For this post, I have put together a collection of the best bathroom exhaust fans currently available.
The advancement of building technology in recent decades has greatly improved home insulation and reduced the transfer of outside air, making heating and cooling much more efficient. However this airtight design often means excess moisture in the bathroom. A shower or bath causes humidity that can lead to the buildup of mildew and mold, ruining paint and other surfaces. A bathroom fan will remove this excess moisture from the air and vent it to the outside.
Two features to look out for when selecting a fan is the noise level measured in sones and the ventilation rates measured in Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM).
Noise Level (Sones)
A sone is a measure of loudness. Most bathroom fans fall between 0.5 and 3.0 sones. To provide some reference, 0.5 sones is equal to the noise of rustling leaving and 3.0 is equal to a typical office environment. Typically the higher the CFM the louder the fan, given the fact it is moving more air.
Required Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM)
The fan air movement is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). To give you an idea of sizing, this works out to one CFM per square foot of bathroom area and round up to the nearest 10.
For example, a bathroom with floor dimensions of 8' x 9' = 72 sq. ft.. So the recommended fan size would be 80 CFM.
Note this is for an average bathroom ceiling height of 8’-0”.
Recommended minimum ventilation by bathroom area:
Less than 50 sq. ft.
50 - 100 sq. ft.
1 CFM per square foot of floor space
Greater than 100 sq. ft.
Add the CFM requirement for each fixture:
Toilet 50 CFM
Shower 50 CFM
Bathtub 50 CFM
Jetted tub 100 CFM
Source: “Bathroom Exhaust Fans - A Consumer Guide” Home Ventilating Institute, https://www.hvi.org/publications/bathroom_exhaust_fans.cfm.
The following bathroom exhaust fans use the latest innovative components to meet your needs and help to ensure you do your best work.
So here is my list of The 10 Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans.
1. Panasonic FV-0511VQ1 Bathroom Exhaust Fan
The Panasonic FV-0511VQ1 Bathroom Exhaust Fan features a the built-in Pick-A-Flow speed selector switch allows you to select your required airflow.
50 / 80 / 110 CFM and 0.3 - 0.9 sones.
Fan speed is automatically increased to ensure optimal CFM output when it senses static pressure.
ECM motor with SmartFlow technology for optimum CFM output.
Pick-A-Flow Speed Selector allowing you to choose the CFM (50, 80, 110 CFM).
Flex-Z Fast bracket provides flexible, fast & trouble-free installation.
2. BV Ultra-Quiet Bathroom Exhaust Fan
The BV Ultra-Quiet Bathroom Exhaust Fan features super quiet performance using silent-clever technology.
90 CFM and 0.8 sones.
Features durable stainless steel element housing body.
Heavy-duty motor, that is suitable for continuous operation.
Includes stainless steel 4 in. duct collar.
HVI 2100-certified, and UL Approved.
Life time lubrication and thermally protected.
3. Broan 688 Bathroom Exhaust Fan
The Broan 688 Bathroom Exhaust Fan features an easy snap in/out motor assembly for easy cleaning.
50 CFM and 4.0 sones.
Torsion spring grille mounting.
Plug-in, permanently lubricated.
Includes polymeric blower wheel.
UL Listed for use over bathtubs or showers when connected to a GFCI circuit.
4. Delta Electronics SLM70 Bathroom Exhaust Fan
The Delta Electronics SLM70 Bathroom Exhaust Fan features a DC brushless motor for quiet operation.
70 CFM and 2.0 sones.
Ideal for both a retrofit into an existing space or new bathroom.
Includes DC brushless motor for long life, low noise, and low power consumption.
LED indicator light to show when it is running.
Features a modern grille design.
UL approved for ceiling and wall mount installation.
5. Air King BFQ Bathroom Exhaust Fan
The Air King BFQ Bathroom Exhaust Fan features a easy installation system with the included bracket that attaches to the ceiling joist allows the fan housing to simply snap-in.
90 CFM and 2.5 sones.
Durable high impact housing ensures quiet operation and maximum performance.
Features a high performance, attractive grille.
Motor is HVI certified.
UL Listed for installation over a tub or shower on a GFCI circuit using 4" round ducting.
Wire nuts and Romex connector are included.
6. Panasonic FV-11VH2 Bathroom Exhaust Fan
The Panasonic FV-11VH2 Bathroom Exhaust Fan features an enclosed condenser motor and a large, double suction blower wheel to quietly move air.
110 CFM and 0.6 sones.
Tubular, stainless-steel-sheathed heating element
Features Nichrome wire with magnesium oxide for optimal heat transfer and electrical insulation at elevated temperatures.
Built-in damper to prevent back draft, to help prevent outside air from coming in.
Blower wheel is designed to draw air in from both sides allowing more area for the air to enter.
Fan housing made of heavy-gauge zinc galvanized steel and painted to prevent rust.
7. Tatsumaki LD-120 Bathroom Exhaust Fan
The Tatsumaki LD-120 Bathroom Exhaust Fan features standard size housing that fits between most ceiling joists.
120 CFM and 1.2 sones.
Includes built-in 6W LED light.
1007 rpm fan speed.
45 watt, 4" duct connector.
Double hanger bar system for ideal positioning.
8. Hunter 83002 Bathroom Exhaust Fan
The Hunter 83002 Bathroom Exhaust Fan features an imperial bronze finish and cased white glass enclosure for two bulbs and an optional night-light.
110 CFM and 3.0 sones.
Fan motor and lights can be controlled together or independently.
Screwless cover design for easy access and cleaning.
Night-light requires 1-C7-7 watt light bulb (not included).
9. Panasonic FV-30VQ3 Bathroom Exhaust Fan
The Panasonic FV-30VQ3 Bathroom Exhaust Fan features a double-tapered, dolphin shaped bladed blower wheel to quietly move air.
290 CFM and 2.0 sones.
Condenser motor designed to operate at lower temperatures, increasing the life of the motor and bearings.
Includes built-in damper to prevent back draft to stop outside air coming in.
Fan housing made of heavy-gauge zinc galvanized steel.
Housing is painted to protect from rust.
Features a completely enclosed condenser motor.
Energy Star qualified.
10. Broan QTXE110FLT Bathroom Exhaust Fan
The Broan QTXE110FLT Bathroom Exhaust Fan features a dynamically balanced centrifugal blower wheel for quiet, efficient performance.
110 CFM and 0.7 sones.
Features permanently lubricated motor for continuous operation.
Polymeric duct connector with tapered sleeve.
Durable steel reflector with white enamel finish.
Sturdy, easy, four-point mounting directly to joist.
6-Inch round ducting for superior performance.
36-Watt fluorescent lighting (bulbs included).
4-Watt night light (bulb sold separately).
I hope this list of the best bathroom exhaust fans was helpful.
If you think I left out one that is important or have a suggestion for a future article, let me know in the comments below.
Brandon Hubbard, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C