Skip to main content

What is the Best Bathroom Ventilation Fan?

Air Circulation General Proper Ventilation The Home The Workplace

What is the Best Bathroom Ventilation Fan?  

There are many factors that go into making some bathroom fans better than others. The warranty, certifications, agency ratings, and intended mounting position all come into play. Some factors are dependent on the installation location as well, making it so that the fan that is best for one location may be unsuitable for another.

Situation-Dependent Factors

These are bathroom fan characteristics that can make a fan better in a specific installation scenario. For example, many people want a home exhaust fan to be very quiet. In this situation, a loud fan won't qualify as best even if it has great energy ratings or a massive CFM (cubic feet per minute) capability. However, a loud fan may be just fine for a factory bathroom or a large public restroom.

Similar differences determine things like the preference for an included light, the presence or absence of a visible fan grating, and other such factors.

Ratings and Certifications

Bath ventilation fans are rated and certified by a wide variety of organizations. One of the most familiar certifications is UL, which is a testament to an item's electrical safety. Most people are also familiar with the Energy Star rating, which is only given to machines that use little energy compared to their unrated peers.

Other credentials to look for are HVI certification, which is put out by the Home Ventilating Institute; an ETL rated notice, which is similar to a UL listing but from a different nationally-recognized laboratory; and an AMCA certified rating, which comes from the Air Movement and Control Association. Not all ventilation fans will have all of the possible ratings and certifications, but they should have more than just the basic safety-testing ones.

Installation Location

bathroom ventilation fan can be installed in the ceiling or in a wall. While both locations move air to the outside, it is important to remember that this isn't the only purpose of this type of device. An exhaust fan also needs to move steam and fumes out – and these things naturally rise. Therefore, the most effective bathroom fan will be a ceiling-mounted version.

Air Transfer Power

Some fans are more powerful than others. The best one for your room can move enough air to clear it quickly, but also isn't unnecessarily strong. This power level will get the job done well without wasting energy.

Aesthetic Considerations

A home's main bathrooms should look nice, so it's a good idea to choose a fan that fits in with the rest of their decor. Some bathroom fans even hide the "fan" part above a lighting fixture, so it looks like it's just another light. It is also possible to get fan motors that install within existing ductwork so that no new grating needs to be installed.

In commercial locations, appearances may not be as important. However, except for certain demanding situations, a commercial fan can still look acceptably low-key.


As with anything else, the best bathroom ventilation fans will have long and robust warranties. Make sure to check the details for any fan that you consider.

There is No Single Best Fan

You will find that many of the fans you look at meet all of the requirements for being considered good or even great. However, not all of them do, so it's essential that you do take the time to check each candidate thoroughly. Once you do, you'll find that there are a number of fans that meet requirements for certifications, warranty length, installation location, and more. Then, all you need to do is choose the one that will fit in your space and that has the right appearance for your bathroom.

Older Post Newer Post