The Ultimate Guide How To Choose A Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Aug 23, 2023

When you choose a bathroom exhaust fan for your home that will help maintain a clean and comfortable bathroom. To ensure proper and healthy ventilation in your bathroom, it is crucial to use your bathroom exhaust fan. Bathroom exhaust fans can prevent issues like mould, mildew, and bad odours. 

However, with multiple options on the market, choosing a bathroom exhaust fan can be, well, exhausting. In this guide, AJ’s Electrical will walk you through the essential factors to consider when selecting the perfect bathroom exhaust fan for your needs.

Several Factors To Consider When Choosing A Bathroom Exhaust Fan

  1. Size and airflow capacity
  2. Noise level
  3. Ventilation type
  4. Energy efficiency
  5. Installation and placement
  6. Features and controls
  7. Maintenance

Size and Airflow Capacity

Bathroom fans have different airflow capacities based on the size of the bathroom. Airflow capacity is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Your fan should have 1 CFM for every square foot of floor space in your bathroom.

For instance, a bathroom with a larger square footage or one that experiences heavy use, like a master bathroom, may need an exhaust fan with a higher CFM rating, such as 150 CFM or more. On the other hand, a smaller guest bathroom might require a fan with a lower CFM rating, such as 50-70 CFM.

CFM directly correlates to the fan’s ability to maintain proper ventilation and air quality in the bathroom. By choosing a fan with an appropriate CFM rating based on the size and usage of the bathroom, you can ensure that the fan effectively removes moisture and odours.

Noise Level

Fan noises are rated by sones–which indicates the noise level produced by the fan. The lower the sone rating, the quieter the operation of the fan. Consider selecting a fan with a sone rating of 2 or below for a peaceful bathroom environment. Fans rated in excess of 4.0 sones tend to be noisy.

Ventilation Type

There are two main ventilation types: ducted and ductless. Ducted fans expel air and moisture through a duct, while ductless fans filter the air and recirculate it throughout the bathroom. Ducted fans are more effective at removing odour and humidity, making them the better choice for most bathrooms. 

Energy Efficiency

Opting for an energy-efficient fan reduces your energy bill and minimises your carbon footprint. When reviewing fans, looks for ones with the ENERGY STAR label which indicates they meet strict energy guidelines. 

Installation and Placement

Electrical work can be dangerous, and unless you are confident with your skills, you should always hire a professional to help with installation. When it comes to the placement of the bathroom fan, it’s best to position it as close to the shower or bathtub as possible to effectively remove moist air. 

Features and controls

These days, bathroom fans come with a variety of features and controls. Some fans have adjustable speeds, automatic sensors, and timers. Others have features such as lights for added functionality. 


Regular maintenance is important to ensure the longevity of your bathroom exhaust fan. Look for fans with removable grills, covers, and other easily accessible parts for cleaning. Keeping the fan and ductwork clean will prevent dust and debris from obstructing airflow.

Remember, considering factors such as size and airflow capacity, noise level, ventilation type, energy efficiency, installation and placement, features and control, and maintenance are pivotal in helping you find the perfect bathroom exhaust fan. 

Looking for advice or help with choosing and installing your next bathroom exhaust fan? We can help! With over 60 years of combined experience, AJ’s Electrical can guide and support you with your upgrade. Contact us today!

The Ultimate Guide How To Choose A Bathroom Exhaust Fan


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