Long, steamy showers can be therapeutic after a long strenuous day. But this is not the case for your bathroom, especially if it isn’t well ventilated. Excessive moisture can encourage mold growth threatening indoor air quality. In the long run, it can pose serious health and comfort issues.
Humidity buildup can also wreak havoc in various forms – peeling wallpaper, cracked paint, rusted fixtures, and warped cabinetry. A bathroom exhaust fan is a handy appliance that eliminates excess moisture protecting your bathroom from water damage while preventing odors and mirror fog.
But, as practical as this lifesaver is, some models produce an intolerable, deafening noise, making it impossible to enjoy a calming experience while you’re in the shower or tub. If a quiet bathroom exhaust fan sounds like something you need, then this guide is for you.
There’s a wide range of soundproof bathroom exhaust fans, from bare-bone options to high-end models that come with motion sensors, heaters, and built-in lighting.
We’ll show you which models to consider buying, how to choose the ideal one, and how to install and maintain it.
Types of Quiet Bathroom Exhaust Fans
Before buying the best silent bathroom exhaust fan for your space, deciding which type of fan will be suitable is crucial.
Bathroom exhaust fans come in three main types: in-line fans, wall fans and ceiling fans.
In-line bathroom exhaust fans are designed to sit in the attic either above the bathroom or in a different location.
To install an in-line fan, you’ll need to route through ducts to a vent in the ceiling. The setup directs the fan away from the bathroom ceiling, reducing the noise and vibration you’re likely to hear while in the shower.
You can also connect multiple ceiling vents to one fan to enhance ventilation if you have an oversized bathroom.
The good thing with an in-line fan is that you’re not constrained by the available space in the ceiling above the bathroom. You can install a larger fan than would necessarily fit.
Nevertheless, setting up an in-line fan and installing the ductwork is quite involving. Furthermore, if your ducting space involves several bends or is limited, it becomes ineffective. Any slight drop in power will also affect proper functioning.
Most bathroom fans, even the ceiling models, can be mounted on the wall, especially when ceiling inserts are not an option. This eliminates the need for lengthy ducts by creating a direct pathway for stale air to be sucked out of your space.
They are also convenient to repair in case of any issue and provide better performance. However, there’s a higher risk of back drafting, and venting through the wall makes the installation process more invasive.
As the name implies, a ceiling fan is mounted on the ceiling above your bathroom. The air intake vent sits on the ceiling with the fan directly above it. So, the fan sucks in warm and moist air from the bathroom into the vent via suction on one side and releases it through the ceiling vent on the other side.
Ceiling fans are easier to install, and some include lights to brighten up your space. They also ensure maximum exhausting of moist air, and their space-saving benefits make them ideal for small bathrooms.
However, since they sit directly above the bathroom, you’ll notice more vibration and noise than an in-line fan.
Any leakages through the roof vent can damage walls and cause mold growth. It is also difficult to access the ceiling exhaust fan in case of an issue. What’s more, there’s the possibility of animal interference along the duct or at the roof vent.
Our Best Picks
Read along to discover our top performers worth considering when shopping for the best quiet bathroom exhaust fan.
• Retrofit design
• Smart speed selector
• Adjustable installation
• Energy star certification
• Poor installation instructions
• Suited for 4″ and 6″ ducting; if you have 3″, you’ll need to use an adapter
If you are looking for a fan that can fit virtually anywhere, this is a perfect choice. Its Retrofit design makes it ideal for hotel construction, remodeling, and renovations.
Panasonic Whisperfit EZ delivers the highest performance at 110 CFM while operating at near-silent audio levels.
The in-built Pick-a-flow speed selector allows you to choose your desired airflow, between 80 CFM and 110 CFM, to meet various ventilation requirements. This model registers a noise rating of 0.3 sones. You can barely notice it’s operational.
Another cool thing about the Whisperfit EZ is that it features the easy-to-use Flex-Z-bracket for flexible, fast, and hassle-free installation. It also has an Energy Star certification, so you can rest assured that while your fan delivers a powerful performance, there’s no wastage of energy.
• Energy star rated
• Flexible installation
• Adjustable speed selector
• 6-year warranty
• Near-silent performance
• Limited humidity control
• High speed translates to more noise
Panasonic WhisperCeiling promises a whisper-quiet operation as it expels large volumes of exhaust air using minimal energy. The quiet yet powerful energy-efficient exhaust fan operates by static pressure to ensure maximum removal of humid air in a room.
The built-in adjustable speed selector allows you to select your desired airflow – 50, 80, and 110 CFM for optimal output.
With an operation rating of 0.3 sones, this fan is dead silent, but if you select the highest speed, you’ll hear some noise.
What’s great about this fan is you can connect it to both a 4″ and 6″ duct adapter for enhanced versatility in layout and design. The Energy Star certification is proof that this product will keep your energy bill at a minimum.
• Smart humidity control
• Energy star, cUL, UL & HVI certified
• DC motor technology for consistent, powerful performance
• Solid galvanized steel construction
• Non-responsive auto shut-off feature
• Slight rattling from the vent flapper
If you’re looking for a durable and robust exhaust fan for your bathroom, the Delta BreezSignature is a solid choice. This model is virtually silent at a noise level of fewer than 0.3 sones.
Another cool thing about this fan is that it packs various features such as an LED indicator, humidity sensor, and dual airflow.
Inside the appliance, you’ll find a DC brushless motor with a life expectancy of up to 70,000 hours to ensure extended durability and reliability. You can rest assured it will outlive most of your household appliances.
The intelligent humidity control allows you to adjust the unit’s speed based on the humidity levels to keep your bathroom dry and comfortable.
• Whisper quiet at 0.3 sones
• HVI & Energy star certified
• Easy installation
• Motor engineered to sustain continuous operation
• Requires professional assistance on wiring
• Difficult to install
• Designed to fit 6″ duct; anything smaller will lower performance
Suppose you buy Broan Very Quiet Exhaust fan, which we recommend you do. In that case, you’re assured of highly efficient performance at 80 CFM (sufficient for bathrooms up to 75 square feet) and versatile features such as a 6-inch ducting for solid performance and a hanger bar system for seamless installation.
This model is also Energy Star and HVI certified to ensure the best quality, energy-saving fan for your bathroom. And with the motor engineered to provide continuous performance, you don’t have to keep switching it on every day.
What’s great about the Broan-Nu Tone Very Quiet Fan is that it requires very minimal installation space (2-inch X 8-inch). Thanks to the dedicated GFCI circuit, you can use this fan over the shower or bathtub.
• Excellent performance
• Ultra-quiet technology
• HVI certified & UL approved
• Durable stainless steel construction
• It can be challenging to install
• Weak suction power
• Slight noise
The BV Ultra-Quiet is a solid choice if you want a sturdy exhaust. Like its previous counterparts, this model has Energy Star and HVI certification. Furthermore, it’s also UL approved, meaning it is safe to place it above your shower.
The housing unit is made of solid stainless steel construction resistant to water damage and a heavy-duty motor to sustain the continuous operation. When you buy the BV Ultra-Quiet bathroom fan, you get a one-year warranty with technical support provided.
The installation process is relatively straightforward. You’ll receive extra components such as grille, support braces, housing, wiring compartment, adapter, user manual, and installation hardware. It is also UL approved and HVI certified to last you long without compromising on performance.
• Energy Star, UL & HVI certified
• Whisper- silent
• 3-year warranty
• Plastic vent outlet prone to breaking
• Requires attic access for installation
Tech Drive is one of the quietest exhaust fans available, delivering exceptional performance. This exhaust fan has 50 CFM flow capacity to cater for a 50 sq. ft. bathroom. You’ll be pleased by the fact that it only emits 0.8 sones sound level earning it a spot among ultra-silent bathroom fans.
Surprisingly, the mighty DC motor only consumes 7-Watt of power, and it is Energy Star certified, which is proof of its energy efficiency.
What’s great about this fan is the 7-second delay motor protection function that cushions the unit from overheating and damage when it starts running.
• Sleek & Stylish design
• Solid build
• Easy to Install
• It can get loud with usage
A gem that’s powerful and silent, the Win Air Ultra exhaust fan pampers you with an impressive performance of up to 110 CFM. This whisper quiet bathroom fan operates at 0.8 sones. You can barely notice it’s running.
The stylish and elegant white polymeric grille blends with virtually every type of bathroom décor and is perfect for a bathroom that’s 110 to 130 sq. ft. The rust-resistant unit controls humidity and moisture and fights odors.
This exhaust fan will only fit into a 6-inch duct, so we recommend measuring your duct size before buying it.
The appliance comes with screws and suspension brackets for easy installation.
• LED light
• Three-year warranty
• Energy Star, HVI, ETL-CETL certified
• Sturdy galvanized steel construction
• Poor lighting output
If choosing a near-silent bathroom exhaust fan is a priority, then the KAZE Appliance LED bathroom fan won’t disappoint. The quiet 0.9 sones rating means you can turn on the bathroom fan and not be able to tell it is working.
The exhaust fan delivers 110 CFM, which is enough to power a bathroom of 110 square feet. The unit also features a 2-Watt LED light for the night and an 11-Watt LED light that can last you up to 30,000 hours.
The fan comes in high quality, sturdy construction with permanently lubricated motors to ensure a seamless operation.
Buying Guide for the Top Soundproof Exhaust Fan for your Bathroom
In this section, we explore some of the essential features to keep in mind when hunting for the ideal silent bathroom exhaust fan. These include energy efficiency, airflow capacity and noise level.
Apart from technical features, also consider versatility, budget, ease of installation, and how it will complement your space.
When purchasing any new appliance, consider energy efficiency when shopping for the ideal bathroom fan. An energy-efficient exhaust fan will consume less energy, saving you a good amount of cash when paying your electricity bill.
You can quickly identify an energy-saving model using the energy star certification. It shows they operate on average 70% less energy compared to their less-efficient counterparts.
For a fan to be energy star certified, it must meet the accepted threshold for maximum allowable sound levels and optimum performance.
The airflow capacity of a fan is given in CFM (cubic feet per minute). It represents the amount of air circulated by the fan within a given period. Think of the CFM rating as the exhaust fan’s “power.”
A fan with a high CFM rating will expel more moisture-packed air and swiftly replace it with fresh air. Check the CFM rating of an exhaust fan before purchasing to ensure it’s equal to the square footage of your bathroom for optimal performance.
Rule of thumb: Every square foot of bathroom space equals 1 CFM.
So, if your bathroom space is 50- square feet, your bathroom fan should be 50 CFM-rated.
CFM = Length X Width X Height X 0.13
Sones is a measure of the noise emitted by an exhaust fan. Most exhaust fans feature a sones rating between 0.5 and 6.0. A lower sones rating translates to a quieter fan when in operation.
A sones rating of 1.0 compares to the sound produced by your average quiet fridge. A lower sones rating translates to a more silent exhaust fan.
A regular dishwasher or TV set might have a sone rating of 4.0, which is annoyingly loud for a bathroom fan. For instance, rustling leaves emit around 0.5 sones of noise, which you want from a quiet bathroom exhaust fan.
Although most exhaust fans today are whisper quiet, you can further dampen the sounds with an intelligent technique. We recommend installing a 6-inch ducting attachment instead of the regular 4-inch ducting.
Air flows effortlessly on a broader duct, so there’s less strain when using a 6-inch duct, therefore, ensuring a quieter operation.
Visual appeal can be a deal-breaker when choosing the best quiet bathroom exhaust fan. Consider the décor and style of your bathroom and choose a fan that will complement your space.
Start by considering the color. Instead of the typical white models, go for one with a paintable cover to blend with your walls or ceiling.
Some bathroom fans also come with decorative fixtures to further enhance the style of your space. For instance, some models may feature trims or finials in various finishes (such as chrome, white, brass, or nickel) and hanging pendant lights, among other elegant designs.
When moisture-rich air is expelled from the bathroom, it needs to be directed somewhere. Although some bathroom fans release exhaust air into the home’s attic, this setup isn’t ideal since moisture buildup can result in mold.
It’s best practice to vent bathroom exhaust fans to the outside. You can use a standard ceiling-mounted fan if your bathroom is on the first floor of your home.
However, if it’s directly below the attic, we recommend channeling the exhaust air through the ducting to the roof.
If your bathroom has an exterior wall or you can’t run the ductwork between the joints, you can consider installing a wall-mounted fan. The best location for installing your fan is typically between the toilet and shower, near the ceiling, with no obstructing pipes or joists.
Keep in mind fans with add-on features such as heaters and lights may require a specific circuit or extra wires to operate.
Modern bathroom exhaust fans are designed to deliver more than just ventilation. You’ll find models with sophisticated add-ons such as:
- Integrated lights to replace existing light features which enables easy installation.
- Automatic humidity sensors for when the moisture levels reach specific limits
- Built-in heaters warm up the room during cold and chilly weather while simultaneously ventilating the space.
How to Install your Soundproof Bathroom Exhaust Fan
Installing a bathroom exhaust fan isn’t the easiest of any home improvement project you can tackle. But with the right tools and a good dose of patience, you can get the installation done within a few hours.
For the project, you’ll need:
- A silent exhaust fan
- Drill and drill bit
- Flexible ducting
- Reciprocating saw
- Exterior grade silicone caulk
- Drywall jab saw
- Safety goggles and a dust mask
First, you’ll have to locate a power source. Check on the lighting circuit of your electrical code to find out if you can link it to your fan. Alternatively, you can run a separate circuit.
If you’re unsure about this step, have an electrician assist you.
Next, locate the vent point that will offer a direct exit route for the air to the outside. It should be close to the shower. Once you’ve identified the perfect spot, proceed to cut out the vent location. Cut out a hole for the extractor on the attic and place the appliance inside. Screw the fan firmly in place.
Double-check from the bathroom to ensure correct placement.
Now that you’re satisfied with the placement of the fan, proceed to attach it to its housing and use the user’s manual to set up the grille. Attach the flexible tubing to the vent and the fan and ensure it runs as seamlessly as possible.
Place the fan inside the housing unit. You can use the owner’s manual to guide you on proper placement. Now unravel the ends of the electrical wires and merge them inside the appliance. Attach the fan grille and switch on the circuit breaker. Then turn on the switch in the bathroom to test the fan.
How to Clean and Maintain Your Exhaust Fan
Now that you’ve done a fantastic job at choosing and installing your new exhaust fan, I can bet you don’t want all that effort to go down the drain by neglecting it. Ensure you clean and maintain it after regular use to prevent it from breaking down or making noise.
Here’s how to go about it:
- Stand on a sturdy ladder or a step stool.
- Remove the grate, clean it in warm detergent water, and use a vacuum wand to clear as much dust as possible.
- Once it’s dry, attach it back to the unit. Using a dry dusting cloth, wipe the blades and internal components to get rid of dust and grime.
- Take this chance to tighten loose screws and replace missing ones to prevent any squeaking.
- New exhaust fans are designed to be maintenance-free and rarely require any lubrication. However, some have a small reservoir on the motor where you regularly add a few machine oil drops. For assistance with lubricating your fan, contact a professional.
There are plenty of reasons why you need to install a noise-proof exhaust fan in your bathroom. However, you may still have a few questions about picking a suitable unit for your space.
Read on to find some of the commonly asked questions and answers about choosing the best quiet bathroom exhaust fan.
1) Which bathroom exhaust fan is soundproof?
There are plenty of quality noise-free bathroom exhaust fans on the market, but BV Ultra-Quiet bathroom exhaust fan is our favorite. It provides 90 CFM of air movement and operates at 0.8 sones, making it one of the quietest fans available.
If BV doesn’t suit your needs, you can choose any other model from our prestigious list.
2) What is the recommended Sones for the quietest bathroom exhaust fan?
For a near-silent bathroom exhaust fan, go for a model with a sone rating of at most 1.0. Less is better in this case. Anything above this range, for instance, 2-3 sones, will be annoyingly loud and a nuisance to you and your neighbors.
3) What is the ideal CFM for a quiet bathroom exhaust fan?
CFM is a measure of how powerful your exhaust fan is and its efficiency in sucking out the air from your bathroom. For optimal performance, ensure the CFM of your choice exhaust fan is enough to cover the square footage of your bathroom. Go for a fan with at least 50 CFM to keep things ultra-quiet.
4) Do I have to vent my bathroom exhaust fan outside?
Yes, you do. Your fan is supposed to expel moisture from the air, and venting it outside ensures the best results. If you channel it in the attic or a different room, you risk having excessive moisture buildup, promoting mold growth.
Related: How to Soundproof Air Vent
5) How long should you let your bathroom exhaust fan run after you shower?
You’re good to go with 2 to 3 runs or at least 20 minutes once you’re done showering. This ensures proper ventilation and that all the moisture has been sucked out of the ducts. You can use a fan time switch to keep track of the duration.
Why Trust Us
Our team comprises home and garden experts who thoroughly research, vet and recommend only top-performing products to our audience.
Our featured top quiet bathroom exhaust fans are sleek, versatile, but most importantly, virtually silent. So, no matter which model you choose, you can rest in confidence it will bring to life your soundproofing fantasies.
Last update on 2022-03-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API