If you fail to remove moisture after you have had a shower or bath, it can lead to long term damage. If there is a window present in the room, you can open it to allow moisture to escape but if not, using an extractor fan is the best option. They also provide an excellent method of removing bad odours from the room too, which is always a great bonus.
Factors such as the extraction rate, noise and size are the main factors to consider. The latest bathroom extractor fans have improved massively over the years and most are able to extract 20 litres per second whilst remaining silent.
If you are looking for a quick answer, the best bathroom extractor fan is the Envirovent SIL100T. It’s a powerful unit that has a high extraction rate of 26 litres per second but also remains quiet at just 26.5 dB.
Table of Contents
- The Best Bathroom Extractor Fan
- Bathroom Extractor Fan Buying Guide
Bathroom Extractor Fan Comparison
|Bathroom Extractor Fan||Extraction Rate||Size|
|Envirovent SIL100T||26 litres per second||158 x 158 mm|
|Xpelair C4HTS||21 litres per second||210 x 210 mm|
|Airflow iCON ECO||19 litres per second||197 x 197 mm|
|Knightsbridge EX004T||25 litres per second||156 x 156 mm|
|Newlec NL880T||24 litres per second||154 x 154 mm|
|Manrose QF100T||21 litres per second||163 x 163 mm|
|Vent-Axia VASF100T||21 litres per second||159 x 159 mm|
The majority of extractor fans for domestic bathrooms will attach to a 100 mm opening. Therefore, if you are simply replacing an old unit, the installation shouldn’t take too long as there is no need to create a hole in the outside wall.
Noisy bathroom extractor fans are a thing of the past these days. All of the recommendations within this article are below 30 dB, which is considered pretty much silent.
Below is a list of the best bathroom extractor fans that are quiet, powerful and perfect for replacing faulty units.
The Best Bathroom Extractor Fan
1. Envirovent Silent SIL100T
The Envirovent SIL100T is one of the most popular fans available that’s suitable for a 4 inch ducting. The reason for its popularity is due to the fact that it’s one of the quietest bathroom extract fans with a sound output of just 26.5 dB.
It’s also a powerful extractor fan with an extraction rate of 26 litres per second, which is impressive for a 4 inch axial fan.
Other features of the Envirovent SIL100T Fan include:
- Awarded the “Quiet Mark” award
- IP45 rated and CE approved
- Runs at 2,400 RPM
- 158 x 158 mm in size
- Suitable for bathroom and kitchen
- Easily wired to the light
- Only available in a white finish
- 5 year guarantee
Overall, the Envirovent SIL100T is the best silent bathroom extractor fan on the market that comes with everything required for the installation. It’s fairly basic in terms of the design but for most people, this won’t be an issue as they are only focused on the performance of the fan.
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2. Xpelair C4HTS Contour
For those looking for a more aesthetically pleasing extractor fan, the Xpelair C4HTS is the best option. They have various configurations of this model with the humidistat and timer offering the best performance. Other models available includes the basic unit, timer or pull cord switch.
A unique feature of the Xpelair C4HTS is that it has two speeds, which extracts air at 15 or 21 litres per second.
Other features Xpelair C4HTS include:
- Sleek and smooth fascia
- Twist and click setup for easy maintenance
- Suitable for wall, ceiling or panel fitting
- Includes a 2 year manufacturers guarantee
- 16 dB noise output at 15 litres per second extraction
- Fixings for installation are provided
- 210 x 210 mm in size
- IPX4 rated
If you are willing to spend the extra, this bathroom extractor fan with humidistat functionality is an excellent choice. It ticks all the boxes and looks great with a fascia that can be removed for easy cleaning.
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3. Airflow iCON ECO
The Airflow iCon is relatively unique because it has an iris shutter that prevents air blowing back into the room. According to the brand, it’s suitable for any bathroom or en-suite with three models to choose from that vary in size and power to best suit the requirements of the room its being installed in.
Other features of the Airflow iCON ECO include:
- Low profile design
- Flow rate of 19 litres per second
- 8.8 watts
- Sound output of 30 dB
- IPX4 rated
- 197 x 197 mm in size
- 3 year warranty
- Includes installation hardware
Stopping the air blowing back into the bathroom is the main selling point of this extractor fan. It reduces the coldness, noise and also dirt coming in from the outside, which is a very desirable feature for many. Overall, the unique iris shutter and low profile design make it more expensive than the alternatives but it certainly won’t disappoint.
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4. Knightsbridge EX004T
The unique design may not be to everyone’s taste but it will certainly transform the room. The EX004T model is designed to be installed to the walls or ceilings of bathrooms and toilets.
Other features of the Knightsbridge EX004T include:
- Adjustable over-run timer
- Compliant with the latest building regulations
- LED lighting is activated upon activation of the fan
- Sound output of 35 dB at 3 metres
- Extraction rate of 25 litres per second
- 156 x 156 mm in size
Overall, the Knightsbridge EX004T is a modern bathroom extractor fan that provides excellent value for money and high performance. The Knightsbridge brand also offer a range of ducting kits to complete the installation.
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5. Newlec NL880T Extractor
For those requiring an affordable extractor fan that’s actually worth buying, the Newlec NL880T is the best option. Although it has a low price tag, the brand claim that it’s a professional quality fan that will be long lasting and an easy direct replacement if you are replacing a faulty unit.
Other features of the Newlec NL880T include:
- Runs at 2,500 RPM
- Sound output of 32 dB
- Extraction of 24 litres per second
- CE and BEAB approved
- High quality ABS mouldings
- 16 watts power consumption
- 154 x 154 mm in size
If you require a quiet bathroom extractor fan that’s powerful and affordable, the Newlec NL880T is perfect. Compared against other fans that are similarly priced, none come close to the quality of the NL880T model.
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6. Manrose QF100T Fan
The Manrose is a bathroom extractor fan that’s designed specifically for quiet operation. The brand state that it only produces up to 27 dB and it has been proven in an anechoic chamber, which is a recognised UK standard.
Other features of the Manrose QF100T include:
- Extraction rate of 21 litres per second
- Supplied with integral backdraught shutters
- Timer over run functionality
- Low energy 4.8 watt motors
- Constructed of ABS thermoplastics
- Produced only 27 dB of noise
- Complies with both Part F & L
- 163 x 163 mm in size
The Manrose QF100T is a more affordable silent bathroom extractor fan that’s backed by a 3 year warranty. Compared to similar priced alternatives that claim to be silent, this fan also has the extraction rate performance to match.
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7. Vent-Axia VASF100T
The Vent-Axia brand produce a range of bathroom extractor fans but this is their flagship model. Although it’s the most expensive within the article, it’s by far the quietest with a proven noise output of just 13 dB at a distance of 3 metres.
Other features of the Vent-Axia VASF100T include:
- Modern design with anti-static finish
- Complaint with part F and L building regulations
- Constructed of durable ABS plastic
- Extraction rate of 21 litres per second
- Rated at IP44
- All fixings supplied
- Noise output of 14 dB
- 159 x 159 mm in size
Compared to the Envirovent SIL100T alternative, this bathroom extractor is even more quiet. However, you do have to pay a premium price and it’s not as powerful. Overall, if you require a quiet bathroom extractor fan and aren’t too worried about the price, the Vent-Axia VASF100T is a great option.
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Bathroom Extractor Fan Buying Guide
Installing an extractor fan inside your bathroom or en-suite is a vital component that provides ventilation in the room. Without the fan, the build-up of mold and mildew increases, which can lead to long term damage.
The extractor fan installation is made far easier when the hard work has already been done. All fans will require a hole that leads outside in order to function, which can be difficult to do for the average DIY’er.
To help you make an informed buying decision, below is a detailed guide regarding extractor fans for bathrooms.
The rate at which air can be extracted from the bathroom is one way of determining the performance of an extractor fan. The measurement used for the extraction rate is litres per second (L/s) or metres cubed per hour (m3/hr).
The majority of bathroom extractor fans range between 18 to 26 litres per seconds. Higher volumes will extract more air for reducing moisture and odours but too much can leave negative air pressure, which can result in coldness.
Building regulations state in the UK state that a bathroom or shower room should have a fan capable of extracting at least 15 litres per second.
Older extractor fans are known for being noisy and this can be highly frustrating. However, manufacturers have gone to great lengths to make them far quieter than they once were.
When looking at the different bathroom extractor fans, all manufacturers provide the dB measurements from a distance of 3 metres. This is an industry standard and allows you to judge which are the quietest fans. However, it’s worth noting that some fans may be quieter because they are less powerful/extract less air.
The quality of the bathroom extractor fan also plays a big part because once the fan begins to age, it can become noisy. Motor bearings can begin to wear and blades may start oscillating against the housing. Choosing the best possible fan you can get your hands on will ensure that the quality remains for many years.
All of the above extractor fans are suited for 100 mm ducting but the designs mean that they vary in size. Some include a fascia that adds to the aesthetics but it doesn’t contribute to the performance of the fan. We advise that you choose a size that suits your bathroom decor and can be easily installed without additional drilling required.
Over Run Timer
An over run timer is a function used by many manufacturers and works by keeping the fan running for a specified time period. This functionality can be wired into an electric shower or more commonly into the lights. Once either component is switched off, the over run timer will kick in.
The extra time the fan has to function helps remove damp air and odours present in the room. The length of time may be set by the manufacturer but some premium fans may allow for adjustments.
A bathroom extractor fan that features a humidistat sensor is able to detect moisture in the air. Once the humidity within the bathroom has reached a certain trigger point, the fan will automatically switch on. This is a premium feature and worth the extra cost.
Back Draught Shutter
The hole that’s required to use an extractor fan can produce a new problem. Large gusts of wind can blow through the ducting and into the bathroom. During cold nights, this can make the bathroom feel even colder, which isn’t what you want whilst jumping out of the shower. Using a shutter that fits into the ventilation duct or external grill can prevent the coldness getting in from the outside.
Electricity and wet environments don’t match and it’s vital that the extractor fan you choose is safe to use. All manufacturers will state an industry standard known as an “IP Rating”. Depending on this rating will determine how close the fan can be installed to the bath or shower. These areas are known as zones, which are located a specific distance away from the bath or shower.
How To Replace a Bathroom Extractor Fan
Unless you are renovating an old house or are extending your property, you will more than likely be replacing an old unit rather than installing it from scratch. To replace a bathroom extractor fan, follow the ten steps below:
- Switch off the power supply.
- Remove the screws holding the fascia onto the ceiling or wall.
- Disconnect the wires leading to the housing.
- Remove the ducting piping from the old fan.
- Remove the old vent housing completely.
- Make adjustments to the hole for the new vent housing if required.
- Attach new housing using the fixture and fittings supplied.
- Connect ducting to the vent housing.
- Connect the wiring to the housing and screw on the fascia.
- Switch on the power and test the fan.
Installing a bathroom extractor fan from scratch can be far more complex due to the holes and ducting required. For a detailed tutorial, we highly advised that you read this guide before attempting the installation yourself.
Kitchen vs Bathroom Fans
Extractor fans for bathrooms serve a different purpose compared to a kitchen extractor fan. Although some manufacturers state that you can use them for both applications, we recommend that you only use bathroom specific fans. A bathroom extractor fan removes moist air whereas the kitchen alternative removes air mixed with oils produced from cooking.
A bathroom extractor fan is an essential ventilation device that’s found in the majority of homes. They are available in a range of designs but the best bathroom extractor fans are those that are quiet yet powerful. All of our recommendations are suited to a range of budgets and include the best brands within the industry.