Owning one of best bathroom extractor fans will make you wonder why you didn't invest in one sooner.
Bathrooms are damp rooms, and a lot of humidity is produced when we take showers which can impact the porous nature of drywall and paint. Once the air cools, this trapped humidity turns into water and can encourage mould and fungus to grow, which isn't good for our health — it can cause problems such as skin irritation and allergies.
While an extractor fan isn't a legal requirement if your bathroom has an openable window, buying bathroom extractor fan is still a good idea. These machines suck out the moisture that builds up in your bathroom, quickly removing harsh odours and preventing mould growth, as well as staving off rusting and paint peeling.
Fans come in different shapes and size - although this doesn't have to negatively affect your bathroom design - so take a look at the best bathroom extractor fans available now to keep humidity at bay in your bathroom.
Best Bathroom Extractor Fans
1. Xpelair C4TS Axial Extractor Fan
One of the quietest on the market
Noise level: 16dB | Installation: Walls, ceilings and panels | Air extraction rate: Up to 75 m3/h / 21 l/s
At 16dB, the Xpelair C4TS is one of the quietest bathroom extractor fans around. You can relax in the bathroom bother-free while it's doing its thing, and it also means any family in close proximity (such as sleeping children) won't be disturbed.
It can be easily installed on a wall, ceiling or panel - it simply requires a 'twist and click' the lock it into place. And during installation, you can select from two motor speed settings - 15 litres per second (l/s) and 21 l/s, or 54 metres cubed per hour (m3/h) and 75 m3/h.
Plus, while looks aren't always everything, this is a beaut. Sleek and smooth, the white finish will fit in with any type of bathroom decor.
(MORE: Modern Bathroom Ideas)
The timer can be adjusted between periods of 30 seconds and 30 minutes, and the fan comes with a two-year manufacturer's guarantee.
2. Envirovent SIL100T Axial Silent Extractor Fan
A powerful, convenient all-rounder
Noise level: 25.6dB | Installation: Walls and ceilings | Air extraction rate: Up to 96 m3/h / 26 l/s
A close second place, the highly stylish Envirovent SIL100T Silent Extractor Fan is another low-noise machine, releasing just 26.5 dB at 3m noise output. This is achieved through the motors being mounted on silent elastic blocks.
It's feature rich, too. It comes with an adjustable humidity sensor which lets you set the relative humidity level (between 60-90%), and this will turn the fan on when required to help prevent condensation.
The fan will then continue to operate until this is achieved (it doesn't take long, circulating air at the rate of 96 m3/h), and will turn off when the moisture level drops below your set level.
Another practical feature is the run-on timer, which automatically calculates how long the fan should operate based on how long it has been running. The timer delay can be set manually for up to 30 minutes.
3. Manrose QF100T Quiet Axial Extractor Fan
Rich with features and a 3-year guarantee
Noise level: 27dB | Installation: Walls and ceilings | Air extraction rate: Up to 75 m3/h / 21 l/s
While not as powerful or quiet, respectively, as the top two on this list, Manrose's QF100T boasts performance-enhancing design credentials that make it a really excellent product.
It's equipped with a turning vane system which smoothly directs air in the duct and reduces resistance when there is a change of direction. This ultimately enhances its performance and helps to deliver high output.
A backdraught shutter is included too (which prevents air flowing in the wrong direction when the fan is turned off), and it's an energy-efficient choice, with the motor consuming a maximum of 4.8W.
The fan is made from ABS thermoplastics so it's super durable, and it comes with a three-year manufacturer's guarantee.
4. Blauberg UK TURBO-150 Extractor Fan
The best in-line extractor fan
Noise level: 46dBA | Installation: Ceilings | Air extraction rate: Up to 560 m3/hour / 155 l/s
It won't be winning any design awards, but if you're willing to overlook it's aesthetic quirks, the Blauberg UK Turbo-150 is a high-power extractor fan that offers good value for money.
Specifically designed to fit in your ceiling when your bathroom is very far away from an external wall, this in-line fan fits several different duct diameter sizes, so there should be something suitable for your home.
It can be electrically wired directly into 240V mains power with a 50W motor, and has an efficient range of mixed flow extractor fans - it can reach a staggeringly high air flow rate of up to 560 m3/hour. Including the wiring it takes roughly 30 minutes to install.
5. Vent-Axia Solo Plus Centrifugal Extractor Fan
A versatile centrifugal fan
Noise level: 34.5dBA | Installation: Walls, ceilings and panels | Air extraction rate: Up to 80 m3/hr / 22 l/s
Centrifugal fans can generate more pressure than axial wall fans, and because they can extract down much longer duct runs, it makes them a great choice for bathrooms which are far away from an external wall.
The Solo Plus T offers a choice of two boost motor speeds at installation - medium (17l/s) or high (22l/s) - and you can also select an optional constant trickle speed (9l/s) so there's always some flow through the room, even when no one is in there. You can revert back to your chosen setting via a pull cord, light switch or the humidity sensor.
Plus, it comes with a 'delay' option, which means the fan won't kick in for around five minutes after the light is turned on. If you were to have a shower, for example, then it will continue to run for 20 minutes after the light is turned off to clear the humidity.
It can be mounted on a surface or installed flush, and the impeller allows for installations with longer duct runs using 100mm ducting. It comes with a two-year manufacturer's guarantee.
How to Choose the Best Bathroom Extractor Fan
If you've decided that a bathroom extractor fan makes sense for your house, then look for these factors when making your choice.
Air extraction rate
This specifies how much air can be moved in a time interval. Most models far exceed the 15 l/s or 54 m3/hr minimum requirement in the Building Regulations, although those with higher extraction rates tend to produce more noise.
Domestic extractor fans come in two sizes: 4-inch /100mm and 6-inch / 150mm. A 4-inch model will suffice for most households, whereas 6-inch machines are appropriate for larger bathrooms (generally greater than 9m2), or those which are frequently used by larger families or households.
The size of the extractor will determine where it can be placed, and whether or not it can fit in your bathroom.
Bathroom extractor fans can be loud. So if noise is a big concern for you then try to avoid fans at 30db and under. You can also look out for fans with silent running ball bearing motors, which help to reduce noise further.
Turning on and off
Extractor fans have to be turned on to start moving air and turned off to stop, and a number of features can affect how this happens. A fan might come with a pull cord for activation, or it can be wired to turn on and off via your light switch.
Some fans with humidistats will turn on automatically when the humidity in your bathroom reaches a pre-set level (and turn off when this level falls), while others come with PIR (Passive Infra Red) sensors which operate automatically when somebody enters the room.
Fans with timer models allow it to run for a set period of time even after you've turned your shower and lights off. This helps to ensure that all steam has been extracted.
Types of Bathroom Extractor Fan
There are three basic types of bathroom extractor fan:
- Axial (also known as wall fans) – the most common household extractor fan, these connect through an external wall, or in the ceiling on a very short duct run, and are generally cheaper and easier to install
- Centrifugal – these are best for bathrooms far away from an external wall (over 1.5m away), and can be mounted on the wall or ceiling. They tend to generate more pressure than an axial machine
- Inline – installed in your loft space, these machines sit on a length of ducting and have a much higher extraction rate, so they tends to be more expensive. They are effective options for extra-long distances of 40 metres or more to your nearest external wall.
Do Bathroom Extractor Fans Need to Vent Outside?
Yes. Bathroom extractor fans remove moisture from the air, so if this air is deposited into your loft or another room then the problem is moved to another area.
Ensuring your fan exits outside your home will help you to avoid damp and mould entirely.
Jack is News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, and strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and planning reforms. Having bought his first home in 2013, he and his wife have renovated almost every room and recently finished a garden renovation.
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