Bathroom fans are ventilation devices that are designed to remove aka exhaust indoor air to the outdoors via a metal duct or flexible tube. Further, a bathroom exhaust fan will also help get rid of moisture and odors in your bathroom, resulting in considerably improved air quality.
Some building codes make it mandatory to have a bathroom fan installed in new constructions or when remodeling bathrooms. Bathroom vent fans are available in several different types, and sizes, making it a bit overwhelming to get the right one for your space.
But we’ve checked out this space, and after comparing several options alongside have rounded off on 5 best bathroom fans you really can’t go wrong with in 2020.
7 Best Bathroom Fans 2020 Reviews
1. Broan-NuTone 696 Ceiling Exhaust Light for Bathroom and Home – Top Choice
Broan-NuTone is an American company headquartered in Wisconsin that is grown to be a market leader in residential ventilation products. The Broan-NuTone 696 exhaust fan is yet another bestseller from the company for several great reasons, starting with its 100 CFM air flow capacity, making it a great fit for rooms that measure up to 90 square feet.
Further, it operates fairly silently at 4.5 sones, thanks to its integrated acoustic insulation, and is UL listed for use over bathtubs, and showers when connected to a GFCI-protected branch circuit. The 696 exhaust fan from Broan-NuTone boasts an appealing design with its decorative white polymeric grille, making it easy to complement your existing décor.
Apart from exhaust fan, the Broan-NuTone 696 exhaust fan offers light functionality, where it can be fitted with up to a 100-watt lightbulb. The bulb of the fan is protected with a shatter resistant light diffusing lens to safeguard the bulb from water splashes.
The Broan-NuTone 696 bathroom exhaust fan with light is equipped with two blower wheels, each powered by its exclusive permanently lubricated plug-in motor, resulting in highly efficient performance. Additionally, it comes with an onboard damper, which prevents backdrafts, and eliminates metallic clatter.
The Broan-NuTone 696 bathroom exhaust fan with light features a 4-inch round duct that is complete with a 2-inch long tapered sleeve for easy positive ducting. It is easy to install, and comes with adjustable slotted mounting brackets that extend to 24 inches. The Broan-NuTone 696 exhaust fan with light also comes with a warranty against any defects.
- 5 sones quiet operation
- UL listed with shatter proof lens
- Integrated damper to prevent backdraft
- Can be fitted with 1000-watt lightbulb
- Manufacturer warranty
- Lightbulb not included
2. Broan-NuTone 688 Ceiling and Wall Ventilation Fan — Best Budget Bathroom Fan 2020
Another bestselling model from the Broan-NuTone hangar, the 688 exhaust fan is a great choice for small to medium size bathrooms up to 45 square feet. It offers 50 CFM air flow power, and is backed by a permanently lubricated motor.
This motor is mated with a class leading Broan-designed polymeric blower wheel, resulting in high efficiency, and long service life. Furthermore, the 688 ceiling mounted exhaust fan is designed to specifically eliminate tobacco smoke, humidity, and odors, and features premium quality grille that can be painted with the color of your choice.
The motor of the 688 bathroom exhaust fan is removable, without removing any screws, so you can clean it easily for better efficiency. With regards to noise, the Broan-NuTone operates at 4.0 sones, so you all you’ll hear is a soft humming noise when it’s powered on. It is easy to install, with the included torsion springs for excellent stability.
The grille of the 688 exhaust fan measures 9 inches in length and 9-1/4 wide, and is tucked away in a housing that measures 7-1/4 inches in length, 7-1/2 inches wide, and 3-5/8 inches in height.
It is UL listed for use over bathtubs or showers, when connected to a GFCI circuit. The Broan-NuTone bathroom fan is backed by one year warranty against any manufacturer defects.
- 50 CFM
- Good for up to square feet
- Removable motor for easy cleaning
- 0 sone noise level
- 1-year manufacturer warranty
- Not Energy Star qualified
3. Air King DRLC702 Bath Fan with Light – Decorative Bathroom Fan 2020
Air King America is reputed supplier of a wide range of home ventilation solutions including fresh air machines, exhaust fans, professional range hoods, under cabinet range hoods, professional range hoods, and more. The DRLC702 bathroom exhaust fan by Air King is a highly appealing addition to your bathroom, owing to its 13-1/2″ stylish grille.
The grille features a premium nickel finish complete with a ribbed frosted glass light lens for a moderately bright and classy glow, and even distribution of light. Even though the DRLC702 bathroom exhaust showcases a compact and elegant footprint, it has a lot going for it under its hood, starting with a 70-CFM blower, making it a great choice for rooms that measure up to 70 square feet.
Additionally, the DRLC702 bathroom fan can accommodate two 26-watt medium base energy efficient fluorescent lamps or two 60-watt incandescent lights, which can be operated separately from each other. It is equipped with a 4-inch plastic damper that prevent backdrafts from entering into the room, and quiet operation at just 4.0 sones.
The DRLC702 bathroom fan with light by Air King is UL listed, so you can use it over the tub or shower with a GFCI circuit. The housing measures 7.375-inches wide by 7.625-inches deep by 5.875-inches high, and is HVI certified. The DRLC702 exhaust fan comes with adjustable hanging brackets for easy installation, and a 1-year manufacturer warranty.
- 70 CFM air flow capacity
- 0 sones noise level
- Ribbed frosted glass light lens
- Can accommodate two bulbs
- Comes with adjustable hanging brackets, and 1-year warranty
- Limited to 1 color options
- Lightbulbs not included
4. Broan-NuTone AR110LKVV SurfaceShield Vital Vio Exhaust Fan – Best Exhaust Fan for Bacteria, Mold and Fungi
The Broan-NuTone AR110LKVV SurfaceShield Vital Vio is billed as a multifaceted exhaust fan, owing to its ability to provide ventilation as well as get rid of bacteria and mold.
This 110 CFM model is backed by the company’s patented SurfaceShield technology, which when combined with the powerful ventilation works effectively to get rid of harmful bacteria, mold and fungi growing in your bathroom. To explain briefly, SurfaceShield technology prevent yeast, bacteria, and fungi cells with the help of an antimicrobial light that also keeps your bathroom grout fresh and clean.
This bathroom ventilation fan is easy to install with an EzDuct connector in the bathroom itself, without the need to access the attic. It features two lighting modes — an everyday white light for task lighting, and a continuous mode. With regards to noise, the SurfaceShield Vital Vio bathroom fan with light wins the gold at an almost silent 1.0 sones.
It features foldable mounting ears, so it can be installed in existing applications as well as new constructions. The AR110LKVV SurfaceShield Vital Vio features TrueSeal Damper technology, which considerably reduces air leakage by over a whopping 50 percent, which further enhances airtightness.
The SurfaceShield Vital Vio exhaust fan with light is powered by a permanently lubricated AC motor, which is engineered for continuous operation, and great longevity. The housing of this bathroom exhaust fan model measures 9. 25″ x 10″ x 5. 75″, and is made from corrosion resistant galvanized steel, whereas the CleanCover grille measures 12. 25″ x 12. 25″, and showcases a sleek white finish, making it easy to fit in with your existing décor.
- SurfaceShield technology removes bacteria, fungi and mold
- 2 light modes
- 110 CFM
- Permanently lubricated AC motor
- 3-year limited warranty
- Does not come with a wall plate/switch?
5. Panasonic FV-20VQ3 WhisperCeiling Bathroom Fan with Light – Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan for Large Bathrooms
Panasonic requires no introduction, but in brief is a globally renowned manufacturer of electronics and appliances. The FV-20VQ3 WhisperCeiling bathroom fan with light is one of the most powerful models in the home bathroom fan exhaust segment, and ventilates at an impressive 190 CFM, making it a great choice for very large bathrooms, and even the kitchen.
The motor of the FV-20VQ3 WhisperCeiling is fully enclosed, and is mated with a double tapered dolphin shaped bladed blower, which collectively move the air quietly at just 1.3 sones. Furthermore, this ceiling mounted bathroom exhaust fan is embedded with permanently lubricated motors, which wear at a slower pace, resulting in enhanced service life.
The condenser motor of the FV-20VQ3 WhisperCeiling showcases a unique configuration in that is allows the device to run at lower temperatures, which results in greater longevity of both the bearings and motor. The housing of this bathroom exhaust fan model by Panasonic is made from robust zinc galvanized steel, and is painted to protect it against rust.
The FV-20VQ3 WhisperCeiling is Energy Star qualified, and is fitted with a damper to prevent outside air from coming through the fan. It is backed by a three-year warranty against manufacturer defects, so you can rest assured it will serve you well for many years to come.
- 190 CFM
- Housing made from zinc galvanized steel
- Quiet operation at 1.3 sones
- Permanently lubricated motors
- Adjustable mounting brackets for easy installation
- 3-year manufacturer warranty
- Does not come with light
6. Hunter 90064 Ellipse Bathroom Ventilation Exhaust Fan with Light – Best Bathroom Fan 2020 with Nightlight
Hunter Home Comfort traces its roots back to 1886, when the company created its first water driven ceiling fan in upstate New York. Today the company continues the award worthy craftsmanship, and this is exactly what you can expect from the 90064 Ellipse bathroom exhaust fan.
It features a highly appealing brushed nickel frame and accents, topped with swirled marble glass. Additionally, it comes with a durable metal housing with accents to match. In terms of power, the 90064 Ellipse bathroom ventilation fan doesn’t disappoint with 100 CFM air flow power, making it an ideal choice for small to medium size bathrooms.
The 90064 Ellipse exhaust fan is ETL damp listed, so you can use it over the tub or shower with a GCFI circuit. The glass cover of this Hunter Home Comfort exhaust fan features a screwless design, which allows you to easily remove it, clean, and reinstall. The housing of this bathroom fan measures 8.9 L x 9.7 W x 7.4 H inches, whereas the light cover measures 12 x 12 inches.
The 90064 Ellipse works silently at 20 sones, and features a nightlight for soft illumination during your nighttime bathroom visits. It features a 4-inch duct, and comes with all the hardware required for the installation process. This Energy Star qualified bathroom exhaust fan with light also comes with a manufacturer warranty.
- 100 CFM
- Silent operation at 20 sones
- Brushed nickel frame and accents
- Nightlight functionality
- All installation hardware included in the box
- Manufacturer warranty
- Bulb not included
7. Hauslane BF100 Electric Bathroom Fan – Best Bathroom Fan 2020 for Mold
At the #7 position on this list, we’ve got a model from Hauslane — a company that specializes in a spectrum of residential products including ceiling fans, kitchen hoods and accessories. The BF100 bathroom exhaust fan from Hauslane is designed to offer efficient ventilation over a rather large 120 square feet area.
This 120 CFM fan is integrated with a compact extractor unit, which offers a surge of suction to remove unpleasant odors and smells from even large size bathrooms. This extractor is made from only high quality materials, and is ETL certified for added peace of mind.
Even though the fan rotates at 1007 RPM, the BF100 operates fairly quietly at 1.2 sones, making is great choice for shared living as well. It comes with a double hanger bar system for easy positioning, and housing to fit in-between joists. The BF100 bathroom fan comes is protected with a one-year warranty against any manufacturer defects.
- 120 CFM
- Suitable for areas as large as 120 square feet
- ETL certified
- Comes with double hanger bar system
- 1-year manufacturer warranty
- Not plugin, but requires hard wire to a switch
Buying the best bathroom fans in 2020 can be a tricky affair, owing to the myriad options available. But the 7 bathroom exhaust fan models mentioned on this list are designed for small to large washrooms, and offer superior air flow power. Some models even come with a light, so you get both ventilation and illumination functionality from s single device.
Bathroom Fan 2020 Buying Guide
When on the shopping trail for the best bathroom exhaust fan 2020, you will be spoilt for choice, owing to the many options available. But here are a few factors to consider to ease your buying decision.
Bathroom fan size – this is perhaps the most important aspect to pay attention to, because buying the wrong model is not going to be beneficial for your space. Bathroom exhaust fans are rated in CFM — a measure that represents their ability to move air.
Fans with less CFM are ideal for smaller or apartment bathrooms, whereas higher CFM fans work well in larger areas. Most if not all bathroom exhaust fan manufacturers list the CFM in the specifications, so check and compare if it’s a good fit for your bathroom size.
Installation – bathroom fans for the most part are ceiling mounted, but some can be installed in the wall. The best way to install an exhaust fan is by connecting it to your home’s ductwork, so that it vents the air outside of your home.
You can also install the fan where it vents air into the attic, but that would just mean transferring warm and moist air to another part of your home. If you don’t know how to install a fan, then its best to call in a professional to get the job done right.
Just like buying any electrical device, the more features you choose, the higher the price of the fan. But certain features do prove highly beneficial to homeowners such as integrated lighting, since you can replace existing fixtures or add supplementary lighting. Some of the bathroom fan models on this list even come with night lights for soft illumination during nighttime bathroom visits.
Measured in sones, a noisy bathroom fan can detract from the overall relaxion that your bathroom provides. Quiet bathroom fans measure between 1 sone or two sones, and anything above that will make more noise, but steer clear from bathroom fans rated five or more sones.
Bathroom exhaust fans today have become more efficient than ever, where some are Energy Star qualified, hence use 70 percent less energy than non-Energy Star qualified models. They also meet other qualifications for low wattage consumption, low sound emission, while providing powerful performance under static pressure.
Big name bathroom fan manufacturers provide some type of warranty against factory defects to assure you of your purchase. However, if the model you’re interested in doesn’t come with a warranty, there’s no reason to overlook it just yet, but check out the bathroom fan reviews to gauge its performance and durability.
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