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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!

IMPORTANT STORY UPDATE:

House of Fans is closing its retail location end of this month (Jan. 31, 2015 ish). The new owners of their building have other plans for the building, so all the tenants need to go. The company DOES plan on continuing to sell its existing stock of NOS Emerson Pryne fan covers. They have a goodly amount of inventory left — a couple of hundred even maybe. They likely will sell in some kind of online fashion — ebay or some such. As soon as they figure it all out — they will call me. I will do an update story.

Meanwhile, I think it’s always wise to JUMP on this stuff while the bird is in your hand. Which is like NOW. Come on. These beautiful puppies only cost like $35. Hoard yours NOW!

Thanks, Cara, for this tip!

I 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!

exhaust fan grille coverThe 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…

Another update: Check specifications of the various models of fans for guidance on where exactly they and for what usages they are specified to be installed. Also check your local building codes.

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.

  1. 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.

  2. Keith says:

    OMG – I have a 2008 round Nutone fan installed in my master bath of my 1960 ranch home and NEED THIS Chrome Cover! I hope there is still a supply of them from the House of Fans – checking with them today.
    Sincerely,
    Keith
    Durham, NC

  3. Keith says:

    Yay!
    Just called ‘House of Fan’ in California just now (got their ph. number via the website featured by Pam above) and they still have the 12″ round Emerson Pryne chrome grill/cover.
    I just purchased one (over the phone – they do not do orders via their website) and they are still available at $ 35.00 each. Happy day!
    Keith
    Durham, NC

    1. pam kueber says:

      Hi Rene,

      I just talked to Julie at House of Fans. They are fine, they are just having problems with their website and email. They still have NOS Emerson Pryne covers — give them a call — (415) 885-1947

      Tell ’em Retro Renovation sent you!

  4. Cara says:

    I just ordered the old chrome grilles from HOF. Please know that you only have about a week left to order from them because according to Wes, who was very helpful, they’ll be closing at the end of the month.

    So sad.

      1. pam kueber says:

        Okay. I have the story. New owners of their building have other plans for the building, so all the tenants need to go. House of Fan’s brick and mortar location will close end of this month (Jan. 31, 2015 ish). BUT the company DOES plan on continuing to sell its existing stock of NOS Emerson Pryne fan covers. They have a goodly amount of inventory left — a couple of hundred even maybe. They likely will sell in some kind of online fashion — ebay or some such. As soon as they figure it all out — they will call me. I will do an update story.

        Meanwhile, always wise to JUMP on this stuff while the bird is in your hand. Which is like NOW. Thanks, Cara, for your tip!

  5. Nick says:

    I called HoF last year to buy one of these grill covers. I asked the gentleman on the phone if he would also be able to sell me a fan that would fit with it as we’re adding a bathroom and would like it to look period correct. He told me “you people with old houses need to save your money for other things and if you don’t like the look of your ceiling fan, don’t look up.”

  6. Karin says:

    It’s a work of art. I have wanted one of these for my bathroom ever since I saw the story on it. I guess I’d better get on it. I have been ogling this thing for way too long. I don’t care if it’s got the fan. It just looks so…so… aerodynamic. And for this price!

    1. Scott says:

      If for looks alone especially you might really want the filter too. The photo doesn’t do it justice, but the gleaming silver it is made out of is quite beautiful. They do not imped the functionality either, both my fans with filter still pass the RR TP test. 🙂

  7. jp says:

    You have no idea how many of these I have thrown away back in my days or remodeling…….I should have known everything eventually comes back around. Wish I had them…..could sell the vintage ones in my shop:(

    jp

  8. Kathy says:

    What a shame, first House of Tile now House of Fans. At least they plan on selling online.

    To the woman with a window by the stove. This could be a dangerous arrangement. A lovely old house in my town burned down when flames from a stovetop fire flared out the nearby open window, shot up the siding, and spread to the underside of the roof. Probably best to keep it closed while cooking, just in case, and open it afterwards.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Check your local building codes — that is, consult with a properly licensed professional — on this issue, for sure!

      1. Jackie says:

        Interesting! The window near or over the stove is an extremely common arrangement in St. Louis, and I can’t say I’ve ever heard of a fire of that type (and my husband works in response, so I hear a lot of fire stories).

        In my own house, the window next to the former location of the stove (back in the coal-burning days) opens into an enclosed back porch.

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