A bathroom exhaust fan is an important bathroom device and many experts state that every bathroom should have one of these fitted. The reason for this is that it helps to clear away excess moisture in the air that can damage paint or loosen tiles. A bathroom fan can also rid your bathroom of bad smells (if you know what I mean) and decrease the humidity in the air.

Key Benefits of Fitting An Exhaust fan:

  • Diverting unpleasant odours and help with the removal of humid air
  • Creates a more pleasant temperature
  • Delivers ventilation for a room that may have no windows
  • Prevent water dripping on the paint
  • Protects any wooden furniture in the room

A well-functioning exhaust fan properly fitted in the bathroom can quickly remove odours. Now although that is a very good benefit, the key purpose is to decrease the humidity that can cause dangerous mould and mildew, which prevents costly repairs down the line. If you have one fitted and it starts to run loudly, you can bet dust and debris has accumulated, and then it should be cleaned or replaced.

In this article we will be having a look at the best bathroom exhaust fans available in the market right now. There are certainly a good number of options available. These include some well known brand names like Panasonic, Delta and Broan.

These do vary in price a lot from around $60 all the way up to $200 depending on the exact type of fan that you want to put into your home. A good average price is around $100.

Discover The Best Exhaust Fan

These fans are usually fitted on the ceiling and are then connected via a port to the duct work which eventually ends up outside your home. Where it leaves the home is called the exhaust which gives these fans their name. A popular way is to exhaust through the roof, though some people prefer the soffit as it is less noticeable. These usually need some type of vent kit to hold that in place and attached to the duct.

Some people also use the gable to exhaust the fumes and in most cases people need to decide which is the most suitable method for them.

There is a useful video below that shows you the advantages of using one of these fans and how it can help protect your bathroom as well.

Below I have completed a quick buying guide and below that is a Top 10 Comparison Table of the best bathroom exhaust fans available right now. Underneath that I have completed a short review on each of those.

A Quick Buying Guide

Exhaust Positioning

I would recommend that you go out through the roof as that is just the easiest and most effective method.

Wiring Options

The most common method of wiring is to have an electrician hard wire these into the main supply for the home. 

Lights

Many of the newer fans come with lights and I think they are ideal for a bathroom. The light helps disguise the fan and also makes the unit look a lot more attractive. It is also just a more practical solution in my opinion.

Heaters

Some fans also come with heaters and that is also a good idea especially if you have chilly winters. They are also great if you are one of those people who does not like to get goose bumps when you step out of the shower.

Humidity Control

Some of the better ones also have a built in humidity control sensors which measures the ideal humidity for the bathroom. It then kicks into operation automatically when the humidity rises outside the limits that you have pre-determined on your settings.

Multiple Bathrooms

There are some bathroom exhaust fans available that allow you to have a few bathrooms all going through one central ducting fan. Essentially these are fitted in the roof space and then use ducts to reach the different bathrooms. You do need to know what you are doing if you decide on that option. They work well, are very quiet but need proper fitting.

Sones = Noise

When buying a fan always check out the zones marking. The higher this number is then the louder the fan. For example a Sone 2 is considered quiet, whereas a Sone 4 is considered loud.

CFM

CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and is what the fan can remove in terms of the amount of air. That is known as air flow. The larger the room the more airflow you will need.

  • 50-60 CFM is Low (Something like a powder room)
  • 70-90 CFM is Medium (Something like a medium sized bath)
  • 100+ CFM is High (For a large or main bath)

This is probably the most important one to consider and a simple way to understand this is the bigger the better.

Bathroom Exhaust Fan Reviews

When considering installing one of these we would recommend getting it done professionally unless you are a competent DIY person. If you decide to go ahead then you should read the instructions carefully and also follow them to the letter.

Careless work or work that is done incorrectly can cause fires and is just not worth the risk

Replacing A Fan

Most people will simply want to replace an old noisy fan or replace one that has simply stopped working. That is always an easier job as the ducting is usually in place and should not need replaced, though that is always worth checking. The fans that I have reviewed below can be used for new installation or for replacement.

Top 10 Bathroom Exhaust Fan Comparison Chart

*These are average prices and may not always be current and accurate. These change frequently based on availability, special promotions, and more. Please be sure to double-check the actual price wherever you make your purchase. Please also note that the ratings used are based out of a maximum score of 5 stars. These can also change so make sure to check at the time of purchase.
ImageFanRatingPriceCFM
Panasonic FV-11VQ5 WhisperCeiling 110 CFM Ceiling Mounted FanPanasonic FV-11VQ5 WhisperCeiling4.8$118110
Panasonic FV-15VQ5 WhisperCeilingPanasonic FV-15VQ5 WhisperCeiling4.7$145150
Panasonic FV-08VQ5 WhisperCeilingPanasonic FV-08VQ5 WhisperCeiling4.7$10080
Panasonic FV-11VQL6 Ventilation Fan/Light CombinationPanasonic FV-11VQL6 4.7$185110
Panasonic FV-11VHL2 WhisperWarmPanasonic FV-11VHL2 WhisperWarm4.6$185-215110
Panasonic FV-30VQ3 WhisperCeiling 290 CFM Ceiling Mounted FanPanasonic FV-30VQ3 WhisperCeiling4.5$160290
Delta BreezRadiance RAD80L 80 CFM Exhaust Fan with Light and HeaterDelta BreezRadiance RAD80L4.4$8080
Broan 784 80 CFM 2.0 Sones Energy Star FanBroan 7844.4$13080
Broan 754RB Decorative Ventilation Fan and LightBroan 754RB Decorative Ventilation Fan 4.3$7570
Broan 791LEDBroan 791LED4.2$125100

No 1 Bathroom Exhaust Fan – Panasonic FV-15VQ5 WhisperCeiling

Panasonic FV-15VQ5 WhisperCeilingThis one is number one on my list because it gets amazing ratings. I have fitted a few of these and they are really very good. The downside for many people is the price tag of around $170.

CFM = 150

Sones = 0.3

The CFM is higher than most so will shift air really quickly and the Sone rating should tell you that this is very quiet, and I mean very quiet. This one also has a dual adaptor which means that you can attach it to either 4″ or 6″ ducts. As long as you use a GFCI branch circuit wire, then this one can be safely used for a shower/tub enclosure.

This would be my own number one choice but the price is just a bit too much. If you can afford it though then buy this one as it is the best right now. I prefer the 3rd one on this list as it is similar but cheaper.

Click Here To Read More Reviews over at Amazon

Click Here To Read Our More Detailed Review of the Panasonic FV-15VQ5


No 2 Bathroom Exhaust Fan Broan 784

Broan 784 80 CFM 2.0 Sones Energy Star FanThis one does not have a ton of reviews as yet, but those that do exist like this one and at $60 I can see why. My only grumble with this one is the CFM is lower than I would like.

CFM = 80

Sones = 2.0 

It does not really have enough reviews and I have never used this one myself so I don’t want to comment on just yet. I will keep a watch on this one and see if the high rating of 4.7 out of 5 changes.

Click Here To Read More Reviews over at Amazon


No 3 Bathroom Exhaust Fan – Panasonic FV-11VQ5 WhisperCeiling


Panasonic FV-11VQ5 WhisperCeiling 110 CFM Ceiling Mounted Fan**BEST SELLER** When people ask me which I recommend, then it is always this one. This fan can shift a lot of air quickly and it is as quiet as any I have ever used. You can also fit this one over tubs and showers as long as you use a GFCI branch circuit.

CFM = 110

Sones = 0.3

I fit these as standard because I never have to go back and fix them. People also ask me to fit more of these in sun rooms, basements and even garages. It can be fitted in shower enclosures as well, as long as the proper electrical safety is used. If in doubt get an electrician to fit this one.

It uses the double hanger bar system, and that makes it simple to fit and also for any maintenance required in the future.

Click Here To Read More Reviews at Amazon


No 4 Bathroom Exhaust Fan – Panasonic FV-08VQ5 WhisperCeiling

Panasonic FV-08VQ5 WhisperCeilingThis one can be fitted to 4″ ducting and is a huge seller. This one really is one of the quietest on the market right now. The white grille comes attached to the housing using springs.

CFM = 80

Sones = 0.3

It is very quiet and if you buy more than one you do get significant discount. This one sells a lot and also has a very high 4.8 out of 5 stars when it comes to ratings. A fan that sells well and maintains these high ratings, is proof, that this is currently one of the best on the market right now. One thing I can say about any Panasonic fan, is that they are high quality, and have been built to last.

That is why they come with really good warranties. Panasonic are really confident about these otherwise they would not be offering warranties of this nature.

Click Here To Read More Reviews at Amazon


No 5 Bathroom Exhaust Fan – Panasonic FV-11VQL6 Ventilation Fan/Light Combination

Panasonic FV-11VQL6 Ventilation Fan/Light CombinationThis one comes with a light and a night light. This is a very high quality product and it can be fitted to either 4″ or 6″ ducting as it has an adapter.

CFM = 110

Sones = 0.5 so super quiet

Some people did complain about the bulbs for this one and we would recommend replacing them with the soft white version which looks a lot better, in our opinion.

Click Here To Read More Reviews at Amazon


No 6 Bathroom Exhaust Fan – Broan 791LED

Broan 791LEDThis one is unusual as it has LED lighting along with a very quiet and effective fan. Like many it can fit onto 4″ ducting. 

CFM = 100

Sones = 1.5 so very quiet

It can be used over bath tubs and showers as long as you have a GFCI protected branch circuit. The main reason people make this purchase is because the fan works really well, but it is the lighting that makes this one stand out, from the many exhaust fans available on the market right now.

Click Here To Read More Reviews at Amazon


No 7 Bathroom Exhaust Fan Panasonic FV-30VQ3 

If you have a big bathroom or need to move a lot of air quickly and quietly, then this would be a Panasonic FV-30VQ3 WhisperCeiling 290 CFM Ceiling Mounted Fanperfect choice for you. The CFM on this one is huge.

CFM = 290

Sones = 2.0 so quiet

This bath exhaust fan is very powerful and people also use this one for the basement. If you have a large bathroom, then this would make a very good choice for you. It is powerful, quiet and the bottom line is that it works efficiently and very quickly.

Click Here To Read More Reviews at Amazon


No 8 Bathroom Exhaust Fan – Panasonic FV-11VHL2 WhisperWarm

Panasonic FV-11VQL6 Ventilation Fan Light CombinationThis one sells in big numbers. It has a light and a heater and the light on this one is really bright. The heater works really well so use that feature if you want to avoid goose bumps getting out of the shower.

CFM = 110

Sones = 0.7 so super quiet

This one also has a convenient night light and uses a couple of 18 watt fluorescent lamps for the light. Again the reason people buy this one is mainly for the heating option. If you don’t like stepping out into a cold bathroom, then get this one fitted, and allow the hot air to keep you warm as you dry.

Click Here To Read More Reviews at Amazon


No 9 Bathroom Exhaust Fan – Delta BreezRadiance RAD80L

Delta BreezRadiance RAD80L 80 CFM Exhaust Fan with Light and HeaterThis has a built in thermostat and a brushless motor so will run for many years. I like the grill on this one and the housing is made from galvanized steel.

CFM = 80

Sones = 1.3 so super quiet

This one also has a built in light and heater.

Click Here To Read More Reviews at Amazon


No 10 Bathroom Exhaust Fan – Broan 754RB Decorative Ventilation Fan and Light

Broan 754RB Decorative Ventilation Fan and LightIf you like the idea of a little decoration in your room then this one may be an interesting choice. Comes in oil rubbed bronze, satin nickel or white. Prices vary for each option.

CFM = 70

Sones = 3.5

It uses a couple of 60 watt incandescent candelabra bulbs and will fit a 2 x 6″ ceiling

Click Here To Read More Reviews at Amazon


How To Install A Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Here is a really good video on how to install an exhaust fan into your bathroom.

How To Install An Attic Gable Fan

Sources Used:

Panasonic

Amazon

YouTube