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Bathroom Faucets

10 Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans (2021): Reviewed by Industry Experts

Water is the greatest enemy of any home and ours was no different. Every time someone took a shower, the mirrors would get fogged up with condensation and it would take ages for the moisture to dissipate. It was getting so bad that we started getting mold and mildew growth on the walls from the pesky humidity. It was around this time that we decided to install an exhaust fan to see if it could improve our situation. And let me tell you, this thing did absolute wonders for us.

We could simply turn on the fan after every shower and it would extract all the moisture out in mere minutes, when previously we’d have to wait hours for it to dry up. The ventilation made a drastic difference – it put a stop to the mold growth and eliminated the foul odors from the bathroom. It was truly amazing how effective such a small fan could be.

Since you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you’re suffering from the same issues we faced without a proper exhaust fan. Worry not, because you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled our list of the top ten most energy-efficient and effective bathroom exhaust fans. Keep reading to ensure you too can maintain a bathroom that smells refreshing and remains dry all day long!

Top 10 Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans Reviews

01 Panasonic FV-0811VF5 WhisperFit EZ Retrofit Ventilation Fan (Top Choice)

Panasonic FV-0811VF5 WhisperFit EZ Retrofit Ventilation Fan

Why It Stands Out to Us

Coming from a renowned company, this unit has all the characteristics of the perfect bathroom ventilation fan. It offers a stealthy but durable construction that can complement any modern bathroom. With a flexible CFM rating, you can use it in both small and big bathrooms. This fan eliminates the moisture and odor from the bathroom and keeps it comfortable and germ-free. You won’t find another fan on the market that provides the same efficiency as this one. Thus, it clinches the top spot on our list. If you’re looking for a ventilation fan for your bathroom, this is the best you can get.

Our Experience With the Panasonic FV-0811VF5

  • Installing the FV-0811VF5 was fairly easy. We loved the fact that the installation didn’t require attic access. If you follow the instructions correctly, you won’t find it difficult to set it up as well. However, we recommend you call a professional for this task if you don’t have prior experience. Also, it seemed perfect for both old and new constructions.
  • We used the fan at 110 CFM. So, we installed it in a big bathroom, which was a bit bigger for the CFM rating. We noticed that the fan moved air with perfection and covered the entire area.
  • To check its efficiency, we took multiple hot showers and filled the bathroom with vapor. The unit dried out the whole area within minutes of turning it on. It also eliminated any annoying odor in the bathroom and there was no trace of fog on the mirror.
  • For how powerful it is, this fan seemed extremely quiet. There were times when we had to check if it was still running.
  • Despite moving air with great power, this fan surprisingly uses less energy than most other fans. You won’t find another unit with a 110 CFM rating that’s more economical than this one in terms of using energy. This will save you 10-20 dollars in electric bills compared to other models of the same manufacturer.
  • We used a vacuum cleaner to clean the FV-0811VF5 . Though we saw some dirt coming out of the grills every time we cleaned it, it shouldn’t be a problem if the unit is maintained regularly.
  • The all-plastic exterior is sleek and sturdy at the same time. The amazing build quality ensures that this fan is going to provide the same level of experience for years to come.

What We Didn’t Like

  • It’s not as affordable as other options available on the market
  • Even at that price point, it doesn’t have any extra features

What Could Be Improved

  • Extra features like light or motion sensor could be added considering the price

Our Recommendations

  • Make sure you select the suitable CFM rating for your bathroom using the switch before you complete the installation. Also, you can wire the CFM switch into a wall switch so that you can change the power level according to your preference. Keep in mind that the 80 CFM mode makes less noise but is less powerful than the 110 CFM mode.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 10.25x 10.25x 5.62 inches
  • Air Flow Capacity: 110 CFM
  • Recommended Room Size: 110 sq. ft.
  • Voltage: 120volts
  • Color: White
  • Certifications: Energy Star
  • Warranty: 3 years on parts

Pros

  • Amazing design
  • Great airflow capacity
  • Silent operation
  • Energy Star certified

Cons

  • No extra features

02 Broan-NuTone 690 Broan Bathroom Exhaust Fan Upgrade Kit (Duct-Free Choice)

Broan-NuTone 690 Broan Bathroom Exhaust Fan Upgrade Kit

Why It Stands Out to Us

The Broan-NuTone 690 is a well-designed ventilation fan that fits into any modern or retro bathrooms. It facilitates a powerful motor, which ventilates the moisture and odor of the bathroom with perfection. Also, installing this unit is a piece of cake. So, you won’t find it difficult to set up even if you don’t have prior experience of installing such devices. Another amazing fact about this model is that it won’t cost you much.  Overall, it offers a great user experience without the bells and whistles.

Our Experience With the Broan-NuTone 690

  • Great design and affordable price.
  • This model had the easiest installation among all the fans on this list. We were glad that we didn’t need to crawl into the attic to set this up. It was a 10-minute task and we can confirm that retrofitting this fan won’t be a problem as well.
  • For the 60 CFM rating, we installed this fan in a small bathroom. Though our bathroom was a bit bigger than the recommended size, it covered the entire area with ease. The Broan-NuTone 690 seemed powerful enough to cover slightly bigger rooms than ours.
  • We filled the area with vapor to check the airflow capacity of the fan. It worked like magic, and within 2  minutes of turning it on, there was no moisture on the walls and the toilet. We could literally see the fog on the mirror disappearing.
  • Though we can’t claim that this was a silent fan, we can confirm that the sound it makes is not too loud. It makes a moderate-level noise that’s loud enough to cover the sound of the toilet. This might be a blessing in disguise for some users.
  • The Broan-NuTone 690 was easy to keep clean and it also had straightforward controls.
  • It didn’t come with an Energy Star label. However, after calculating the cost of kilowatt per hour, we figured that it’s more energy-efficient than most of the ventilation fans that we tested.
  • The build material felt premium to the touch and it felt like a unit that’s going to last for a long time.

What We didn’t like

  • No extra features like light or heater
  • Some complained about increased noise after a few months of use.

What Could Be Improved

  • The noise could be suppressed a little
  • It would have been a better product overall if the CFM rating was bigger.

Our Recommendations

  • If the noise bothers you, get the upgrade kit. This will reduce the noise by a great margin.
  • If your Broan-NuTone 690 is making new noises after a few months of use, try cleaning it with a vacuum cleaner. Make sure you don’t oil it to get results. These fans are permanently lubricated by the manufacturers and any extra oil might make it worse.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 10.13x 10x 1.88 inches
  • Air Flow Capacity: 60 CFM
  • Recommended Room Size: 60 sq. ft.

Pros

  • Great design
  • Premium build quality
  • Affordable price
  • Compact
  • Powerful airflow capacity

Cons

  • Not silent
  • No extra features

03 Broan-NuTone 688 Ceiling and Wall Ventilation Fan (Budget-Friendly)

Broan-NuTone 688 Ceiling and Wall Ventilation Fan

Why It Stands Out to Us

This unit is specially manufactured for budget buyers. It’s the most economic ventilation fan you’ll find on the market. The sleek and compact design helps it fit right into any modern bathroom. Despite the low price, it moves air with great efficiency. It’ll eliminate the moisture and odor in a small bathroom with ease. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t cost you a fortune and does the job perfectly, try out this one and you won’t be disappointed.

Our Experience With the Broan-NuTone 688

  • Compact, sleek design and sturdy material.
  • The installation of this device was fairly straightforward. Also, it didn’t require attic access to install, which was a great relief for us. We also found out that this model is suitable for both new and old constructions.
  • We installed the Broan-NuTone 688 in a small bathroom because of the 50 CFM rating. We can assure you that it covers small spaces with great accuracy.
  • We wanted to test the suction of this fan. We took multiple hot showers in the bathroom and filled it with steam before turning it on. This small ventilation fan surprised us with how fast it cleared the entire room. After a few minutes, we saw no sign of moisture on the walls, the fixtures, or the mirrors.
  • This fan wasn’t quiet by any means. At 4 sones, it made an audible noise, which surely wasn’t the loudest we’ve heard from an exhaust fan. We can recommend this to people who like a little noise in their ventilation fan.
  • Though it didn’t come with Energy Star certifications, we found out that it doesn’t consume as much electricity as most fans we used. It has a 50 CFM rating and comes with no extra features. It’s not rocket science that this device won’t cost much in terms of electric bills.
  • The Broan-NuTone 688 was very easy to clean. Removing the housing was effortless while the fan snapped out easily. We used a piece of cloth and the brush attachment of the vacuum cleaner to clean it. We recommend you clean it regularly for maintaining a sleek look.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Small housing made the wiring fiddly.
  • It makes an audible noise, which can be a huge red flag for some users.

What Could Be Improved

  • The noise could be minimized a bit
  • The manufacturers could include a light.

Our Recommendations

  • The edges of the housing are very sharp. Make sure you’re careful while installing the Broan-NuTone 688.
  • Don’t apply oil to the fan. The manufacturers have permanently lubricated the unit and anything extra might end up making it worse.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 9.25x 0.38x 9 inches
  • Air Flow Capacity: 50 CFM
  • Recommended Room Size: 50 sq. ft.
  • Voltage: 120volts
  • Material: Plastic
  • Color: White
  • Certifications: Certified frustration-free

Pros

  • Economical
  • Compact
  • Great design
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Loud
  • Not suitable for big bathrooms

04 Panasonic FV-11VH2 WhisperWarm Fan/Heater Combination

Panasonic FV-11VH2 WhisperWarm Fan/Heater Combination

Why It Stands Out to Us

The Panasonic FV-11VH2  is one of the best ventilation fans you can find on the market. It’s a fan-heater combo that works flawlessly in enhancing your bathroom experience. With an amazing airflow capacity, it eliminates odor and excessive humidity from the bathroom. The heating element keeps the bathroom warm and comfortable with perfection.

Also, it’s made of stainless steel, which guarantees that it’s built to last. Though this model is by no means a cheap product, the features and functionalities it comes with are worth every penny.

Our Experience With the Panasonic FV-11VH2

  • The size and weight make it a difficult unit to set up. However, we didn’t face any problems during the installation.  It took a bit more time than most models that we’ve used but it surely wasn’t the hardest to install.
  • We used it in a 120 square feet bathroom and it moved the air quite well in the whole area. From our experience with the Panasonic FV-11VH2, we can confirm that this unit can cover bigger bathrooms without an issue.
  • We conducted several tests to evaluate the airflow capacity of this unit. We filled the area with vapor before turning it on. The fan sucked all the vapor out of the bathroom within minutes. Also, we couldn’t see any trace of moisture on the wall, and the fog on the mirrors was gone.
  • Despite facilitating so many functionalities, the Panasonic FV-11VH2 was unbelievably silent during operation. There were times when we had to stop whatever we were doing to check if it was still running.
  • The heating capacity of the Panasonic FV-11VH2was spot on. It spread warmth equally throughout the entire area. It started heating the bathroom within minutes of turning it on.
  • For how powerful it is, this unit was unbelievably energy efficient. We monitored every minute it was operating for a month and found out that it consumed less electricity than most of the heaters we tested.
  • We’ve seen other heater-fan combos to get overheated easily but not this one. During our time with it, this model rarely overheated, which tells us this is going to last for a long time.
  • It was incredibly easy to maintain the sleek look of the Panasonic FV-11VH2. We cleaned the fan by taking off the cover and using the brush attachment of the vacuum cleaner.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The Panasonic FV-11VH2 isn’t suitable for retrofitting.
  • Despite being so expensive, the Panasonic FV-11VH2 doesn’t come with a built-in thermostat to regulate the temperature
  • The wiring cavity was too small for all the wires.

What Could Be Improved

  • Considering the price, the manufacturers could add a light in this model.
  • A built-in thermostat would have made this a way better product.

Our Recommendations

Because the Panasonic FV-11VH2 doesn’t come with a built-in thermostat, make sure you install a timer switch for the heater. You can also use the same method for the fan.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 21.6x 16.2x 13.3 inches
  • Air Flow Capacity: 110 CFM
  • Recommended Room Size: 110 sq. ft.
  • Voltage: 120volts
  • Color: White
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Certifications: UL listed, Energy Star
  • Warranty: 6 years for motor, 3 years for other parts

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • Ul Listed
  • Energy Star certified
  • Amazing airflow capacity
  • Great build quality
  • Heater included

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No thermostat

05 Broan-NuTone 678 Exhaust Ventilation Fan and Light Combination

Broan-NuTone 678 Exhaust Ventilation Fan and Light Combination

Why It Stands Out to Us

The Broan-NuTone 678 comes with multiple features and functionalities that will surely enhance your bathroom experience. For how compact it is, this fan works with a powerful airflow capacity that drives the moisture and odor away from your bathroom. You can also use it as a light source. Besides, it comes at an incredibly cheap price despite providing a top-notch user experience.

Our Experience With the Broan-NuTone 678

  • The process of installation was straightforward and easy. Though we had to set it up from the attic, it was still easier to install than most other units that we reviewed. Also, the installation instructions in the manual were spot on.
  • We installed the fan in a 60 square feet bathroom, which is a bit bigger than the recommended room size for the Broan-NuTone 678. It moved air with perfection and kept the whole area moisture-free.
  • It passed the steam test with flying colors and eliminated the fog on the mirror within minutes. This fan also seemed powerful enough to get rid of any bad smell in the bathroom.
  • Besides the main feature, it also provided great lighting. It’s more than capable of working as the only light source in a small area if you use a powerful LED bulb in it.
  • Although this isn’t the most silent fan that we’ve seen, we can confirm that this doesn’t make an annoying noise even when it’s working at its maximum capacity. It makes a continuous but tolerable noise – just loud enough to cover other noises of the bathroom.
  • The build material of the Broan-NuTone 678 seemed sturdy enough to last a long time.
  • We found this fan very easy to clean. The light cover was easy to remove and we washed it with soap and water. We used the brush attachment of the vacuum cleaner to clean the vents.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The light cover isn’t see-through and it weakens the light of the bulb.
  • The package doesn’t include a light bulb.
  • The Broan-NuTone 678 is only usable in small rooms because of the 50 CFM rating.

What Could Be Improved

  • It would have been a far better product if the noise was suppressed a little.
  • The manufacturers could have included a light bulb in the package.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 8.5x 8x 5.75 inches
  • Air Flow Capacity: 50 CFM
  • Recommended Room Size: 50 sq. ft.
  • Voltage: 120volts
  • Color: White
  • Material: Galvanized steel
  • Warranty: Limited 1 year

Pros

  • Cheap price
  • Compact
  • Simple installation
  • Multiple functionalities
  • Durable

Cons

  • Only suitable for small bathrooms
  • Not silent

06 Broan-NuTone 765H80LB Bathroom Exhaust Heater and Light

Broan-NuTone 765H80LB Bathroom Exhaust Heater and Light

Why It Stands Out to Us

The Broan-NuTone 765H80L is one of the best bathroom combos you can find on the market. This beast of a unit works as an exhaust fan, a heater, and a light source at the same time. With a powerful motor, it moves air with great force. So, you can say goodbye to the annoying fog in the mirror.

The heater of this unit is more than capable of keeping small to medium-sized rooms warm and comfortable. You can also use the Broan-NuTone 765H80LB as the only light source in your bathroom. Despite coming with all these features, this fan costs less than a hundred dollars, which is really uncommon in similar products. Considering the well-rounded user experience it provides, it’s surely a solid pick for anyone who wants to buy a top-quality exhaust fan.

Our Experience With the Broan-NuTone 765H80LB

  • Great design, compact, and multiple functionalities.
  • Though we had to crawl into the attic and it took some time to set up, we’d say that installing the Broan-NuTone 765H80LB was easier than most other models we’ve used. It seemed perfect for new constructions. For retrofitting, pay extra attention to the provided instructions in the manual.
  • Though it has a CFM rating of 80, we tested the fan in a 90 square feet bathroom. We installed it at the center of the area and it performed well above our expectations.  We can confirm that this model can cover rooms up to 90-100 square feet if the placement is right.
  • We purposefully filled the bathroom with steam to check the airflow capacity of the unit. The fan sucked all the vapor out of the room within five minutes of turning on. There were no traces of moisture on the walls and the fixtures of the bathroom. Also, it worked like a charm in eliminating fog from the mirrors.
  • Though the heater wasn’t the best we’ve seen, we were content with it considering it’s just an extra feature. The Broan-NuTone 765H80LB can be sufficient in keeping a small area warm and comfortable but nothing more than that.
  • We ordered the version with LED lighting and it worked perfectly. We noticed that this unit can be used as the only light source in a small bathroom if you use a powerful LED bulb.
  • It was really easy to use and clean the Broan-NuTone 765H80LB. We used the brush attachment of the vacuum cleaner to maintain the premium look. We sometimes removed the grill cover and wiped it clean. If you take good care of it, this fan is going to last for years, without a doubt.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Though the fan doesn’t make much annoying noise, the heater is extremely loud. It can be a huge red flag for a lot of people.
  • The wiring cavity of the fan is too small.

What Could be Improved

  • If the Broan-NuTone 765H80LB made a little less noise, it would have been a way better product overall.
  • The heating capacity could be better.

Our Recommendations

  • Make sure to remove the foam sleeves that protect the Broan-NuTone 765H80LB in transit. This will reduce the noise of the heater.
  • Don’t stack up attic insulation over the unit. This will cause the fan to overheat while the heater is on and might end up burning the thermal fuse.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 14.25x 9.88x 7.5 inches
  • Air Flow Capacity: 80 CFM
  • Recommended Room Size: 80 sq. ft.
  • Voltage: 120volts
  • Color: White
  • Warranty: Limited 1 year

Pros

  • Great design
  • Affordable price
  • Amazing airflow capacity
  • 1300W heater
  • LED or Incandescent lighting
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Heater is loud
  • Not Energy Star certified

07 Air King BFQ 110 BFQ110 Exhaust Fan

Air King BFQ 110 BFQ110 Exhaust Fan

Why It Stands Out to Us

This model is an absolute powerhouse in a small package. It has a plastic housing that not only gives it a premium look but also suppresses the noise of the fan. Despite the compact size, the Air King BFQ110 covers rooms up to 100 square feet because of its tremendous airflow capacity.

Also, this doesn’t cost a fortune, which means you won’t have to worry about your tight budget. Long story short, the Air King BFQ110 is an amazing fan that can complement any modern washroom. If you’re looking for a fan that handles the ventilation of your bathroom with perfection and comes at a cheap price, this is the one for you.

Our Experience With the Air King BFQ110

  • Affordable, compact, and premium build.
  • We could install the fan with ease because of our year-old experience in setting up similar units. However, setting it up can get quite tricky and we recommend you call a professional for this task.
  • The Air King BFQ110 moved air with great strength. It covered a 100 square feet bathroom without showing any weakness.
  • We tested the fan on several occasions by filling the area with steam before turning it on. After a few minutes of turning on the fan, we noticed that the room felt less humid and there was no moisture on the toilet and the walls.
  • Though it wasn’t the quietest fan that we tested, the noise that the fan made wasn’t annoying. It made just enough sound to cover other noises in the bathroom.
  • Despite packing a strong punch in the airflow department, it didn’t increase our electric bills by a large margin during our time with it. We can assure you that this ventilation fan is energy-efficient and won’t be heavy on your wallet.
  • With our experience, we can confirm that this fan is going to provide the same level of performance for years.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The installation wasn’t simple. The install bracket didn’t hold the fan properly. Also, setting it up from below seemed almost impossible and you need access to the attic.
  • It doesn’t have Energy Star certifications

What Could Be Improved

  • The bracket could be made of better materials and overall installation could be easier.
  • It would have been a better product if it made a little less noise
  • More detailed instructions could be added to the manual.

Our Recommendations

  • Connect the exhaust ducting to the fan before placing it on the fan mount. This will make the installation a bit easier.
  • Make sure the unit’s housing doesn’t touch the sheetrock around it. This will minimize the noise by a great margin.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.75x 9.13x 4.75 inches
  • Air Flow Capacity: 100 CFM
  • Recommended Room Size: 100 sq. ft.
  • Voltage: 120volts
  • Color: White
  • Warranty: 1- year parts only

Pros

  • Durable build material
  • Great airflow capacity
  • Compact
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Tricky installation
  • No Energy Star certifications

08 Delta BreezRadiance RAD80L 80 CFM Exhaust Bath Fan with Light and Heater

Delta BreezRadiance RAD80L 80 CFM Exhaust Bath Fan with Light and Heater

Why It Stands Out to Us

If you’re one of those people who love to get something extra for their cash, this fan is the perfect fit for you. This device comes with an exhaust fan, a heater, and a light. Overall, this is a complete bathroom combo that maintains all of the functions efficiently.

The Delta BreezRadiance RAD80Lwill effortlessly eliminate the humidity or odor in your bathroom while keeping the whole area toasty and comfortable for you. It also ensures a silent operation, which is hard to find in other multipurpose exhaust fans on the market. You can surely give it a try.

Our Experience with the Delta BreezRadiance RAD80L

  • Durable metal body, compact, and minimalistic design
  • Though this wasn’t so easy to set up, we noticed that the manufacturers included detailed instructions of the whole installation in the manual. You won’t find it difficult to install if you follow the guideline correctly.
  • Because of the 80 CFM heating capacity, we tested it in an 80 square feet bathroom. It covered the whole area with perfection. With our experience, we can confirm that this device can be used in small bathrooms without an issue.
  • We loved the multipurpose functionality of this fan. The thermostat was spot on and could easily regulate the temperature between 65-70 ℉. The heating unit seemed more than capable of keeping the whole area toasty and comfortable.
  • The Delta BreezRadiance RAD80L worked perfectly in terms of dealing with humidity. We conducted a test by taking a series of hot showers and filling the room with vapor. It sucked all the moisture in the air within minutes after turning it on.
  • Aside from the heater-fan combo, this unit also facilitates a lightbulb that has a separate switch. The bulb that came with the unit was good enough but we installed a powerful LED bulb in it to use it as the only light source in the bathroom.
  • Despite facilitating so many features at once, the Delta BreezRadiance RAD80L didn’t consume as much electricity as most similar models we reviewed. Though it didn’t have an Energy Star sticker on it, we can confirm that this won’t break the bank every month regarding electric bills.
  • The unit was surprisingly silent while in operation. It didn’t make much noise even when it was running both the fan and the heater at the maximum capacity. It was so quiet that sometimes we had to check if it was still running.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Installation wasn’t straightforward at all. It was hard to set it up from below and the installation requires attic access.
  • Some users have complained about the exhaust fan being slow on sucking out steam or humidity.

Things That Could Be Improved

  • The CFM rating on the Delta BreezRadiance RAD80L could be higher. This would make it suitable for bigger bathrooms.
  • Motion and humidity sensors could be included in the fan to reduce unnecessary energy consumption.

Our Recommendations

This unit spreads the heat at a 45-degree angle and sucks the air at a right angle. Keep this in mind while installing it in your bathroom and make use of both the features to the max.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 14.38 x 8.25 x 5.5 inches
  • Air Flow Capacity: 80 CFM
  • Recommended Room Size: 80 sq. ft.
  • Voltage: 120volts
  • Color: White
  • Warranty: Limited 3 years

Pros

  • Silent operation
  • Built-in thermostat
  • Stylish design
  • Powerful motor
  • Multiple functionalities
  • Easy to control

Cons

  • Only suitable for small bathrooms
  • Not Energy Star certified

09 Homewerks 7107-03HW Bathroom Fan Ceiling Mount Exhaust Ventilation 1.0 Sones

Homewerks 7107-03HW Bathroom Fan Ceiling Mount Exhaust Ventilation 1.0 Sones

Why It Stands Out to Us

The Homewerks 7107-03HW set some high expectations for us. For starters, it’s UL listed and HVI certified, which ensures that it offers a silent operation and total safety. The best thing about this fan is that it comes with an Energy Star label. So, you won’t have to worry about the electricity bills as well.

With a powerful fan, this unit covers bathrooms as big as 110 square feet with ease. Not only does it offer great features and functionalities, it also comes at a surprisingly low price. If you’re looking for a ventilation fan for your bathroom that does the job perfectly and doesn’t cost a fortune, this one is the best fit for you.

Our Expectations with the Homewerks 7107-03HW

  • Straightforward controls, easy to clean and worth every dime.
  • This Homewerks 7107-03HW was really quick and easy to install. It seemed suitable for all new constructions and some of the old constructions. We were glad that the manufacturers included the mounting brackets.
  • For testing the capabilities of the fan, we deliberately increased the humidity by filling the bathroom with steam before turning it on. We noticed that just after a few minutes of use, there was no moisture in the air. Also, the fog on the mirror was gone.
  • It’s a powerhouse in a small package. It moved the air well in our 250 cubic feet bathroom with ease. The Homewerks 7107-03HW could make the bad smell of the bathroom disappear in the matter of minutes.
  • We were impressed by the lack of noise of this particular unit. This fan performed beyond our expectations. Though it’s definitely more than the 1 sone rating given in the description, it still makes less noise than most of the other fans we reviewed. It’s really hard to find fans that run silently at this price point.
  • After calculating the cost of the kilowatt per hour (kWh), we found out that this unit consumes less electricity than most other fans we’ve tested.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The power wires of the fan are too short and there isn’t sufficient space inside for wire connections.
  • The housing was made of cheap plastic and didn’t feel premium at all.

What Could be Improved

  • The exterior could be made of better material
  • The user manual could be improved by a large margin because it lacked a lot of important info.
  • The manufacturers could include longer power wires into the unit.

Our Recommendations

Set the fan near an area where your bathroom is exposed to the most amount of moisture. This will maximize the efficiency of the Homewerks 7107-03HW.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 15x 16.2x 12.5 inches
  • Air Flow Capacity: 110 CFM
  • Recommended Room Size: 110 sq. ft.
  • Voltage: 120volts
  • Color: White
  • Certification: Energy Star
  • Warranty: 5 year limited

Pros

  • Silent Operation
  • Ul listed
  • HVI certified
  • Energy efficient
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Cheap plastic used in the exterior
  • Short power wires

10 Panasonic FV-0511VQC1 WhisperSense DC Ventilation Fan

Panasonic FV-0511VQC1 WhisperSense DC Ventilation Fan

Why It Stands Out to Us

In terms of dealing with humidity in the bathroom, you won’t find a better fan on the market than the Panasonic FV-0511VQC1. It comes with sensors that turn the unit on/off by detecting moisture levels and motion. So, you won’t have to worry about switching off the unit every time you step out of the bathroom. Also, it comes with an Energy Star label, which means it won’t be heavy on your wallet regarding electric bills. Despite being stacked with features and functionalities, it runs very quietly. Overall, it offers an all-around user experience that makes it a solid choice for any modern bathroom.

Our Experience with the Panasonic FV-0511VQC1

  • We could install this unit without an issue. The duct ends seemed secure and the mounting brackets were easily adjustable. We also found out that the FV-0511VQC1is suitable for both old and new constructions.
  • For having a 110 CFM rating, we used this fan in a 100 square feet bathroom. It covered the entire area with perfection. We can assure you that the FV-0511VQC1 can handle bigger bathrooms without an issue.
  • This fan is an absolute beast when it’s about dealing with humidity. We turned it on for the first time in a bathroom full of steam and it cleared it all after just one minute of use.
  • The motion sensor of this unit was spot on. It turned on and off accurately by detecting movement in the room. We set the timer at 10 minutes and the fan switched off exactly after that time.
  • The fan also detected the humidity level of the bathroom and turned it off when the moisture levels went below the ideal settings. We could adjust the volume of relative humidity from 30% to 80%. For testing this feature, we used a humidity meter and found out that it was accurate most of the time.
  • For how powerful it is, it was surprisingly quiet during the operation. We barely noticed that it was turned on.
  • We calculated the electricity consumption rate of the FV-0511VQC1. We tested the fan for a month and tracked every minute it was turned on. By the end of the month, we were impressed that this unit saved about 10-15$ compared to most other fans we tested.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The fan only comes in one color.
  • For some constructions, attic access might be required for installation.
  • Some users found it difficult to set up on their own

Things That Could Be Improved

  • A variant with darker color tones would be much appreciated

Our Recommendations

If you don’t have any prior experience of setting up similar devices, you’d be better off if you leave the installation to someone with expertise. The installation of the FV-0511VQC1 can be tricky, especially if you’re replacing an older fan with it.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 13x 13x 7.38 inches
  • Air Flow Capacity: 110 CFM
  • Recommended Room Size: 110 sq. ft.
  • Certification: Energy Star
  • Voltage: 120volts
  • Color: White
  • Warranty: 6 years warranty on motor

Pros

Cons

  • Only one color option available

Best Exhaust Fan for Modern Bathroom – Buying Guide

(i) Air Flow Capacity

All exhaust fans have a certain airflow rating that’s measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute). To know the required CFM rating of your bathroom, measure it and figure out its square footage.

The HVI recommends 1 CFM for each square foot of bathroom space starting from 50 CFM. Bathrooms bigger than 100ft2 require a bigger CFM rating. Also, the rating goes higher with each fixture you have in your bathroom. Fixtures like toilets, showers and tubs add 50 CFM each. For other fixtures like jetted tubs, the CFM rating increases by 100.

Simply calculate the required CFM rating of your bathroom by adding up the CFM values of all your fixtures and the square footage of the area.

(ii) Position

The best position to place an exhaust fan in your bathroom is the area that has the most moisture. So, the ideal place for installing an exhaust fan would be the area over the shower or the bathtub of your bathroom. If your bathroom has both, place the fan in the area between them.

Remember to maintain a distance between any cooling registers or space heating and the exhaust fan. This is very crucial because placing them in close contact might minimize the efficiency of both devices.

(iii) Minimum Noise

The noise of an exhaust fan is measured by “sones” (unit of loudness). Normally, a sones rating of 1 or less resembles the noise level of a silent refrigerator running. Most exhaust fans come with a sones rating of 0.5-6. The higher the sones rating goes, the louder your exhaust fan will be.

Nowadays, there are different manufacturers who produce exhaust fans for bathrooms that operate silently. Naturally you’ll go for the one that makes the least noise in your budget. However, you can also minimize the noise level of your fan by installing bigger ducting attachments.

(iv) Extra Features

Modern exhaust fans come with much more than just the ventilation and a light/fan combo. Manufacturers nowadays tend to add convenient features like heating capacity, motion-sensing activation, night lights, humidity-sensing activation and so on in their exhaust fans.

Choosing a fan with extra features will save you some extra bucks on other bathroom items.

(v) Energy Efficiency

Some exhaust fans can cost a few extra bucks on electricity bills, which is worrying for an average user. However, most fans on the market nowadays don’t use much electricity.  You can identify an energy efficient exhaust fan by an  EnergyStar label. EnergyStar certified exhaust fans use 50-60 percent less electricity than other fans.

(vi) Safety

Exhaust fans with extra features like light must be tested by some kind of authorized personnel or organization before being shipped to users. Before getting an exhaust fan for your bathroom, check if it has a UL or ETL sticker on it. If not, then it’s probably not safe for your household.

(vii) Installation Process

Before buying a ventilation fan, choose a particular type that suits your bathrooms set up. There are 3 different ways of installing exhaust fans depending on fan types. They are:

  1. Ceiling Fans: This is the most common type that uses the ductwork that runs between the floors or through the attic for exhausting the hot air out of the residence.
  2. Wall Fans: Wall fans don’t use ductwork, unlike the ceiling fans. They’re usually mounted on the exterior wall of the bathroom. They pull the steamy and warm air from the area and release it outside into the atmosphere.
  3. Universal fans: These fans can be installed on both walls or ceilings of your bathroom.

(viii) Ease of Use

The basic purpose of any electronic device is to minimize the user’s workload. So, there’s no point of having loads of features in your ventilation fan if you’re finding it difficult to operate. Rather a good model should maintain the basics first and then include features that can enhance the overall user experience.

Keeping that in mind, go for the unit that has understandable functions and features. Also, the manual must include the process of installation and removal of the unit.

(ix) Power

Finally, a good ventilation fan has to have adequate energy to ensure quick and efficient operation. However, more energy doesn’t necessarily guarantee a better result. The unit must possess the capability of controlling that energy depending on the task. Go for the fan that’s versatile in using energy and can handle both small and large-scale functions with ease.

Why It Is Important to Buy an Exhaust Fan for Your Bathroom

  • Elimination of Odors

The main purpose of having an exhaust fan in the bathroom is to control odor. An exhaust fan takes the bad smell with the air and channels it out of the room. This way, you get to keep an odor-free and well-maintained bathroom.

  • Reduction of Humidity

Bathrooms are naturally exposed to moisture. But an excessive amount of moisture can cause various problems like damaging the walls, the wooden doors or the paint.

Most importantly, humidity can bring about the accumulation of mold, which can be tough to clear out. Exhaust fans take the humid air out of your bathroom, keeping it safe from all these issues.

  • Reduction of Airborne Contaminants

Typically, bathrooms are cleaned with acid-heavy and aggressive chemicals. If inhaled, these chemicals can cause severe health issues; especially in children and the elderly. An exhaust fan can solve this issue by continuously sucking out the air of your bathroom.

  • Elimination of the Foggy Mirror Syndrome

Having a foggy mirror can be very annoying. You can get rid of this issue by installing a ventilation fan in your bathroom. An exhaust fan keeps out elements like water vapor and moisture, which cause the mirror to be foggy.

About the author

Jenny Molin

Interior Design Artist

Hello, I’m Jenny. I’ve been an interior design artist by profession since my B.S. in Interior Design. I’m a minimalist and prefer to save space when choosing fixtures, sinks and fittings. My style tends to make the most out of the least amount of space. The idea behind every interior design project is unique and it reflects personal style, taste and tradition. I’ve learned more when working than I ever did while I was studying in college. I worked in more than 12 hundred households all across the US and got positive feedback. I’ve been working with FaucetsReviewed as one of the founding members and regularly contributing to the site via testing and reviewing various interior fittings and fixtures.

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