Big find: NOS chrome Emerson Pryne exhaust fan grille covers available from House of Fans

emerson pryne fan cover

Scott bought one — here it is, installed. Beeyouteefull!

exhaust fan grille coverI love vintage and retro-style exhaust fans — the round kind that you install into the ceiling or on a wall. You can still get these fans from Nutone and Broan. But, today’s models come with white plastic grille covers. Getting a chrome cover is not impossible, though — and we now have two source. A few years ago, I found a satin chrome style cover, available from Nutone as a replacement part. And now, industrious reader Scott has found a bona-fide NEW OLD STOCK! chrome cover that he says will also fit the new Nutone/Broan fans still on the market. Even better! Continue for the secret sauce source and all the links to these fans and their retro grille covers. 

kitchen exhaust fan

The exhaust fan in my kitchen is still made today by Nutone/Broan. But until now, I only knew of where to get a satin-chrome-look grille cover as a replacement part. Now, Scott has discovered where you can get a New Old Stock Emerson Pryne chrome grille cover — even better!

The authentic, New Old Stock chrome cover is available from House of Fans. It was made by Emerson/Pryne (navigate to that page on the House of Fans website) – a famous maker back in the day. It is 12″ wide, costs $35, you need your own knob, and House of Fans told me last week they had lots of stock. Reader Scott says the cover will fit Broan/Nutone fan 504. And he gets major snaps for this hot tip — thanks, Scott!

Scott wrote:

This article was a lifesaver. Now I can have a fan with all the crazy air moving capacity of the newer models that will still look authentically mid-century.

So many great tips here, first that the Nutone 17707018 cover mates up with the Broan/Nutone 504 which is still available. Also priceless was the help I got from House of Fans which hooked me up with the aluminum filters as well as (options!) they have a chrome Emerson cover that also mates up with the 504.

Color me crazy but I have both on the way since I need kitchen and bathroom fans. I’d have never figured any of this out on my own. Thank you!

Note, Scott refers to model 504 — that is Broan’s fan. Nutone and Broan are now owned by the same company. Nutone also makes similar fans. The key: Check grille cover size and design to ensure the House of Fans NOS Emerson Pryne will fit…

And update, April 2o14. In a comment, Thomas wrote:

I just ordered a complete new fan setup from House of Fans. I called them and the woman who picked up knew exactly what was needed. I got a Broan side discharge fan body (fan is mounted in the wall but ducts vertically in the wall cavity to the roof), a NOS Emerson Pryne grill, the chromed plastic Nutone cap, a couple round filters and a variable speed control.

Note that there are two fan body sizes, depending on configuration; and while the NOS grille will fit both, if you use the small body fan, the hole in the wall/ceiling will be smaller and so you would see a little of the drywall through the grille. If you use a filter, this will be covered up and not visible. I chose the larger 270 CFM fan and will throttle it down with the speed controller switch so it doesn’t sound like a jet engine.

I asked about the grills and they said that when Emerson Pryne went out of business, House of Fans bought up their stock and so these covers have been sitting around their warehouse for a long time. I did not ask how many they have left.

Buying a retro exhaust fan and grille cover

For clarity, here are key links, reiterated:

Check sizes first! Looks like Nutone and Broan have a number of models to choose from — you will want to ensure either of the two replacement grille covers fits.

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Comments

  1. BlueJay says

    House of Fans is the only supplier of parts for Emerson-Pryne fans and hoods, if I’m not mistaken. You can also get replacement motors/parts for these as well through them.

  2. Ann says

    Don’t forget the power of re-plating. If you have a metal object that isn’t to your desired finish, I would strongly suggest looking for a local company that offer replating services. They may be able to take your brushed to polished for a small fee. Right now, I’m going back and forth between powder coating or plating for my heater vent and return covers that have seen better days

  3. MsKittyMuses says

    This story is so timely for us! Our kitchen in our 1955 ranch has no venting what so ever. We’ve been using a box fan in the kitchen window, which has been cumbersome, to say the least.

    We had been looking into getting a hood vent, but we have the problem that the house originally had a 40″ stove, so the upper cabinets and decorative shelf over the stove are all that size. We currently have a vintage 36″ GE stove, and since we couldn’t find any 40″ vent hoods, were were going to go with a 36″, and try and figure out a way to deal with the awkward 4″ space left over.

    I had originally discounted installing a fan like you’ve posted because we’ve only ever seen them in walls, and the wall with the stove goes directly to an enclosed porch, so no dice there. Now I’m wondering why I was such a doofus to not think of one directly in the ceiling above the stove like you have. It’s such a great solution for us! Thank you so much!

    Is it pretty loud, Pam? Not that it matters a great deal, since it will probably still be quieter than a box fan! But it helps to know from someone who uses it.

      • MsKittyMuses says

        Great, thank you! I’m so excited to do this project now. And I agree with Scott, I never would have figured this out on my own. Retro Renovation saves the day again!

  4. Robin, NV says

    All this talk about fans (Kate’s bathroom fan and now this) has got me thinking that I don’t have any fans in my house. I guess I’ll have to add this to the list of remodeling projects.

  5. Summer says

    Thank you so much for this post. I just bought my home a few months ago and have a few of the Emerson Pryne Fans in my bathrooms. I was thinking of having them replated..but it is good to know I can get a new motor or cover if needed!!!

  6. Scott says

    Wow, what timing! The House of Fans package just arrived today. The Emerson covers are simply stunning and mate up perfectly with the all-thread and cap parts that come with Broan 504 fan. I also ordered a few aluminum filters that fit behind the fan cover. Beyond being functional the look of the filters are pure Lost in Space. I can’t wait to get these installed!

    One thing I hadn’t thought of is that the cap (the part that screws onto the all-thread which holds the fan cover in place) that comes with the 504 is white plastic and has the Broan logo on it. But no worries, I just called House of Fans again and they have a solution for that too! Although plastic, they have an inexpensive chromed part that can be used instead. Or, if you wanted to get creative you could also paint the 504 cap to match or contrast your interior. Lots of possibilities.

    By the way the Broan 504 has been around awhile (I found the best price at Home Depot online) so it’s not going to be quiet like the newer models. In fact 6.5 Scones will probably be a bit like having a Boeing Stratrocruiser in the kitchen but after life with an underpowered fan I wanted super duty this time around. On the plus side the insane 350 CFM (cubic feet per minute) means I should be able to make my Mom’s Salmon Patties recipe anytime without worry. :-)

    • Mary Elizabeth says

      OK, Scott. I think your wonderful new fan will pull out the fried fishy smell as well as the smoke. But what about sharing the recipe for salmon patties? My mom’s recipe involved mashed potatoes, a fresh egg or powdered egg equivalent, canned salmon, chopped onion, salt, pepper and a dash of Tabasco. I think the recipe came from a post-World War II pamphlet for Crisco, in which all the recipes used at least a half cup of Crisco shortening. The measurements for the rest of the ingredients are forgotten, but I could make these by eye by the time I was 10 years old.

      And Pam will have to come up with her secret “sauce” to go with them. :-)

  7. Jay says

    Yes please, more of that secret sauce. Ha ha! Anyone contemplating installing a new exhaust fan where none existed should go with the 10″ fan. I had an original to house 8″ thru-the-wall fan which I replaced with similar because I did not want to go to the expense of enlarging the opening; the house is block construction. The larger fan will pull more air and be more effective. When I boil a large pot of water, the moisture from rolling steam tends to collect inside instead of being drawn off.

  8. Kate HM says

    This is great information. We look at old houses to buy all of the time here in Connecticut and none of them have fans above the ranges. I was shocked as I think it’s the law where I come from in California. This is a big deal for me since I cook (sauté, fry, braise, etc) all of the time and want a big vintage range/oven or a commercial grade set. I know that it will be hard to find a time capsule with the original 40 inch oven so we know that there will be some remodeling involved.

    • stacey says

      There was an original, painted over, drafty one that I took out of the wall and covered over. Anyone else have drafty issues with these?? I only have a lousy microwave/ range hood now, but it totally useless and a sticky mess that needs to be replaced.

  9. says

    Another awesome find from Retrorenovation.com and their sharp readers! Our kitchen has no exhaust fan above the stove either, and the window in back of the stove provides some ventilation, but also prevents the installation of a vent hood. Soooo, this is THE perfect solution for our situation, and the chrome grill looks amazing, to boot! Thanks for this!

  10. joyce says

    I reused mine from one bathroom to another 1/2 bath that needed a fan. they are so sturdy that it was still working well. transported fine.

  11. Thomas says

    I just ordered a complete new fan setup from House of Fans. I called them and the woman who picked up knew exactly what was needed. I got a Broan side discharge fan body (fan is mounted in the wall but ducts vertically in the wall cavity to the roof), a NOS Emerson Pryne grill, the chromed plastic Nutone cap, a couple round filters and a variable speed control.

    Note that there are two fan body sizes, depending on configuration; and while the NOS grille will fit both, if you use the small body fan, the hole in the wall/ceiling will be smaller and so you would see a little of the drywall through the grille. If you use a filter, this will be covered up and not visible. I chose the larger 270 CFM fan and will throttle it down with the speed controller switch so it doesn’t sound like a jet engine.

    I asked about the grills and they said that when Emerson Pryne went out of business, House of Fans bought up their stock and so these covers have been sitting around their warehouse for a long time. I did not ask how many they have left.

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