An exhaust fan is one of the essential bathroom fixtures as it is responsible for eliminating odor and excess moisture.
Without it, bacteria and mold will thrive, and your health will suffer.
If you’re unsure where to start, check out our top picks for the best bathroom exhaust fans.
We will also give you tips on what to look for when buying exhaust fans.
Our Top Picks
Best Exhaust Fans for Bathrooms: A Review
1. Delta BreezSignature Exhaust Bath Fan
Delta Electronics is a well-known company founded in 1971. It’s a global supplier of power supplies, computer fans, industrial fans, and bathroom exhaust fans.
The BreezSignature is a virtually silent bathroom fan with humidity sensing functionality, an LED indicator light, and DC brushless motor.
As another reliable product from Delta, this fan is engineered with DC brushless motor.
This motor offers a life expectancy of 70,000 hours or about eight years of nonstop ventilation.
It also comes with a soft-start function to enhance the longevity of the bearings and is designed to withdraw power if the impeller ever locks abnormally.
Plus, it has a thermal cutoff fuse for added safety. Additionally, the Breeze’s body is made with galvanized steel for durability.
The fan is rated at 130-CFM, so it’s suitable for medium to large bathrooms.
It’s also energy-star qualified for efficient cost-saving operation and features a three-year warranty.
A unique feature of this bath fan is the humidity sensor. The device will automatically turn on when it detects a rising moisture level in your bathroom.
When the moisture level drops below the normal range, it will automatically turn the fan off.
You can also manually turn on or off the fan by toggling the wall switch.
The face of the unit features a sleek, unobtrusive grille that blends seamlessly with any decor of your existing bath.
Lastly, the Delta SignatureBreeze runs as low as <0.3 sones, so it is extremely quiet.
Good thing the device has an LED light indicator, so you will know if it’s running.
- Durable construction
- Very quiet operation
- Comes with a humidity sensor
- Sleek look
- A bit challenging to install
2. Fantech PB110 Inline Exhaust Bath Fan Kit
Fantech offers a wide range of bathroom exhaust fans to meet any need.
One of their top offerings is the PB110 Inline Exhaust Bath Fan Kit.
It features a remote-mounted fan motor that effectively ventilates all areas of your bathroom.
The Fantech PB110 has a German-built fan motor that is made to last.
It’s easy to install, although you may need to add a little framing to have the motor in the proper orientation.
Installation may also involve simple wiring connection and flex ducting, especially if you live in an area where freezing temperatures are common.
Another thing we love about the Fantech PB110 is that it’s extremely quiet. You won’t hear humming or buzzing sounds but only a gentle flow of air.
Yet, as quiet as this fan is, you might forget to turn it off, so we recommend you get a timer switch when installing it.
Fantech recommends that the fan be installed in an attic or unoccupied space far from the intake box register.
Doing so ensures full flow and further attenuates the noise.
Lastly, the fan features an unobtrusive grille for better aesthetics.
- Built to last
- Extremely quiet
- Easy to install
- May need a switch timer
3. RadonAway RP145c Radon Fan
RadonAway is a US-based manufacturer that has been in the industry since 1989.
The company is best known for its high-quality fans, radon mitigation systems, and sump pump accessories and supplies.
The RP145c Radon Fan is an energy-efficient exhaust system that meets all electrical code requirements.
It is rated for commercial and residential use and features a unique motor and impeller design that is built to last for a long time.
This radon mitigation fan provides reliable performance and ultra-quiet operation. Aside from the bathroom, you can install it in the bedroom or kitchen.
Installing the fan is straightforward, and you only need a few tools, such as a small hacksaw and a screwdriver.
To install the unit, you need to reconnect the wires, position the fan, and tighten the clamps.
Removing your old fan and popping the RadonAway unit will only take about 20 to 30 minutes.
However, it’s important to seal any cracks, openings, and penetrations around the fan to avoid moisture leaks.
Another benefit of the RadonAway exhaust fan is that it consumes significantly less energy than most fans in the same category.
It’s one of the few energy star-certified radon fans that can operate 24 hours a day without worrying about your electric bill.
Since it’s intended for radon mitigation, you are not only sapping moisture and stale air from your bathroom but also a potentially toxic gas that can harm your health.
Furthermore, RadonAway comes with a thermally protected motor.
The water-hardened motorized impeller is made of high-quality material, increasing the unit’s overall efficiency.
It’s also one of the most powerful fans in terms of CFM as it can displace 166CFM of air.
- Eliminates radon
- Energy saving
- Quiet operation
- For residential or commercial use
- A bit loud
4. Delta BreezSlim Exhaust Bath Fan
The BreezSlim is an affordable but quality exhaust fan rated at 50CFM. It is great for small bathrooms.
If you’re looking for a bath fan that would be small enough to fit in your ceiling, look no further than the BreezSlim by Delta.
With a height of only four inches, this fan is perfect for small bathrooms and skimpy attics.
If you only have a crawlspace with about 2.5 feet vertical clearance and only about five feet horizontal clearance, this fan meets that requirement.
The nice thing about Delta BreezSlim is that it has low-profile housing, so it’s extremely easy to install.
Simply line the device up with the center-most joist and screw it in.
Moreover, the BreezSlim is powered by a DC brushless motor that is energy star-rated to help make your utility bills more manageable.
It is quieter than most cheap builder-grade bath fans since it’s rated at around one sone.
Unfortunately, the unit isn’t compatible with digital timer switches. It means you have to turn it off manually when not in use, but that’s okay because the device features a neat LED light to indicate that it’s on.
- Easy to install
- Fits tight crawlspaces
- Not compatible with digital timers
- Lower fan suction
5. Panasonic FV-15VQL6 WhisperLite Bathroom Ventilation Fan
The FV-15VQL6 WhisperLite is designed with high-quality components and a heavy-duty motor for continuous operation.
It also has a built-in damper that prevents backdraft and blocks external air from coming through the fan.
The WhisperLite fan features an enclosed condenser motor that is permanently lubricated for trouble-free operation.
That said, it can work for many years without requiring maintenance.
Moreover, the device features firmly secured duct ends, uncomplicated wiring, detachable adaptors, and an adjustable mounting bracket that’s up to 26 inches.
The double-tapered bladed blower is shaped in a way that it moves air quietly throughout the room.
The motor unit detaches easily from the housing, so installation is effortless.
In addition, the fan can be retrofitted easily. As long as you have room for the unit’s height above your ceiling, you should be able to retrofit it.
Another feature of the Panasonic fan bath is the integrated lighting. You can wire the fan and light together and the nightlight separately.
What’s more, the fan is super quiet, so it doesn’t cause any problem to have it always on with the light.
You’ll notice that most noise is from the air sucking, not the fan.
Lastly, it’s very discreet and less offensive-looking than most big plastic fan-and-light combos.
- Powerful motor
- Quiet operation
- Comes with light
Choosing the Best Exhaust Fans for Bathrooms
The bathroom is one of the common targets of mold and bacteria because of the excess moisture from showers, tubs, and other fixtures.
Without a fan to suck in the stale air, moisture can quickly accumulate on your bathroom surfaces, creating a perfect environment for mold and bacteria.
A properly functioning exhaust fan provides ventilation by drawing in humid air and odor from your bathroom.
Choosing the right bath fan can be complicated, given the many options.
Thus, before you start shopping around for the best exhaust fans for bathrooms, here are the factors you need to consider:
The first feature you need to check before buying an exhaust fan for your bath is the unit’s fan sizing, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM).
You must select the appropriate size for your bathroom’s square footage.
Doing so ensures that you will get the right amount of ventilation in the space.
Generally, you need one CFM per square foot of area. For example, an 8″ by 10″ bathroom will require a bath fan with at least 80 CFM.
Smaller and less powerful fans are great for small bathrooms, while larger fans that generate higher CFMs will work better in larger areas.
Most bath fans are installed on a ceiling, while some models can be installed on a wall.
Whatever you prefer, opt for a device that is easy to install and requires fewer tools.
Most experts recommend installing a fan to vent air outside your home through existing ductwork, not into an attic.
That’s because venting into an attic will only transfer moist, warm air to it, where moisture problems can develop.
Choose a model with an appropriate size duct adapter. If you’re installing a fan over a shower-tub combo, ensure it’s UL-listed or certified for this location.
Another thing to consider when selecting a bath fan is the noise level.
Exhaust fans that sound like jet engines can offset the relaxation and peace you have in the bathroom. Thus, you want to choose a quieter model.
Bath fan sound is rated in sones. The lower the sone, the quieter the unit is.
Look for an exhaust bath fan with a rating of one or less. One sone is equivalent to the hum of a refrigerator in a quiet kitchen.
Efficiency should be your main priority when purchasing any home appliance.
Energy star-certified fans use 70% less electricity than conventional non-energy star models.
While they typically cost more upfront, you can save a lot of money in the long run from utility bills.
These models also meet the qualification for low wattage consumption, efficient performance, and low sound emission.
Modern bath fans have several features that make them more efficient and convenient to use.
For instance, some models have integrated lighting that can replace your existing fixtures or serve as supplementary lighting.
Some bath fans include a night light that delivers soft illumination during the nighttime hours.
Other fans have built-in sensors that help conserve energy and improve the unit’s overall efficiency.
Meanwhile, other models have built-in heaters that supply extra warmth if you live in a cold climate.
Our Final Recommendation
Our top pick is the Delta BreezSignature, as it fits the bill for being energy-efficient, quiet, durable, and reliable.
It’s powerful enough to provide adequate ventilation to a medium-sized bathroom while maintaining motor efficiency.
We also like the addition of a humidity sensor that helps conserve energy and ensures that the moisture level in your bath doesn’t go up beyond normal.
Also Read: 7 Ways to save on a bathroom remodel