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Guidelines to Pick the Right Exhaust Fan for Your Bathroom

Guidelines to Pick the Right Exhaust Fan for Your Bathroom

If excess moisture and steam are making your bathroom a haven for mold and fungus, then you need to install an exhaust fan. Here are some tips that will guide you on choosing the right one for your bathroom.
Mukulika Mukherjee
Did You Know?
To improve the effectiveness of exhaust fans, you should pay close attention to its ducting. Remember, fans with a higher CFM rating require a wider duct.
When it comes to the bathroom, ventilation is extremely essential to get rid of unpleasant odors and excess humidity. Excess humidity occurs due to the usage of water faucets and showers inside the bathroom, which may result in the formation of mold and mildew. Not only this, higher amounts of humidity can damage the walls and wooden furniture present in the bathroom.
Ventilation in the bathroom can be brought about by installing a bathroom exhaust fan. With advancements in technology, you get fans that have a very low noise level, and are efficient in creating a dry and fresh environment in your bathroom. So, what are the features you should look for when buying an exhaust fan for the bathroom?
Factors to Consider When Buying an Exhaust Fan for the Bathroom
When selecting an exhaust fan for your bathroom, you should consider the four main factors―size, noise output, features, and aesthetics. Here, we shall focus on each of these points, and learn why they are important.
1. Airflow Capacity
This is the most important factor when choosing an exhaust fan for your bathroom, because a small fan will not be very efficient for a relatively larger bathroom, while getting a larger fan for a smaller bathroom will result in wastage of energy. As per the guidelines set by the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI), the air in your bathroom should circulate at least 8 times every hour. The volume of air circulated per cubic feet per minute (CFM) is used to rate the efficiency of your bathroom exhaust fan, and is proportional to the area (in square feet) of the bathroom. Here's how to calculate the value of CFM ideal for your bathroom.

Area of Bathroom CFM Required
Under 50 square feet 50 CFM fan
51 to 100 square feet Fan should provide a minimum of 1 CFM per square foot.
Greater than 100 square feet Required CFM depends on the type and number of fixtures present.

The minimum CFM required for some common bathroom fittings are as follows:
  • 50 CFM for each toilet
  • 50 CFM for each shower
  • 50 CFM for each bathtub
2. Noise Output
Once you've calculated the right CFM rating for your exhaust fan, the next factor to consider is its loudness. How loud is too loud? Well, that depends on your comfort level, but most bathroom exhaust fans are in the range of 0.2 to 2 sones. Sone is the unit of measurement of the noise emitted by your fan, where 1 sone is equivalent to the sound of a quiet refrigerator. Most loud fans have ratings higher than 4 sones.
3. Features
What all features do you think your fan can have? Well, you'll be surprised to know that modern exhaust fans come with a host of features. Here are a few that you should seek.
  • Timers help save power by turning off your fan automatically a few minutes after you switch it on.
  • Some exhaust fans come with a built-in heating feature that enables the fan to let out warm air.
  • Motion sensors are a smart way to conserve electricity as they allow the fan to automatically switch on when someone enters the bathroom, and also switch off a few minutes after the person has left.
4. Style or Aesthetics
Today, exhaust fans are available in a host of colors and designs, and buyers are spoiled for choice. When choosing an exhaust fan for your bathroom, choose one that best complements the color scheme and theme of your bathroom decor. You can choose from square, circular, and other cool shapes. And if you are bored of the plain white fan, then you can add a touch of style to your bathroom by installing an exhaust fan with metallic shades.
Just like every other electrical appliance, you should always seek professional help for the installation and repair of the bathroom exhaust fan. Make a wise and informed decision to install an exhaust fan, and improve the air quality of your bathroom.