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How to Choose a Bathroom Ventilation Fan

The Quietest Room in the House Just Got Quieter

To properly ventilate your bathroom, remove stale air, unpleasant odors, and reduce harmful moisture buildup there are four criteria you need to consider when choosing a bathroom ventilation fan: size, loudness, style, and features. No matter what your budget or tastes, the two most important criteria are sizing the fan properly to your bathroom and how quiet the fan is.

Properly Sizing the Fan

Installing the right size fan is essential to maximizing the fan’s performance. Incorrectly sizing your fan- installing a fan that is too small for the bathroom- will put “stress” on the fan and shorten its life and performance.

The Home Ventilation Institute (HVI) recommends the air in your bathroom should be changed or moved eight times per hour. The amount of air changed or moved per cubic feet per minute (CFM) is based on your bathroom’s square footage. To determine the size of the ventilation fan use the following guidelines for bathroom ventilation: 
  • For bathrooms smaller than 50 square feet, a 50 CFM fan is recommended.    
  • For bathrooms 51 to 100 square feet in area, an exhaust fan should provide 1 cfm per square foot. For example: An 8-foot-by-10-foot bathroom has an area of 80 feet so it should have a 80-CFM fan.
  • For bathrooms greater than 100 square feet, ventilation is based on the number and type of fixtures present; the following fixtures require the minimum CFM stated: toilet—50 CFM; shower—50 CFM; tub—50 CFM; jetted tub—100 CFM. *

Noise- How Loud is Quiet?

Bathroom fan sound levels are measured in sones. Simply put, a sone is unit of loudness and measures how you sense loudness. Your refrigerator operates at 1.0 sones and the sound of your television is 4.0 sones. The lower the sones, the quieter the room. Aero Pure quiet bathroom exhaust  fans operate at a range from less than 0.3 to 2.0 sones. Fans so quiet you may not even realize it is on!


Grille designs run from traditional round or square to contemporary, and colors run from traditional white or silver, to contemporary stainless steel and matte chrome.  view contemporary bathroom fan grille designs


Features which may enhance your fan’s efficiency and your comfort are: 
  • Lights- operate on a separate switch; in smaller bathrooms may be the sole light source while in larger bathrooms may provide additional illumination to shower/tub area. view bathroom fans with lights
  • Night Lights- low voltage lightng for the safety and comfort of young children and guests.
  • Heater elements- the perfect alternative to heating the entire house so you don’t step out of the warm shower into a chilly room; when installed properly in the tub area, a heater/fan/light combination warms the area while you soak and relax. view bathroom heater fans
  • Timers- HVI recommends that a ventilation fan be left on for twenty minutes after use of the bathroom. Using a timer helps you clear the air without having to remember to run back to the bathroom and turn it off.  
  • Motion sensors- turns on lights and fans when the bathroom is entered and remains on for a specified time after the bathroom is used.

Installing Your New Fan

Proper installation maximizes your fan's performance.

*Source: hvi.org