Dealing with High humidity in a bathroom can be tiresome. The effects of an overly humid bathroom can range from minor annoyances like a steamy mirror or peeling paint, to severe problems like the hazardous health effects stemming from constant exposure to mold. Finding a solution to this issue is imperative.
This guide will walk you through the process of choosing the right unit for you and will demystify all the aspects that go into the making of the best bathroom fans that will get rid of the excessive moisture in your bathroom’s air.
The characteristics of the top bathroom fans are explained in detail in the chart and reviews below.
Keep in mind that no product is perfect in every way, but the bathroom fans we picked are about as reliable and efficient as you’ll find anywhere in the market.
- Bathroom fan comparison table
- Best bathroom fans
- Bathroom fan buying guide
- DIY – How to install a bathroom fan
1. Panasonic FV-11VHL2 WhisperWarm Review
The Panasonic FV-11VHL2 is one of the more popular units in the market. It has a minimalist design and comes equipped with all the necessary features that ensure an excellent and fast dispersion of air.
This unit mostly owes its efficiency to the materials that went into the making of the tubular stainless-steel-sheathed fan element as well as the overall design of the critical components. The air is effectively transferred thanks to the magnesium oxide that reinforces the high-quality chrome wire.
The bowler wheel enables the fan to draw air from both sides, resulting in a considerably large area for air to enter. The Panasonic boasts a powerful CFM of 110, rendering this unit suited for a wide array of bathrooms of various sizes.
On top of its high performance, this bathroom fan is remarkably quiet and its installation process is relatively intuitive and requires no technical prerequisites.
2. Panasonic FV-11VQC5 WhisperSense Review
The second product reviewed on this list is another top quality mounted ventilation fan with fluorescent light from renowned industry heavyweights Panasonic. This unit is supplied with a number of features that ensure its efficiency and capacity of getting rid of the moisture in your bathroom.
The air movement of this unit is around 110 CFM and is amply sufficient for large bathrooms. It comes with a humidity sensor that can be adjusted between 30 and 50 percent RH and continues to detect the humidity level of the air to check if the optimal moisture conditions are met.
Another major selling point of this product is the simplicity of the installation process; it merely requires some reasonably straightforward electrical wiring.
Panasonic is confident enough in the quality and durability of this unit to offer a limited 3-year warranty after purchase.
3. Delta Breez SIG110DL Signature Review
The Delta BreezSignature is a sleekly designed unit that is advertised as being the most energy saving bathroom fan in the market. It has a perfect 5-star rating on Amazon with the customer consensus being that this product offers unmatched value for the price.
This unit is especially suited for extended usage thanks to the possible adjustable speed that allows you to set the fan to 3 CFM options: 0, 40, and 80.
As far as energy saving is concerned, this unit exceeds the minimum requirements set by ENERGY STAR by a staggering 592% and provides savings upwards of 70%. With a sones level bellow 0.3, it is also one of the quietest bathroom fans in the market. It is equipped with 800 Lumens LED light that lets you know when the fan is running.
Delta offers a 3-year limited warranty after the purchase of this product.
4. Broan-NuTone ZN110HL Ultra Series Review – Bathroom Fan with Light
The Broan-NuTone ZN110HL Ultra Series is a well designed and compact bathroom fan, with dimensions measuring 10.5 x 11.4 x 7.6 inches. While it is relatively pricier than the products reviewed in this list so far, its performance and plethora of features more than warrant it.
As it is the case with the other higher end products in this list, this unit boasts a CFM of 110 that makes it efficient when operating in huge bathrooms without being too excessive for smaller and mid-sized ones. It is impressively quiet and can hardly be noticed when it is on.
The humidity sensors are highly robust and adept at continuously checking and keeping the moisture levels in the appropriate range. Besides its elegance and efficiency, this unit is practical and easy to use and its installation doesn’t require any advanced know-how or the assistance of a professional.
5. Broan QTX110HL Ultra Silent Series Bath Fan with Heater and Light Review
The Broan QTX110HL is a top quality unit that is specially engineered for 100 square foot bathroom. While there is nothing eye-catching about its generic design, this bathroom fan comes equipped with all the necessary features that are required for keeping humidity and includes a high output 1500 watt heater.
The fan is powered by extremely robust motors that are suited for extended usage. With a CFM of 110, it can efficiently operate in a reasonably large area, and the 6 inch ducting contributes in increasing its power and performance.
While the sone levels are higher than the units in the top of this list, the Broan QTX110HL still boasts a low level of 0.9. Other major selling points of this product are the simplicity of the installation and the energy savings it provides.
This unit comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
6. WhisperLine 440 CFM Energy Star Bathroom Fan Review
The Whisperline 440 CFM is robust and durable bathroom fan that provides one of the most powerful air flows among the units reviewed in this list. It is equipped with powerful turbine fans that relieve your bathroom from extra moisture while constantly monitoring humidity and making sure it remains at low levels.
Despite the remarkably high air flow that is generated by this unit, it is very quiet with a sones level of just 0.4. It is predisposed for continuous use and is energy star qualified for energy savings.
Among its most practical features is the fact that the air flow is entirely adjustable, resulting in a comprehensive and efficient multi-inlet balance. The installation is straightforward and intuitive and doesn’t necessitate any extra tools and the tapered duct adapter allows for a tight and secure connection.
The seller guarantees customer satisfaction and offers a 30-day warranty after purchase.
7. Fantech RVF6 Exterior Wall Mount Review
The Fantech RVF6 is one of the cheapest bathroom fans on our list. It boasts a number of characteristics and features that make it an ideal choice for a small budget. It is comprised of an impeller with backward curved blades and a casing and is easy to install.
This unit is made out of top-quality galvanized steel and has an exquisite powder coat finish. The external motors are entirely enclosed and are designed to function in very humid and dusty air and are equipped with automatic reset thermal overload protection and a set of lubricated sealed ball bearings, rendering them highly resistant to the corroding elements of bathroom air and ensuring their long lifespan with little to no maintenance.
The Fantech moves a considerable amount of air and has a CFM of 242. It is exceptionally quiet especially when installed on an exterior wall, as most of the ambient noise is kept outside.
8. Panasonic FV-08VRE1 Whisper Recessed LED Fan Review
The FV-08VRE1 is an accessibly priced bathroom fan that has a very eye-catching and slick design. It is mostly suited for mid-sized bathrooms and offers the same durability and high performance that we have come to expect from market leaders Panasonic. The lamp it is equipped with is powered by the latest advanced LED technology and lasts 4 times longer than the generic fluorescent lamps.
With a CFM of 80, it is far from being the most powerful fan in our list and is designed primarily for small to mid-size bathrooms. It is energy star rated and operates continuously with barely audible noise. It comes with an integrated dual 4 inch/6 inch duct adapter that enables you to flexibly alternate between short runs and long runs and a double-hanger bar system that allows you to place the fan in any position of your choosing.
With the purchase of this unit, you benefit from a 3-year warranty on components and a 5-year warranty on the LED.
9. Panasonic FV-04VE1 WhisperComfort Review
This bathroom fan is one of the top premium products reviewed in this guide. It boasts a cutting-edge ventilation technology that systematically gets rid of the excessive moisture and helps maintain a clean and crisp air with low humidity. It has a sleek and elegant design that enhances the overall layout of your bathroom.
This unit comes with an adjustable airflow capacity that allows you to set the levels depending on the size of your bathroom. The maximum capacity it provides is 40 CFM and is exceptionally efficient when operating in small bathrooms. As it is the case with the other models in this list, installing this unit is easy and does not require any technical knowledge or skill.
A minor drawback of the FV-04VE1 is the fact that it doesn’t offer the greatest value for the price compared to not only the competition but to several models from the same manufacturer.
10. BV 2.0 Sones Bathroom Ventilation and Exhaust Fan Review
This bathroom fan comes with a comprehensive set of features at a surprisingly cheap price. It is equipped with a powerful motor and is highly durable thanks to the heavy-duty stainless steel it is made of. The value for the price it offers is among the best in this list.
It has an air flow capacity of 150 CFM and is energy started certified, combining high performance with great energy savings. It is engineered to withstand continuous use and is thermally protected against the various elements that could corrode the motor. While the noise level it produces is significantly higher than other units in this list, the fan is quiet relative to other products in its price range.
BV guarantees 100% customer satisfaction and commits to offering a limited one year warranty and complete technical support with the purchase of this product.
Before deciding on which bathroom fan to buy, there are several features that you have to know and understand fully in order to get the fan that suits your bathroom. Not taking that into consideration can lead to buying an underperforming fan or overpaying for a high-end product that exceeds your requirements.
The first characteristic that we will delve into is CFM.
CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute and it is essentially the fan’s capacity to carry air over an area. A general rule is that your fan’s CFM should be high enough to enable the fan to refresh the air in the bathroom at least 4 times every 30 minutes. The required CFM for a bathroom is determined by its size. For a small bathroom that’s around 50 square feet, it’s advisable to get a fan with a CFM of at least 50. Most average-sized bathrooms require a minimum CFM of 80, with 110 being the optimal capacity.
The second aspect we’ll look into is the noise level generated by the fan.
A high-quality fan should barely be audible, and as you can imagine, having a loud fan in your bathroom can cause a serious annoyance in your house.
The amount of sound emitted by a fan is referred to as sones. Industry experts believe that a good bathroom fan should have a sone score below 1.5.
Another aspect that you should pay attention to is the quality of the materials that went into the making of the unit. It is advisable to avoid the products made out of light and cheap plastic.
Is a bathroom fan needed?
A bathroom fan is an absolute necessity to get rid of the moisture before it builds up and causes some severe damage to your bathroom. If the humidity isn’t vented from the air, it can cause paint and drywall peeling.
A more serious issue is mold, as exposure to it leads to hazardous health effects such as strong allergic reactions and fungal infections. Getting a bathroom fan will not only help preserve your bathroom from damage, but it will also protect your family from having to deal with a poisonous air that could severely compromise their health.
A bathroom fan is far from being a luxury or décor item, and it is an essential gadget that should be present in any modern and hygienic bathroom.
What are some of the extra features that you should expect from the best bathroom fans?
Some of the top-shelf bathroom fans will often come equipped with extra features that will only enhance the usefulness of the unit. The most common of these features are small heaters integrated into the fan. They come in handy by keeping you cozy when you’re leaving the shower.
Another feature often included in the best bathroom fans is a LED lamp. Besides the fact that it adds to the overall design of the unit and lets you know when it is running, the existence of the light will make installing the fan extremely easy as the fan will merely be placed when your current light fixture is already mounted.
While some of these features can be practical, you should not lose sight of the nitty-gritty that makes a great bathroom appliance. The high-end bathroom fans must have a CFM that is between 80 and 110 and a sone bellow 1.5. As discussed above, the main characteristics of the top bathroom fans are the reduced noise levels and the capacity to move the air in medium-size and large bathrooms.
While it is generally advised to hire a professional to install bathroom appliances if you don’t have any experience with any electrical or plumbing work, it is worth noting that the bathroom fans we picked are relatively easy to install and are designed specifically for that purpose.
What makes the light in the fan so useful is that you can place your fan where your light fixture is installed and take advantage of the pre-existing wiring and switch, that way you won’t need two separate installations for the light and the fan.
How much should you expect to pay for the best bathroom fans?
The price varies depending on how powerful you want your fan to be and how many features you’d like it to have. An all-encompassing top quality bathroom fan will cost you at least $200. For that price expect to get a respectable CFM and multiple features such as a heater and LED light. In the $100-$200 range, you’ll find an adequate and high performing fan that should run without any hitches.
We would personally advise against settling for the entry-level fans that are cheaper than $100. Their performances tend to be more than questionable and the cheap materials they’re made from makes them susceptible to breaking down quickly.