A bathroom fan provides an ideal way to improve airflow in small or large indoor settings. Increased airflow makes it easier to reduce moisture and humidity in the bathroom. Humidity has the capacity to create ample conditions for mold and mildew to develop. In addition, humidity affects air quality. Using a fan in the bathroom helps prevent damage to wood framing and the drywall.
The fans can be fitted inside the ceiling or wall. Moisture is drawn into the ducts and released outside. The extraction allows you to enjoy improved comfort levels. The units also provide a practical way to reduce heat, which typically rises and pools around the ceiling. A fan enables the continual flow of cooler air in the bathroom.
Popular bathroom fan brands
Some of the leading bathroom fan manufacturers include:
Panasonic is well known for its innovative appliances designed for home and business use. The manufacturer offers award-winning ceiling mounted systems from which to choose.
Broan-NuTone is a leader when it comes to manufacturing advanced residential ventilation products, which come with built-in convenience features.
Delta Breez fans are known for cutting-edge design innovations, such as the DC brushless motor and a switching power supply.
Air King offers an impressive range of high-performance bath fans with high-impact plastic housing. This is designed to ensure quieter operation throughout the fan’s working life. Welded units tend to rattle as they age.
BV continues to demonstrate its commitment to high-quality products by introducing unique bath fan designs that set the brand apart from the competition. BV fans use the proprietary Silent-Clever Technology to achieve super-quiet operation.
Hunter ventilation fans are synonymous with superior workmanship that draws inspiration from 19th century design concepts. The manufacturer merges classic designs with advanced technology to create products of unsurpassed quality.
10 Top Rated Bathroom Fan
|Fan Name||Airflow Capacity||Noise Level||Lighting||Housing Material||Our Reviews|
|Panasonic FV-08VQ5||80 CFM||0.3 sones||None||Galvanized steel||Read review|
|Air King BFQ||90 CFM||2.5 sones||None||High impact plastic||Read review|
|Broan 678||50 CFM||2.5 sones||100-watt incandescent bulb||Plastic||Read review|
|Breez Green Builder GBR50||50 CFM||0.3 sones||None||Galvanized steel||Read review|
|Broan 688||50 CFM||4.0 sones||None||Metal||Read review|
|Delta Breez GBR80LED||80 CFM||0.8 sones||LED||Galvanized steel||Read review|
|BV Ultra-Silent Vent Fan||90 CFM||0.7 sones||None||Stainless steel||Read review|
|Kaze Appliance SE90TL2||90 CFM||0.3 sones||LED||Galvanized steel||Read review|
|Hunter 83002||110 CFM||3.0 sones||60 watt A-15 bulbs||Cased glass||Read review|
|Tatsumaki LD-120||120 CFM||1.2 sones||6W LED||Metal||Read review|
1. Panasonic FV-08VQ5 WhisperCeiling Ventilation System
The Panasonic FV-08VQ5 WhisperCeiling vent fan is our highest ranking system. The product comes with innovative features designed to ensure impressive performance, reliability and durability. The ceiling-mounted unit has an air delivery rate of 80 cubic feet per minute (CFM). In addition, it comes with a power rating of 60 hertz and 120 volts. Its totally enclosed condenser AC motor is equipped with a thermal-cutoff fuse for extra protection.
The ventilation system is one of the super-quiet options available on the market. The quiet operation is achieved with the use of a double-tapered blower wheel, which generates airflow without making any noise. The wheel has the capacity to move air at twice the static pressure set as the industry standard. The unit is rated for continuous use and exceeds performance standards set by the Energy Star 3.0, Asharae 62.2 and Leed for Homes.
We like the detachable 4-inch diameter duct adapter is a feature because it provides much-needed flexibility. This means you have multiple duct layout and design options. The smaller duct is ideal for short runs. The unit’s grille fits onto the housing using torsion springs.
Panasonic vent fans are known to move larger volumes of air when compared to other competing products available on the market. They run cooler to ensure durability, reliability and boost overall ventilation performance. Durability reduces cost of ownership by reducing expenses associated with maintenance, repair and replacement.
The Panasonic FV-08VQ5 WhisperCeiling vent fan features an expandable double hanger-bar system designed to assist with positioning during installation. The hanger-bar system is expandable up to 24 inches.
2. Air King BFQ 90 High Performance Bath Fan
This Air King ventilation system is a high-performance fan fitted with a polymeric grill. It offers superior durability thanks to the high-impact plastic housing that is also designed to enhance quiet operation and prevent rust. The unit employs a built-in back draft damper to reduce noise levels and protect the draft. The damper is attached to the 4-inch plastic duct collar.
The snap-in mounting mechanism simplifies the in-ceiling installation process. It is rated for ceilings insulated to R-40. The unit’s robust motor has the capacity to handle continuous operation. The parts-only warranty offered by the manufacturer provides peace of mind for a period of one year.
BFQ90 forms part of a high-performance exhaust fan series that operates at an airflow rate of 90 CFM. Its noise level is significantly higher at 2.5 sones, which means the unit is not super-quiet like many other competing products. On the upside, it uses the snap-in mechanism to fit snugly to the ceiling joist. The ducting can be installed on the left or right hand.
The entire installation process only takes minutes. You simply fit the ducting, connect the wiring and attach the stylized grill onto the high-impact plastic housing and you are done. This ventilation system is UL-listed for application over a shower or tub using a GFCI circuit. Additionally, it is HVI 2100-certified and Culus-listed. This demonstrates that it meets specific safety, quality and reliability standards.
3. Broan 678 Ventilation Fan and Light Combination
The Broan 678 fan with light is designed for dual purpose; it extracts humidity and brightens the bathroom. It is available in a range of sizes and designs to suit varying installation requirements. The product has been approved for use over a shower and a bathtub. It is the ideal ventilation system for removing odors and moisture. This makes it easier to keep your home free from mold and mildew, thus prevent structural damage to the drywall and wooden fixtures.
It is fitted with a plug-in permanently lubricated motor, which improves reliability and durability. The unit comes with a one-year limited manufacturer’s warranty. When it comes to noise level, the Broan 678 operates at 2.5 sones while its air delivery rate is 50 CFM. It features a classic white polymeric grille that is sure to complement your bathroom’s décor. The grille is impervious to the humid bathroom conditions.
This type IC (insulation contact) fan also comes with a highly efficient polymeric fan impeller to boost reliability and power. The installation process is a breeze and the unit can be used with an optional two-function wall control system. It has tapered sleeves and polymeric duct connectors, which are useful during installation.
The light fixture is designed to work with a 100-watt incandescent bulb. On the other hand, it boasts light-diffusing lens capable of distributing light evenly throughout the bathroom. The lens is shatter-resistant.
4. Delta BreezGreenBuilder GBR50 Exhaust Bath Fan
The Breez GBR50 boasts the lowest noise level with superior rating of just 0.3 sones. This means you can enjoy the benefits of a virtually silent exhaust fan. In addition, the product is energy efficient; it uses only 3.8 watts with an Energy Star rating of 13.1. It has an airflow rate of 50 CFM and offers maximum reliability. The unit leverages the benefits of a DC brushless motor to provide trouble-free operation.
The housing is constructed using corrosion resistant material. This is particularly important considering that the vent fan is exposed to high levels of moisture and humidity. It is also easy to install in any bathroom setting and comes with multiple design innovations. These include an advanced switching power supply feature.
The unit is not only Energy Star rated but also HVI certified. For your peace of mind, the manufacturer offers 3-year warranty. It is applicable to manufacturer defects on various components, including the brushless motor.
5. Broan 688 Ceiling and Wall Mount Fan
The Broan 688 can be mounted inside the ceiling or wall depending on specific installation and operational requirements. It comes with a powerful centrifugal wheel for superior performance. In addition, it has a permanently lubricated motor, which ensures reliable operation. The unit’s compact housing assembly is designed to fit snugly between wall studs and ceiling joists.
However, we have to say that the Broan 688’s noise level of 4.0 sones is not the best on the market. The product is manufactured by Broan-NuTone LLC, a company known for its commitment to exceed the expectations of homeowners. Its impressive range of appliances provides a viable way to enhance comfort indoors.
6. Delta BreezGreenBuilder GBR80LED Exhaust Bath Fan with LED Light
The Breez GBR80 provides impressive performance by combining innovative design and quality components. It functions as a ventilation system and an overhead LED light fixture. With a noise level of just 0.8 sones and an airflow rate of 80 cubic feet per minute (CFM), you can count on this system to reduce moisture more efficiently. It achieves the objective without disturbing the peace and quiet.
The GBR80’s housing assembly is made of galvanized steel, which helps ensure that the unit resists corrosion. When it comes to energy efficiency, the product can save you up to 74 percent in energy costs when compared to other vent fans. It is highly reliable and durable due to precision engineering and the use of a DC brushless motor.
7. BV Ultra-Silent Bathroom Ventilation and Exhaust Fan
This super-quiet ventilation system uses advanced proprietary technology to achieve an impressive 0.7 sones noise level. It is designed to provide ventilation for a 90 square foot space. Its heavy duty motor has the capacity to operate continuously at peak performance.
Permanent lubrication improves durability of moving parts. The BV fan uses a 4-inch stainless duct collar and the unit meets various standards, including the HVI 2100, Energy Star (energy efficiency), CSA and ETL.
However, the product is less competitive when it comes to the warranty. The manufacturer offers a limited warranty of only one year. On the upside, you can take advantage of the technical support included on all BV bath fan units.
8. KAZE APPLIANCE SE90TL2 Ultra Quiet Bathroom Exhaust Fan with LED and Night Light
The Kaze Appliance SE90TL2 Bathroom Exhaust Fan provides an energy efficient way to ventilate bath spaces. It allows you to take advantage of overhead LED lighting when bathing at night. The LED feature comes with up to 30,000 hours of Energy Star rated working life. The fan is built using rugged galvanized steel and has two detachable round ducts with a back draft damper.
The unit meets standards set by the ETL-CETL, Energy Star and the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI). It boasts an air delivery rate of 90 cubic feet per minute (CFM). We can say its noise level is ultra-quiet at 0.3 Sons. This means you can enjoy a bath without any noise interference.
We also like that the Kaze SE90TL2 fan’s condenser motor operates at lower temperature. The absence of high heat enables the unit to have a significantly longer working life of moving parts, such as the bearings and motor.
Additionally, it features a permanently lubricated motor, which minimizes the potential for breakdowns. This fan is easy to install thanks to the triple point mounting brackets, which allow you to adjust up to 24-inch joist centers.
9. Hunter 83002 Ventilation Sona Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Light
This bath fan is ETL damp listed to reduce humidity and excess moisture over a tub or shower with a GCFI electrical circuit. It comes with a 5-year limited warranty on manufacturer defects. The unit’s air delivery rate is 110 CFM and its noise level is measured at 3.0 sones.
One thing that we find impressive about the Hunter 8003 bath fan is its decorative appeal. It adds a touch of elegance to any bathroom without compromising on functionality. The product boasts an attractive imperial bronze finish coupled with flowing scrollwork on cased glass.
10. Tatsumaki LD-120 Bathroom Fan Ultra Quiet with LED
The Tatsumaki LD-120 Bathroom Fan comes with a double hanger bar system that is designed to ensure optimal positioning. It also features an LED lighting panel for added convenience when taking a bath in poorly lit areas. In addition, the Tatsumaki fan has a 4-inch duct connector, flat cover design and a standard size housing that allows the unit to fit between most ceiling joists.
Which factors should I consider when choosing the ideal ventilation system?
An exhaust fan is an important feature in any bathroom. With so many high-quality products from which to choose, you need to carefully consider various factors based on specific requirements or preferences.
CFM – this rating allows you to determine a vent fan’s airflow capacity or air delivery rate. We recommend that you pay close attention to this aspect. It allows you to make the right choice regarding adequate ventilation. A big bathroom requires a vent unit with a higher CFM ranging between 80 and 120. The CFM rating stands for cubic feet per minute and it shows the volume of air that can be extracted per minute during normal operation.
Noise level – fans are fitted with various moving parts, such as motors that can generate noise. The humming sound can be distracting. Most newer exhaust fans available on the market generate low noise while others are super-quiet at 0.3 sone. This allows you to focus and enjoy your bath in a cozy environment.
Efficiency – a good fan uses less energy and bathroom vent fans are increasingly becoming more energy efficient. Energy star rated units use 70 percent less energy, thus saving you a significant amount of money.
Housing material – many bathroom fans are made of galvanized steel, which has the capacity to rust when exposed to high levels of moisture and humidity. This compromises the unit’s durability and aesthetic appeal. Corrosion may cost you money in maintenance, repairs or replacement costs. In addition, galvanized steel can cause noise over time. Products made from cased glass or high-impact plastic are corrosion resistant.
Size – the best bathroom fan matches the square footage of the bathroom to provide adequate ventilation. Bathroom exhaust fans are rated by their capacity to improve airflow in cubic feet per minute or CFMs. As such, smaller units are less powerful and well suited to smaller bathrooms.
Ease of installation – a good vent fan is easy to install. Some of the newer products we have reviewed can be installed within minutes thanks to the advanced snap-in mechanism. The installation process does not require any special tools. You can use basic tools like a power drill, screwdriver, jigsaw and a pliers.
Additional considerations when buying a bathroom fan
Products available on the market use different ventilation methods. This is aimed at ensuring a better fit in the bathroom. If a home has a loft or an attic directly above the bathroom, the vent unit can use the attic to direct moisture outside via an exhaust fitted in the roof. Alternatively, the installation may entail drilling through the external brickwork. The method allows the unit to extract moisture horizontally out of the bathroom.
However, the majority of exhaust fans fitted in homes operate from the ceiling. This option eliminates the need to add any horizontal exhaust points that involve drilling the external brickwork. Yet, it is not suitable for anyone living in an apartment or bathrooms that are not on the top floor. In such cases, horizontal ventilation is the only practical option.
Problems during Installation
There are some problems that some of you might face while or after installing the fan in the bathroom. Generally, the failure occurs when you start to hear noise from the fan even if the sound range of the fan is less the 2 Sones. This kind of thing happens when the fan is not correctly installed. Also, if the quality of the fan is low, then installation can become difficult. So make sure the fan is of good quality and is installed correctly.
Color and finish
Exhaust fans come in wide-ranging colors and finishes to suit different bathrooms. The ideal unit comes in a color and finish that matches or complements the bathroom’s décor. An aesthetically pleasing unit adds a touch of elegance to the space. This can be a key factor when selecting the ideal fan.
The majority of manufacturers offer products with waterproof finishes. This enables the units to resist corrosion from exposure due to high levels of moisture.
Products like the Hunter 83002 have an attractive chrome and glass finish. These fans are well suited to contemporary bathrooms. They add a stylish appeal to the settings. Many entry-level units offer fewer color options than the high-end fans. Buyers can expect materials, such as galvanized steel, high-impact plastic and stainless steel.
On the other hand, a significant number of bathroom vent fan manufacturers offer products with polymeric finishes. This is aimed at minimizing coldness due to backdraft and strengthening the housing.
Some of the additional features offered by different bathroom exhaust brands include a timer, multiple fan speed settings and heating features. Some of the more advanced units come with smart features like speakers for added convenience.
A timer is designed to help users save energy. The unit will switch off automatically once it has extracted moisture from the bathroom.
Units with certification labels have been thoroughly tested to ensure they function optimally and are energy efficient. This is a key consideration because it provides peace of mind that the unit is a high-quality product.
Learn more about choosing the ideal bathroom fan from an expert