Top 12 Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans for 2020

best bathroom exhaust fan

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While you might not think about it, the truth is that the level of humidity in your bathroom (and the rest of your home) has a huge effect on your home’s air quality. When you have high levels of moisture in your home, it can spread bacteria and germs, which could make you and your family members sick. It also is known to cause higher levels of asthma and allergies. This is the reason it is so crucial to regulate the humidity level where you live in order to avoid these problems.

When you consider it, your bathroom is likely one of the most humid spaces in your home. This is why having a great ventilation system is so crucial in this room. It can help keep air circulating while regulating the amount of humidity in your bathroom. This is the reason that the best bathroom exhaust fans help avoid the growth of mold and mildew in the room.

However, there are nearly countless fans out there to choose from, which can make purchasing one a challenge. We’re going to look at the 12 best exhaust fans and explain what makes them better than the rest. We’ll also share information about how to compare bathroom fans to choose the one that works best for your home. We’ll go over the most important features and what they mean so you can make a knowledgeable decision.

Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan Reviews

 NameAir MovementSone Rating 
Broan-NuTone AE80B InVent Series Single-Speed Fan80 CFM1.5 SonesCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
BV Ultra-Quiet Bathroom Ventilation & Exhaust Fan90 CFM0.8 SonesCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Panasonic FV-08-11VF5 WhisperFitEZ Fan80 or 110 CFM0.3 SonesCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Panasonic FV-30VQ3 WhisperCeiling Ceiling Mounted Fan290 CFM2.0 SonesCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Delta Products Corporation GBR80HLED Delta BreezGreenBuilder Series 8080 CFM0.8 SonesCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Delta Electronics Ltd. ITG50LED Delta BreezIntegrity Series50 CFM0.7 SonesCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Panasonic FV-20VQ3 WhisperCeiling Ceiling Mounted Fan190 CFM1.3 SonesCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Broan-NuTone 696 Ceiling Exhaust Fan100 CFM4.5 SonesCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Ventline V2262-50 Ceiling Exhaust Fan50 CFM2.3 SonesCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Broan-NuTone HD80L Heavy Duty Ventilation Fan and Light Combo80 CFM2.5 SonesCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Panasonic FV-11VH2 Whisper Warm Ceiling Mounted Fan Heat Combination110 CFM0.7 SonesCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Broan-NuTone 505 Exhaust Fan180 CFM6.5 SonesCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Broan-NuTone AE80B InVent Series Single-Speed Fan

The Broan-NuTone AE80B InVent is one of the top exhaust fans for 2019, for several different reasons. It is an energy-efficient fan that is fairly quiet which helps with air quality in rooms of up to 75 square feet. This exhaust fan has powerful ventilation to reduce the humidity in a room, which manages moisture and eliminates foggy mirrors after a bath or shower.

Those who aren’t interested in dealing with a fan that is hard to be installed will likely want to put this on their shortlist. It easily installs in most bathrooms and can be retrofit without needing access to the attic or floor above. There is a special damper included on this bathroom fan that helps prevent air leakage for the best possible performance and a reduction in air backdrafts.

While some exhaust fans are suitable for everywhere but the bathroom, this one is an exception. It is UL listed for use over showers and bathtubs. It also has a GFCI circuit that helps you capture the steam before it can spread across the room. This lets you put the fan in whatever location works best for your needs. It has a galvanized steel construction for durability and a four-inch duct connector with a tapered sleeve to prevent additional noise.

Pros:

● The installation process is simple and easy for almost anyone
● Easily able to be retrofitted into nearly all bathrooms
● Has a total of 80 CFM in air movement

Cons:

● Can be noisier than some fan exhaust systems

BV Ultra-Quiet Bathroom Ventilation & Exhaust Fan

Another of the best exhaust fans on the market today is the BV Ultra-Quiet. It is an excellent fan with a very quiet performance for anyone who appreciates peace and quiet. What sets it apart is the fact that while it is nearly silent at 0.8 sones, it’s also a very powerful bathroom exhaust fan. It can be easily used to ventilate a room of up to 90 square feet and there are larger models out there for those who have larger spaces to think about.

This is a durable and well-made fan that uses stainless steel for the housing body. That means it’s likely to last a good long time, so your investment is worth it. On top of that, it’s fairly inexpensive, to begin with. When it comes to value for your money, you should also know that this product has a one-year limited product warranty which includes technical support service.

The bathroom fan weighs less than 10 pounds and measures 9 x 9 x 7.6 inches. It has a duct diameter of three to three and three-quarter inches. However, the hole made for the installation has to be precise. If it is too large, the grille will not be able to hide it. It comes with the grills, screws, suspension brackets, and a user manual.

Pros:

● Great performance without the noise of similar models
● Offers exceptional air displacement capabilities
● Quality, durable construction with a stainless steel collar

Cons:

● One of the more difficult to install models of exhaust fans

Panasonic FV-08-11VF5 WhisperFitEZ Fan

The Panasonic FV-08-11VF5 WhisperFitEZ is a bathroom exhaust fan with an extremely low 0.3 sones rating for quiet operation even when on the top speed. This fan offers exceptional air moving performance and can handle ventilation without a problem. These fans have been tested and verified in real-world settings to ensure the top level of performance possible. This particular model can come with just the fan or you can get the fan along with a motion sensor to save energy.

This fan is created to be durable and long-lasting, which can be seen with the three-year limited warranty the exhaust fan comes with. The fan uses less energy to move the air, which means it is less likely to experience motor failure or overheating. This can save you on repair costs and prevent needing to buy a new fan anytime soon after purchasing it.

The system to install this fan is set up to work with four and six-inch ducts and is flexible in terms of duct design and layout. It features the Flex-Z fast installation bracket which makes it easier to position the fan in the manner you prefer. This fan is a great choice for most houses and can eliminate humidity while removing air pollutants for safe breathing at all times.

Pros:

● Offers a three-year limited warranty
● Easy to install with four and six-inch ducts and simple installation bracket
● Energy Star certified and complies with various standards for exhaust fans

Cons:

● Is louder than you might expect based on the sones rating

Panasonic FV-30VQ3 WhisperCeiling Ceiling Mounted Fan

Another great exhaust fan from Panasonic is the FV-30VQ3 WhisperCeiling, which mounts on the ceiling of any room in your home. One of the unique features with this fan is that it includes an enclosed condenser motor as well as a dolphin-shaped, double-tapered blower wheel in order to create one of the quietest fans you can find on the market in 2019.

This bathroom fan was designed for simple and continuous use over many years and you can see that through the materials used to make it. It offers permanently lubricated motors and high-quality components which will wear down less quickly than other fan models. This fan also has firmly secured duct ends, detachable adaptors, and adjustable mounting brackets for versatility. The fan and motor easily come off the housing for easy installation in most cases.

Another thing this fan has going for it is the built-in damper which helps alleviate the problem of backdraft. That means outdoor air is less likely to come in through the fan. The fan itself is made of a galvanized steel material and includes rust-proof paint for corrosion resistance. It weighs only four pounds and has dimensions of 15 x 15 x 10.2 inches.

Pros:

● Features enclosed condenser motor and tapered blower wheel for quiet
● Designed to work for years without any problems thanks to high-quality parts
● Easily detaches from housing and offers simple wiring for easy installation

Cons:

● Wire box is riveted on and may be problematic for older home installation

Delta Products Corporation GBR80HLED Delta BreezGreenBuilder Series 80

If you are looking for an energy-efficient fan that helps keep the environment healthy, there are few exhaust fans better than the Delta BreezGreenBuilder Series 80. This is another Energy Star certified fan that uses up to 86% less energy than other bathroom fans of the exact same size. If hooked up to a GFIC, and it can be used in a shower or tub enclosure.

This fan will not only be energy-efficient, but relaxing as well. It is not nearly as noisy as the average fan with a noise rating of only 0.3. Another excellent feature of this fan is the built-in humidity sensor. When the fan determines it is too humid in a room, such as a bathroom, it turns itself on until the humidity drops back down. At that point, the fan shuts itself off.

To get an idea of how durable this fan is, you only have to look at the three-year warranty offered by Delta. This means that construction is high-quality, and you can expect it to do a great job for several years, if not more. It has a mounting opening of 8.5 square inches and a duct diameter of four inches. The only thing this model is really missing is a light and that won’t be a deal-breaker for many people who already have sufficient light in their bathrooms.

Pros:

● Features a quiet operation and powerful 80 CFM air movement ability
● The energy-efficient model will help keep the power bill low
● Offers a built-in humidity sensor and comes with a three-year warranty

Cons:

● May not be as retrofit friendly for some situations

Delta Electronics Ltd. ITG50LED Delta BreezIntegrity Series

The Delta Electronics ITG50LED BreezIntegrity Series offers a few different models of exhaust fans with various sones and CFM ratings. The CFM can range from 50 at the lower end to 100 at the higher end. While this is available as simply a fan, it can also be purchased with a dimmable led light, with a Bluetooth speaker, with dual speed and a humidity sensor, or with a traditional LED light. That makes it one of the most versatile options out there and a fan many will find meets their needs.

Another of the great features of this exhaust fan is that it has a DC brushless motor design. This adds a lot of performance that other fans do not have. It creates a lower power consumption to keep electricity bills low, as well as keeping the fan nice and quiet for those who prefer solitude. This also makes the fan last longer than it would otherwise without the brushless motor.

The motor on this ceiling mounted exhaust fan offers a thermal cutoff fuse, which is removable. It also offers a constantly lubricated plug-in motor which leads to a longer life. The built-in soft start function helps keeps bearings going for longer than the competitors on the market. It also powers off automatically when the impeller is located in an abnormal state.

Pros:

● Features an innovative brushless motor design for low noise and power consumption
● Comes with a thermal cutoff fuse and permanently lubricated motor
● Soft start function helps increase the life of bearings

Cons:

● Damper outlet may not stay secure as you would wish

Panasonic FV-20VQ3 WhisperCeiling Ceiling Mounted Fan

If you’ve been searching for a seriously powerful bathroom exhaust fan, the Panasonic FV-20VQ3 WhisperCeiling might be the right option. This is a ceiling-mounted fan that offers 190 CFM of air movement, more than many of the other options you will see on the market. While the fan can seriously handle moisture in a large room, it can also do so while being quiet. At 1.3 sones, all but the most sensitive to noise are likely to be happy with this option.

This fan is built with a damper built-in which can help prevent backdraft. That means you don’t have to worry about outside air coming in through the fan and reached the rest of your house. The fan also features adjustable mounting brackets up to 26 inches, well-secured duct ends, and fan and motor units that can easily be removed from the housing. On top of that, it uses simple wiring to create a user-friendly design when it comes to installation.

The construction of this fan is designed to ensure it works well and doesn’t run into issues for years. This is ensured by the use of motors that are permanently lubricated and components that are high-quality. This is one of the heavier fans on our list at over 16 pounds and has dimensions of 15 x 15 x 10.2 inches.

Pros:

● Offers a fully enclosed condenser motor and runs at a quiet 1.3 sones
● Features adjustable mounting brackets, double-hanger bay, and detachable adaptor
● Permitted for use in enclosures with tubs and showers when used with a GFCI branch circuit wire

Cons:

● Installation may be more difficult than many other exhaust fans out there

Broan-NuTone 696 Ceiling Exhaust Fan

If you are looking for a great exhaust fan for your bathroom and you would appreciate having a light connected to it, the Broan-NuTone 696 is an excellent choice for your needs. This combination device helps reduce moisture, prevent mold and mildew, and is powerful enough for even larger bathrooms up to 90 square feet. The ceiling exhaust fan has a 100-watt light capacity and features a light-diffusing lens that will last a long time.

For the do-it-yourselfer, this is an easy fan and light to install or replace a current fan. It has polymeric duct connections with tapered sleeves for positive, easy ducting. The fan also includes adjustable mounting brackets and a permanently lubricated motor. It is UL listed and safe for use above showers and bathtubs when connecting it to a GFCI protected branch circuit. It also has an efficient fan impeller to ensure quality over time.

This exhaust fan has a designer style with a white polymeric grille. It fits into ceilings neatly and will fit in with any sort of décor. It can also be used with a 68W or 68V two-function control, although you will need to purchase that component separately.

Pros:

● Features a fan and light combination that can reduce moisture in rooms of up to 90 square feet
● Offers 100-watt lighting capacity with a shatter-resistant light diffusing lens
● Simple design for installation or replacement by a do-it-yourselfer

Cons:

● Some may find this is much louder than wanted for everyday use

Ventline V2262-50 Ceiling Exhaust Fan

Those who are looking to purchase a ceiling exhaust fan for a small room will find the Ventline V2262-50 is one of the top choices out there. This fan is eight inches in diameter and requires only a rough-in opening to install. That means nearly anyone can handle the process without bringing in a professional. It comes with a manual offer assistance while you install it in your bathroom or other space.

One of the unique things about this exhaust fan is that it is designed to avoid losing its shape using a dynamically balanced polypropylene blade. It also weighs only two pounds, making it one of the lightest bathroom fans you could hope to find. The dimensions of the fan are 10.8 x 9.4 x 55 inches. It works very well in small spaces but those with large bathrooms may find it isn’t quite powerful enough for their needs.

The price of this fan is on the lower side of average, which makes sense with the performance you can expect once you install it. It comes with a motor, fan, and pipe assembly. There is also a cap and flange, but this part has to be purchased separately. It also comes with a foam damper found on the end of the fan housing to prevent air from coming in from outdoors.

Pros:

● Small exhaust bath fan is ideal and efficient in small bathrooms and other spaces
● Features a balanced polypropylene blade that won’t bend out of shape
● Only requires an eight-inch rough-in opening for easy installation

Cons:

● Some components may not be as high quality as expected

Broan-NuTone HD80L Heavy Duty Ventilation Fan and Light Combo

The HD80L Heavy Duty Fan and Light Combo is another option for those who want extra light in the bathroom. It has a sturdy ventilation fan along with a light to brighten up the room while preventing the growth of mold and mildew through moisture reduction. It has 80 CFM of air movement which is ideal for a bathroom of up to around 75 square feet in size.

This fan with a light can offer 100-watt incandescent light, but you will need to buy a bulb separately. This component is created out of high-quality materials to last longer than you would expect. The grille on the front of the fan is white polymer with a style that will fit in nearly any space. It also has a light-diffusing lens so it doesn’t shine too brightly when you head into the bathroom at night.

Do-it-yourselfers can often install or replace this fan without a lot of trouble, but some people have had more trouble with it. It does include duct connectors with tapered sleeves to make ducting easier. It also has keyhole mounting brackets to assist installation and keep the fan secure wherever it ends up being installed. The fan is listed for use over showers and bathtubs assuming a GFCI protected branch circuit is connected to it.

Pros:

● Features a fully enclosed motor design to offer continuous operation
● Comes with a 100-watt lighting capacity, but bulb is not included
● Designer style with a shatter-resistant light diffusing lens for durability and look

Cons:

● May be difficult to install for some individuals

Panasonic FV-11VH2 Whisper Warm Ceiling Mounted Fan Heat Combination

The FV-11VH2 from Panasonic is rated at 110 cubic feet per minute and has a noise of 0.7 sones. This is one of the heavier exhaust fans available at over 22 pounds, but it also has a lot going for it with that weight. For one thing, this is far more than just another fan to remove moisture after a shower. It also has a heater that is part of the fan to keep you nice and warm even when the weather outside is cold.

The heating element in this fan is stainless-steel sheathed and of tubular design. It includes Nichrome wire and magnesium oxide to offer a high level of heat transfer when in use. It also has a double-sided blower wheel to pull in more air and ensure the area is dry and there is no chance of mold or mildew taking hold in the bathroom.

This is a fan that includes a permanently lubricated motor to ensure a longer life than the average fan. It also is composed of high-quality components that last. As with other fans by the company, it has been tested and verified to work in real-world conditions.

Pros:

● Offers both a fan and combination heating for warm and quiet operation
● Blower wheel has been designed to bring in the air on both sides for better performance
● High-quality components and permanently lubricated motors make for long life

Cons:

● Requires a specialty lightbulb which may be difficult to find

Broan-NuTone 505 Exhaust Fan

The Broan-NuTone 505 Exhaust Fan is eight inches and Energy Star certified as well as HVI certified to ensure it will work well and in a safe manner for many years in the future. This is an attractive model with paintable polymeric grilles so you can choose the color or design that will best fit your current indoor decorations. This is a bit noisier than some models at 6.5 sones but quite powerful for a smaller fan.

When it comes to the installation of this bathroom exhaust fan, the company makes it easy with this model. It has steel mounting brackets along with keyhole slots so nearly anyone can install it quickly and get it going easily. It can remove humidity from bathrooms or laundry rooms, help remove tobacco smoke from living areas, and get rid of cooking fumes in kitchens.

This fan uses a durable galvanized steel housing which can install simply in between the ceiling joists where it can be used whenever it is needed. It fits into an eight-inch round duct that would already be installed in the house for other purposes.

Pros:

● Operates at 180 CFM and 6.5 sones for the best possible performance
● Energy Star certified exhaust fan which is also HVI certified for years of safety
● Offers steel mounting brackets and keyhole slots for a simple and quick installation

Cons:

● Components may not be as high quality as other models

What You Need to Know When Choosing a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Many people enjoy taking a long, steamy shower which turns the space into something resembling a spa. However, there’s something you may not realize when choosing that luxury option. The humidity and steam that come from long showers in hot water can create major issues with air quality. The excellent thing is that using a bathroom fan can completely alleviate this issue.

A bathroom exhaust fan is typically placed into the ceiling or the wall. It helps improve airflow, removes extra humidity, and adds additional ventilation to this enclosed space. These systems remove the warm moisture in the air and exhaust is into the outdoors using the ductwork in your home.

Using a bathroom vent fan helps prevent mildew and mold issues while maintaining the healthy air quality in your home. It also helps keep you both comfortable and safe, even if you love those long, hot showers. However, there are a few things to think about when choosing the right quiet bathroom fan.

Sizing of the Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Knowing how many square feet your house consists of is important when choosing the right size of bathroom fan. This is important since having the wrong size could mean that there isn’t an appropriate amount of ventilation in the room. When you take a look at bathroom exhaust fans, you will see they are sized and rated based on their ability to move air in cubic feet per minute, also known as CFMs.

Bathroom fans with a smaller rating tend to be smaller and less powerful than those with a high rating. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing as a small bathroom may not need a lot of power to remove moisture from the air. However, in a large bathroom, you will want a fan with a higher CFM to ensure it works well.

According to the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI), who certifies the efficiency and performance of home ventilation products, there is a specific set of guidelines for choosing the right size of bathroom fan.

As an example, a bathroom that is eight feet by five feet with standard eight-foot ceilings would use the following formula to determine then required CFM.

Length x width x height, in this case, equals out to 320 cubic feet. That should be multiplied by the number of air changes an hour, often eight. The end result is 2,560. You take that number and divide it by 60 for the number of minutes in an hour to get 42. That is the CFM rating that will be appropriate for your bathroom. However, HVI also recommends adding 50 CFM for each shower, toilet, or bath combo in the room.

Installation of the Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Light

It is also important to consider how the bathroom fan is going to be installed. Many of them are going to be installed in a ceiling, but some are going to be installed in a wall, instead. These fans also come with integrated duct adaptors that need to be connected to the ductwork in your home. It is also important to note that the fan should be installed to vent air outside rather than into an attic or basement.

The reason you shouldn’t vent air into the house is because it just moves the moist air from one part of the house to another. The first thing you should consider before buying a bathroom fan is where you want to install it. Once you do that, you can choose a model with the right size duct adapter for your home.

If you want to make the installation simple, you may want to install the fan with a light over the light fixture to make wiring easier. If the fan is going to be installed over a combination tub and shower, it should be safety certified to do so. Many people should also consider hiring an HVAC technician for the job.

Special Features of the Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan

While you might think a fan is just a fan, that isn’t always the case. Many of the modern bathroom ventilation fans on the market today have many features that offers efficiency and convenience to those who use them. The most common you may see include:

Controls – Fans that have additional functions often have separate controls for each or make it possible to use all of them together. There will also be a special wall switch that makes it easy to control all the functions of the device.

● best bathroom exhaust fan– Some fans come with a built-in heater. This can be a great option to look for if you happen to live somewhere with a cold climate.

Humidity and Motion Sensors – Motion and humidity sensors are useful since they offer better efficiency for the fan and can conserve energy to save you money. Humidity sensors can monitor the space and turn the fan on only when the humidity reaches a certain level. It can also turn the fan off when less humidity is present. Motion sensors detect when someone is in the bathroom to turn on the light or fan.

Integrated Lighting – Many models of exhaust fans have integrated lighting and can replace the current fixtures or be used as additional light. There are also models with night lights for soft lighting during the night.

Level of Noise from the Small Exhaust Fan

Some bathroom fans can be extremely noisy, which can make using the bathroom less of a quiet respite from the rest of your home. This is why it’s important to consider the sound level and select a quieter model if that’s something that will bother you.

When looking at a ceiling or wall mount bathroom fan, the level of sound is rated in sones. A sone is a measurement of sound and how it is sensed by the average person. As an example, a typical refrigerator home in a quiet kitchen is about the same as one sone. Two sones would be double that sound and so on.

When you are looking for a bathroom fan that is quiet, look for a low sone rating. A fan of two or under the best option, while fans of three or four create more noise. Anything above that is going to be much louder.

The efficiency of a Bathroom Vent Fan with Light

One of the top things to consider when selecting a home appliance or system is the efficiency. The good news is that several exhaust fans are now much more efficient than ever before.

An Energy Star bathroom fan will use about 70% less energy than a typical model that is non-Energy Star. This can create lower energy costs for your household. Energy Star appliances also are required to meet certain qualifications for low wattage consumption, low sound emission, and efficient but powerful performance under pressure.

If you choose an Energy Star bathroom exhaust fan, you will get the most out of your energy costs. Another option is choosing a model with a motion and humidity sensor so it is only running when it actually needs to be.

Tips for Using Bathroom Exhaust Fans

After you have your new exhaust fan set up in the bathroom, it’s time to use it. While the actual use of this device is fairly straightforward, having a few helpful tips can ensure that things go as expected.

● Those who have steam showers should have a separate fan with a timer. It can be turned off when the shower is being used and then turned back on otherwise to dry out the shower stall.

● You should be careful not to use the exhaust fan except when required. The fan helps remove moisture and air out of the bathroom to the outdoors. However, whatever is being blown out can leak back into the house in other locations.

● However, make sure you do use the fan for long enough that it can remove all the moisture and exchange the air from the room. Only running the fan for a few minutes after a bath or shower is not enough. As a rule of thumb, running the fan for around 20 minutes for an average-sized bathroom should be sufficient.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are bathroom exhaust fans out there for bathrooms of all sizes and budgets of all levels. Our fan reviews should give you an idea of which will work best for you. If these do not meet your needs, you can use the information above to select a fan that works best for your situation. Consider noise level, energy rating, and the features that matter and you could have the best bathroom exhaust fan installed in your bathroom soon. Good luck!