The Top 5 Bathroom Exhaust Fans

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The best bathroom exhaust fans eliminate moisture, mirror fog, and odors from your bathroom with ease. 
If you’re in the market for a bathroom exhaust fan, you’ve come to the right place. Here to break down the importance of bathroom fans is Jerry, the home insurance super app with great tips to help you save money
From the necessity of bathroom exhaust fans to the best options on the market, read on to discover everything you need to know about buying the best fan for you. 
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Bathroom exhaust fans 101

Proper ventilation is important in bathrooms—without it, mold and bacteria may abound as moisture collects and lingers, causing long-lasting damage in the form of peeling and bubbling paint, softening of drywall, and musty odors. 
The job of a bathroom exhaust fan is to prevent these problems by controlling your bathroom’s humidity level and eliminating excess moisture, fog, and odors. To find a fan that does so efficiently, you’ll want to know things like your bathroom’s square footage and the special features of your exhaust fan—both of which we’ll cover below. 
Running a bathroom exhaust fan may add a couple of dollars to your energy bill every month—but it could save you hundreds or even thousands down the line. 

Ceiling versus In-line

There are two main types of bathroom exhaust fans: ceiling fans and in-line fans. 
Ceiling fans are mounted to your bathroom’s ceiling—as their name suggests! Typically, ceiling mounts will have a fan positioned behind a vent to pull air up from your bathroom and filter it out through your home’s air ducts. 
In-line fans, by contrast, are typically installed above your bathroom—usually nearby, like in your attic or another close space. 
In-line and ceiling fans vary in features and use, but their main difference lies in the installation process: ceiling fans are bulkier and heavier than in-line fans but generally easier to install, as they mount directly to the ceiling and can be attached to existing ductwork in your home. In-line fans require you to install the vent and ductwork above your bathroom’s ceiling, then route it specifically to your bathroom —but once they’re in, you’ll experience less noise and less vibration when it's running, and you can even use the same in-line fan to ventilate multiple bathrooms in your home. 

Choosing the best bathroom fan

There’s more to consider when choosing a bathroom exhaust fan than just the installation process. Features like airflow, energy efficiency, versatility, and even the versatility and aesthetics of the fan itself are all worth equal weight. Ultimately, finding the best bathroom fan for you comes down to little more than the size of your bathroom and the features you’re looking for in a fan. 

Airflow

Measured in CFM—cubic feet per minute—the airflow capacity of your bathroom exhaust fan is important for properly ventilating your space. 
Bathroom fans will include their CFM rating right on the box, so you can quickly identify whether or not it’s big enough or adequately ventilate your space. You should try to choose a fan that has at least a minimum CFM rating equal to your bathroom’s square footage

Efficiency

Running your bathroom exhaust fan will cost you extra money—but buying an energy-efficient fan can help reduce the cost. Energy Star-certified fans will use about half the typical energy expenditure to run—meaning you’ll pay about 50% less to run them. Energy Star ratings can be found along with the CFM, right on the packaging. 

Aesthetics

Function and energy efficiency are important—but so is liking the way the fan looks in your bathroom! There are tons of aesthetic options when it comes to bathroom fans, not to mention upgraded fans with ambient lighting, built-in heaters, and even Bluetooth speakers! 

Versatility

In addition to adding light and ventilation to your bathroom, many fans also have versatile features like motion and humidity sensors, integrated and ambient lighting, and built-in heaters to add to the technical brilliance of your fan. Typically, you’ll pay more for these upgrades—but they usually pay off! 

Installation

As we mentioned already, installation isn’t the only thing to consider—but it’s still an important factor! It’s generally best practice to vent your bathroom fan to the outdoors. The cost and ease of doing so depend on your budget and the fan you choose. 
Key Takeaway You should consider a variety of factors when selecting the perfect exhaust fan, from its energy efficiency and airflow capacity to the aesthetics you prefer. 

The top 5 bathroom exhaust fans

Now that we’ve covered the basics of bathroom exhaust fans and why you need one, let’s take a closer look at some of the best fans on the market in 2022. 

Panasonic FV-0511VFL1 WhisperFit Exhaust Fan

Available from Amazon, $230
With 4.5 stars on Amazon, Pansonic’s WhisperFit exhaust fan performs both efficiently and quietly. In addition to being one of the quietest fans on the market, it’s also versatile, with a speed-selecting feature that enables you to ventilate rooms anywhere between 50 and 110 square feet in size. It’s also easy to install, with bracketing that you can mount from the outside of your ceiling. 
Although pricer than other models, Pansonic’s reputation for product longevity makes this fan a worthwhile investment. 

Pros 

  • Minimal noise
  • Easy installation
  • Adjustable CFM

Cons

  • Expensive
Key Takeaway Investing money in a highly rated bathroom exhaust fan upfront can save you hundreds down the line, as the costs of fixing an unventilated bathroom can be steep.

Broan NuTone L300 Exhaust Fan

Available from Amazon, $159.99.
Looking to ventilate a big space? You won’t find a more powerful fan for the job than the L300. With 308 CFM, this fan is capable of effectively cooling and ventilating spaces as large as 17x17. And at only 2.9 sones—the sound measurement for exhaust fans—it performs with surprising quiet. 
The only downside is, it lacks a built-in light, as extra electrical wiring can interfere with high-powered exhaust fans. If you go for the extra power, you’ll have to install your own separate lighting system. 

Pros 

  • Affordable 
  • Powerful
  • Quiet

Cons

  • No built-in light
  • More expensive to run (because it uses more power) 

Broan NuTone 9093WH Exhaust Fan (with heater)

Available at Amazon, $270.
With an airflow capacity of 70 CFM, this fan packs a small but mighty punch and is ideal for bathrooms 8x8 or smaller. With a 4.6-star rating on Amazon, buyers found it easy to install and aesthetically pleasing—and the built-in heater also helps eliminate after-shower chills and keep your bathroom warm and comfortable.

Pros 

  • A built-in heater adds warmth and comfort to your bathroom
  • Dimmable light/nightlight function 

Cons

  • Noisy; the built-in heater makes the fan louder overall
  • Costs around 20 cents/hour to run the heater

Air King BFQ 110 BFQ110 Exhaust Fan

Available from Amazon, $42.
Buying on a budget? At only $42, this fan is a steal—it comes with a one-year parts warranty, snap-in bracket installation, and boasts 100 CFMs— not to mention a 4.4-star rating on Amazon. As far as budget fans go, you won’t find many cheaper ones that perform as quietly as the Air King. Its plastic housing also prevents rust, and you can run it pretty much as long as you need without worry. 

Pros 

  • Budget-friendly
  • Quiet (3.5 sones)

Cons

  • Less durable over time

Broan Very Quiet Ceiling Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Available from Amazon, $113.
Not only does this fan receive top marks for its quiet performance—as an Energy Star-certified product, but you can also count on saving power and money when you run it. Capable of operating up to 80 CFMs, buyers appreciate how easy this fan is to install, and how effectively it prevents steam and fog from collecting on your walls and mirrors when you’re running hot water. 

Pros 

  • Quiet—operates at 0.3 sones
  • Energy Star certified (energy efficient)

Cons

  • Needs to be installed as new construction/from the attic (but otherwise easy to install)

How to save on home insurance

Choosing the right bathroom exhaust fan can take some serious work—and when it comes to choosing the right homeowner’s insurance, the pressure can feel even more intense. If you’re looking for the perfect policy for you, but aren’t sure where to start, let Jerry make the process simple and easy!
After answering a couple of questions in the easy-to-use app, Jerry will send you customized quotes from top home insurance providers based on your demographics, home value, and location, so you can find the best (and most affordable) coverage to protect your home and loved ones. 
Once you make your selection, Jerry will take care of all the details—including pesky paperwork! And, if you want to make any changes to your policy—Jerry can do that, too.
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FAQ

Yes, it’s generally recommended that homeowners use a bathroom exhaust fan (if you don’t have one already). If you want to control moisture and odors in your bathroom and prevent water damage, bacteria, and mold, then you’ll need a powerful bathroom fan to get the job done.

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