The best bathroom exhaust fans

The best bathroom exhaust fans.

Bathrooms, for the most part, experience an incredible amount of humidity and moisture daily. Not only does this result in mold and mildew outbreaks, but it also creates the ideal breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria. There are, of course, several ways one can drastically reduce the absorbently high amounts of moisture and humidity – with one of them being a bathroom exhaust fan.

Here we will show you the different types, what to consider for when choosing one, how to do the installation yourself, and we will also review some of the best fans available to buy.

Topics Covered

  • The benefits
  • Types of bathroom exhaust fans
  • What to look for
    • Energy star rating
    • Sones rating
    • CFM rating
    • Added functionality
  • The best ceiling-mounted bathroom exhaust fans
    • Broan-Nutone 9093WH
    • Panasonic FV-0511VQ1 Whisper Ceiling
    • Delta BreezSignature VFB25AEH
  • The best wall-mounted bathroom exhaust fans
    • Hon&Guan
    • Broan-NuTone 509S
    • HG Power 6-inch extractor fan
  • The best inline bathroom exhaust fans
    • Panasonic FV-20NLF1 WhisperLine
    • HG Power 3-inch inline duct fan
  • How to install a bathroom exhaust fan

Unit Model Type Coverage Price
Broan-Nutone 9093WH Broan-Nutone 9093WH Ceiling-mount 65 sq. ft.
Panasonic FV-0511VQ1 Whisper Ceiling Panasonic FV-0511VQ1 Whisper Ceiling Ceiling-mount 50 sq. ft.
Delta BreezSignature VFB25AEH Delta BreezSignature VFB25AEH Ceiling-mount 100 sq. ft.
Hon&Guan bathroom exhaust fan Hon&Guan bathroom exhaust fan Ceiling/wall-mount 20 sq. ft.
Broan-NuTone 509S Broan-NuTone 509S Wall-mount 200 sq. ft.
HG Power 6-inch extractor fan HG Power 6-inch extractor fan Ceiling/wall-mount 300 sq. ft.
Panasonic FV-20NLF1 WhisperLine Panasonic FV-20NLF1 WhisperLine Inline 200 sq. ft.
HG Power 3-inch inline duct fan HG Power 3-inch inline duct fan Inline 30 sq. ft.

The benefits of installing a bathroom exhaust fan

There are a number of benefits to having a bathroom exhaust fan installed, which we have listed below.

Reducing odors: These fans are great at removing unpleasant odors from the bathroom. This is particularly useful if you live with other people or if you have guests staying over.

Improving air quality: They also circulate air, which helps remove humidity and moisture from the bathroom. This is essential in preventing the growth of mold and mildew, which are known to negatively impact indoor air quality.

Preventing damage to paint/wallpaper: Excess moisture in the bathroom will eventually cause paint to peel and wallpaper to bubble or warp. An exhaust fan is ideal in preventing this type of damage.

Reducing the risk of slips and falls: Tiles can be slippery and dangerous when wet. The moisture removed from the air will greatly reduce the risk of falling on slippery tiles.

Enhancing comfort: An exhaust fan will make your bathroom a lot more comfortable by removing the excess moisture and humidity, because it will feel less stuffy and more pleasant to use.

The different types of bathroom exhaust fans

When choosing a bathroom exhaust fan for the first time, you will have three choices: Ceiling-mounted, wall-mounted or inline. Here we will explain the differences of each.

Ceiling-mounted fans

These are the most common and most popular type of bathroom exhaust fans and as the name suggests, they are installed into the ceiling. They typically have a vent that opens to the outside to expel the moist air. Ceiling-mounted fans are easy to install, are usually more affordable than the other types and are very effective at removing moisture and odors from the bathroom.

Wall-mounted fans

These are installed into the wall rather than in the ceiling. They tend to be more compact than the ceiling-mounted ones and should only be considered if a ceiling-mounted fan is not feasible due to the layout of the bathroom or if the bathroom is too small.

Inline fans

Inline fans are installed in the attic or in the space between floors and are connected to the bathroom via ductwork. They are a good option if you want to have a powerful exhaust fan but don’t want to see or hear it in the bathroom. On the downside though, they can be more expensive to install than other types of fans because of the additional ductwork required.

What to look for when choosing a bathroom exhaust fan

There are a couple of things to consider when choosing a bathroom exhaust fan for the first time. Things to consider include the energy consumption, noise output, the CFM rating and whether or not you would like additional features such as built-in heating etc. We will cover each of these points individually here.

Energy star rating

Bathroom ventilation fans run fairly frequently, so it would make sense to pay attention to the energy star rating. The better the rating, the better it is for the environment, and the more money you will save on electricity bills.

Sones rating

Fan sound levels are measured in sones. The lower the sones, the quieter the fan, and the higher the sones, the louder the fan. Needless to say, what you ultimately want is for your ventilation fan to be as silent as possible. Therefore, the ideal sones rating for your extraction fan should be around 1.5 sones.

CFM rating

CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute, and it measures how many cubic feet your extraction fan can handle per minute. Large-sized bathrooms require an extraction fan with a higher CFM rating, while lower CFM ratings are better for smaller bathrooms.

How do I calculate the CFM needed for my specific bathroom size?

To calculate the ideal CFM needed for your bathroom, simply multiply the length, width, and height of the bathroom in feet, then divide the result by 7.5. The resulting number will give you the minimum CFM needed for your bathroom. For example, if your bathroom is 8 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 9 feet high, the calculation would be: 8 x 6 x 9 = 432 / 7.5 = 57.6 CFM. It is recommended to round up to the nearest 10.

Added functionality

Some bathroom extraction fans come with extra features such as built-in lighting. This can be convenient if your bathroom currently lacks an efficient lighting system. Some even have a night light which provides low lighting for nighttime bathroom trips.

Other features can include a built-in heating system for keeping your bathroom warm and also motion sensors so that the system can automatically turn itself on when someone enters and also turn itself off when someone leaves. A humidity sensor is also useful as it will only turn the fan on when a certain level of humidity has been reached.

The best ceiling-mounted bathroom exhaust fans

Here we review four of the best ceiling-mounted bathroom exhaust fans: The Broan-Nutone 9093WH, the BV Ultra-Quiet 90CFM, the Panasonic FV-0511VQ1 Whisper Ceiling, and the Delta BreezSignature VFB25AEH.

The Broan-Nutone 9093WH exhaust fan with heater and light combo

The Broan-Nutone 9093WH is one of the best bathroom exhaust fans with light and heater. All of its features you can control from its easy-to-use four-function wall switch.

These four features are:

Extraction fan: The 70 CFM extraction fan effortlessly removes humidity in bathrooms up to 65 square feet in size.

Heater: A 1,500 Watt heating element will keep your bathroom pleasantly warm during those cold winter mornings and evenings. Also, the electronic blower wheel ensures that heat is evenly distributed throughout the entire bathroom.

Main light: The main light provides a powerful 100 watts of lighting.

Night light: The night light provides 7 watts of soft glow that is ideal for relaxing evenings in the bathtub.

Installation is quick and easy, whether it’s a new installation or replacing an existing system as all installation parts and accessories are included.

Ideal for bathrooms up to 65 square feet.

The only downside is its noise level, which sits at 3.5 sones. And while 3.5 sones are not excessively noisy, it’s still the loudest extraction fan featured on this list. Also, the lightbulb is not included in the sale, and you will have to purchase a 100 Watt bulb separately.

  • Type: Ceiling-mount
  • Size: 1″D x 4″W x 13″H
  • Weight: 17 Pounds
  • Material: Plastic and metal
  • Noise: 3.5 Sones
  • Coverage: 65 Square feet
  • Special Features: Four function wall switch, 1500W heater, main light and 7W nightlight.

Panasonic FV-0511VQ1 Whisper Ceiling

The Panasonic FV-0511VQ1 is one of the quietest bathroom fans you will ever find as it puts out a mere 0.3 sones. You can also control the amount of air movement because it has three fan speed settings – 50 CFM, 80 CFM, and an impressive 110 CFM.

It’s energy star rated and comes with everything you need for a full DIY installation.

It also has a nightlight to make evening bathroom trips more convenient.

  • Type: Ceiling-mount
  • Size: ‎16.49″D x 14.01″W x 11.49″H
  • Weight: 9.92 Pounds
  • Material: Plastic
  • Noise: 0.3 Sones
  • Coverage: 50 Square feet
  • Special Features: Night light

Delta BreezSignature VFB25AEH with humidity sensor

The Delta BreezSignature VFB25AEH is one of the most powerful extraction fan on the list at 130 CFM while also holding the title for being the most energy-efficient – so much so that it exceeds Energy Stars’ requirements by an impressive 685%.

It’s also quiet enough at 1.3 sones, and the motor is precision-engineered to the point that it will easily outlast most of your other household appliances.

However, its main feature is the built-in humidity sensor, which automatically turns the exhaust fan on and off depending on the humidity level in the bathroom.

The product has dimensions of 9.7 x 9.7 x 8 inches and weighs just under 10 pounds.

  • Type: Ceiling-mount
  • Size: ‎9.7″D x 9.7″W x 8″H
  • Weight: 9.81 pounds
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Noise: 1.3 Sones
  • Coverage: 100 Square feet
  • Special Features: Humidity sensor

The best wall-mounted bathroom exhaust fans

Here we review three of the best wall-mounted bathroom exhaust fans: The HG Power 6-inch extractor fan, the Broan-NuTone 509S, and the Hon&Guan bathroom exhaust fan.

The Hon&Guan bathroom exhaust fan

If you’re looking for a reliable and efficient exhaust fan for your bathroom or kitchen, then this model from Hon&Guan is definitely worth considering. With a powerful air flow of 141 CFM, this fan quickly eliminates humidity and unwanted odors, creating a much more comfortable and fresher living environment.

The fan blade is made of high quality and durable ABS plastic, which ensures a long working life while providing efficient performance at all times.

One of the best things about this fan is its silent-clever technology, which ensures quiet operation with only 35db (2.5 Sones) of noise. This makes it perfect for continuous or periodic exhaust ventilation areas such as bathrooms, garages, kitchens and other spaces.

And not only is this exhaust fan extremely efficient, but it also saves energy with low power consumption.

Installation is also easy and you will have the option to mount it on the ceiling or wall. The fan can even be directly mounted into the ventilation shaft with self-tapping screws.

  • Type: Ceiling/wall-mount
  • Size: 7.6″D x 7.6″W x 1.38″H
  • Weight: 2.1 Pounds
  • Material: Plastic
  • Noise: 2.5 Sones
  • Coverage: 20 Square feet
  • Special Features:

The Broan-NuTone 509S

The Broan-NuTone In-Wall Exhaust Fan is a highly efficient and versatile ventilation system that can eliminate heat, humidity, and any unwanted smells from your bathroom.

One of the most impressive features of this unit is how easy it is to install. It has a built-in on/off switch on the cover so you won’t need to go through all the effort of wiring it to a switch, and its built-in exterior wall cap/vent means no ducting is needed for installation. Plus, the motor assembly offers a fast and easy twist-lock installation, making the installation process a breeze.

The fan operates at an impressive 200 CFM, which means it can easily ventilate a space of up to 195 square feet. It also has a galvanized steel housing for protection against the elements, and a built-in bird screen to keep any unwanted visitors out.

The housing measures 14.25 inches by 14.25 inches by 8 inches and adjusts to fit walls from 4.5 inches to 9.5 inches thick. Also, the contemporary-styled grille complements modern decor and its long-lasting electrically-bonded epoxy coating can be painted to match any outdoor styling. The grille dimensions are 11.5 inches square, and an aluminum filter is available (sold separately).

The plug-in motor is permanently lubricated and thermally protected. It is also specially designed with a polymeric fan blade and rated at 1.5-Amps. It’s capable of producing 180 CFM and it’s HVI certified. The housing is made from rugged steel and has a modern profile on the outer weather hood, plus a built-in backdraft damper and a built-in rotary switch.

  • Type: Wall-mount
  • Size: ‎14.25″D x 14.25″W x 8″H
  • Weight: 12.62 pounds
  • Material: Plastic
  • Noise: 8 Sones
  • Coverage: 200 Square feet
  • Special Features: None

The HG Power 6-inch extractor fan

The HG Power Bathroom Exhaust Fan is a top-of-the-line ventilation system that efficiently removes excess moisture from your bathroom. And it seamlessly blends into any decor with its black colored classic design.

One of the best features of this bathroom exhaust fan is its efficient double ball bearing motor. The motor reduces friction, saves electricity, and has a longer service life than ordinary motors, while providing quick and quiet ventilation.

The unit has a diameter of 6 inches and an air flow of 308 CFM, making it a powerful addition to your indoor HVAC system. With a power of 38W, voltage of 110VAC, frequency of 60Hz, and speed of 2800r/min, this exhaust fan provides efficient ventilation to any room.

Interestingly, the exhaust fan shell and impeller are made from durable baking varnish material, which ensures longevity and resistance to damage. In addition, the thickened protective dense mesh design prevents any fragments from getting caught in the motor blades and protects against accidental touch injuries.

Installation of the unit is easy, and you will have the option for wall or ceiling mounting using either glue or screws. Also, the detachable design makes cleaning effortless, because the motor is easily removed by unscrewing the four-corner screws.

  • Type: Ceiling/wall-mount
  • Size: ‎7″D x 7″W x 5″H
  • Weight: 3.43 pounds
  • Material: Plastic
  • Noise: 8 Sones
  • Coverage: 300 Square feet
  • Special Features:

The best inline bathroom exhaust fans

Here we review two of the best inline bathroom exhaust fans: The Panasonic FV-20NLF1 WhisperLine and the Hon&Guan bathroom exhaust fan.

The Panasonic FV-20NLF1 WhisperLine

The Panasonic FV-20NLF1 WhisperLine is a fantastic addition to any bathroom. This exhaust fan is designed for residential or light commercial applications, and has enough power to exhaust air from multiple points at a mere 1.3 Sones, providing you with whisper quiet air flow.

It also uses less energy to move larger volumes of air and comes with a 3-year limited warranty for peace of mind. The fan is easy to install and designed for 6″ ducts, with five different positions for installation that include joint, truss, and suspension brackets.

This product is ENERGY STAR certified and complies with ASHRAE 62.2, LEED, California Title 24, and Washington VIAQ codes and standards, making it code compliant.

  • Type: Inline
  • Size: 24.88″D x 14.88″W x 13.11″H
  • Weight: 1 Pound
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Noise: 1.4 Sones
  • Coverage: 200 Square feet
  • Special Features:

The HG Power 3-inch inline duct fan

The HG Power 3 Inch Inline Duct Fan is an excellent choice for anyone in need of a reliable and efficient inline bathroom extraction fan.

Both the fan frame and blade are made of high-quality and durable PP plastic, which is resistant to UV rays and corrosion. This means that the fan will last a long time and won’t be easily damaged by exposure to the elements.

In addition, the fan is waterproof and dust-resistant, with an IP44 protection class, ensuring that it can withstand rain, water, and dust. This makes it ideal for use in areas where there’s a lot of moisture or dust.

Also, the removable duct ends with locking tabs makes it easy to install and maintain – so you won’t need any special tools or expertise to set it up.

The special design of the fan blade is also worth mentioning. It has been designed based on hydromechanical principles to optimize airflow and air pressure, which results in high efficiency working, low energy consumption, and low noise. This means that the fan will work efficiently and quietly, without using a lot of electricity.

Finally, the manufacturer offers a 12-month warranty and friendly customer service.

  • Type: Inline
  • Size: ‎12.2″D x 7.87″W x 7.87″H
  • Weight: 3.12 pounds
  • Material: Plastic
  • Noise: 0.15 Sones
  • Coverage: 30 Square feet
  • Special Features: None

How to install a bathroom exhaust fan

Installing a bathroom exhaust fan is not too difficult and can be done by most homeowners. All that is required are the right tools and some basic electrical and carpentry skills. If in doubt, rather get a professional contractor to do the installation for you.

Safety precautions: Always wear protective eyewear, gloves, and a mask to prevent dust and debris from entering your eyes or lungs. Additionally, make sure to turn off the power supply to the bathroom to avoid any electrical hazards during the installation. Finally, use a stable ladder or step stool when working at heights to avoid any falls or injuries.

Here are the general steps involved in the installation process.

Get all the tools and materials: You will need a power drill, a jigsaw or reciprocating saw, a screwdriver, a pencil, a measuring tape, wire strippers, wire connectors, electrical tape, screws, a ladder, and the actual exhaust fan kit.

Turn off the power supply: Turn off the electricity to the bathroom at the circuit breaker box to avoid any electrical hazards during the installation process.

Choose the location for the fan: Determine where exactly you want to install the bathroom exhaust fan. Make sure that the spot you choose is easily accessible from the attic or crawlspace, and that it is not too close to any plumbing or electrical fixtures.

Cut a hole for the fan: The exhaust fan kit should come with a template that you can use to mark the outline of the hole where the fan will be installed. When the outline has been drawn, use a jigsaw or reciprocating saw to cut the hole.

Install the housing unit: Secure the housing unit to the ceiling or wall using the screws provided. Also, make sure it is 100% level and flush with the surface.

Connect the wiring: Connect the wiring from the fan to the electrical circuit by exactly following the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to use wire connectors and electrical tape to secure the connections.

Install the ductwork: Attach the ductwork to the fan housing unit and route it to the outside of the house. Use screws to secure everything into place, and make sure there are no kinks or bends that could obstruct the airflow.

Attach the fan cover: Attach the fan cover to the housing unit using screws, and make sure it is securely fastened.

Turn the power back on: Turn the electricity back on at the circuit breaker box and test the fan to make sure it is working properly.

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