Last Updated on October 7, 2020 by Terry Ohara
Most of us tend to have our bathroom nicely organized, starting from having a good-looking bathroom curtain, and all the way up to the faucets. The list could not be complete without having a bathroom exhaust fan, and that’s why nowadays, users are keen on investing in exhaust fans because of the benefits that come in return.
One of the main reasons why do people choose exhaust bathroom fans is the fact that they can effectively remove the presence of unpleasant odor, and because of their ability to ensure reduced humidity in your bathroom.
In addition, choosing the right one is often if not always difficult due to the fact that there hundreds of them on the market. Even though there isn’t such thing as the”best”, in this article, I will try to offer you at least the closest to the “best” because I’ve seen by myself what do these fans do in practice. Let’s take a look at the 5 best bathroom exhaust fans you can buy this year.
The 5 Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans
5. Air King BFQ90
The Air King BFQ90 would be an excellent option for you, especially if you’re tight on budget but would like to own a quality, exhaust bathroom fan without spending hundreds of dollars. If you’ve found yourself belonging in this group, then let’s see what does this exhaust fan has to offer!
From a design perspective, this model is available in 3 colors of which you can choose from, however, the one I’m currently reviewing is the Cream-colored version. Either way, do not hesitate to switch if your bathroom has a different decor.
In addition, the Air King BFQ90 measures 8.5 x 9.1 x 4.8-inches, weighs approximately 4.95 pounds and boasts an elegant-looking design that is accompanied by a polymeric grill that measures 10 x 10 inches and it is protected by a long-lasting, high-impact plastic housing which is something that I particularly like.
This model offers one advantage that is extremely handy when it comes to the installation process. Namely, the BFQ90 has a so-called Snap-In installation system which basically means that with the help of the included screws, you can easily attach it to the ceiling joist and notice because this unit will easily snap-in.
I would also like to mention that the manufacturer suggests connecting the wiring and the ducting and within a short period of time you will already have it installed. Furthermore, this model comes with an installation manual, so you don’t have to be a professional in order to follow the steps and do everything by your own.
Last but not least, this unit is UL-listed for installation over a tub or shower on a GFCI circuit, so you will have multiple options in which you can install this exhaust fan.
For your information, the BFQ90 operates at 90-cubic feet per minute (CFM) at 2.5 sones which in practice means that it is capable enough to distribute a quality performance in bathrooms of 90-115 square feet of space.
Another great thing about this unit is its silent performance. To be more precise, this exhaust fan comes with a 4-inch plastic duct collar that is followed by a draft damper, and what’s cool about it is that the duct collar will noticeably decrease the sound so once you enter your bathroom, you won’t be greeted by an annoying noise!
Before we move to the next section, I would also like to mention that the BFQ90 is HVI 2100-certified which basically means that this fan has passed through rigorous testing by third-party laboratories, and therefore, this is yet another good proof that says a lot about its quality.
Maintenance and Cost-Efficiency
Thanks to its housing, this exhaust fan can withstand years of use without getting rust or sudden breakdowns, and what’s even better is that even if you’ve been using it for years, you will unlikely notice that its performance is getting louder. In practice, this is awesome due to the fact that you won’t have to put much effort for maintenance purposes.
On the other hand, if you sum all of the things I’ve mentioned regarding its performance, design and compare it with the price tag, I can undoubtedly say that this unit can be categorized as a truly cost-efficient product!
- Eye-Catching Appearance
- Ideal for High Salt Water/Humid Areas
- Some Users Detected High Noise After Long Period of Time
To conclude, the Air King BFQ90 is worthy of considering, because it combines an affordable price with a performance that can compete with some of the midrange priced exhaust bathroom fans on the market!
The BV-BF-02 expands the borders of what does bang for the buck literally means, and I’m sure that you’ve likely seen its name popping up multiple times on the Internet as you’ve been doing research about bathroom exhaust fans. Well, today you will find out what’s special about it and why’s the whole hype going around this product.
First of all, I would like to inform you that this unit comes in two editions, including the 110 CFM and the 90 CFM, so keep in mind that currently, I’m reviewing the 110 CFM version, but if you require an exhaust fan of 90 CFM feel free to switch.
Moving on, this particular model boasts an attractive, matte-black and silver-colored construction that consists mainly of plastic internal parts with the intention to make this unit resistant to rust, but you can also notice the presence of the stainless steel at its body which is awesome.
In addition, the BV-BF-02 measures 9.2 x 9 x 7.5-inches, weighs around 9.96 pounds and thanks to its compactness, you won’t face any difficulties in terms of installation.
There are only a few steps you should follow in order to install this unit exactly as it should be. Once you open the box, you will notice long wood screws which count 8 in number and yet another 4 short screws, 4 suspension brackets and a user manual.
The first thing you should note prior to installing should be precisely cutting a hole as the manufacturer claims due to the fact that if you make it too big the grill could not be properly hidden.
Otherwise, you should take advantage of the suspension brackets to mount this exhaust fan on the wall, remove the duct part and place it correctly in the right position so that the housing could line up correctly.
The next step requires using screws that can drastically enhance the stability of the device and that’s it, you can start using this unit.
Also, don’t forget to read the user manual because you will simplify the work even more, and so far, I think that you will not have any trouble installing the BV-BF-02.
The BV-BF-02 operates at 110 CFM which makes it highly suitable to ventilate bathroom areas as large as 110 square feet, but what’s even better is that this unit operates silently with about 1.2 sones.
In addition, this exhaust fan is HVI 2100-certified and UL-approved, which means that it is safe to use and meets the criteria of the Home Ventilating Institute, so you shouldn’t worry literally about anything.
Moreover, the BV-BF-02‘s motor is indeed heavy-duty and it is capable enough to provide you a continuous operation so that every time you enter the bathroom you can notice that the humidity levels are less and the odors are gone!
Maintenance and Cost-Efficiency
One of the best things regarding this product is the fact that it is thermally protected and has a lifetime lubrication which by default means that you can use it for a fairly long period of time without detecting a significant decrease in its appearance and performance!
But, this is also a cost-efficient product because it saves energy so your electricity bills would not be heavily affected, but instead, your bathrooms will become an enjoyable place to be in.
- 110 CFM
- Quiet Operation
- Heavy-Duty Motor
- Durable Construction
- Some Users Experienced Difficulties With Installation
Overall, I’d strongly recommend you consider this bathroom exhaust fan as your next purchase, because it offers a great value for its cost!
3. Broan Sensonic SPK110
The Broan Sensonic SPK110 would be an ideal opportunity for those users who do not only require having a quality bathroom exhaust fan, but also an exhaust fan that comes with a Bluetooth speaker that can dramatically enhance your user experience. If you’ve been looking for something similar, then let’s get straight into the action and find out what else can you expect from it!
The SPK110 measures 11.4 x 7.6 x 10.5-inches, weighs approximately 11 pounds and sports an attractive yet well-made construction that is finished in white and sky-blue, colors which are highly suitable for any bathroom decor. To be honest, I absolutely prefer this color combination because it looks relaxing, exactly as you should be feeling when you’re in your bathroom.
In addition, its housing is made of a 26-Gauge, galvanized steel that is specifically engineered to offer a long-lasting performance while maintaining its beautiful look throughout the years.
Even though this bathroom exhaust fan is kinda heavy, it doesn’t mean that it is hard to be installed. In fact, the package contains basically everything needed that promise a smooth installation, including a spacer that allows an easy I-joist mounting, 4-inch round duct connector with tapered sleeve, and employs four mounting points that will help you attach it directly to the joist.
Those who have purchased this product claim that they didn’t have difficulties installing it, however, keep in mind that you won’t be able to mount it fro below due to its size, and if the size of your previous fan was smaller, then you should consider some remodeling.
Either way, just follow the installation steps and if you find it difficult which I doubt, contact a professional and enjoy your time with this exhaust fan.
The SPK110 is rated at 110 CFM and outputs a fairly silent performance with up to 1.0 Sones. If we take into consideration this specs, without hesitation I can say that you will barely feel it working while you’re taking a shower.
Moving on, the fan has proven itself as highly effective in venting moisture in baths as large as 105 square feet, and most of the users claim that they haven’t noticed the annoying forming of mildew which is often a case with some exhaust bathroom fans.
What makes this unit differ from the others on the market is the fact that it employs dual, high-fidelity sensonic speakers which are strategically placed behind the fan grille. So, get in your shower, turn on your bathroom, sync it with this fan and stream your favorite music. You will literally love this device from the moment you see its tremendously good capabilities.
Before we end, I would also like to mention one more thing and that’s the certifications. The SPK110 is UL-certified – meaning that it is safe for use if you place it over your bathtub or shower while making sure that it is installed with a GFCI branch circuit. Convenience, convenience and only convenience is what you get in a return!
Maintenance and Cost-Efficiency
The SPK110 ‘s motor is permanently lubricated which by default means that it is ready to offer a continuous operation throughout a couple of years, and during this time, its construction will remain as good as it was the first time you’ve taken it out of the box!
But that’s not all! This bathroom exhaust fan is EnergyStar-qualified as well, which means that it will cost less energy compared with exhaust fans that do not meet this standard, so say goodbye to the salty electricity bills!
- Durable Construction
- Easy To Install
- Effective Performance
- Kinda Large and Heavy
You should definitely consider the SPK110 as your next purchase, so give it a try and assure yourself of its capabilities because you will not regret your decision!
2. Panasonic FV-0511VKS2
The Panasonic FV-0511VKS2 one of the most purchased fans as well as one of the most highly-praised bathroom exhaust fans on the market, and I’m not even surprised considering the fact that this unit combines an attractive, yet easy to install construction with a high-end performance that can be instantly felt once you start using it!
The Panasonic FV-0511VKS2 truly fascinates me, regardless of your viewing position, Panasonic has done a really good job in crafting an exhaust fan that simply radiates with elegance thanks to its white-colored finish!
When it comes to the dimensions, this unit measures 13 x 13 x 8.51-inches, weighs a bit more, around 11.8 pounds and consists of reliable, ECM-motored fans for which we will talk more in the following sections!
Before we move on, I would like to inform you that this particular model includes only a sensor, but if you prefer light or light and sensor, there are two additional editions available on Amazon, so feel free to switch.
Panasonic did everything possible to ensure an easy installation, starting from the inclusion of their easy-to-read user manual, the way they constructed this fan and even the videos they made.
To be more precise, this model includes a so-called Flex-Z Fast installation bracket with single-hinge joints, and what’s cool is that you can easily position the bracket in between the joist or through the ceiling holes.
In addition, this fan is UL-listed as well, so you can try to install them on a GFCI circuit as well if you prefer placing the unit over your tub or shower!
I would also like to inform you that this unit fits in 2 x 8 construction without any problem, so when we combine all these things into one, I think that you already know that the FV-0511VKS2 is exceptionally flexible and easy to install.
The Panasonic FV-0511VKS2‘s ECM-motored fan is the key reason why does this unit belongs in the group of the most highly praised exhaust fans. As a matter of fact, this model utilizes a built-in, Panasonic’s Pick-A-Flow Airflow Selector which lets you choose the CFM that ranges from 50, 80 and up to 110 depending on your preferences with a simple tap of as witch.
According to those who have already purchased the product, this fan does its job more than good due to the fact that it reduces humidity as much as possible along with a variety of different air pollutants while being exceptionally silent – with less than 0.3 sones.
Some users have even reported that they have even forgotten that the fan is working, and I’m sure that you may experience the same if you ever decide to purchase it.
Maintenance and Cost-Efficiency
First of all, I would like to mention that the Panasonic FV-0511VKS2 is Energy Star-certified, hence, it ensures low energy consumption without sacrificing the performance, and this is awesome if you ask me because nobody wants to spend a chunk of money for paying bills.
In addition, this unit does not require maintenance at all due to the fact that its construction is specifically made to last for years while offering you a continuous performance.
- Pick-A-Flow Airflow Selector
- Easy To Install
- Reliable Performance
- May Have Been More Compact
If you’re looking for a versatile bathroom exhaust fan that costs a bit more but is more than capable to output a truly reliable and effective performance, then the Panasonic FV-0511VKS2 would be an ideal option for you! This is a very efficient exhaust fan, and that’s why it fully deserves the number 2 spot on this best bathroom exhaust fans list.
1. Panasonic FV-11VHL2
In my honest opinion, I think that Panasonic FV-11VHL2 deserves to be placed as a #1 option mainly because the fact that this model has all the attributes needed that depicts how should a bathroom exhaust fan look and perform like! So, let’s get started right away, and I promise you that you will love this product!
For your information, this model is available in two versions such as the version that includes only a fan, and the second version which comes with a light. Well, I’ve chosen the one with light because it is more convenient, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t switch if you prefer having only a fan.
The Panasonic FV-11VHL2 looks minimalistic, its white-colored finish is undoubtedly suitable with different types of bathroom decors because as we all know, white can be combined with literally everything.
If we take the aesthetics aside, this unit includes a stainless-steel-sheathed heating element, a built-in damper that is surely a great addition due to the fact that it can prevent backdraft, while its dimensions that measure 18.1 x 13.3-inches along with the weight of 1.6 ounces, do surely guarantee an easy installation!
The Panasonic FV-11VHL2 is a breeze when it comes to the installation. Namely, this model can be easily placed into 2 x 8 construction, but before everything, please note that the manufacturer suggests installing this unit to no more than 8 feet from floor to ceiling in order to achieve the best possible results.
This unit aside from being only a fan that will keep humidity and odors away from your bathroom and household as a whole, it can also heat thanks to its heating element and since we are reviewing the version that comes with a light, your nights from now on will be indeed special. When it is winter, and we all know that winter is coming, your bathroom will also be warm which I absolutely like, because taking a hot shower in a cold bathroom isn’t the most pleasing thing. Well, you will be completely freed from this!
Moreover, the FV-11VHL2 operates at 110 CFM, but what’s also interesting is that its operating is pretty silent, and when we add the fact that it is rated at 0.7 sones and it is capable enough to offer an amazing performance in bathroom space of up to 110 cubic feet, I really think that Panasonic has done an awesome job here!
Before we end, I would also like to note that this unit includes two 18-watt fluorescent lamps which are surely a great addition, because you will never face any difficulties in terms of finding your way, while on the other side, they are rated at 10,000 hours of use, so, to sum it all, the FV-11VHL2 does really have an out-of-reach performance when compared with other fans.
Maintenance and Cost-Efficiency
The FV-11VHL2 is Energy Star-certified in both cases, as a product and as a fan that consists of lamps. This unit will require less energy consumption without affecting the performance negatively, so as you can see, your costs will be drastically reduced. In return, you will have a device that performs equally good whether as a fan or as a heater. Good job, Panasonic!
When it comes to maintenance, the word “butter-smooth” should be used here to depict what does maintenance really mean. Thanks to its innovative yet durable construction, this unit can offer a continuous performance for years, so the maintenance isn’t necessary at all. Just install it properly and everything’s gonna be fine.
- 110 CFM
- Extremely Durable
- Excellent Performance
- Easy To Install
- The Price May Be Salty For Some Users
The Panasonic FV-11VHL2 is a must-have bathroom exhaust fan for everyone who wants to invest in a product that completely justifies its price tag and offers a truly magnificent performance that can satisfy even the most demanding customers on the market! Definitely one of the best bathroom exhaust fans in the market right now.
5 Things To Consider When Buying A Bathroom Fan
- Features: The first thing you should look for would be what kind of features does the bathroom exhaust fan have. Does it have motion sensors? Lighting? Heating capability?
- Brand: Purchasing from a popular brand would be a better decision due to the fact that popular brands are crafting products that have a better quality compared with those brands who aren’t really popular. Even if this is not a case, popular brands do really care to become even better and usually are more reliable.
- Bathroom Fan Sizing: Prior to purchasing, you should always know the size of your bathroom. So, if your bathroom is smaller, you should look upon exhaust fans that are less powerful and have less CFMS. I’ve answered the calculation in the FAQ section, so take a look and calculate by yourself.
- Noise Level: I’d advise you choosing a bathroom exhaust fan that has fewer sones. To clarify this even more, I would like to inform you that 1 Sone is relatively equal to the hum of a refrigerator in your kitchen.
- Efficiency: Like any other type of product, bathroom fans do use electricity in order to function properly. I would suggest you choose a bathroom exhaust fan that is Energy Star-certified or at least qualified.
Benefits Of Having A Bathroom Exhaust Fan
- Reduce Airborne Contaminants: We are usually cleaning our bathrooms with aggressive chemicals that may be inappropriate for some people who have respiratory problems. Getting quality bathroom exhaust fans can offer a higher level of protection, so you and the ones living with you will be safe.
- Humidity Reduction: Bathroom exhaust fans help tremendously in preventing mold from accumulating. As you may probably know, excessive moisture can lead to damage in our walls, and if your walls have wallpapers or paint, they will likely peel.
- They Eliminate Odors: Even though, we are using air fresheners, sometimes this is not enough and you can still notice an unpleasant odor. Well, these fans can effectively remove odors and make your bathroom a more convenient place to be.
- Less Foggy Mirrors: One of the most annoying things is having a foggy mirror once you’ve finished showering. So, for instance, if you want to shave after taking a shower, you will first have to clean the mirror and then start shaving. Bathroom exhaust fans do offer a greater control over the moisture and are capable enough to remove water vapor that is present on your mirrors and walls.
- Reduced Maintenance Costs: If you decide to invest in a bathroom exhaust fan, you will receive one more benefit, and that’s the reduced maintenance cost. TO be more precise, humidity, steam, and moisture do often cause problems to the walls of your bathroom and contribute to the breeding of mildew, mold, bacteria and a variety of different allergens that may cause harm to your health.
- Better Air Quality: The air you will be breathing is extremely different from the air you would breathe without a bathroom exhaust fan. Namely, these devices do prevent mold, mildew and airborne particles from existing in your bathroom, and since their presence will be drastically lowered, by default it means that you will breathe fresher air.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: How much is a bathroom exhaust fan?
A: The price depends on multiple factors, including the brand, quality, etc. In general, bathroom exhaust fans cost from $40 to over $200.
Q: Is higher or lower sones better?
A: The lower the sones, the less noise you will hear. For your information, Sones are not measured in decibels or volume, but instead, it is how sound is sensed. So, I’d suggest you look at exhaust fans that have less sones.
Q: What size bathroom fan do I need?
A: First and foremost, the general rule is that you need at least 1 CFM per square foot of room area. For instance, the calculation should be like this:
- Calculate the cubic feet in your bathroom and multiply it with the room’s height, width, and length in feet.
- After you’ve done this, divide the number of cubic feet in your bathroom by 60 ( number of minutes in 1 hour)
- Multiply that number by 8. 8 is the recommended air exchanges per hour.
Q: How many CFM do I need for 1000 square feet?
A: In this case, you should invest in a bathroom fan with at least 50 CFM.
Q: Is higher or lower CFM better?
A: Well, if we take into consideration that CFM is the measure of how effective is your fan and how much air it moves, by default, it means that the more CFM it has the more effective it will be.