How To Choose a Bath Fan

Written by: Erica Spangler

Bath Fan Inspiration

Bath Fan Types

Standard Exhaust Fan

  • Moves air and moisture up and out of the bathroom area
  • Ceiling mount or wall mount applications available
  • Typically comes with an array of different features

In-line Fan

  • More powerful exhaust fan
  • Installed within the attic and does not rest on the bathroom ceiling
  • Helps reduce the amount of sound heard in the bathroom
  • Typically needs at least 8 feet of flexible ducting to work properly

Decorative Bath Fan

  • Provides many of the same features as a standard exhaust fan
  • Typically offers a light
  • Meant to match your bathroom décor

Energy Star Criteria

  • Greater efficiency and comfort with less noise
  • Improved performance motors
  • Improved blade design for better performance and a longer life span

10-80 cfm 2.0 sones
90 – 130 cfm 2.0 sones
140 – 500 (max) cfm 3.0 sones

Source: energystar.gov

Shop All Energy Star Exhaust Fans

Common Features

Night Light

Keeps your bathroom safe and easy to see at night.

Shop All Bath Fans with Night Lights

Heater

Keeps your bathroom warm during colder months.

Shop All Bath Fans With Heaters

Humidity Sensing

Initiates the fan’s use when it detects increased humidity.

Shop All Humidity Sensing Bath Fans

Title 24

California customers need to ensure that their bath fans are Title 24 compliant and meet set standards in regards to air quality.

Shop All Title 24 Compliant Bath Fans

Motion Sensor

Initiates the fan’s use when someone enters the room.

Timers

Keeps your fan running for a set amount of time.

HVI Certified

Home Ventilating Institute is a nonprofit that assures products meet particular standards.

Terminology

CFM

Cubic Feet per Minute; measures the amount of air the fan can move. The higher CFM means the better the ventilation potential.

Sones

Measures the perceived loudness of the bath fan. NOTE: A refrigerator is about 1 sone.

UL Listed

Determines whether or not the exhausted fan is rated to be applied in a damp or wet condition, such as a bathroom.

Duct size

Measures the diameter of a bath fan duct.

Amperage (amps)

Measures the amount of amps the bath fan needs at highest capacity. Typically, higher amps mean more power and more energy needed to run.

Voltage (volts)

Measures the electrical potential of the bath fan.

Note: Not all exhaust fans are meant to be installed within a bathroom. For it to qualify as a bath fan, then it must have the proper UL listing for either wet or damp locations. Typically, the bathroom version may be a little more expensive than the simple exhaust fan option. Most manufacturers have both for each fan style.

Bath Fan CFM Calculator

Use this calculator to figure out the correct number of CFM needed for a your bath fan.

The measurement of Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) determines the amount of air movement the bath fan is capable of. If the CFM number seems significantly high, then consider the in-line fan option to reduce the sound heard within the bathroom space.

Bathroom Length (feet) x Bathroom Width (feet) x Bathroom Height (feet) x 0.13 = Minimum CFM needed

Example

Bathroom length is 12 ft; width is 7 ft; height 8 ft

12 x 7 x 8 x 0.13 = 87.36 cfm minimum needed


Bath Fan CFM Calculator


Suggested CFM*
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