Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan Reviews (Your Ultimate Guide 2017)

Modern bathrooms allow us to enjoy the luxuries that once belonged to a few. With a nice touch on the walls and floor tiles, a new shower design and a fan to let the fresh air in, you could spend hours in a modern bathroom. Yet, when one feature in your bathroom malfunctions, the whole experience gets spoilt. The bathroom exhaust fan is one of the most important, yet underrated, components of a bathroom. It keeps your bathroom fresh and tolerable as humidity increases. Being that important, we have prepared for you these bathroom exhaust fan reviews of products from the bestselling manufacturers. Hopefully, you can read the article to the end and find the best bathroom exhaust fan for your bathroom.

Since these fans are really inexpensive, we have reviewed only the best rated among them to allow you to select from only the best in the market.

bathroom exhaust fan reviews
  • Panasonic FV-08VQ5
  • Air volume (CFM): 80
  • Voltage: 120
  • Wattage: 14.7
  • Noise (sones): 0.3
  • Motor type: condenser
  • Duct diameter: 4"
  • Grille size: 13"
  • Heater: no
  • Dimensions: 15.75" x 14.87" x 10.25"
  • Other: Energy Star, UL listed, thermal fuse protection, radiation damper
top rated bathroom exhaust fans
  • Panasonic FV-11VHL2
  • Air volume (CFM): 110
  • Voltage: 120
  • Wattage: 30.6
  • Noise (sones): 0.7
  • Motor type: condenser
  • Duct diameter: 4"
  • Grille size: 18 1/8" x 13 5/16"
  • Heater: yes
  • Mounting opening: 17 3/8" x 12 5/8"
  • Other: Energy Star, light, thermal fuse protection
best bathroom exhaust fan
  • Panasonic FV-11VQ5
  • Air volume (CFM): 110
  • Voltage: 120
  • Wattage: 21.1
  • Noise (sones): 0.3
  • Motor type: condenser
  • Duct diameter: 4"
  • Grille size: 13"
  • Heater: yes
  • Dimensions: 10.83'' x 14.17'' x 16.73''
  • Other: Energy Star, UL listed, thermal fuse protection, light
best bathroom vent fan
  • Panasonic FV-11VQ5
  • Air volume (CFM): 150
  • Voltage: 120
  • Wattage: 28.4
  • Noise (sones): 0.3
  • Motor type: condenser
  • Duct diameter: 4" or 6"
  • Grille size: 13"
  • Heater: no
  • Dimensions: 10.83'' x 14.17'' x 16.73''
  • Other: Energy Star, UL listed, thermal fuse protection
quietest bathroom exhaust fan
  • Panasonic FV-11VQ5
  • Air volume (CFM): 100
  • Voltage: 120
  • Wattage: 12.6
  • Noise (sones): 1.4
  • Motor type: DC brushless
  • Duct diameter: 4"
  • Grille size: 10.75" x 10.75"
  • Heater: no
  • Mounting opening: 8.25" x 8
  • Other: Energy Star, UL listed, motion sensor, humidity sensor
good exhaust fan for bathroom
  • Panasonic FV-11VQ5
  • Air volume (CFM): 130
  • Voltage: 120
  • Wattage: 22
  • Noise (sones): 2
  • Motor type: DC brushless
  • Duct diameter: 4"
  • Grille size: 12 1/4" x 12 3/8"
  • Heater: no
  • Dimensions: 9 5/8" x 9 5/8" x 8"
  • Other: Energy Star, UL/cUL listed, motion sensor, humidity sensor

Top 6 Bathroom Exhaust Fans Reviewed

Panasonic FV-11VQ5 Bathroom Exhaust Fan

best bathroom exhaust fanPanasonic is one of the most popular brands in the world. The company is known for producing some of the best electronic equipment the world has seen. The FV-11q5 ceiling mounted fan may not be the most popular of their products, but it is a great product to those who have used it. The bathroom ceiling fan lives up to the high reputation Panasonic has built in energy consumption and safety. It has passed almost all certifications in safety and energy consumption in the country.

  • Durable. Having passed all the major certifications, you can be certain that you are buying a quality and durable product in the FV-11VQ5. To be specific, Panasonic engineered this product with the best components you can find. Its motor, for example, is a low temperature unit meant to last longer than high temperature running motors. With regular lubrications, this fan will last for over ten years.
  • Quiet Operation. If you don’t enjoy a noisy product, even if it is just a bathroom exhaust fan, the FV-11VQ5 is built with people like with mind. It features a dolphin shaped blower wheel that is tapered to reduce noise as much as possible. The fan’s motor is also designed in an enclosed location to help keep noise levels to the minimum.
  • Easy to Maintain. The FV-11vq5 is a rust resisting fan thanks to its steel built, zinc painted body. It is also easy to lubricate.
  • Energy Saving. Being a Panasonic product, the fan is designed to keep energy consumptions to the minimum. It is also Energy Star rated for energy saving.

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Panasonic FV-08VQ5 Bathroom Ceiling Fan

bathroom exhaust fan reviewsThe Panasonic FV-08VQ5 is considered by many as the gold standard for bathroom exhaust fans. With 80 CFM, the fan will work efficiently in any modern bathroom. The silent bathroom fan is also designed to last long. It has a steel body and a zinc coating to protect it from rust and offer extra durability. Besides durability, Panasonic’s FV-08VQ5 is an easy to maintain tool. It is permanently lubricated and doesn’t need oiling.

  • Whisper Quiet. While many Panasonic bathroom exhaust fans are quiet, this one transcends them all. It is rated 0.3 sones, which in bathroom noise production, is the lowest it can get. With such a quiet bathroom exhaust fan, you can put on your music or shower quietly without a fan humming around you.
  • Efficient and Reliable. As earlier stated, the Panasonic model operates at 80 cubic feet per minute. That’s a high efficiency rating for a bathroom exhaust fan. And besides that, it only uses 14.7 watts worth of energy, making it one of the most energy efficient bathroom exhaust fans in the market.
  • Durable. Panasonic products are known for their durability. The FV-08QV5 is proof of this. It features a strong, low temperature motor and a construction meant to last for decades.
  • Easy to maintain. With a detachable duct adapter and lubricated components, the fan will last for as long as you can maintain it.
  • Safe. The Panasonic model has passed all safety certifications to make it a safe to use exhaust fan.

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Panasonic FV-11VHL2 Powerful Bathroom Vent Fan

top rated bathroom exhaust fansIf you are not afraid to splash your money to get a powerful bathroom extractor, the Panasonic FV-11VHL2 is a product you should consider buying. Engineered with some of the best components for a long lasting low maintenance experience, this is simply the best bathroom vent fan from Panasonic. It features some unique and powerful features such as a stainless steel heating element, 110 CFM, and a super quiet motor. The FV-11vhl2 is also one of a few Panasonic products to be manufactured in the USA.

  • High Tech Heating Element. The Panasonic top product features a stainless steel built heating element that enhances heat transfer within the product. It also features a Nichrome wire and magnesium oxide to ensure electrical insulation when temperatures in your bathroom rise. The heating element also adds warmth in your bathroom when it gets too cold.
  • Durable and easy to maintain. Like all other top rated Panasonic bathroom exhaust fans, this model is designed to last for the longest time possible. Its low temperature motor is one reason why it is designed to last long. The motor moves much more air at 110 CFM at a lower temperature than most other fans would. Running at low temperatures, the motor is less exposed to wearing out.
  • Energy Efficient. The FV-11VHL2 passes all the latest codes and standards in the market when it comes to energy efficiency and safety. Its CFL lighting also squeeze more lumens per watt compared to competitors.
  • Super Quiet Operation. Despite the fact that it moves at 110 CFM, the Panasonic model runs super quietly.

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Panasonic FV-15VQ5 Quiet Bathroom Exhaust Fan

best bathroom vent fanPanasonic is a reputable bathroom exhaust manufacturer because of products like the FV-15VQ5. High quality engineered, efficient and quiet in operation, this exhaust fan features almost everything you would expect from a quality product. However, the FV-15VQ5 doesn’t simply feature quality components, it features the best components. It meets and exceeds all standards in performance, energy efficiency and in durability

  • Whisper Quiet Performance. If you enjoy showering in a tranquil environment, this the ideal fan to have. Rated as one of the quietest bathroom exhaust fans, you can be certain you won’t ever notice the fan humming. Its motor, to start with, is enclosed in a double tapered blower wheel to keep it running at the minimum noise level.
  • Efficient motor. The bathroom extractor fan features a powerful motor that runs at 150 CFM. It is a reliable motor and will perform at that rate for long. Being energy rated, this is certainly an ideal vent fan to remodel your bathroom with.
  • Durable. While this fan is a bit pricey; you can reap big from its durability. All of its components are designed with durability in mind. Its motor is rust resistant, and you can add lubrication to its components to improve its service life.
  • Energy Star certified. Although bathroom exhaust fans can be energy consuming, star rated models consume the least energy. This Panasonic model meets strict EPA guidelines to ensure that you have very minimum energy bills coming from your bathroom.
  • Features a thermal fuse protection and a built in damper to prevent back draft.

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Delta BreezGreenBuilder GNR100 Quiet Bathroom Exhaust Fan

quietest bathroom exhaust fanIt is difficult to find a top rated quiet bathroom exhaust fan that costs $60. Yet, here is Delta Breez, a top rated bathroom exhaust fan that costs much less than its competitors. And while it is fairly priced, the Delta Breez model features the best performance features you can get. Its motor runs at an above average 100cfm rate. It is energy efficient and quality enough to last for over a decade. According to its manufacturer, this fan is about three times more energy efficient than typical bathroom exhaust fans.

  • Efficient. Delta BreezGreenBuilder runs with an air flow of 100 cubic feet per minute. If you have a small or medium sized bathroom, the fan will keep it fresh and well ventilated for a long time. Speaking of durability, DeltaBreezGreenBuilder uses a low temperature motor to ensure that the fan lasts for a long period of time.
  • Energy Efficiency. While many top bathroom exhaust fans meet energy certifications, few of them guarantee you significant savings in energy consumptions. Delta Breez uses about 3.8 watts as opposed to the average 25 watts in normal motors. In terms of savings, the manufacturer estimates that you save 7 times with this fan.
  • Durable and Quiet. The DeltaBreezGreenBuilder product uses a brushless motor with the capability to last for decades. These motors are engineered to run under cooler temperatures and reducing wear rate. They are also enclosed and designed to perform under minimum noise levels.

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Delta BreezSignature VFB25AEH Small Bathroom Exhaust Fna

good exhaust fan for bathroomDelta Breez Signature is certainly not a small bathroom fan. With a 150 CFM, the fan is actually one of the strongest and most efficient you can buy. With its high CFM, the bathroom exhaust fan is best suited for medium and large bathrooms. Its motor is a quality product of Delta Breez, and it will last for as long as you own the fan. In addition to being durable, the Delta Breez product is designed to run quietly. It has one of the lowest noise production ratings in the industry, meaning you get absolutely no disturbance whenever you are in your bathroom.

  • Energy Efficiency. The Delta Breez fan uses 8.2 watts on average. While that is not the lowest you can find, it is still below the industry’s 28watts average. According to its manufacturer, you would spend only $9 in for the fan’s annual bills. Compare that to the $30 you probably spend with your current fan and you will realize it’s a great deal.
  • Durable. All of Delta Breez’s bathroom exhaust fans feature a super efficient and durable motor. This motor performs at a lower temperature so that it can outlast motors from other fans Since it is also engineered from quality materials, you can expect this bathroom exhaust fan to last for more than ten years
  • Cost Efficient. The Delta Breez bathroom exhaust fan features more efficient features that its competitors despite being less expensive. With a price tag of slightly below $100, it provides a great deal of cost effectiveness.

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Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan Comparison Table

Product nameCFMVoltageWattsSonesDimensions
Panasonic FV-08VQ58012014.70.315.75" x 14.87" x 10.25"
Panasonic FV-11VHL211012030.60.7Mounting opening: 17 3/8" x 12 5/8"
Panasonic FV-11VQ511012021.10.310.83'' x 14.17'' x 16.73''
Panasonic FV-11VQ515012028.40.310.83'' x 14.17'' x 16.73''
Panasonic FV-11VQ510012012.61.4Mounting opening: 8.25" x 8
Panasonic FV-11VQ51301202229 5/8" x 9 5/8" x 8"

What is a Bathroom Exhaust Fan?

A bathroom exhaust fan is a ventilation device that ducts out excess humidity from your bathroom. In a highly insulated bathroom, humidity tends to create an ideal atmosphere for mold and mildew to grow. With, the excess humidity and steam also begin to wear out paint from your bathroom’s walls, causing rusting on door knobs or even crack tiles. A quality wall mount bathroom exhaust fan can eliminate that humidity and replace it with fresh air.

Size

what is a bathroom exhaust fanA typical bathroom exhaust fan measures 14*15*10 inches. Hardly will you find a large bathroom exhaust fan. That’s because this fan is a simple device with a motor and a few other components. Its performance is determined by its ability to move air in cubic feet per minute (CFM). A small bathroom exhaust fan for, example, is one with a low CFM rating. Bathroom exhaust fans for bigger bathrooms will have larger CFM.

Costs

Bathroom exhaust fans cost considerably low compared to typical ventilation fans. They range between $50 and $200, with the most expensive fans having better performing features. A quality bathroom exhaust fan is, however, not necessarily expensive. Continue reading to learn more of why you need a bathroom exhaust fan.

Why do you need a Bathroom Exhaust Fan?

Excess humidity is bad for your skin, for your overall health, and for your bathroom. With a quality extractor fan, you can reduce this humidity and forever shower in a well ventilated bathroom. Bathroom extractor fans are also easy to affordable, easy to install and durable. But most importantly, is that you will benefit from their services in the following ways.

  1. To Control Steam and Odors

    The work of a fan extractor is to remove smoke, steam and odor particles from your bathroom or kitchen. A quality extractor fan will operate consistently and prevent much of the steam from causing damage to your walls and tiles. Since most drainage systems don’t eliminate odors, having a fan that can reduce unwanted smells will ensure you have a fresh bathroom every day.

  2. Heat Maintenance

    Some bathroom extractor fans feature heating elements that add warmth to your bathroom during cold seasons. Quality extractor fans also feature heat controlling mechanisms. This is meant to help maintain ideal bathing temperatures at all times. Heat maintenance is important especially with modern insulated bathrooms that can hold a lot of heat in them and potentially cause long term damages to your wall and tiles.

  3. Humidity Control

    Where else except for your kitchen do you experience high humidity levels? With all the steam and water particles in your bathroom, you can’t escape the humidity. And while humidity is not generally bad, too much of it is dangerous. Excess humidity in your bathroom can affect a sensitive skin. It can create a breeding environment for mold, mildew and potentially deface your bathroom walls.

  4. For your Health

    If you are like most people, you probably don’t enjoy the flu. Unfortunately, the flu virus thrives in humid places like your bathroom. Having a quality extractor fan can help keep you and your family healthy by keeping the flu virus off your bathroom.

Guide to Choosing the Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan

bathroom exhaust fan buying guideThere is no doubt that buying a bathroom exhaust fan helps improve your bathroom. If you are not allergic to excess humid air, your bathrooms are. Excess steam and humidity damps them and wears out their beautiful paint with time. Fortunately, investing in a quality bathroom exhaust fan will defend you from the hurting drawbacks of steam in your bathroom. Here are the features and factors you need to ensure you get a high quality bathroom exhaust fan that will serve you for many years.

Air Flow Capacity

A bathroom exhaust fan is only as good as its air flow capacity. The air flow capacity determines how fast and efficient the fan is at a given bathroom. You need the right size of an extractor fan if you want excess humidity and odors off your bathroom. Bathrooms are measured in their ability to move air in cubic feet per minute (CFM).

The smaller bathroom exhaust fans register low CFM, while the more powerful extractor fans have high CFM. So, how do you know that an extractor fan is right for your bathroom? According to the Home Ventilating Institute, a single CFM rating represents one square foot in your bathroom. That means if you have a 100 sq. ft. bathroom, get a bathroom vent fan with a 100 or more in CFM rating.

Noise Level

One of the most important features of a bathroom exhaust fans is its noise level. No matter how powerful the extractor fan, you will most likely hate it if it is noisy. Noise level is thus, an important feature. It is even more important if you prefer to shower in a quiet, tranquil environment. Bathroom extractor fans’ noise level is measured in sones. One sone is the equivalent of a really whisper quiet refrigerator. If you find a low humming refrigerator still noisy, then you need to find an extractor fan with much less noise level. The lowest sone level is 0.3. Yes, there are bathroom exhaust fans that quiet. But they are more often more expensive. If you have no problem with white noise, invest in a fan with a sone level of 2 or 3.

Energy Efficiency

Everyone wants an energy efficient device. You probably are looking for the most energy efficient bathroom exhaust fan. Why anyway would want to buy an inefficient device? With bathroom exhaust fans, energy efficiency is measured in watts. A quality, energy efficient device is that which uses the least amount of watts. According to statistics, the most energy efficient bathroom exhaust fan uses a mere 3 watts. Average exhaust fans, however, use about 28 watts.

When shopping for a bathroom exhaust fans, buy one with an energy star. They usually are certified for having the best energy efficiency capabilities. Energy Star rated devices typically use 70% less energy. In most cases, these devices are less noisy too. Additionally, you gain a lot in energy bills when you buy an energy saving exhaust fan. Investing in the most energy efficient fan, for example, would save you seven times what the average extractor fan owner spends in a year.

Smart features

You gain a lot in a modern bathroom vent fan than someone who uses traditional extractor fans. There are a number of features you find in these high tech engineered fans that will make their maintenance easier. Some of the fans feature integrated lighting to help you reduce energy bills since you won’t have to switch on conventional lights anymore. If you invest in a fan with heating elements, you won’t have to worry about a cold bathroom during the winter season.

There are many more features with modern bathroom exhaust fans. You just have to look at those features that will help you the most. Humidity sensors, for example, are helpful features because they can sense when humidity levels increase. Some fans with motion sensors will only operate when someone gets inside the bathroom. This feature is helpful if you are concerned about energy consumption in your home. Finally, look for a bathroom exhaust fan with multiple functions and a control panel. A wall control panel ensures that you can manage all the helpful features in your extractor fan conveniently.

Bathroom Exhaust Fan Installation

Installing a bathroom exhaust fan is not a daunting task. If you installed your bathroom’s rainfall shower yourself, you shouldn’t have troubles with this. All you need to know is where to install it and get prepared to do some wall busting. However, if you are not sure about the job, hire a pro. You will have to pay double or even triple the amount you paid for the device itself. But that’s the price. Nothing good comes cheap.

Decisions to make

bathroom exhaust fan installationBefore you have an extractor fan installed in your bathroom, consider the location to install it. The most ideal position is between your toilet and the shower head. It should also be close to the wall. The nearer the vent fan to the wall, the more efficiently it will perform. Note also that your bathroom should have a ventilation source besides this fan. Preferably, let your bathroom door have a clearance on the lower end. This will ease the fan’s work and prolong its service life. Door clearance also brings in fresh air after the humid air is vented out of your bathroom.

  1. Step One: Drill a Small Reference Hole into the Ceiling or Wall

    If you purchased a ceiling mounted fan, drill a hole where you will install it. Draw a mark on the ceiling and then use a spade bit to drill a hole into the ceiling and attic. If you are using a wall mounted fan, drill a hole in the exact location where you want the fan installed. With this reference hole, measure up the fan’s vent size and bore a hole that size. When busting your wall, take caution to ensure that you only drill the required hole size.

  2. Step Two: Position the fan and Install it

    Position the fan through the holes on the ceiling and wall. Secure each bracket end with a drywall screw and work on the electrical connections. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you attach every part into its rightful position.

Bathroom Exhaust Fan Maintenance

bathroom exhaust fan maintenanceJust as smoke and odors make a kitchen dull and unattractive, excessive humidity is the enemy of a beautiful bathroom. One piece at a time, excess humidity peels off wall finish, causes rust on the door knobs and increases odors in your bathroom. Humidity also offers a breeding ground for the flu virus, mold, and other unwanted pollutants. If you have a bathroom exhaust fan, you can avoid such damages by regularly maintaining it. This will ensure that it performs at its best at all times.

Cleaning the Grilles

If you own a new bathroom exhaust fan, you probably don’t need to uninstall it to check what is wrong with it. All you need to do is unscrew the grilles that protect the fan and vacuum clean them. If you still use the older models, you will need to add some oiling to your fan on a regular basis. Modern extractor fans don’t need oiling as they are permanently lubricated.

Cleaning the Vents and Ducts

One of the reasons why you need to install your vent fan properly is so that it vents out the mold and humidity out of the bathroom. Some fans tend to damp the moisture into your attic where mold and mildew get a breeding place. For regular vent maintenance, check the wall cap to ensure that is cleared of any bird nests and debris. If that area is clear but you fan performs inefficiently, check the attic. Many malfunctioning vent fans damp moisture into the attic instead of out of your walls. Also, check the duct to confirm that it is properly attached to the bathroom exhaust fan.

Bathroom Fan Cleaning Process

If you should decide to clean the whole bathroom exhaust fan unit, follow the following procedure

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker.
  2. Unscrew the vent fan cover or grilles. Some fan covers are not screwed, which should make them easy to use.
  3. Use a vacuum cleaner that has bristle brushes to clean the cover and grilles. Use a crevice tool to clean areas that are difficult to reach
  4. Ensure you clean the area around the motor and inside the wall cap by using a small paint brush or toothbrush.
  5. Reinstall the components you removed one at a time. Tighten the grilles properly or push the cover until it is firmly attached into place.

Bottom Line

If you love your bathroom as much as you love your living room, you should do everything possible to keep it looking stylish and livable. One way to do that is to invest in the best bathroom exhaust fan and to regularly maintain it. With a quality fan eliminating excess humidity and pollutants from your bathroom, you will never get a reason to keep you in your bathroom. Fortunately, an extractor fan is not an expensive tool. You can find your ideal match on our bathroom exhaust fan reviews above.