At the mention of the word “Fan”, what picture comes to mind? Probably something with three blades hanging from the ceiling designed to cool the surroundings, or maybe a desktop fan? But, a bathroom extractor fan is quite different, generally consisting of many blades, and will most often be used in bathrooms or kitchens and not Bedrooms or living rooms.
Bathroom extractor fans are designed specifically for extracting the moist air from bathrooms and come in a range of options and configurations depending on the buyer’s budget, requirements and the size of the bathroom they are to be installed in.
Best Bathroom Extractor Fan
A bathroom extractor fan serves a very serious purpose. Most bathrooms are moist and humid places for at least a small portion of each day, this excessive moisture remains in the air unless the bathroom is well vented, and if it’s not, then a range of issues can occur, including mould, mildew and rot. The primary reason to install an extractor fan is to eliminate the moisture content in the atmosphere and keeps the bathroom dry and well circulated. The bathroom fan can also help eliminate any odours that are frequently produced in bathrooms, making space feel fresh for the next person to use the bathroom. Having an effective extractor fan will greatly reduce the chance of mould or mildew and can also help wooden furniture or fittings from warping. Basically, an extractor fan is a must-have option that can and will prevent serious problems from occurring over time and it will save you money.
Unless you’re an experienced bathroom fitter, chances are that you know very little about extractor fans, there ratings, options and settings. That doesn’t mean you can’t make an informed decision with a small amount of research. There are some basic features which you should consider when buying an extractor fan:
- Size of the fan – the size of the fan. A bigger fan will generally be able to extract more air faster compared to a smaller fan, however, the fittings are pretty standardized these days so the fan size will often not vary by a large amount. Additionally, many small size fans are very capable of extracting significant amounts of air. The size of the extractor fan would depend upon the size of your bathroom. Any heavy duty models on the market are unlikely to suit a domestic setting.
- Capacity of the fan – So this is one of the major features that could become the deciding factor when choosing an extractor fan. The capacity of the fan means the amount of air the extractor will extract from the inside of your bathroom in a given time period. This potential of the fan is measured in Cubic Feet Meter (CFM). The more the CFM is, the larger the amount of air it will suck in and throw outside. So, how do you know how powerful your bathroom fan should be? As a rule of thumb, measure the square foot of the bathroom and then multiply it by the height of the ceiling and then divide by 7.5. This should give you a rough idea of how powerful your CFM should be.
- The sound of the fan – The noise produced by the extractor fan can be a point of contention if it’s too loud. It is calculated in Decibels i.e. dB. A fan which is quiet and sucks in a large amount of air from the surroundings is considered good. In the case of extractor fans, anything beneath 30dB is considered excellent and will barely be heard. To help you understand how loud an extractor fan is, please review the table below:
10 dB(A) The equivalent of leaves gently rustling in the distance. 20 dB(A) The background noise in a live TV studio. 30 dB(A) A very quiet bedroom in the middle of the night. 40 dB(A) Library background noise. 50 dB(A) The sound in the average house during the day. 60 dB(A) The sound of conversation at 1 metre.
- Wall mounting – There are various options available to mount an extractor fan in your bathroom. Some are better suited to wall mounting while others are designed for ceilings, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to get an idea of what the fan has been designed for. The one thing that you should always consider is that all extractor fans should be mounted at a high point that is well above the ground. The reason behind this strategy is that all the warm air of the room rises above and the cooler air sinks in to replace the warmer air. The extractor if mounted near the floor would be unable to suck out the warm moist air. So, mount them high for maximum efficiency.
These are the important facts to consider when buying an extractor fan. Now we’ll review our top 10 bathroom extractor fans that are available to buy today. We’ll try and provide details as to why a particular fan is a good choice as well as something to suit every budget and requirement.
Manrose QF100T Quiet Extractor Fan
- It’s incredibly quiet even when you’re physically very close to it, it barely registers above a whisper. This quiet fan is excellent at incorporating high extraction.
- It can be mounted on the wall as well as ceiling and appropriate for bathrooms and toilets.
- It comes with performance improving vane system improving performance and throughput.
- The noise produced by the product is ONLY 27 dB (A) and that too at 3m level. The interesting fact about the noise level of this product is that it produces 60% low noise in comparison to standard extractor at level 4 (100m).
- The capacity of this fan is quite impressive. The extraction is 75 CFM. That is 21 litres per second. This capacity would be considered excellent.
- Another important thing that this product says about the quality of the material from which it is manufactured. It claims about high endurance power. It is being manufactured from ABS thermoplastic for excellent durability.
- Thermoplastic is high-grade plastic like Nylon and Acrylic which can reform its shape when heated up and can endure a high degree of temperature and stress.
- The maximum electricity consumption of this extractor fan is 4.8 watts.
- It comes with integrated back draught shutters.
- Sound level 27 dB
- Extraction (airflow capacity) 75 CFM
- Weight 621 gm
- Dimensions 17.6 × 14.4 × 17.4 cm
- Air extraction capability- This product is extremely fine when it comes about extracting the air with full speed and efficiency. The 21 cubic feet meter per hour air extraction is very much able to keep your bathroom clean and dry.
- Lightweight – Now again this product is very lightweight, which allows it to be mounted easily on wall or ceiling. The weight of 621 gm is very light on the walls which do not damage the inner layers of the wall and protects the wall integrity.
- High Rating- It is one of the highest rated extractor fans on Amazon. 67% of customers have given it a 5-star rating which shows its efficiency and truth claims.
- The sound level – Although the product is quieter than other normal extractors, it is not completely silent. Reviewers who have used this have given a mixed response about the sound. The sound produced would be quieter in small bathrooms and non-echoic place while it becomes more noticeable in quiet surroundings.
- The packaging issue – The package comes with loose springs which can be misplaced as it is hard to see it when you unpack the product. These springs are there for mounting purposes and in our opinion should be better packaged in order to avoid accidental disposal
Manrose MF100T Mixed Flow In-Line Extractor Fan – Best In-Line
- This product has a powerful inbuilt duct, which is designed to extract high air flow with high pressure and in relatively low noise.
- The sound produced by the product is 25 dB, which is quite good in comparison to other similar products.
- The extraction rate of this fan is 245 CFM i.e. it can extract around 68 litres per second.
- Power consumption is low at around 25 watts.
- This product claims that it has a high standard ball bearing which ensures its long working life. The minimum working hours will be 30,000 hours i.e. it can be used a minimum for 3 years.
- There is the option of 3-speed setting which allows a person to run this fan at the required speed.
- The installation of this product is easy and can be assembled easily and also be disassembled from the duct very easily for repair or shifting it to another room. The special design of the product allows the engineer to remove it from rigid duct installations.
- It has class 2 double insulation, which doesn’t require an earth. There is no possibility of shock and it is safe for children and adults.
- This product also has run on a timer which can be set and it is in conjunction with the room light. Whenever the room light is switched on the fan starts automatically and even if the light is turned off the timer allows the fan to continue to run.
- In brief, this table shows all the details
- Shipping Weight 2 kgs
- Batteries requirement No
- Extraction rate 68 litres per second, 245 CFM
- Sound produced 25 dB
- Power consumption 25 watts
- Item dimension 31 × 20 × 25 cm
- The best thing about this product is its low sound production. The sound produced by this fan is just 25 dB, which can be considered quieter in comparison to the similar products. The majority of the customer’s decision to buy this fan depends upon its low sound, and that is why probably it is a favourite among people.
- It is the highest rated and best seller extractor fan on Amazon. Its efficiency makes it a high edge product among customers.
- The extraction rate of air and moisture is good. The 245 CFM is nice in conjunction with a low sound.
- The lightweight is another reason people tend to spend money on this product. The lightweight and good working design allow it to be installed anywhere in the room. The lightweight and good efficiency make it suitable to be installed in big as well as small bathrooms.
- The price of the product is a little high in comparison with similar products.
- As it’s in-line It doesn’t come with backdraft shutters.
Xpelair C4TS 10.16cm Simply Silent Contour Extractor Fan Timer Delay – Best Overall Buy
- This is the number one seller on Amazon.
- The product is super sleek and the super easy fascia to clean by just wiping it out with a soft cloth which allows it to super easy maintenance.
- This product is incredibly quiet at just 16db. It’s barely audible even in the quietest of surroundings.
- It is BEAB approved which ensures it is safe to use.
- The extraction rate in this product has two options i.e. 15 litres per second and 21 litres per second. You can select the extraction rate and it can be set at the time of installation.
- It can be twisted and clicked for easy maintenance. The hand can reach easily to the back and corners for swiping of the dirt.
- It is suitable for walls, ceilings or panel fittings of bathrooms and kitchen area.
- It comes with a 2-year manufacturer guarantee. It means the parts can be replaced when wear and tear occur naturally and not by mishandling the product.
- The brief details are in this table
- Dimension 21 × 14.5 x21 cm
- Power consumption 240 V
- Weight 81.6 gm
- Shipping weight 821 g
- Batteries requirement No
- Sound produced 16 dB
- The low sound production is the greatest quality of this product. It is high performing extractor fan with the lowest sound possible. It has been considered the quietest extractor fan in the market.
- The design of the product is again a plus point which is stylish, sleek and easy to maintain. The twist and click of the extractor allow the user to clean the fascia or back with ease. The square stylish design is enough to be suited in any of your stylish great bathroom or kitchen.
- The easy to install design makes it another great product in this range. The built-in quick fit clamp makes this product fixed in any wall or ceiling.
- The price is quite affordable. This product is best among its competitor.
- 54% of customers have given it 5 stars.
- The material of the product could be a problem. It is a plastic product and some of the customers on Amazon have claimed the material of low quality.
- Although it claims to be the simple silent machine by the company with as low as 16 dB sound, once it starts to accumulate dirt the sounds produced by the fan will increase.
Xpelair 93225AW 4- Inch Extractor Fan – Best for Budget
This is one of the best extractor fans in the lower price range. If you are thinking of buying a low-cost extractor fan for your bathroom or kitchen then it could be a good option. It has the traditional grill style design with a run-on-timer option.
- This product is compliant to Part F building Rags. IPX4 rated and can be mounted on wall or ceiling.
- It is manufactured with ABS plastic which is corrosion free and gives the product a stylishly cool look.
- The product gives you only a single option for setting and it can’t be operated remotely.
- It comes with the option of the timer. The timer can be set from 30 seconds to 30 minutes.
- Dimensions 15 × 9 × 15 cm
- Power consumption 240 V
- Weight 49.9 gm
- Shipping weight 481 g
- Extraction power 21 liters/s, 73 CFM
- Fan power 0.78W
- The most attractive feature of the product is its price. Anyone who wants to buy a simple extractor fan for their small bathrooms or kitchen would consider it to be the best option.
- This product is most suitable for extracting moisture or dampness from the bathroom.
- It gives you the option of mounting either on wall or ceiling.
- The option of one setting for extraction. But I think it is enough for this product as it is small and cheap. The price range compensates for the limited setting option.
- Do not expect much from this product as it only for the simple extraction purpose.
- The design of the extractor fan is quite traditional with grill front design. But again this design makes it efficient in its work by allowing the air to pass it thoroughly.
This product does not claim to be one of the best extractor fans in the market. It also does not claim to give you multiple options for your bathroom. The reason I included this product in the list of the best extractor fans list because it is a simple product and delivers on its claim. It simply extracts the moisture in your bathroom and that is an extractors job. You may not get the best quality, but then the price range should be kept in mind. 54% customers in the Amazon have given it a 5-star rating which shows it's popularity. Therefore, if you live alone and are planning to buy a simple extractor fan in the low budget, then it could be a better option and you can definitely give it a thought.
Envirovent SIL100T “Silent” Bathroom Extractor Fan – Best for Larger Bathrooms
- It is one of the quietest fans in the market and it has been awarded the Quiet Mark Award 2013.
- As said above it is IP45 rated which indicates about its safety and compatibility.
- The extraction rate of this fan is impressively 26 litres per second i.e. 96 CFM. The product claims that this is one the highest extraction rate in any 4” axial fan.
- The power consumption of the product is 8 watts, which is quite energy efficient.
- One of the reasons it is a customers’ favourite is the low sound produced by the fan. The 26.5 dB sound is considered the quietest among the 4" axial fan extractor. (In this list the lowest sound is 16 dB produced by Xpelair C4TS model).
Point to be noted: the product comes with the timer option but it will only work with 3 wires+ earth setting. If you have only two connections, this unit will not operate. You should have permanent live+ switched live+ neutral connection to make it operable. (Company statement)
- Unit dimension 16.6 × 16 × 13.6 cm
- Weight 680 g
- Batteries requirement No
- Sound 26.5 dB (quite low)
- Power consumption 8 watts
- Awards Quiet Mark Award 2013
- This product delivers on its claim of providing good extraction rate with low sound possible. With an extraction rate of 96 CFM and 26 dB sound, it is definitely one of the best extractors on the list.
- It has a stylish design which allows the customer to mount it in the living room, bathroom or it can go well with your stylish kitchen cabinet. The white colour of the product matches with any of the things.
- About 68% of customers have given it a 5-star rating, which is enough to derive that it is highly likened by the Amazon purchaser and have performed on its claim.
- The extraction of steam and moisture is fast and the motor of the product is powerful. The quietness of the item has already been discussed which is impressive.
- The overall rating from my side would be 4.7 out of 5.
- Over time there have reports of noise levels increasing. This is likely due to an accumulation of dirt but it’s worth bearing in mind.
The best part is its price which is not too high and the performance is quite impressive.
All the above extractor fans are the best products on the list. You can choose any of the top products depending upon the requirement and your budget. All the above companies are standard makers of quality product and so that customers have shown their trust in them.
5 Benefits of installing an extractor fan
It doesn’t matter how much we clean our house every day or how much we vacuum carpets and curtains on a regular basis, our home needs constant dusting and cleanliness. The same goes for the most important part of the house i.e. kitchen and bathrooms. Both of the places need regular cleaning as they are responsible for our healthy lifestyle. The kitchen holds lots of heat and smoke while our bathrooms hold a lot of moisture and mould could arise. The bathroom doors could warp out quickly due to damp surroundings and can host a lot of germs and bacteria that is enough to make you sick anytime. The rainy season increases the problem and everyone tries to keep their home absolutely dry. Here comes the role of an extractor fan that not only keeps the surrounding dry but also helps proper ventilation in the room.
It controls the humidity of the room – the basic function of an extractor fan is to suck in the moisture and keeps the surrounding dry. The warm air rises up and dry and cool air sink in the room. An extractor installed in the upper part of the wall suck in quickly the warm and wet air and therefore the outside cool air fills the place. This whole process controls the humidity proportion of the bathroom or kitchen or wherever it is placed.
It controls the fumes, odours, and heat – A single extractor fan installed in your kitchen can make your cleaning very easy. It also makes one’s health improves a lot gradually. How? Let’s understand. The kitchen while cooking suddenly fills up with a lot of smoke and fumes. The dry and small particle of smoke which can’t be seen with naked eyes enters our lung through breathing. These particles settle down in the lungs and gradually it reduces the efficiency of our lungs. Another problem with the fumes is that it blocks the nostrils; irritate the eyes of children and elderly people. An extractor sucks in the fumes and any odour present in the kitchen and helps you keep yourself healthy in the long run.
It helps in keeping the walls and fabric in good condition- if you are in the habit of smoking, then this could be a problem for your house walls and furniture and fabric. The odour of the smoke gets absorbed in your fabrics which can only be eliminated through washing or dry cleaning. The smoking can also make a film of tar on your house furniture, doors, windows, and walls. The black thin film of tar can only be seen when you wash your door, the water could be seen turning into black colour with the tar coming down with water. An extractor helps you to clean the tar every day by sucking in the black smoke in the air and throw it out outside of the room. It maintains the health of your house walls and also makes your expensive cloth go a long way. Isn’t it great?
It cools down the kitchen and absorbs heat from the bathroom – The single extractor in your kitchen can actually cool down the room by sucking in the heat generated by light, gas stove and other electrical appliances. It has been discussed enough here that how warm air goes up and the cool air from outside sinks in to replace the hot air. The extractor absorbs the hot air going upside and fills the kitchen with cool and dry air.
Absorb smoke – an extractor can be very useful for the area which usually sees the rise of hot smokes from any source like a heated oven and heat chambers. The basements of some areas operating in some hot gases and hot electric appliances being used can use an extractor to absorb the smoke efficiently. This smoke can choke the windpipes of people and can be extremely dangerous. It is always advisable to install an effective extractor fan in areas like this so that any unfortunate happening can be averted.
Types of Extractor fans
There are varieties of extractor fans available in the market. You need to have a brief idea about all of them so that you can purchase an extractor that will suit your needs. There are basically three types of extractor fans.
The Axial – These are low power fans which need to be ducted at a short distance. It should be installed near the exit point, so that 2-3m of ducting covers the distance. It is suitable for most of the rooms.
The centrifugal – These are more powerful in comparison to the above extractor fan. They make noise and due to more power are good for larger bathrooms.
The inline – these are the most powerful extractor fans. They are used where there is no direct access to the outside wall. The ducting can go as long as 50m and therefore it is used in the place where the exit option is not easily available.
Installing an Extractor Fan
- Install the extractor as far as possible from the ground. It must be able to capture the warm air rising up in the room.
- Install the extractor as near to the damp area or the odour source so that it can effectively suck in the odours or moisture and keeps the room clean and odourless.
- To promote effective airflow through extractor use the shortest and the straight duct tube especially in the bathroom.
- If the duct is passing through any unheated damp place, then insulate it properly so that any level of condensation can’t take place. Condensation stops the effective airflow.
- The warm air that an extractor sucks should be vented outside of the room. The collection of warm and humid air in the loft would not be good for the room’s electrical circuit and it can lead to corrosion.
- The ducts used in the extractor should be vertical so that condensation of water droplets can be averted.
Replacing an Existing Extractor Fan
If you do not want to change all the system and you just want to upgrade the current extractor then you must consider some things. The upgrading of the old extractor fan with a new fan will only require simple assembling of the new product. The directions in the manual will be easy enough to understand by a novice. The old duct, wires, and exhaust venting need not be changed, but only reused with the new extractor fan.
Make sure that all the ducts, wires and venting hose is in good condition and in good shape. You should also check other little details like the size and dimensions of new extractor fan so that it can be fitted easily with old wires and ducts.
But what about the installation of whole new extractor fan? How can it be done?
Installing a new extractor fan is not hard, but it certainly tougher than upgrading your old fan. Follow the steps given below and relax.
- Wherever you want to install a new extractor, make sure the electrical connection is present and if it is not then tapped it into.
- The next step is to line up the wiring from which the extractor fan will be connected. Buy some length of good standard wire from the market and build a connection.
- Now if you want to install the extractor on the ceiling or wall, that place/region should be cut to fix it.
- The Ducting of the system should start from the extractor and ends to the exit point. The duct takes out the inside air outside.
- Finally, the exhaust grill should be fixed outside of the room or window.
- For safety, all the wires and joints should be covered properly to avoid any short circuit or electric shock. The covering also acts as the outermost layer protecting the system inside from air and water