How to Choose a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Bathroom exhaust fans provide better airflow, remove excess moisture, and control odor in your bathroom. Additionally, they reduce fumes from cleaning agents that could potentially cause health-related issues, thus helping you maintain a safe and healthy indoor environment.

Choosing a bathroom exhaust fan isn’t an easy task. You need a fan that is powerful enough to clear your bathroom of humidity and odor. At the same time, the bath fan you choose should perform its task without making loud noises in your house.

For homeowners who are not sure what to look for when purchasing a bathroom exhaust fan, this guide is for you. Here are things you need to consider before installing a bath fan.


Airflow Capacity

The amount of air the fan can provide is the first thing you need to keep in mind.

Bathroom fans are sized and rated based on the amount of air they can expel out of the room. This is what is known as airflow capacity, and it’s measured in CFM or cubic feet per minute.

You can determine the amount of air you need to expel out from your bathroom by calculating the capacity of the room and multiplying the result by 0.13. This is a formula that was compiled by Home Deposit.

However, the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) recommends 1 CFM for every square foot of floor space in the bathroom. That means, if the size of your bathroom is 60 square feet, you’ll need a 60 CFMs bath fan. For large bathroom more than 100 square feet, they recommend you add 50 CFMs for every toilet, shower and bath combination.


Noise Level

Nobody wants a bath fan that disrupts their peace when they are going about their business in the shower. So, it’s vital that you consider noise level and choose a quieter model.

The intensity of noise produced by an exhaust fan is measured in sones. The quietest bath fans usually have a sone rating of 1 and below. As the sone rating increases, so is the noise. Therefore, a 2 sones fan will be louder than 1 sone fan but quieter than a 3 sones fan.

For most homes, it’s recommended that you choose a bath fan with 2 sones or below. If you’re not distracted by white noise, you can choose a fan rated 3-4 sones. Bath fans that have 5 sones and above should be avoided because they are too loud and less efficient.


Energy Efficiency

It’s a time where every homeowner wants to save money by choosing energy efficient appliances. If you’re concerned with reducing your heating bills, purchase bath fans that are marketed and approved as energy efficient. Choosing energy star rated bath fans can help you save approximately 30 percent on your electricity bill.

Keep in mind that it’s not a good idea to choose an energy efficient bath fan and ignore the airflow capacity. The perfect bathroom exhaust fan is quiet, energy efficient and has sufficient room clearing capabilities. So, consider all the three factors.


Other features


Today, ventilation fans are not only used to remove humid air out of the bathrooms. Some are made with special features that make operating them more convenient and efficient. Here are some extra features you might want to consider when shopping for a bathroom exhaust fan.


• Humidity sensor that switches the unit on in case humidity level is too low or too high.

• A timer that allows you to set the unit to run for a specific period.

• An inbuilt heater to warm the room. These can be useful if you live in extremely cold areas.

• Lighting options, including nightlight to illuminate the room at night.


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