Whether it’s for your bathroom, for your kitchen or for any other area in your home where stale air collects, an exhaust fan can be extremely beneficial. They can increase the air flow in a space, which helps to get rid of that stale air and reduces a variety of issues, including allergies, headaches, asthma and even minor illnesses. While an exhaust fan is certainly a handy device to have in your home, finding the best one for your specific needs can be a bit challenging.

When it comes to exhaust fans, there are several different options available. While having a lot of options is certainly a good thing, it can make choosing the best exhaust fan for your specific needs a bit difficult. How do you know which exhaust fan will work best for you? – By reading this buyer’s guide, of course! In this guide, we highlight everything you need to know about exhaust fans, including the different types, the factors that you should consider when purchasing one, the different features that they can offer, and the best exhaust fan brands. After reading this buyer’s guide, you will be well informed and ready to choose the best exhaust fan for your specific needs so that you can start breathing fresher, cleaner air.

Types of Exhaust Fans

The primary job of an exhaust fan is to increase air flow by recycling air. When there is a lack of air flow, not only does the air start to develop a stale odor, but it can also cause serious problems, such as mildew and mold growth, which can damage your home, your furnishings, and can even cause health issues.

While the primary goal of all exhaust fans is to improve air flow, there are different types of exhaust fans, and they differ in the manner in which they operate and in which they are installed. There are six main types of exhaust fans, which include:

Below, you will find a detailed breakdown of each of these six types of exhaust fans, which will help you determine which one will best suit your needs.

The Wall Mounted Exhaust Fan

As the name suggests, the wall mounted exhaust fan is installed into a wall. The wall that it is installed into needs to be external, as this will the air inside your home to flow outside directly through the fan itself. The wall mounted exhaust fan is an ideal choice if you do not want to spend a lot of time planning the installation of the fan. In other words, they are the easiest to configure, because they do not require extra tubing to exhaust the air, which other types of exhaust fans require.

The Interior Exhaust Fan

The interior exhaust fan is similar to a wall mounted exhaust fan, as it pulls the air inside of a room outside, expelling it from the space. An exterior exhaust fan is a good choice if you do not want to deal with loud noise coming from the fan, as the noise that it creates will be located outside your home.

The Ceiling Mounted Exhaust Fan

As the name implies, a ceiling mounted exhaust fan is installed into the ceiling of a room. A hole is created in the ceiling, and the exhaust fan is mounted into that hole. An exhaust tube is usually connected to the fan, which leads out to a hole in the attic, crawl space or roof of the home. When the ceiling mounted exhaust fan is turned on, the air is pulled out of the fan and travels through the tube and out of the hole in the attic, the crawl space or the roof.

The Kitchen Exhaust Fan

The kitchen exhaust fan is specifically designed for use in the kitchen. It is usually installed over the stove and helps to pull the hot air that is created while cooking out of the kitchen. This type of fan not only improves air flow and removes smoke, but it also helps to eliminate odors in the kitchen that are produced while cooking. A kitchen exhaust fan also helps to reduce the moisture level in a kitchen.

The Bathroom Exhaust Fan

While taking a bath or a shower, moisture will collect in the bathroom, which can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. If you do not have a window in your bathroom, or even if you do, but you want to improve the air flow, a bathroom exhaust fan is the ideal solution. When it is turned on, it pulls the hot air out of the bathroom, thereby improving the air flow and minimizing the moisture levels that lead to the development of mold and mildew; plus, it can also help to minimize those steamy bathroom windows.

The Inline Exhaust Fan

An inline exhaust fan is mounted in between the ducts of a ceiling, which allows the stale air to be expelled through the ducts. This is the ideal solution for a room that is difficult to ventilate with other types of exhaust fans.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Exhaust Fan

There are several factors that you are going to want to take into consideration before you choose an exhaust fan to purchase. Some of the most important factors to take into consideration include the size of the room, the location of the room, and the installation of the exhaust fan. By taking these and other important factors into consideration, you will be able to choose the best exhaust fan for your specific needs. To learn more about these factors and others that we think are important to consider when choosing an exhaust fan, please keep on reading.

The Size of the Room

One of the most important factors that you should take into consideration when choosing an exhaust fan is the size of the room that you will be using it in, as this will directly determine the size of the exhaust fan that you will work the best for you. You want to make sure that you choose a fan that can properly expel the air in the room that you will be using it in; choose one that is too small, and it will not be able to remove the stale air effectively and increase the air flow, but if you choose one that is too large, you may create too much air flow, or you may allow unwanted exterior air to come in through the fan, which could potentially impact the temperature of the room and your energy consumption.

The Location of the Room

Another very important factor to consider when choosing an exhaust fan that will meet your needs. For example, if you are looking to exhaust an interior room, an exterior exhaust fan won’t work, as you won’t have the access to an exterior wall that you will need in order for this type of exhaust fan to work. Instead, an inline exhaust fan will work better for your needs.

The Power of the Exhaust Fan

Another important factor that you are going to want to take into consideration when choosing an exhaust fan is the power that it offers. You want to make sure that the fan is powerful enough to actually exhaust the room that you will be using it in. You need to choose a fan that offers enough power to pull the interior air out of the room and create the necessary air flow. If the fan is not large enough, it will not be able to effectively pull the air out of the room, rendering it useless.

The Construction of the Fan

The construction of the fan is also an important factor to consider. For example, kitchen fans are designed of materials that are meant to be able to withstand the dense smoke and steam that are created while cooking. If you don’t choose a fan that is constructed out of the right materials, it won’t be able to withstand the steam and grease in this situation, which means that it won’t last as long and will ultimately have to be replaced sooner than it should be.

The Installation of the Exhaust Fan

Installation is another important factor to consider. The installation of the fan will vary, depending on the type of fan that you choose. If you want a fan that is as simple to install as possible, an exterior exhaust fan is your best bet, as they require the least amount of work and generally, additionally equipment isn’t needed. However, do keep in mind that you also have to consider the location of the room in order to determine if the fan will actually work in the room that you plan on using it in.

The Energy Efficiency of the Exhaust Fan

Yet another important factor to consider is the energy efficiency of the exhaust fan. Energy star rated fans use as much as 20 percent less energy than minimum federal guidelines. This will have a direct impact on the amount of energy that the fan will use while running it.

The Look of the Exhaust Fan

Though this may seem superficial, the look of the exhaust fan is important to consider. Exhaust fans come in a variety of styles, and you want to make sure that you choose one that will work with the look of your room. The last thing you want is an exhaust fan that sticks out like a sore thumb.

The Cost of the Exhaust Fan

Lastly, you are going to want to consider the cost of the exhaust fan. These fans can vary significantly in price. The larger the fan, the more powerful it is, and the more features that it offers, the more expensive it will be. Make sure that you consider the amount that you want to spend before you start shopping so you can avoid spending more than you are looking to.

The Features Exhaust Fans Can Offer

Exhaust fans can offer a range of features. These features are intended to improve the efficiency of the exhaust fan, and to make it more useful. As mentioned above, the more features an exhaust fan offers, the more expensive it will be.

Here is a look at some of the most popular features that an exhaust fan can offer.

Built In Lighting

Exhaust fans can feature a built in light fixture, which means that they can double as a fan and a light. This means that you will have two features in one, which can be extremely handy to have.

Heating Lamps

If you want to add heat to your bathroom, an exhaust fan that features a heating lamp could be very handy to have. You can lip the heat lamp on before you get out of the shower, or just when you step out of it, so that you will be warmed while you are drying off, and the steam in the room will be expelled at the same time.


A timer can help to improve the energy efficiency of the exhaust fan, as it will ensure that the fan isn’t running for longer than you want it to be. Obviously, the longer the fan runs, the more energy it will use, so a timer can be a very useful feature to have.

The Best Exhaust Fan Brands

There are several manufacturers that produce exhaust fans. If you want to have an excellent fan, choose one of the following brands, as they are rated the best on the market.


Panasonic has been highly regarded for decades for producing some of the highest quality electronics and kitchen appliances. Their exhaust fans constantly receive high ratings from users, as they are durable, long lasting, powerful and do a highly effective job.


Another highly regarded name in the exhaust fan industry is Broan. This company produces exceptional exhaust fans that also receive high ratings from users. They offer a range of features, and users say that they are very effective.


Delta exhaust fans are also an outstanding choice. They are durable, powerful and offer a range of features that make them an outstanding choice for your exhaust needs.


With a name like Hurricane, it’s no wonder why this company is so highly regarded for the exhaust fans that they create. Offering exceptional power and durability, Hurricane exhaust fans are rated some of the best on the market.