Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans – Reviews & Guide 2020

Last Updated on October 2, 2020

exhaust fan

Bathroom exhaust fans are often taken for granted. Although they are essential for your indoor air quality, it’s interesting that most people don’t bother to replace them for five to six months after they stop working.

Did you know municipal water is treated with chemicals and when those chemicals are turned to steam, you breathe them in through the air?

The same thing happens with cleaning chemicals. Standing moisture also causes mold and mildew. The mold grows in your walls and can weaken your home’s wooden supports.

You may be throwing on your shoes to run out to buy a new fan at this point, right? Not so fast though. You need to have the right bathroom exhaust fan if you want to avoid all the issues above.

To help you avoid these problems, we have reviewed the top ten bathroom exhaust fans. We have researched everything from the noise level, CFM efficiency, and energy-efficiency. We also looked at how easy these models are to install, their material make-up, and any other features they have.

Before you grab the first bathroom exhaust fan you see, take a look at our reviews so you will get the best bang for your buck.

A Quick Comparison Of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
BV Vent & Exhaust Fan BV Vent & Exhaust Fan
  • 90 CFM
  • Easy to install
  • Energy-efficient
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Delta Electronics Ventilation Fans Delta Electronics Ventilation Fans
  • 50 CFM
  • Energy-efficient
  • Can be retrofit
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Broan-Nutone Exhaust Fan Broan-Nutone Exhaust Fan
  • 70 CFM
  • Features a light and heater
  • Four-function wall remote
  • Ventline Exhaust Fan Ventline Exhaust Fan
  • 50 CFM
  • Easy to install
  • Polypropylene blade
  • Panasonic Fan Panasonic Fan
  • 80-110 CFM
  • Galvanized steel
  • Measures at 0.3 sones
  • 10 Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans

    1. BV BV-90CFM Vent & Exhaust Fan – Best Overall

    In our number one spot is the BV Ultra-Quiet exhaust fan. It is the best bathroom ventilation fan available. This model handles 90 CFM but is powerful enough for 150 square feet of space. It is housed in stainless steel and has a modern sleek vent appearance to match any bathroom decor.

    The BV fan fits a 4-inch vent and requires a mounting opening of a 10.5 x 10.5 inches/ 8-inch height which makes calculations simple for installment. You can also install it in an existing vent or you can use the suspension brackets that are provided.

    The 42-watt motor is durable so you can use it continuously. The fan is measured at 2.0 sones for super-quiet operation. This option is energy-efficient and UI approved. The single drawback to this option is a lack of light attached to the fan unit, but otherwise, it is the best bathroom ceiling fan around.

    Pros
    • Stainless steel housing
    • Easy to install
    • 90 CFM for 150 sq.ft space
    • Measured at 2.0 sones
    • Energy-efficient
    • Heavy-duty motor for continuous use
    Cons
    • Does not have a light

    2. Delta Electronics Ventilation Fans – Best Value

    Delta Electronics SLM50

    The Delta Ventilation fan is the best bathroom exhaust fan for the money. This model runs at 50 CFM so it is best for smaller bathrooms up to 50sqft. Measured at 2.0 sones this option is also very quiet and has a DC motor that will last up to eight years. Plus, you can run this fan continuously.

    Housed in galvanized steel, the 7.2 x 7.2-inch/ 3.94-inch unit is ready to be retro-fit or easily installed in the ceiling or wall. Though the 6.4 watts make it a less powerful option than our number one choice, it is Energy Star certified so it is less costly to run.

    If you need an exhaust fan for a guest bathroom or a smaller bathroom in general, this option will keep it free of moisture. It has a modern white face that will blend in with any bathroom style, though it also does not have a light.

    Pros
    • 50 CFM for 50 sq.ft bathrooms
    • Measured at 2.0 sones
    • Can be retrofit
    • Easy to install
    • Energy-efficient
    Cons
    • Meant for smaller bathrooms
    • No light

    3. Broan-Nutone Exhaust Fan – Premium Choice

    Broan-Nutone 9093WH

    Though this choice is going to be a little heavier on the wallet, it does feature a light that our other two options do not. Not only does this bathroom fan have a light, but it also has a 1500-watt heater to keep some additional warmth in the bathroom up to 65sqft.

    The Broan-Nutone motor is housed in galvanized steel and needs a 2 x 8-inch area and a 4-inch diameter opening for installation. Though there are more components to this option, it is easy to install and comes with a four-function wall remote for ease of use.

    At 70 CFM, it is advertised to clear a 100 square foot space of humidity. The fan is also somewhat louder as it’s measured at 3.5 sones with the heater. The round housing sports a 100-watt incandescent light and a nightlight for convenience which creates a soft ambiance in the space.

    Unfortunately, not only is this option more expensive upfront, but it is more costly to run at 1500 watts. All said and done, however, it is the best bathroom exhaust fan with a light.

    Pros
    • Features a light and heater
    • 70 CFM for 100 sq.ft space
    • Galvanized steel housing
    • Easy to install
    • Four-function wall remote
    Cons
    • Higher upfront cost
    • Louder
    • More expensive to run

    4. Ventline V2262-50 Exhaust Fan

    Ventline V2262-50

    The Ventline is another option if you prefer round bathroom fans. This option is also better suited for smaller spaces with a 50 CFM for 50 square feet of space. It has a polypropylene blade that won’t warp on bend making it a durable choice.

    The installation of this option is not difficult, however, you will need an 8-inch diameter opening. The fan also does not include the cap or flange. Purchasing both of those items separately can raise the price of the fan, as well.

    The sound level is slightly louder at 2.33 sones and is not expensive to run at 115 volts. If you have a small bathroom, there is a decent option that will help ventilate the humid air.

    Pros
    • 50 CFM for 50 sq.ft space
    • Easy to install
    • Polypropylene blade
    • Energy-efficient
    Cons
    • Does not come will all needed parts
    • Measured at 2.33 sones
    • Only for small bathrooms

    Also see: The top Lasko tower fans


    5. Panasonic FV-08-11VF5 Fan

    Panasonic FV-08-11VF5

    Moving on to the number five spot, the Panasonic exhaust fan is a good option for a larger size bathroom. This easy-to-install option fits into 4-inch or 6-inch ducts and is a 5.62”x 10.25” x 10.25” unit, though it is heavier and should be reinforced.

    This fan can be installed into a bathroom as small as 2’ x 6’, but it would probably be too strong for that size. You have two speeds to choose from so it can be run at 80 CFM of 110 CFM. Though it is energy efficient, this model is more expensive to run at 21.1 watts.

    On the other hand, this bathroom fan is super quiet at 0.3 sones, so you may not even know it is on. The housing is made of galvanized steel making it durable and long-lasting. The design is modern and sleek making it easy to fit into any bathroom style.

    Pros
    • 80 to 110 CFM for larger spaces
    • Easy to install
    • Measures at 0.3 sones
    • Galvanized steel
    Cons
    • Better for larger bathrooms
    • More expensive to run
    • Heavier

    Looking for a simple fan? Check out our reviews for the best tower fans here!


    6. Air King BFQ 90 Bath Fan

    Air King BFQ 90 Bath Fan

    Next, we have the Air King bath fan. The 10” x 10” design has a snap-in design that can be difficult for one person to do alone. It is a 90 CFM and can handle spaces between 90 and 110 square feet.

    The housing is made of high impact plastic which is a little flimsy, though it does do the job of removing humid air. This model is also louder at 2.5 sones but is not an unbearable level. This option also has a 4-inch duct connector.

    Though this option does perform well, it is not as energy efficient for its size and power. Though you can use it continuously, you will see an increase in your energy bills. Finally, as the vents are not at an angle, you can see directly into the unit, making it somewhat unsightly.

    Pros
    • Snap-in design
    • 90 CFM for 90 to 110 sq.ft space
    • Performs well
    • Can use continuously
    Cons
    • Need two people to install
    • Louder at 2.5 sones
    • More costly to operate
    • Flawed design

    Need an efficient air conditioner? Click here to read our reviews!


    7. Tatsumaki LD-120 Bathroom Fan

    Tatsumaki LD-120 Electric Bathroom Fan -

    The Tatsumaki bathroom fan is another model that features a light. This model comes with a 6W LED light that provides a soft glow. While the light is a nice feature, it doesn’t illuminate more than a night light would.

    This fan has a 1007 RPM motor that is capable of 120 CFM. That being said, it is best used for spaces less than 100 square feet. The installation process is not difficult. The unit measures 9” x 9” x 7 ¾” and needs to be cut to precise to avoid slipping.

    On the other hand, this option is quieter at 1.2 sones and has a sleek and modern look. The motor is housed in a metal and uses 45 watts. This makes this fan more costly to run as opposed to the small watt options above.

    Pros
    • 6W LED light
    • 120 CFM
    • Easy Installation
    • Measures at 1.2 sones
    Cons
    • Only for 100 sq.ft of space or less
    • Precise vent cuts
    • More costly to run
    • Nightlight capacity only

    8. Tech Drive Bathroom Ventilation

    Tech Drive Super-Quiet 110 CFM

    The Tech Drive galvanized steel option comes with a 10.32” x 10.32” x 8.02” design that is more difficult to install and requires more than one person. It features 110 CFM for 110 square feet, though it only has the power to circulate air within an 80 sq.ft space.

    The noise level on this option measures at 1.0 sones and is pretty quiet. On the other hand, the motor runs off of 32 watts and while it is not astronomical, it’s not as energy-efficient as it claims to be.

    The standard 4-inch vent size is helpful, but the unit itself is quite heavy at almost 12 pounds. Also, while the exhaust fan can handle 80 sq.ft spaces, it does have trouble moving air through longer vent systems. This can be an issue if you’re using it in a space where the humid air will have to travel more than 10-feet through the vent.

    Pros
    • Galvanized steel
    • 110 CFM
    • Measures at 1.0 sones
    Cons
    • Only for 80sqft of space
    • Not for long vent systems
    • Need two people to install
    • Not energy-efficient

    9. Hunter 81030 Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Hunter 81030 Halcyon Bathroom Exhaust Fan

    Getting to our number nine spot is the Hunter decorative bathroom fan option. This model is a cast chrome contemporary design that also features a 60-watt light. Needing a 4-inch diameter vent, the 6.45” x 8.36” x 7.78” motor housing can be difficult to install. The fan and light can be wired separately, but the instructions are unclear, making cross-wiring very easy.

    This model handles 90 CFM, but can only handle 20-sq.ft of space. It is also measured at 2.5 sones, so it is a more noisy option. What’s more, the 31-watt motor is not strong nor energy-efficient. The motor and light do not like to work together, and more often than not one will not work.

    On the plus side, the cast chrome glass dome is easily removed to change the bulb or clean. It features a screwless mount that provides easy access. The cast chrome is heavier than a traditional face, so the weight is close to fifteen pounds. If you have a very small bathroom with only a sink where you prefer a decorative look, this may work; yet other options would probably work better.

    Pros
    • Decorative
    • Has a light
    • Easily removed face for cleaning
    Cons
    • 90 CFM only handles 20 sq.ft
    • Difficult to install
    • Loud
    • Costly to run
    • Wiring problems

    10. HOMEWORKS WORLDWIDE Bathroom Fan

    HOMEWERKS WORLDWIDE 7130-03-BT

    Last on our list is the Homeworks bathroom exhaust fan and Bluetooth speaker-in-one. This model handles 90 CFM for 90 square feet Like the option above, however, it can only handle about 20 sq.ft of space and would be better for a space with just a sink.

    Difficult to install, the 9.2” x 17” x 17” galvanized steel housing is heavy and awkward to attach to existing vents. Though it is also measured at 1.5 sones, it is rather loud and completes against any music from the speaker.

    The speaker itself is decent, yet not loud enough to compete with running water or the fan noise. It would be better used as background music. Also, there is a loud beep whenever you turn the fan on, whether you are using the speaker portion of the unit or not.

    All in all, as the speaker is not loud enough, and the fan does not do its job properly. It is also not cost-efficient when you add in the speaker.  You would be better off with one of the above choices that were reviewed.

    Pros
    • Galvanized steel
    • Speaker feature
    Cons
    • Hard to install
    • 90 CFM only handles 20 sq.ft or less
    • 1.5 sones are too loud for a speaker
    • Loud beep when the fan is turned on
    • Costly to operate

    Buyers Guide

    Important Things To Consider When Finding The Right Bathroom Exhaust Fan For Your Needs

    There are several things you need to consider when choosing the right exhaust fan for your home. The few criteria you need are what size bathroom you have, how much installation you are prepared to do, and what features you would prefer. All of these questions will help you choose the best bathroom exhaust fan for your needs.

    The first criterion is to determine the size of the bathroom. Knowing the square footage of the space will help you determine the CFM power you need. CFM (cubic feet per minute) is how much humid air the fan will be able to ventilate. So, for example, if you have a 90-square-foot bathroom, you want an exhaust fan that can handle 90 CFM.

    When in doubt, it is better to go with a high CFM. The more air the fan can circulate, the better your air quality will be. That being said, higher CFM fans typically have a higher wattage and therefore, more expensive to run, which is something else to keep in mind.

    Your next consideration should be the installation. Understandably, not everyone is an electrician or a contractor. Bathroom fans can be simple to install as long as you are purchasing a model that is going to fit into the space your old unit occupied. Also, look for features such as adjustable vent connectors-which we will get into in the next section.

    Lastly, you want to decide what other features your bathroom fan should have. Some homeowners prefer their bathroom fan to also be the light in the space. You may require a separate wall control, a speaker system, or you may want to consider different design options that can elevate the space where it will be installed.

    Considering these three questions before you choose a fan can help narrow down the options to a few good choices you can pick from.

    What Makes A Good Product In This Category

    Now that you have an idea of what you are looking for, you want to know what makes a good exhaust fan. As mentioned, the CFM level is always important. Even if you are looking for a smaller size bathroom you do not want to go below 90 CFM. Anything below that will not be able to effectively remove the humid air.

    Noise is also a consideration. The sones measurement is the decibel level of the fan. Anything at 2.0 sones or lower is going to be relatively quiet. If noise doesn’t bother you, you can choose a higher sones level, but for general noise pollution try to stay below 2.0 sones.

    Energy-efficiency is another mark of a good exhaust fan. Many fans are going to have wattage available, but you can also check for things such an Energy Star Certified which will indicate that the unit is not going to cost a fortune to run.

    Finally, ease of install is a big consideration for many people. Options that have all of the necessary parts included, and have options such as adjustable brackets and vent connectors make installing the unit that much easier.

    On the other hand, if you are installing a brand new bathroom fan, try to find a unit with simple measurements. This will allow you to measure and cut the space easier than if you have to cut a 9.36” x 10.25” space.

    Conclusion

    We hope you have enjoyed this bathroom exhaust fan review. If you are looking for a good bathroom fan that can handle an average size space with little noise and energy-efficiency, we recommend going with our number one choice the BV Ultra-Quiet BV-90CFM Ventilation & Exhaust Fan.

    If you need something a little more cost-efficient that can will be adequate for a small bathroom, we suggest the Delta Electronics SLM50 Breez Slim Ventilation Fans. This option will keep your smaller bathroom’s air circulating without breaking the bank.

    Overall, our reviews are there to help you choose the best option for your home and bathroom. We hope to have lessened the stress and aggravation of deciding which model will be best and keep your air quality as optimized as possible.


    Written By Shannon MacDevine

    Featured image credit: MemoryCatcher, Pixabay