Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans

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After a busy day, nothing can refresh your mood better than a steam bath or hot shower. But as good as they are, the hot water will produce a ton of steam that can damage your bathroom. It can cause fogged-up mirrors, drop marks on your shower, and even mold problems.

A bathroom exhaust fan helps to remove the steam build-up to lower the risk of damage. It can also prevent germs and bacteria from spreading.

Given the high venting power, Energy Star label, and quiet operation, the Panasonic FV-11VH2 is the best bathroom exhaust fan in our reviews. Moreover, it has an anti-corrosion body and needs little maintenance. For more options, we prepare a full list of the best bathroom fans for you.

Our Picks for Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans

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Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan Reviews

1. Panasonic FV-11VH2 WhisperWarm Fan/Heater Combination Ventilation Fan—Best Overall and Quietest

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With a quick glance at bathroom exhaust fan reviews, we found that the Panasonic FV-11VH2 is one of the most popular choices among other models.

It boasts a 110 CFM power and is super-efficient in extracting the steam and mildew from your bathroom. Besides, this exhaust fan has an Energy Star certification, and it consumes very little energy compared to its high functions. 

Measured at just 0.6 sones for sound, this ceiling fan runs so silently that you may hardly notice it’s working. It has a sealed condenser motor that minimizes the operation sound, unlike most other exhaust fans. Moreover, the double suction blower won’t make noise while circulating the air.

The permanently lubricated motors mean it’s a durable fan with low-maintenance requirements. The heavy-gauge zinc galvanized steel also prevents the unit from corrosion. The cooling effect of the engine is another factor that increases the lifespan of the device. 

In case you don’t have a light fixture, there’s also a fan/heater/light combo model to consider.

Remember that it’s not a suitable option for very large bathrooms. Especially when it comes to heating the area, this Panasonic FV-11VH2 model fails to warm up more than 100 square feet and you may need to install another bathroom heater separately.

Pros:

  • Near-silent operation.
  • Durable build.
  • Needs minimal maintenance.
  • Energy-efficient.
  • A heater/fan combination.

Cons:

  • Not great for very large settings.

2. Broan-NuTone 9093WH Exhaust Fan, Heater, and Light Combo—Best Three-Piece Combo Model

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This combo model has a 70 CFM airflow capacity, which is enough to vent both spacious and average-sized bathrooms.

Moreover, with 1500-watt heating power, this model heats a middle-size bathroom in minutes. Perfect for winter when you’re feeling the chill.

It’s a relatively quiet bathroom fan- with light that won’t disturb you while enjoying a relaxing bath. However, it sometimes may make intermittent creaky noises.

The exhaust fan comes with a compact, appealing design. Also, the integrated light lamp adds décor to your bathroom. It provides enough illumination for night viewing, and it also eliminates the need for an extra bathroom bulb.

Another thing we love about this model is the wall switch, making it super convenient to control. It also comes with adjustable brackets so you can install the package all on your own.

This is not the most inexpensive model on our list. Still, it’s an excellent option for those who need an extractor, heater, and light in a single bundle.

Pros:

  • Fan, light, and heater combination.
  • Good ventilation.
  • Quick heating capacity.
  • Decorative.
  • Easy installation.
  • Relatively quiet operation.
  • Wall-switch included.

Cons:

  • A little expensive.
  • Reports of intermittent noise making.

3. Delta Electronics Delta BreezGreenBuilder GBR80 80 CFM Exhaust Bath Fan—Most Energy-Efficient

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As an ASHRAE compliant model and an Energy Star holder, this bathroom fan uses 86 percent less energy than other similar models. It has an airflow of 80 CFM, and at the same time, it helps you save money on your bills. As a result, it earns our praise as the best energy-saving unit on the list.

The BreezGreenBuilder is available in various models. You can find a fan-only version, as well as a combination of dual-speed design, LED light, and humidity sensors.

The LED light is dimmable and energy-efficient, which means you can set the brightness according to your liking. Also, the adjustable humidity detectors allow you to set a point for the humidity level. So, the device will stop working once the atmosphere reaches your desired level of humidity. This feature enhances the energy-saving capabilities of the device. 

Nonetheless, we recommend you buy the fan-only model because the humidity sensor may not function all the time.

Other selling points include quiet operation and galvanized steel construction. A three-year standard warranty also adds value to this package.

Pros:

  • Ultra energy saving.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Great airflow.
  • High reliability.
  • Extra options, such as an LED light and humidity sensors.
  • Energy Star and ASHRAE compliant.

Cons:

  • Occasional dysfunction in humidity sensors.

4. BV Ultra-Quiet Bathroom Ventilation and Exhaust Fan—Best for Large Bathrooms

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This bathroom vent has more capacities than you may expect. It ventilates bathrooms of up to 150 square feet. As a result, it wins the title of the best bathroom exhaust fan for large bathrooms.

Compared to its capacity, this model comes at an unbelievably low price and operates quietly. It also comes with four suspension brackets, making the installation easy.

It lacks any extra features such as an LED light, heater, or wall switch. To make up for its shortcomings, it features a stainless steel body that makes it robust against rust.

The unit is both UL-approved and HVI 2100-certified. It has a heavy-duty engine that runs on 120 volts of electricity. Plus, it comes with a one-year warranty, but you can be sure that you’ll have this exhaust fan for years to come.

The fan may be a bit difficult to install for those with existing fans, but it’s completely worth it because the device is sure to keep your bathroom atmosphere fresh.


Pros:

  • Good ventilation capacity.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Durable.
  • UL-certified.
  • Low energy usage.
  • Rust-resistant.
  • Easy to install.

Cons:

  • No extra features.
  • Not suitable for replacing purposes.

5. Hunter 83002 Ventilation Sona Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Light—Best Design

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This one is, without a doubt, the best-looking option in our bathroom exhaust fan reviews, and it doesn’t give up its functionality to be attractive.

The model has a capable motor that circulates air with 110 CFM fan speed. So, it draws in all the foul odors, humidity, and moisture out of your bathroom. Although it seems a little slow in ventilating large areas, it’s enough for medium-sized bathrooms.

The Hunter 83002 looks like a flush-mount ceiling light. It uses two 60-watt light bulbs to improve your bathroom’s brightness.

But remember that they’re not enough to lighten the whole bathroom because the glass dome is relatively thick and reduces the light. Also, remember that the bulbs are not included, although it’s not a big downside due to the fair price. 

With a noise rating of 3 sones, this unit is not a whisper-quiet option. It means you shouldn’t opt for the item unless you’re willing to sacrifice tranquility for beauty.

Pros:

  • Aesthetically pleasing.
  • Affordable.
  • High airflow capacity.
  • Capable of reducing odors.
  • Suitable for medium-sized bathrooms.

Cons:

  • Dull light.
  • Relatively noisy.
  • Slow operation for larger settings.

6. Broan-Nutone 682 Duct-Free Ventilation Fan—Best Duct-Free Option

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For those who don’t have an external duct but want to maintain a healthy atmosphere in their bathroom, we suggest this duct-free ventilation fan. You can install it in basement bathrooms where you don’t have an attic panel or in powder rooms where humidity isn’t a big issue.

Instead of pulling the air through a ductwork system, this unit uses air circulation technology to purify the atmosphere. It also passes the air through a replaceable charcoal filter to absorb moldy or musty smells or particles.

Since there are no ducts to deal with, the installation process is super easy. Besides, you can mount the device with existing torsion springs, which means you won’t need any other tools to attach it to the ceiling.

But, if you’re looking for the best bathroom exhaust fan with light, this might not be your option. Another thing that you may not get is silent operation. Although it’s not very loud, it’s not very quiet either.

 Pros:

  • Ductless system.
  • Easy installation.
  • Replaceable filter.
  • Extracts odors.

Cons:

  • No lights.
  • Not very quiet.

How to Choose A Good Bathroom Fan

Now, it’s time to check what factors you need to consider to buy the best bathroom exhaust fan.

Air Circulation Power

A good bathroom ventilation fan is one with enough airflow capacity. This is because if it fails to remove moisture, it’s nothing but a waste of money.

You can measure this ability by looking at the CFM rating (Cubic Feet per Minute). As the name indicates, every one CFM can handle one foot of your bathroom. So, for a 50 square foot area, you’ll need a unit with an air movement capacity of at least 50 CFM.

With a 150 CFM rating, the BV Bathroom Ventilation and Exhaust Fan is the most capable fan on our list.

Noise Level

A noisy exhaust fan can be very disturbing, especially if you want to relax in your bathtub or leave the fan on after a late-night shower. To avoid bothering everyone, you can check the sound level of a product by looking at the sones rating—the lower the number, the quieter the unit.

Most bathroom fans have a sones rating of 0.5 to 3 sones. The ideal number is somewhere between 0.5 and 1.

For a super quiet extractor, go for whisper-quiet models such as the Panasonic FV-11VH2 WhisperWarm. 

Accessories

Some bathroom ceiling fans are more than a simple extractor. For example, the Panasonic Fan/Heater Combination creates a toasty environment for your winter showers.

With a combination of light and extractor, such as the BreezGreenBuilder GBR80, you won’t need extra space for your light fixture. Besides, you can remove your old fixtures to use existing wires for the exhaust fan. 

This model also boasts humidity detectors that can turn the fan on/off once the humidity drops/rises above a certain point.

Certifications

Certified products are more reliable. For example, products with UL certifications meet strict safety requirements, so they can save you from potential hazards such as electrical shocks or fires. The Delta BreezGreenBuilder and the BV Ultra-Quiet Bathroom Exhaust Fan are UL-listed products.

As for other certifications, you can search for Energy Star models such as the Panasonic FV-11VH2 WhisperWarm and BreezGreenBuilder. They help you consume less energy and cut back on your bills.

ASHRAE is another safety classification that offers more than 4000 standards. And most of them focus on heaters, ventilators, and air conditioners.

Durability

Like any other product you buy, bathroom fans should last for a reasonable time. Otherwise, they won’t be worth your investment.

Since a large amount of moisture can be harmful to most electrical devices, the importance of durability is higher with these units.

For a longer-lasting unit, you should search for permanently lubricated motors such as the Panasonic FV-11VH2. Also, go for stainless or galvanized steel housing like the Delta Electronics GBR80 and BV Ultra-Quiet Bathroom Exhaust Fan.

Ease of Installation

With some products, the installation process is such a nightmare that customers prefer to call a professional to take care of it. 

So, before buying a unit, make sure the installation process won’t make you sweat too much. Look for products that come with a DIY design. Or buy those with torsion springs, comprehensive manuals, and suspension/adjustable mounting brackets.

The Broan-NuTone 9093WH and Broan-Nutone 682 Duct-Free are the easiest packages to install.

Replace your bathroom fan

FAQs About Bathroom Exhaust Fans

Where Should I Vent My Bathroom Exhaust Fan?

You should vent your bathroom exhaust fan outside the house. The best way to do it is through an attic duct system. But, if you don’t have attic access, you can vent it through the sidewall. 

Also, make sure you don’t vent it to a roof overhang or soffit vent because it can condensate the steam and cause mold problems under your roof.

Is It Bad to Oversize a Bathroom Exhaust Fan?

It’s not only okay to oversize a bathroom exhaust fan, but it’s also even helpful sometimes. Simply put, the higher the CFM rating, the better. For example, if you have a 100 square foot bathroom, a 150 CFM unit may work better than one with 100 CFM capacity.

Can a Bathroom Fan Help With Smell?

A bathroom fan can also help with smells. Its primary purpose is to enhance air quality, and odors are a primary cause of poor air quality. Apart from bathroom scents and dampness, exhaust fans can remove the dangerous gases from cleaning agents. If you don’t know how bad the air quality is, you should look for an indoor air quality monitor.

Wrap Up

Steam from baths and showers can cause many issues in your bathroom as well as health problems for your family. So, to prevent damp and mold residue, you should get a quality bathroom exhaust fan. 

The Panasonic FV-11VH2 is our first choice. As well as working as an exhaust fan, it both warms your bathroom and brightens it with its compact fluorescent bulbs. It has a lifetime guarantee and creates a quiet atmosphere where you can take a break from your busy life. 

The Broan-NuTone 9093WH is another fan/heater/light combo that operates quietly and decorates your environment. But if you need high venting capacity, the BV Ventilation and Exhaust Fan is a better option.

Welcome to Air Wisely! I am Darren. I worked as a plumber for years and found that my clients were interested in learning basic HVAC knowledge. That's why I build this site.