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Options for humidity sensor or exhausts with heater + humidity sensor

5 days ago
last modified: 5 days ago

We are rebuilding our home and I really like the idea of having bathroom exhausts with heater. I have one in my current home and everyone wants to take a shower in that bathroom :)

I was planning to use the following that had everything until my contractor told me that legally I need one with humidity sensor (I am in CA where they have special requirements for everything!) https://www.homedepot.com/p/Panasonic-WhisperWarm-110-CFM-Ceiling-Exhaust-Bath-Fan-with-Light-and-Heater-FV-11VHL2/203762030 - for master which is bigger

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Delta-Breez-Radiance-Series-80-CFM-Ceiling-Bathroom-Exhaust-Fan-with-Light-and-Heater-RAD80L/205088881 - for kids bath that are 8X5

I cannot find any exhaust with heater and sensor both, so I explored the option of installing sensor separately, but there was none that had even decent reviews. I read some options about other means of heating the bathroom, but we have really small bathrooms so I really didn't want to have multiple units in there. I am hoping some experts here have better suggestions.

- For California, is humidity sensor really required by law? If yes, do I even need one for powder bath (with no shower) and master toilet (which is a small enclosed room by itself)

- Is humidity sensor required even with the heater combo? (Just hoping someone gives an answer I am hoping for ;)

Thanks so much!

Comments (17)

  • Lawrence Sprowls
  • pmgzb

    Thanks so much Lawrence for pointing me to the right information. I couldn't find it with my searches.

  • Nancy in Mich

    If it helps you at all, here is a heating alternative that we are loving here at our house.

    See the white panel up by the ceiling, above the door? It is a cove heater. It is an electric heater that is run with a thermostat. Hard wired, so you need an empty slot on your electrical panel (or two slots if you want the money-saving 240 volt version). It silently radiates heat down into the room, much like sunshine does, heating up objects in the room. If it is on and you stand still, you soon feel that the side facing the heater is getting warm. We leave the room door closed now and the thermostat set for 72 degrees (the rest of the house is 64 to 68 degrees, depending on the time of day). When you need to disrobe, it is toasty! I have no idea if this is okay in California. We also have a Panasonic fan with both the humidistat and motion sensor. Comfort Cove Heater

  • pmgzb

    Thanks Nancy! Never knew about cove heaters. Glad to hear you love it. I will check with our contractor regarding this.

  • catbuilder

    DewStop switches work great.

  • Lawrence Sprowls

    You can always just install a simple infrared bulb heater. (I'd put it on a timer.)

  • Nancy in Mich

    I almost went with the infrared bulb heater. When my contractor said we could eliminate the soffit above the vanity, though, we had room for the smallest cove heater. It is my experience that the infrared bulb heats you up if you are standing under it. It probably will dry your hair really well, too! The cove heater heats the objects in the room, so the whole room becomes warm.

  • Lawrence Sprowls

    If your vanity sits on the floor, you could put a kick space heater under it.

    pmgzb thanked Lawrence Sprowls
  • pattyl11



    Condensation Sensor Plus FV-WCCS1W Dew Point Sensing, On/Off Wall Control, White Wall Plate Included

    The Condensation Sensor Plus is the next generation in moisture control and healthy indoor air technology. Condensation Sensor Plus works with any single speed vent fan, automatically turning the fan ‘on’ before condensation forms, and off when the room returns to the optimum dryness level. Unlike competitive units that only monitor humidity levels, the Condensation Sensor Plus features advanced, built-in intelligence that monitors both temperature and humidity — actually anticipating the dew point — making it the most effective, proactive solution on the market. Additional features include a blue LED light to indicate when the fan is on and a matching wall plate for a decora style design. Can be used to comply with ASHRAE 62.2, LEED, CALGreen, and ENERGY STAR® 3.0

  • catbuilder

    Those Panasonic switches are actually DewStop switches with a Panasonic label slapped on and the price tag to match.

    pmgzb thanked catbuilder
  • dchall_san_antonio

    If I ever think about moving back to California, someone please slap me. I can't believe they mandated a humidistat.

    Living in Texas, in the influence of the Gulf weather, I just leave the ceiling fan on 365/7.

  • Nancy in Mich

    dchall, sometimes you actually need to remove that moist air from the home, not just move it around.

  • pmgzb

    Lawrence, thanks for suggesting so many options! Really appreciate it! We did think about an infrared bulb heater (rather preferred it more at some point), but then thought it might look dated. Was a little nervous about any safety issues kick space heater with little kids around etc. Will discuss again with my husband and contractor.

  • pmgzb

    pattyl11 - thanks for the links. Is Panasonic a brand you recommend if we do decide to go switch route. The reviews on Panasonic/Leviton etc seem to be really mixed.

  • pmgzb

    catbuilder - haven't heard of dewstop switches. Is dewstop a brand?

  • pmgzb

    dchall_san_antonio - humidistat and 1.8GPM showerheads just to name a few of crazy CA requirements :) People seem to cheat and work around inspections because of these.

  • pattyl11

    pmgzb, I have no personal knowledge of this switch, sorry.

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