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What is Silence?
By definition, silence is when a noise or sound is inaudible to the human ear. Generally, due to new technologies emerging, there are new generation fans available which may be labelled as 'silent'. By definition, they are not but are marketed as 'silent due to the decreased levels of noise generated versus older technology traditional fans.
One of the main issues with many people is that fans can be noisy in operation and disturb what should be a peaceful relaxing area. Whilst this is certainly an issue, it is also true that in order for the fan to do its job, then it will need to move air and, depending on the amount of air needing to be moved, its installation, the duct run and also the motor type and sophistication of the fan design, will all contribute to the ultimate noise level of the fan when it is working.
To try and explain further, noise generation is measured in decibels referred to as dBA and this covers a range from zero, which is inaudible to the human ear up to roughly 120dBA at which point the noise is sufficient to become painful. One element to remember with sound measurement is that an increase of 10dBA doubles the noise level so small increments of sound measurement can mean a lot when something is installed within the confines of your home. To try and put this in a framework which can then be understood, below is a useful way to consider how to make a comparison between the dBA figures used on the Epicair site.
10dBA leaves rustling or people breathing
20dBA silent study room or people whispering
30 dBA a library or quiet rural setting
40dBA an average office
50dBA normal conversation
75 dBA side of motorway
85dBA risk of tinnitus increases
120bDA front row of a metallica gig
The key point here is to be careful when selecting a fan for low noise only. Some fans have sacrificed a lot in order to reduce noise – they don't handle air movement well at all – the whole point of installing a fan in the first place.
You can also see the ventilation guide for information on which fans and installation guidance.