00

www.panasonic.com