2 retro exhaust fans

vintage-style-exhaust-fanmid-century exhaust fan

LAST YEAR Nutone discontinued the satin chrome grille its classic ceiling / wall exhaust fan, replacing it with an unexciting plastic housing. It’s taken me a while – but here are two other options to dash ahead of Nutone on our selection list.

First: The Marley 1080 (first, leading image) — but note, the install instructions say this is NOT RATED for KITCHENS. No chrome. But that’s a powder-coated steel grille…much better…and I like that brassy knob in the center.There is also a wall-mount model with pull switch. Marley sells their fans nationally through electrical distributors such as GrayBar, Cresent Electric, AllPhase, for example. You can find the fans via online retailers, as well, and there may be some price competition… but I’ll tell you, I like dealing with folks I can talk to. Marley’s website does note seem to show this fan, but here is the PDF of its install instructions: http://www.marleymep.com/en/multimedia-library/pdf/mep-pdf/products/residential-bath-fans/home-kitchen-fans/1080/5200-2535-000.pdf

mid-century exhaust fanSecond: The Trade-Wind AF7 from Universal Metal Industries. It also has a steel grille with a powder coated paint finish – nice. This fan is a legacy of the Trade-Wind brand, which has been around for decades. I see lots of Trade-Wind ads in my vintage marketing materials.  I did not ask the company for its distributors, but I am assuming that as with Marley fans, you can get them from local electrical distributors. Link to the Trade-Wind site here.

Be careful when specifying these exhaust fans for your kitchens. There are usually building codes with air flow requirements; check with your Building Department or another professional, or you may not pass inspection. Marley’s spec sheet for the model I show says it handles 280 cfm. The Trade-Wind AF7 says 290 cfm. One Nutone model is 210 cfm, other models are less. Note: If you use one of these, property specified, you do not need a range hood. Some folks continue to prefer the range hood, though, to catch grease as well.

Drum roll, please. These two options hereforeto move ahead of Nutone on the retro recommendation list.

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  1. Glenn says

    If you want chrome grills instead of the powder coated paint, find a re-chroming shop. I had the exhaust fan grills in my mid-50s California-style ranch re-chromed along with some shower drain covers and they turned out great.

    • pam kueber says

      Even cheaper and authentic: See our story on where to find New Old Stock Emerson Pryne exhaust fan grilles (just $39) – use the search box at the top to get there.

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