The bathroom fan is a compact device to remove the moist air and bad odors from the bathroom. With bathroom fans, not only the indoor temperature is significantly improved, but it also prevents the formation of mold on the walls.
In the following article, we take a closer look at the 10 best bathroom fans you can buy in 2020, and we reveal their pros and cons.
The risk of mold formation increases when humidity is above 60%. Usually, after bathing or showering, bathroom humidity is around 80 percent. For bathroom without any Windows, the only way to get the moisture out of the bathroom quickly and efficiently is bathroom exhaust fan.
Are you looking for bathroom fans? You came to the right place. Our buying guide and reviews will provide all the information you need to make an informed decision about the best bathroom fans.
Apart from the use in the bathroom, exhaust fans can also be installed in the kitchen and other rooms with poor ventilation.
The Best Bathroom Fan Reviews 2019
This bathroom fan is not only a real eye-catcher but also offers a decent exhaust air performance.
With a weight of 6.7 pounds, this bathroom fan comes in a size of 8.2 x 5.8 x 8 inches
With its compact size, it can be installed in the small size bathroom, in the toilet or the kitchen as a wall or ceiling installation.
This ventilation fan has a lightning unit for up to 100-watt incandescent lamp and high-quality glass cover in front. The design is simple and testifies to a high quality and robust construction.
Electricity consumption is one of the most important criteria when buying exhaust fans. Also, the air circulation and the loudness of the unit are essential to consider.
The power consumption of HD80L by Broan is 49 watts. The actual power consumption also depends on other factors, such as the electricity supplier, the duration of commissioning, and the frequency.
Air performance of HD80L is of 80 CFL, which is enough for rooms up to 75 sq. Feet. According to the manufacturer, it has loudness of 2.5 Sones, which is lower than many similar powerful bathroom fans in our list.
Broan-Nutone HD80L features the fully enclosed motor which is very efficient for continuous operation.
If you want to use fan in high moisture area or near saltwater area than plastic housing is a better option. This bathroom fan is easy to install and comes with a simple snap-in installation mechanism.
Air King BFQL50 has an airflow of 50 CFL and efficient for rooms up to 50 sq. Feet. This exhaust fan is quite silent and has a loudness level of 0.8 Sones. This fan weighs about 4.9 lbs and has a size of 9.1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches.
With this bathroom fan, you can select airflow of 80 or 110 CFM. This airflow under normal conditions can efficiently remove humid air quickly from the bathroom. The most attractive features of that it is very silent while working.
The maximum sound by this fan while working under reasonable condition is of 0.3 sones. The mounting mechanism is one of the main factors which helps this fan to work silently. There are springs where the front grille is mounted. These springs absorb any vibrations and help to keep the operating noise to a minimum.
The installation of this fan is simple and fast, thanks to Flex-Z Fast bracket. The manufacturer also provides three years warranty on parts.
For this post, we will review the 90 CFM model, which has a price of 60 dollars at the time of updating this post. This bathroom fan has a surface mounting type and has a sound level of only 0.8 sones while operating.
The BV ultra-quiet has a heavy-duty motor, which is suitable for continues operation. The housing of this fan is made with stainless steel, which is ideal for rigidity.
For 90 CFL model, the weight of the bathroom fan is 9.2 lbs. the housing dimension is of 9″ x 9” x 7.6″ whereas grill dimension is 12.62’’ x 12.62″ x 0.75″
This exhaust fan and light combo by Broan is suitable for small bathrooms with area up to 45 sq. Feet. Broan Nutone 678 has a dimension of 8.2 x 5.8 x 8 inches and weighs about 3.8 pounds.
This compact bathroom fan is easy to install and comes with a sturdy mounting bracket. The built-in backdraft damper in polymeric duct fitting and key-holed mounting brackets makes installation quick and straightforward.
The built-in lighting unit uses 100 watts incandescent bulb, which is not included in the packaging. This model has a CFM rating of 50 and can efficiently remove odor and moisture in small bathrooms.
It also features polymeric fan impeller and has a sound rating of 2.5 sones.
The Best Bathroom Fans Buyer’s Guide
How does a bathroom fan work?
The essential function –that is switching the fan on and off – is usually controlled by the switch. You can install the switch to work with the light or individually. When installed along with light, as soon as the light is switched on, the fan automatically starts.
Alternatively, bathroom fans can also be controlled via a speed controller or a motion sensor. There are also some models which automatically turn on after reaching a specific humidity level.
Advantages of bathroom fans
1. Mold prevention
Chances of mold fungi are more in the bathroom or the kitchen because of the humidity or water use. Tiny drops of water settle on the walls and in corners and cracks, which can result in mold formation over time.
The most effective way to reliably prevent mold growth is to reduce humidity. If the bathroom has a window, it is quite easy to direct humid air out by regular, intensive ventilation.
If there is no bathroom window, the bathroom fan can help you in removing humidity. With the use of bathroom exhaust, the risk for the formation of mold is significantly reduced.
2. Bathroom temperature
A bathroom fan also ensures a pleasant bathroom environment, which is neither too humid nor too dry.
Along with removing the humid air, it also helps in eliminating bad odor from the bathroom, which keeps the environment pleasant.
Small exhaust fans such as the bathroom fan are most often used in bathrooms without windows. Besides, they can also be used to ventilate the kitchen, which is especially useful if it has only a small window.
In winter, the exhaust fan has the advantage that you do not have to open the windows for ventilation. Often cellar and garage spaces are poorly ventilated, you can use an exhaust fan in those spaces too.
4. Requires less space
A bath fan takes up practically no space because it is mounted on the wall or under the ceiling.
The handy devices can, therefore, be used without hesitation even in tiny bathrooms – a decisive advantage over mobile air conditioners and electric dehumidifiers!
Factors to consider in Bathroom fans
There are many factors to consider regarding bathroom fans. We have mentioned each of them in detail below. With the following factors, you can choose the best bathroom fan, which best suits your needs and preference.
The value for the air circulation is in cubic meters per hour, which indicates how much air can equipment replace in an hour. For finding the suitable fan for your bathroom, you can use “volume x 10” formula.
For example, if your bathroom is three meters wide, three meters in height and 2.5 meters high, the volume of the room is 22.5 cubic meters (3 x 3 x 2.5 = 22.5).
For bigger rooms, you will need a fan with higher air circulation.
High-quality bath fans are usually reticent – but there are also fans which can be noisy. Therefore it is essential to take a close look at the decibel information. It is recommended to buy the fan which has a value of less than 30 dB. Usually, fans with 25dB or less are whisper quite.
In the past, all bathroom fans looked more or less the same, but nowadays bathroom fans are available in a wide variety of designs, styles and features.
Bathroom fans come in great designs and can be made of plastic, chrome or stainless steel. Consider your existing layout and style of the bathroom and chose the one accordingly. You can also buy covers for bathroom fans, which are available in different colors.
When choosing a bath fan, you should not forget the size, so that the device fits optimally into the existing furnishings.
Depending on the size of the bathroom, different performance is required. The performance of the bathroom fans is measured in watts (W). Here, the higher the value, the better the performance.
So, if your bathroom is significant, we recommend a high-performance bathroom fan. Of course, you can also opt for a powerful fan when your bathroom is small. It is crucial to know, however, that the stronger bath fans will consume more electricity.
So, if you are energy efficient and your bath is not significant, you better opt for an exhaust fan that has a lower number of watts.
Another unique feature is the backflow function. This function effectively prevents backflow of unpleasant odors or cold drafts. Many exhaust fans have pre-drilled holes on the back for this function.
Size of the bath fan
The size of bath fans is mention in cm (or mm): length x width x depth.
The installation of a bath ventilator is of basic level. Usually, all manufacturers provide instruction for easy installation.
Once installed, the fans should be as easy to use depending on the model of a switch, a pull cord, by operation of the light switch or by using a speed controller.
Many practical accessories can help you improve the functionality of the bathroom fans or facilitate its operation.
A hygrometer is an air humidity meter. The purchase is especially worthwhile if your bathroom fan is operated manually and not equipped with an integrated hygrometer.
Even if your bathroom fan is controlled automatically, it may be useful to install a hygrometer in your bathroom. In this way, you can check that the fan is working correctly and starts when the preset humidity is reached.
There are digital and analogue hygrometers available.
Digital models offer the advantage as they provide more accurate readings and are easier to read. It is also advisable to buy the hygrometer which can be hung on the wall. Since the hygrometer in the bathroom may come in contact with water, it is recommended the waterproof one.
Electronic speed controller
Bathroom fans, which are equipped with a speed-controllable AC motor, can be operated via an electronic speed controller. The controller can be mounted on any outlet to make the operation of the bath ventilator as user-friendly as possible.
However, experts point out that a maximum value of 50 percent of the maximum speed should not be exceeded, as otherwise the service life will be considerably shortened. Besides, the noise is very high at high speed.
How much bathroom fan cost?
The prices for bathroom fans vary depending on the model you choose, features and specification.
If you have the bathroom fan installed by the professional, then it will further increase the cost. The self-installation of exhaust fans is possible and certainly cheaper.
|Simple wall and ceiling fan||about 20-40 dollars|
|Bath fan with after-run function||about 45-50 dollar|
|Bath fan with hygrostat||about 60 dollar|
|Moisture sensor and after-run function||about 60-120 dollar|
Types of bathroom fans and which one is right for you?
There are the following types of bathroom fans:
- Bathroom fan with remote control
- bathroom fan with humidity sensor
- With a motion detector
- With the after-run function
Pros and cons of bathroom fan with remote control
The remote control allows you to turn on and change fan speed from anywhere in the bathroom.
- Easy usage
- Adjustment of the hygrostat
- Not waterproof
- Can be loud
Pros and cons of bathroom fans with humidity sensor
The fan with a humidity sensor (hygrostat) is well suited for windowless bathrooms. Improper ventilation can cause increased humidity, and this leads to premature mold growth. An advantage of the humidity sensor is that the fan automatically removes moisture as soon as it has reached a certain level in the room.
The personal assessment of moisture can be deceptive. The hygrostat, on the other hand, continuously measures the humidity in the bathroom and turns on as soon as it reaches the level you set.
- Individual presetting
- Prevents mold growth
- Subsequent adjustment difficult
- Can be expensive
- Can be loud
A problem of the humidity sensor could be that the subsequent calibration of the sensor is not possible because the sensor is integrated into the bath fan. On the other hand, an advantage of this type of fan is that the bath ventilator with humidity sensor can be switched on via the (light) switch.
Pros and cons of an exhaust fan with a motion detector
If you get lazy to turn on the fan every time, then a fan with motion detector is right for you. An advantage of this system is that you do not have to turn it on. As soon as you enter the room, it is activated, and when you leave the bathroom, it turns off again.
This kind of exhaust fan is more suitable for commercial use rather than the individual house.
- Switch on by movement
- Prevents mold growth
- Turns off after a short time
- Can be loud
Pros and cons of bathroom fans with the lag time
The wake-up feature allows you to customize how long you want the humidity in the bathroom to be removed after you leave.
- Best for removing moisture
FAQ about bathroom exhaust fans
1. How to install the bath fan?
Most manufacturers provide detailed instruction for easy installation of the bathroom fans.
For most bathroom fans there are following five steps:
- The rear end of the bath ventilator is placed on the ventilation shaft and fastened with screws.
- Subsequently, the power line is connected to the bath ventilator. For this purpose, there is a connection block on the device.
- Now screw the connection block to the rear wall of the bath ventilator and firmly secure the power line to the terminal provided for this purpose.
- The fan housing is now placed on the back wall and screwed tight.
- Finally, attach the cover.
2. How long can I run my bath fan?
The question of how long you can run your bath fan is valid only for devices with manual control. However, for minimizing the bathroom humidity, it is advisable to keep the fan working for sometime after the shower. Besides, you can use humidity sensor, which will turn on the fan after humidity in bathroom reaches a certain level.
3. Why is it so essential to ventilate the bathroom?
The bathroom should be regularly and adequately ventilated. With 60 percent of more humidity in the bathroom, there is the risk of mold formation as the water in the air condenses and sets on the walls. The gradually developing molds not only look ugly but also harm health. For example, it can cause asthma and allergies. The bathroom fan is, therefore, a sensible investment, especially for bathrooms without windows.
4. How can I check if the humidity sensor of the fan is working correctly?
If you want to check whether the humidity sensor is working correctly, breathe over the vent of the fan. As this air consists of a large amount of moisture, your fan should immediately start.
Alternatively, you can check the operation of the bathroom fan with a separate hygrometer. It should. However, the values for humidity depend on the mounting height of the fan and room temperature.
5. Why can standard bathroom fans only be installed on piping up to 3m?
A bath ventilator is an axial fan, which provides low air pressure. If the pipe behind the ventilation shaft is longer than three meters, the moist, heavy air can not escape entirely from the hose. This can lead to condensate collecting in the pipeline.
Also, unpleasant odors could accumulate here, which can return to the bathroom after some time. If you are unsure whether the tubing of your bathroom is compatible with commercially available bathroom fans, it is best to ask an expert for advice.
Alternatively, you can resort to a so-called radial fan, because this generates higher air pressure and can easily be used for pipelines that are longer than three meters.
6. Which connection is required for exhaust fans?
Due to the average diameter of 80 to 100 mm, exhaust fans can be connected to any common ventilation duct.
Exhaust fans are used in bathrooms, toilets, and even in the kitchen. If you choose a manual operation, you can operate the fan with your light switch, because it is connected directly to the power line – parallel to the light.
7. Are there noiseless shower fans?
There are very quiet bath fans. As we have already mentioned, there are exhaust fans with a noise level of 25 dB. This is considered almost noiseless. In the room, only a ticking clock is noticeable at this volume.
8. How do I clean an exhaust fan?
The cleaning of the bath fan is straightforward. Dust and dirt get caught in the fan filter via the air extractor. By cleaning, the dirt can be removed from the screen for smooth operation. If the contamination is too high, you should replace it entirely.
9. What does air circulation mean?
The air circulation/airflow indicates how the device works under full load. The room air circulation value is given in cubic meters per hour (m³ / h). The higher the value, the more air can be circulated.
10. Where to mount bathroom fans?
Bathroom exhaust fans can be mounted under the ceiling or on the wall, depending on where the ventilation duct is located.
11. Fan with automatic and manual switching
There are automated as well as manual switching exhaust fans available.
In manual operation, bathroom fans can be turned on using the switch or remote control.
In automatic, the fan turns on with the help pf motion sensor or humidity sensor.
12. Power consumption of bathroom fans
Most bathroom fans are powered by electricity, which raises the question of how much electricity they consume.
13. The electricity costs with a bath fan
Today’s electrical appliances are very energy efficient. The electricity cost for bathroom fans is usually low. This is because they are not used continuously for an extended period and thus does not draw electricity consistently. However, the average bathroom fan requires 15 watts of energy.
14. Why is it important to have bathroom fans?
Excessive humidity (more than 60%) in the bathroom can quickly lead to mold growth. Therefore bathroom fans are essential for removing moisture and unpleasant odors.
15. Is it worth the purchase of a bath fan?
We recommend bathroom fans due to the low purchase price and the great benefits. Especially if you want to counteract the formation of mold and want to ensure a pleasant indoor environment. The exhaust fan system can be used in the kitchen, laundry room, and garages.
Alternatives to the bathroom fan
If you are looking for a convenient and affordable way to get rid of humid air and bad smells in the bathroom. Then there is no real alternative to the bathroom fans. While there are some other appliances, you can choose from, but they don’t offer as much functionality as bathroom exhaust fans.
The standing or ceiling fan
They are available in various versions – from the ceiling, standing and compact tabletop fans. However, they are only partially suitable for the bathroom because they only distribute the air and do not remove moisture.
For using this type of fan either you should keep the bathroom door open or have a window so that air can vent out from it.
A dehumidifier extracts water from the air to optimize the indoor environment. The devices are used to prevent mold but do not remove any bad odors. Dehumidifiers in the granular form are particularly inexpensive and therefore extremely popular. However, they do not dehumidify the room at short notice, but over a more extended period. That’s why they are mainly used in damp basements.
Condensation dehumidifiers are far more effective – but also very noisy and costly because they use electricity. They also take up a lot of space, so they are usually not suitable for a small room like the bathroom.
Mobile air conditioner
A portable air conditioner lowers the room temperature to a comfortable level but does not remove any bad odors. Besides, the warm air must be removed via an exhaust hose. During the cooling process, the air is deprived of moisture, so the mobile air conditioner can conditionally also contribute to reducing the humidity.
Since they are very loud, have high power consumption, and take up a lot of space. The portable air conditioner is, therefore, not an everyday alternative to the bathroom fan.
An air purifier frees the air from dust, fine dust, viruses, bacterias, and unpleasant odors.
Air purifiers are suitable, for example, for open kitchens. Especially in winters, as the opening of the window is hard because of outside cold temperature.
However, an air purifier is not an alternative to the bathroom fans, because the humidity is not affected in any way.