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The Choosing an Exhaust Fan Dilemma

So you are choosing an exhaust fan for your home. How hard can it be? You go online and type in “exhaust fan”. 14 million results come back. You click on one random site and there are 300 results with all of them looking almost the same. Maybe this isn’t going to be as easy as you originally thought? Hopefully we can help navigate the confusing world of choosing a bathroom exhaust fan.

There are two basic functions to start with: air movement measured in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) and sound measured in Sones. There are many considerations for CFM, but we are going to stay with the basics for a typical homeowner. The general rule is 1 CFM per square foot of space with standard 8 foot ceilings. So if you have an 8 foot x 10 foot bathroom you would need at least an 80 CFM fan. This would be the minimum ventilation. Depending on your usage, you might consider a slightly larger fan to make sure you have enough power to clear the room.

The second consideration when choosing an exhaust fan is sound. For exhaust fans this is measured in what is know as sones. A rating at or below 1 sone will be very quiet. 1 to 2 sones will still be quiet but anything over 4 sones starts to get loud. The sound rating of a fan will typically influence the cost with quieter fans costing more.

The next consideration is if you have an existing fan or this is a brand new installation. Items such as what type of ducting could play into your decision. Many older fans used 3” ducting. Newer fans are typically going to have either 4” or 6” ducting. This is important to know because if your fan is set up for 4” ductwork and you try and use the existing 3” duct work, the sound level will increase and the performance level will decrease.

After those considerations it comes down to style and functions. Do you want a light? Do you want a fan that automatically turns on when you enter the room or when the humidity level rises in the room? There are units with a decorative grill. These are all personal choices to fit your lifestyle and décor.

Air King has a large selection of energy efficient, quiet exhaust fans to meet the needs of almost any home. Learn more about Air King’s ventilation solutions in the Exhaust Fans section of this web site.

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