In addition, manufacturers also predict that models will become more sophisticated; bathroom fans will become integrated with occupant sensors (humidity sensors already are available) that will turn the units up when a person enters the room and lower the running level when the person leaves, for continuous ventilation.

Aldrich even thinks that electric energy monitors that display the energy use of different appliances/systems throughout the home aren't far off, and would encourage construction of more energy-efficient buildings and zero-energy homes.

Energy monitors would really make homeowners aware of their energy consumption; the thought of having low or no utility bills would hit home, he says.

Venting Advice

The Home Ventilating Institute, which supplies the EPA with product testing and certification information, offers the following tips for bathroom ventilation:

  • For bathrooms up to 100 square feet in area, an exhaust fan should provide 1 cfm per square foot, for example: An 8-foot-by-5-foot bathroom has an area of 40 feet so it should have a 40-cfm fan.
  • For bathrooms greater than 100 square feet, ventilation is based on the number and type of fixtures present, noting the following items require the minimum cfms stated: toilet—50 cfm; shower—50 cfm; tub—50 cfm; jetted tub—100 cfm.
  • The bathroom fan should be left on for 20 minutes after the use of the bathroom to completely ventilate the room.

  • Fantech

    Credit: Fantech

    Fantech. Energy Star-rated two-port bathroom exhaust kits allow a builder to ventilate several areas of a bathroom with a single remote-mounted fan. Unlike standard bathroom fans, the fan motor is mounted in the attic or away from the living area. Three kits are available in 167-, 243-, and 408-cfm exhaust capabilities. 800-747-1762.


    Credit: GE

    GE. Three residential bathroom ventilation fans include models BF125EM, BF100S, and BFL125UQ. The first is a 100-cfm, 3.5-sone unit that features a snap-in housing installation system; the second, an 80-cfm, 1-sone unit, is the firm's quietest fan and is Energy Star-rated; and the last is a 100-cfm, 2.5-sone lighted model. 800-626-2000.


    Credit: Broan-NuTone

    Broan-NuTone. Available in 10 styles and a number of cfm levels, QT series bath fans feature sone levels that are up to 40 percent lower than industry standards, claims the maker. The Energy Star-rated fan/light models have fluorescent lighting and nightlights; many models are designed to slip into a common housing size for easy installation. 800-558-1711.

    Air King

    Credit: Air King

    Air King. Part of the Deluxe Quiet Exhaust Fan series, Energy Star-approved fan/light units are UL listed for installation over a tub or shower on a GFCI circuit. Both the 80-cfm (model AK80LSL) and the 100-cfm (model AK100LSL) units use two compact fluorescent light bulbs. 877-304-3785.

    American Aldes

    Credit: American Aldes

    American Aldes. P-series in-line centrifugal fans can be used in horizontal or vertical installations. The Energy Star-rated products feature plastic housing and completely enclosed motors that prevent moisture penetration, asserts the maker. In addition to bathroom applications, the fans also can be used in outdoor and wet locations. 800-255-7749.


    Credit: Panasonic

    Panasonic. Designed to fit in tight installations, WhisperFit-Lite low-profile ventilation fans feature housing that measures 512 inches deep. The fans, which range in sound levels from .7 to 2 sones, are Energy Star-approved and are equipped with two fluorescent lights; nightlights are optional. 800-211-7262.