Did you know that humidity around your home can cause a build-up of mold and mildew? The bathroom is the most humid part of the home and calls for good air ventilation. The best bathroom fan will not just ventilate air and reduce humidity but also kick out unpleasant odors.
Everyone loves a hot shower, but what no one loves is all the condensation on the mirror and bathroom fixture. The bathroom can stay wet for hours after your shower. Over time, it becomes the breeding ground for mold, mildew, and foul smells. Also, all this moisture can damage the building materials of the bathroom.
A bathroom exhaust fan is not a luxury but a necessity. Nowadays, these fans are not merely ventilators but can also have light and heater. Some even have humidity sensors that ensure that the humidity level remains optimal at all times.
Comparison Of Best Bathroom Fan – Review In 2020
|Broan-Nutone 9093WH Exhaust Fan||Check Price|
|Panasonic WhisperFit EZ Retrofit Fan||Check Price|
|RadonAway 23030-I RP-145 Radon Mitigation Fan||Check Price|
|Delta BreezSlim SLM 70 Exhaust Bath Fan||Check Price|
|Broan-NuTone 678 Ventilation Fan||Check Price|
|Broan-NuTone 688 Exhaust Fan||Check Price|
|Broan NuTone QTXE080 Bath Fan||Check Price|
|Panasonic FV-40NFL1 WhisperLine Inline Ventilation Fan||Check Price|
|Hunter 83002 Bathroom Fan with Light||Check Price|
|Broan-NuTone 682 Ventilation Fan||Check Price|
|Ventline V2262-50 Ceiling Exhaust Fan||Check Price|
|Ventline V2262-50 Ceiling Exhaust Fan||Check Price|
Best Bathroom Fan For Ventilating Air, Reducing Moisture, And Eliminating Odors
You should take a close look at what the bathroom exhaust fan has to offer. It will go a long way in ensuring your bathroom always feels fresh. These bathroom fan reviews will help you decide which fan is appropriate for your particular bathroom.
1.Broan-Nutone 9093WH Exhaust Fan
The Broan-NuTone 9093WH Exhaust Fan is not merely a fan but also features a heater and light. The round-shaped ceiling exhaust fan is capable of ventilating and heating a bathroom of up to 65 sq. ft. The light is a 100 Watt incandescent light that can further brighten your bathroom and make it look more pleasing.
Broan-NuTone hardly needs an introduction, as the company is quite popular in the US. Based in Ohio, the company produces a wide range of products that all center around providing fresh in the home. With this model, they managed to combine three needs of your bathroom in a single reliable product.
If we’re talking numbers, the 9093WH has quite a decent airflow and heating. The heating is 1500 W, whereas the airflow is 70 CFM. This is more than enough for a small to medium size bathroom. As for installation, all the hardware comes with the exhaust fan, and you should be able to do it yourself without any professional help.
Another great feature that is a sub-feature of the lighting element is the night light. When you walk in the bathroom in the middle of the night, you don’t have to torture your eyes, looking into a bright light. Also, this fan runs at 3.5 sones, so it does make noise.
The best thing is that a four-function switch is available with the fan, which makes it seamless to use all the functions. As the fan features enamel finish, it will universally match well with any ceiling or overall bathroom decor.
2.Panasonic WhisperFit EZ Retrofit Fan
The Panasonic WhisperFit EZ bathroom exhaust fan with light is one of the quietest you will find on the market. That’s why it’s called WhisperFit, attributed to the whispering sound it makes. The sones vary depending on the CFM but are usually under 1.5 sones.
As for the airflow, the WhisperFit EZ fan offers two different CFM: 80 and 110. The fan also contains two 13-Watt GU24 base CFL lamps for lighting. Then you also have a 4-Watt night light. The fan and light combo meet the Energy Star requirements.
WhisperFit EZ has easy installation thanks to the Flex-Z Fast installation bracket. The housing depth is only 5⅝ inches, which makes it ideal for 2×6 construction. Not only is it easy to install when remodeling an old bathroom, but it will also comply with the latest codes.
Panasonic is a well-known name in the world of electronics. The Japanese giant produces affordable electronics that rival even the high-end ones. They also provide warranties on most of their products. For this bathroom vent fan, you get a three-year warranty for the parts.
The WhisperFit EZ comes in other combinations as well. You can buy just the fan, fan with LED light, and fan with motion sensors.
3.RadonAway 23030-I RP-145 Radon Mitigation Fan
If you’re looking for a radon mitigation fan instead of a traditional exhaust fan, you can go for the RadonAway 23030-I. Most radon mitigation systems around the country, whether it’s in a home or a commercial building, are from RadonAway. The company has over three decades of experience in making products that reduce Radon levels.
This radon mitigation fan meets all the electrical code requirements and is highly energy-efficient. The RP-145 offers 166 CFM, but you have other sizes available as well.
It also features a water-hardened motorized impeller that sucks air efficiently. The seams of the fan are completely sealed to prevent any radon leakage. Made of Noryl plastic, the fan only weighs six pounds.
This can cover a good deal of an area, upwards of 1500 sq. ft., including your bathroom. Also, it’s not noisy at all, so you would not even know there’s a radon mitigation fan running.
4.Delta BreezSlim SLM 70 Exhaust Bath Fan
The Delta BreezSlim SLM 70 Exhaust fan will deliver very long life, thanks to its DC motor. The motor is supposed to last for a whopping 70,000 years and ensures that you get the best out of your purchase. Aside from the long-lasting motor, the fan is also considerably quiet with 2.0 sones.
DeltaBreez is all about ventilation systems. All the exhaust fans from this company are generally quiet and always have Energy Star certification. This is the reason why they utilize low energy-consuming parts in their fans.
The airflow is 70 CFM, while the coverage area is 70 sq. ft. So you can use it in a master bathroom with a closet and all. This is an Energy Star certified bath exhaust fan that utilizes 85% less electricity.
In terms of design, the fan is quite simple. The grille does feature a small light that will turn on if it’s running. The housing is galvanized steel that will resist corrosion. You also have the option to get another version of the same fan that features a humidity sensor.
5.Broan-NuTone 678 Ventilation Fan
This is a basic but efficient exhaust fan for bathrooms from Broan-BuTone. The 678 ventilation fan is a fan and light combo, which makes it all the better in terms of value for money. This will be appropriate for bathrooms as big as 45 sq. ft.
The white polymer grille of the fan goes well with any type of bathroom decor. Installation is also quite easy and should not take a lot of your time. If the branch circuit is GFCI-protected, you can even install it over a bathtub or shower area.
The airflow of this model is 50 CFM, which is adequate for the area this fan covers. The light is quite bright, with 100 Watt capacity. With the shatter-resistant light diffusing lens, the light will last quite long.
With 2.5 sones rating, the 678 is a bit noisy but nothing extraordinarily noisy. Since this product is from Broan-NuTone, you can be sure about the quality. The two-function control that goes with this fan and light combo can be purchased separately.
The grille size of this fan is 10⅝ inches by 11⅛ inches, so it would take very minimal ceiling space. It can connect with a four-inch duct. The housing is all galvanized steel, ensuring a long life for the fan.
6.Broan-NuTone 688 Exhaust Fan
If you just want a simple exhaust fan for your bathroom and don’t mind a bit of noise, the Broan-BuTone 688 is a good choice. This is highly affordable, but as it’s from Broan-NuTone, you can imagine how good it is.
The airflow is 50 CFM with 4.0 sones. However, there’s another size in the same fan that gives 60 CFM airflow. The sones are also higher on that size, coming in at 5.5. This means that it does make quite an audible sound. But that’s justified given its reasonable price.
You can mount it on the ceiling or a wall, wherever you may have the connection available. Installation is a breeze thanks to the Torsion spring grille mounting. You won’t even need any kind of hardware for that.
The best feature of this bathroom fan is its motor. The permanently lubricated motor snaps in and out. This means that you can easily clean it when its time for spring cleaning. Also, periodic cleaning will have it running efficiently and increase its life.
The white plastic grill of this fan is very basic and will look neat with any type of bathroom. It’s also paintable, so you can give it any other color that matches with the wall or ceiling. The duct size that this exhaust fan uses is three inches.
7.Broan NuTone QTXE080 Bath Fan
If you’re looking for a quiet bathroom fan, the Broan NuTone QTXE080 should perhaps be your choice. With just 0.3 sones, this is as quiet as it gets with a bathroom exhaust fan. The high-quality motor of the fan makes virtually no sound.
As for the airflow, it offers 80 CFM, but there are higher airflow versions too. We are talking about fan versions that offer up to 150 CFM of airflow. You can easily use it in a large bathroom with an area as big as 75 sq. ft.
The QTXE080 is easy to install, like most Broan NuTone fans. You just need two by eight inches of construction space.
With up to six inches ducting, this bathroom fan provides a lot of flexibility of installation and construction. On top of that, it meets all Energy Star standards because of the high energy-efficiency. You would not run high electricity bills even if it’s running all the time.
If you want to install it over a bathtub or shower, you can as it is UL listed. However, it should have a GFCI protected circuit branch. The grill finish is white polymeric with a very stylish design. It will almost blend into the ceiling, especially if it’s white.
The hanger bars come with the fan, so you don’t have to spend any more money on installation hardware. As is usual with this brand’s exhaust fans, the body is made of galvanized steel, ensuring that it gives you many years on end.
8.Panasonic FV-40NFL1 WhisperLine Inline Ventilation Fan
The Panasonic FV-40NFL1 WhisperLine is an inline ventilation fan that can work great for bathrooms. This fan can ventilate air from multiple directions, and that too with less sound. The sones rating for this particular model is 2.1, which considering this is inline, would qualify it to be fairly quiet.
The WhisperLine ventilation fan is made for ducts of eight inches. With five positions for installation, you should not have any problems fixing this into the duct. Also, it comes with all the hardware you could possibly need, including suspension brackets and truss.
Panasonic produces all sorts of electronics with varying qualities to provide variety in terms of price. This particular model, however, is very well-built. You do not have to worry about the fan needing any repair work any time soon. Even if it does, the three-year warranty will kick in.
Aside from the sturdy built, the motor uses little energy, so that also contributes to its long life. However, it’s still not Energy Star 4.0 certified. The Panasonic inline fan complies with many different codes, including California Title 24, Washington VIAQ codes, and ASHRAE 62.2.
The highlight of this inline fan is its airflow as it moves a lot of air, 472 CFM, to be exact. This is because you can use it to ventilate multiple bathrooms. This not only saves energy but also makes maintenance super easy.
9.Hunter 83002 Bathroom Fan with Light
Decorative exhaust fans like Hunter 83002 are quickly becoming a thing, especially in luxury bathrooms. This particular model features a simple but beautiful exterior that looks like a decorative light fixture. The bronze finish scrollwork looks quite elegant and should add a nice touch to any bathroom.
Hunter has a very rich history as the company is almost two centuries old. Their fans always feature the highest craftsmanship possible. You will see them in luxury homes and hotels across the country.
It’s not all pretty; it’s just as efficient. You get 110 CFM of airflow with 3.0 sones. The sones could be lower, but it’s not too loud. The 83002 will also help with proper air circulation and reducing moisture after a hot shower.
This can easily be fixed on top of a tub or shower, but with GCFI circuit branch. As for light, you can use two A-15 bulbs and a seven-Watt nightlight. The duct size for the 83002 bathroom fan is four inches, while the diameter of the light cover is 15 inches.
The instructions on the manual are pretty clear and specific. You will not necessarily need technical help.
10.Broan-NuTone 682 Ventilation Fan
The Broan-NuTone 682 is the best bathroom exhaust fan for those who also smoke in their bathroom. Not only does it circulate air, but it also absorbs odors from it using the activated charcoal filter. So you get two benefits with one fan.
The Broan-NuTone 682 model can be wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted. The compact non-duct fan fits seamlessly in wall studs and/or ceiling joists. The polymeric grille can be painted to go with the color of the bathroom.
The installation is a piece of cake with Torsion spring grille mounting. You will be done with it in just a matter of minutes. The only maintenance required is changing the filter, which is easy. You can find the replacement filter online easily.
The motor can be snapped in or out easily, so you should be able to clean it too. It requires two by four inches wall or ceiling construction. The overall weight of this non-duct fan is just 3.4 pounds, so it’s quite easy to handle.
11.Ventline V2262-50 Ceiling Exhaust Fan
The Ventline V2262-50 Ceiling Exhaust Fan is an efficient and long-lasting product, suitable for small bathrooms. The 50 CFM airflow is just enough to ventilate and circulate air in a powder room or small bathroom.
Ventline is a US-based company that specializes in ventilation products for homes and businesses. Their products are really affordable, and replacement parts easily available. The great thing is that this particular series of ceiling exhaust fans has interchangeable motors. So you can give your fan an upgrade if you like by just changing the motor.
This is a circular shape ventilating fan for the bathroom, requiring an eight inches diameter opening. However, installation is very simple when you have the opening ready. The fan inside is made of polypropylene blade, which would not bend or break even after long use.
The size and power of this exhaust fan make it ideal for a trailer too. It may just cover the entire trailer, circulating fresh air into your mobile home. As for sound, this is not too quiet but not too loud either.
12.Broan-NuTone QTX110HL Heater, Fan, and Light Combo
The Broan-NuTone QTX110HL takes the usual bathroom exhaust fan with light to the next level by incorporating a powerful heater. This combo product features a 1500 Watt heater, in addition to the exhaust fan and 60 Watt light. You get great value for money as you do not have to buy a heater or light separately.
The exhaust fan itself is quite powerful, with a 110 CFM airflow. You can use it to ventilate and reduce moisture in a large bathroom, as big as 100 sq. ft. Even with high airflow, the sound of the fan is minimal at 0.9 sones. You would not even hear this HVI certified unit.
The PowerHeat design of this fan+heater combo ensures energy conservation. You get instant heating with this heater in the bathroom. You can seamlessly switch between the three major functions of the QTX110HL.
This is big though, with the grille measuring 20 inches by 15 inches. The housing is galvanized steel, whereas the grille is polymeric. All the hardware needed for the installation is provided with the fan. You can read the instructions in the manual and install it in the bathroom ceiling yourself.
You can fit in two 60-Watt bulbs and a 7-Watt nightlight. The diffusing cover dims the bright light a little bit, but that only makes it look aesthetically pleasing.
Even if you already have an exhaust fan in your bathroom, choosing a replacement can be confusing. There are just so many choices out there, with a wide range of prices. However, if you know what is right for your bathroom, in particular, the decision becomes easy.
A small bathroom fan can have many features, but some are more important than others. Similarly, there’s not just one type of fan but several. You should know what these different types are, as well as what features to look out for, in order to get the best bathroom fan.
Types of Bathroom Fans
Ceiling-Mounted Exhaust Fans
These are the most common bathroom fans, both for residences and commercial places. It’s pretty self-explanatory as the fan gets attached to the ceiling. This position makes it ideal for pulling in air, especially from the higher levels where all the stale air resides.
Ceiling fans usually use a hole in the attic of the house. They collect the air and push it outside the house.
Wall-Mounted Exhaust Fans
Wall-mounted exhaust fans are perhaps the easiest to install. The fan is located on the outside of the wall, pushing out air through the hole in the wall. Some of these can also be installed in windows. Also, some ceiling fans can be mounted on the wall.
Inline Exhaust Fans
Inline exhaust fans are installed between the ducts. They usually have a lot of air-flow and make less noise as they are not directly above the ceiling or not the walls. Their job is the same as the above two: pull air from the bathroom out of the house.
External Exhaust Fans
These are very similar to wall-mounted exhaust fans, but these are mounted on the walls outside the house. They suck air through ducts and push them outside. Since these are installed outside, they can even be louder without being a bother.
Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Light
These are usually ceiling exhaust fans that provide two-in-one functions. The single unit ventilates air and also has a bulb or several bulbs, including a night light. These can look quite beautiful in the bathroom and add more brightness, even if your bathroom already has a light.
Some exhaust fans take this combo approach even further by including a small heater. If your bathroom lacks a heater, this could be a great addition. Such combos are, of course, pricier than your basic exhaust fan.
Things to Consider
Now that you understand what different types of bathroom exhaust fans are, you should also keep in mind some key features. The best bathroom fan should meet the basic requirements for your particular bathroom.
There are two main features that will help you pick the right bathroom vent fan:
The airflow is perhaps the basic distinguishing factor between exhaust fans. Airflow is indicated by CFM or cubic feet per minute. It basically indicates how much air the exhaust fan exchanges per minute in from the bathroom.
You can say that CFM is also sort of the size of the fan. Generally, the larger the bathroom, the larger the CFM you would want.
For a powder room, 50 to 60 CFM is good enough. And 70 to 90 CFM will be sufficient for a medium-size bathroom. Finally, for those big master bathrooms, you should go for 100 or more CFM.
Noise is also an important consideration because (let’s be honest) exhaust fans can be pretty loud. The sound-level of an exhaust fan is indicated by sones. Fans with two or fewer sones are considered quiet. However, if you want a truly quiet exhaust fan, go for something less than a single sone.
Those fans with sones more than two will make noise. However, if noise does not bother you that much, go for those by all means. You might even save some money as quieter fans are usually pricier.
Before you buy any exhaust fan for your bathroom, make sure that it can replace the fan you already have installed. It’ll reduce a lot of work. However, you can always make adjustments to fit in a bigger or smaller ventilation fan.
Bathroom fans are usually very easy to install. You can take the DIY approach, simply following all the instructions given in the user manual. You need to also take into account the duct size the fan can support.
The hardware for installing the fan should ideally come with the fan. This is the best way to ensure that your exhaust fan runs smoothly. You can always hire a handyman to do it for you if it’s too much of a hassle.
While airflow (CFM) is one way to find the best bathroom fan for your home, another rather easier measure is the size of your bathroom. Most fans for the bathroom indicate how much of an area they can cover.
You can simply measure the area of your bathroom in sq. ft and find the fan that corresponds to it. For instance, if your bathroom is 50 sq. ft, you should get an exhaust fan that has enough airflow to cover at least 50 sq. ft.
You can get a fan for a bathroom bigger than yours, but it’s not the best choice. It might consume more energy and may remove more humidity than you would like.
In today’s age of climate crisis, it’s important to find out the environmental impact of whatever that you’re buying. In the case of electronics, it’s usually the energy they consume. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the less energy they consume, the more money you save.
Energy Star is a reliable certification to determine if the fan in question is indeed energy-efficient. You can also directly verify the power usage, indicated in Watts. The exhaust fan might run almost all day, so you want to make sure it’s not using a lot of energy.
Can I keep the bathroom fan running all night?
You can keep the bathroom fan running all the time, but it’s not recommended. There are several reasons why you would not want the fan running all night long. First of all, the fan might start developing problems from running all the time.
It’s also a fire hazard as exhaust fans can cause fire by overheating. Here’s what happens when you let the exhaust fan run for too long. The motor gets overheated, and the dust or lint stuck in the vents can catch fire.
The temperature of the motor can be up to 250 degrees. This can be alarming regardless of how small the motor of the fan is. One way to proactively prevent fire is to clean the fan grilles periodically.
There was an incident in Ohio where a building burnt down, and on the investigation, an exhaust fan was found to be the problem. This could be an isolated incident but still calls for caution.
In any case, you would be running the fan all night to consume more energy. Even with an energy-efficient fan, you could be looking at increased costs over time. Therefore, it’s best not to leave the exhaust fan on in the bathroom for extensive periods.
How to clean bathroom exhaust fan?
This is a common question regarding exhaust fans as they tend to get pretty dirty over time. Those bathroom fans found in public places can get dirty pretty fast as they run so frequently. Ideally, you should clean the bathroom vent fan at least once every year.
Cleaning the fan will not only improve its life but make sure your bathroom looks squeaky clean from every possible angle. Although it’s time-consuming, cleaning an exhaust fan is not all that difficult.
Here’s how you can do it:
- First of all, switch off the fan
- Grab a stool or chair and remove the grille of the fan
- Then wash the grille with water or soapy water if its way too dirty
- You can use a vacuum wand attachment to clean the dust from the interior of the exhaust fan
- You can also use a blower or can of compressed air, whatever you may have available
- Once the grille is dry, put it back in place
Voila, your bathroom fan is as good as new. The grille is usually the dirtiest as the dust, lint, and debris get stuck in the gaps. If you just leave it dirty, the performance of the fan might just get a hit.
If you do not want to do a deep cleaning, simply wiping the grille with a tissue or cloth from time to time. This way, you will not have to unscrew it. Nevertheless, you should try to do a deep cleaning once a year.
Do exhaust fans eliminate bad odors?
Most exhaust fans do eliminate odors from your bathroom. Interestingly, for many people, that’s the primary purpose of a bathroom fan. It helps get rid of the smell after you use the toilet. That said, not all exhaust fans are quite efficient at removing odors.
Their basic job is to exchange the inside air with more of the outside air. This exit of air takes with it all the foul smells hanging in the bathroom. As fresh air enters, the bathroom does not smell as bad as it was smelling some moments ago.
If odor elimination is a priority for you, then go for bathroom ceiling fans that have a filter, preferably a carbon filter. Carbon filters are the best at absorbing odors, so they actively remove bad smells as well as smoke.
This is the reason why many air purifiers feature activated carbon filters. In addition to removing dust and allergens, these purifiers also kill mood-killing smells from a room. A bath fan with an odor filter has the same function.
How long does the best bathroom fan last?
You would want the best bathroom fan to last forever, but let’s be serious; nothing lasts forever. However, that does not mean you should not consider the life of an exhaust fan. These are such an essential part of your bathroom and can really make a difference.
How long a bathroom fan lasts depends on several factors. Quality, of course, plays a vital role. With high-quality parts and motor, this fan will give you years on end with only a little maintenance.
Cleaning the fan on time and making sure it runs smoothly can significantly improve its life. So there’s no definitive number, but bathroom fan lasting anywhere from five to ten years is more than ample. You’ll get your money’s worth over this time.
Another important consideration when talking about the life of an exhaust fan or any kind of electronics for that matter is the warranty. Warranty can give the fan a new life should it run into problems. Many brands offer standard one to two-year warranties on most of their exhaust fans.
This question begs another question, which is, when should you replace the exhaust fan? Well, the answer is quite straightforward; when it stops working efficiently. This could be in three years, five years, or even fifteen years.
The best bathroom fan is the one that fits like a glove and does the job well. It does not hurt if it’s stylish and has extra features like lights. Exhaust fans with lights are becoming more and more popular for urban bathrooms that are already short on space.
You should think of the exhaust fan more like an investment in protecting your bathroom. Mold and mildew are the worst enemies of grout, tiles, and even walls. Don’t let too much humidity reverse all that beautiful work you have put in the bathroom.