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The best commercial exhaust fan is a great tool to ensure that high-traffic areas in buildings remain well-ventilated. Removing stagnant air instead of re-circulating it helps rid spaces of unpleasant odors, humidity, and other contaminants. Many office buildings, kitchens, warehouses, dining areas, and public restrooms benefit greatly when an exhaust fan is installed in their space. Therefore, we have identified the top five commercial exhaust fan reviews and ratings to help you choose the best option for your needs.
In This Article
Different spaces need different sizes or even multiple exhaust fans operating together, so it’s important to plan accordingly and do your research before making your final purchase decisions. Keep reading to discover our five best commercial exhaust fans to help you choose the perfect option.
Broan-Nutone 2.9 Sones High-Power Commercial Exhaust Fan is the best commercial exhaust fan because it can ventilate spaces up to 300 square feet efficiently and quietly. It has a sturdy galvanized steel housing, is made in the U.S.A., and is built to last.
Made in the U.S.A., the Broan-Nutone 2.9 Sones High-Power Commercial Exhaust Fan uses a single, powerful blower wheel that operates at 308CFM, 2.9 Sones, and 120V to pull air from the inside of a space and push it outside. The housing is made of 20-gauge galvanized steel, making it resistant to rust and corrosion. This model is ideal for public restrooms, conference rooms, or other buildings that require continuous exhaust.
Broan-Nutone also offers a level of customization where the fan ducts can be installed horizontally, vertically, or in line with a separate adapter to ensure it suits the room or building it is installed in. Additionally, the motors have a permanent lubrication to ensure quiet operation, and the white grille can be painted over to match the room’s existing color.
- Quiet operation
- Fan ducts can be customized
- Galvanized steel
- Aesthetically may not match residential spaces
The Broan-NuTone 8.4 Sones High-Power Commercial Exhaust Fan is the best commercial exhaust fan because it is a large capacity fan able to circulate large amounts of air at 1513 CFM and quietly keeps offices and buildings comfortable.
Operating with 1513 CFM, 8.4 Sones, and 120V, the Broan-NuTone 8.4 Sones High-Power Commercial Exhaust Fan is a heavy-duty commercial exhaust fan built for large spaces such as office buildings, large restrooms, commercial kitchens, warehouses, and more. The duct can be installed vertically or horizontally depending on your preference or the necessities of the building.
The installation for this powerful commercial exhaust fan is simple, and the fan itself mounts easily to the ceiling (though it shouldn’t be mounted over a tub or shower). The metal duct connector is 8″ x 12″, so it is able to carry and circulate large amounts of air at once with ease. The white grille that comes with this unit can be safely painted any color to match the room it is placed in.
- Galvanized steel built to resist corrosion
- Perfect for large spaces that need constant exhaust
- May be too large for smaller rooms and buildings
The Broan-Nutone 0.9 Sones High-Power Commercial Exhaust Fan is the best commercial exhaust fan because it is small but powerful, making it a more affordable and practical exhaust fan to ventilate smaller industrial and commercial spaces.
The Broan-Nutone 0.9 Sones High-Power Commercial Exhaust Fan offers 109CFM, 0.9 Sones, and 120V for great performance on a budget. Like most Broan-Nutone commercial exhaust fans, this unit sits in a housing made of galvanized steel to prevent corrosion. The metal duct connector is 6″, making this commercial exhaust fan a good option for ventilating smaller rooms, offices, kitchens, and public restrooms.
The grille cover has a height and width of 14″x14″, so it is more discreet for a less industrial look. Though this is one of the smaller commercial exhaust fans on our list, it still has a powerful Broan-Nutone motor that operates quietly to ventilate the air and remove unpleasant odors, air-born pollutants, humidity, and staleness.
- Quiet operation
- Smaller and more discreet housing
- May not be powerful enough for large industrial environments
Broan-Nutone 2.3 Sones Commercial Ventilator Fan is the best commercial exhaust fan because it is the goldilocks of exhaust fans; not too big, not too small, but powerful with optional Variable Speed Control.
For those who need an exhaust fan that is more powerful than the smallest options but don’t need the sheer size of the biggest options, the Broan-Nutone 2.3 Sones Commercial Ventilator Fan is a good middle ground in the world of commercial exhaust fans. Like all Broan-Nutone fans, it is made in the U.S.A. with a galvanized steel housing for durability. This model has a 4.5″ x 18.5″ metal duct connector, and like the other models from Broan-Nutone, this unit can be installed horizontally, vertically, or in-line with separate adapters.
Operating with 434 CFM, 2.3 Sons, 120V, and 1.4 amps, this commercial exhaust fan can be installed in the ceiling wherever it’s most needed. It comes with 8 position-mounting brackets for easy and versatile ceiling installation and has two blower wheels but a relatively low RPM to ensure quiet operation. There is also an option (available separately) to have Variable Speed Control in order to adjust the speed and sound level.
- 1/2 inch acoustic insulation for quiet performance
- Highly adaptable mounting requirements
- Not fit for installation over showers or bathtubs
TPI Corporation 24-inch Industrial Exhaust Fan is the best commercial exhaust fan because it is lightweight, portable, and has many installation options to fit in different rooms.
The TPI Corporation 24-inch Industrial Exhaust Fan is a 120V commercial exhaust fan that comes with a permanently lubricated ball-bearing motor and a high performance blade shaft. This fan is lightweight enough to be portable, but it can be mounted to a wide range of interior walls, as it is the perfect size for offices, classrooms, garages, gyms, and workshops. Additionally, this fan can be used for factory and warehouse settings to remove unpleasant odors and stagnant air, though multiple may be needed for larger rooms and warehouses.
Because of its open design, this model can be cleaned very easily with warm water and soap (and is safe to be completely submerged in water). Avoid using harsh cleaners, as this may damage the coating, but gentle dishwashing soap will work perfectly to clean the blades and wipe away any dust or debris that builds up over time.
- Lightweight and portable
- Can be submerged in warm water and cleaned with dish soap
- Single-speed operation
Features to Consider for the Best Commercial Exhaust Fan
Commercial exhaust fans can be a fairly large purchase, so it’s important to make sure that you know exactly what features your building, office, shop, or garage needs beforehand. Differently sized rooms can have different ventilation needs, and more highly trafficked areas (such as warehouses and public restrooms) may require more power than smaller offices or conference rooms.
These are the features to consider when researching the best commercial exhaust fan reviews.
CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute)
CFM, or cubic feet per minute, is a unit of measurement that measures the velocity of air entering or exiting a space. This is the most popular unit of measurement used to judge commercial exhaust fans, RV vent fans and range hoods because the role of an exhaust fan is to pull air from a space. The higher the CFM of an exhaust fan, the more air that is being pushed outside, so higher CFM exhaust fans will generally be more powerful and more expensive.
Sones are a unit of loudness based on sound pressure. The higher the sones, the louder the noise is, and the unit of sones doubles as the level of perceived loudness doubles. The higher the sones, the louder the commercial exhaust fan. This may not be as much of an issue in warehouse spaces where the exhaust fans are installed in very high ceilings, but a loud exhaust fan could be disturbing in a quiet office space. One sone is about the loudness of a refrigerator running, or 40dB.
Galvanizing is the process of adding a protective zinc coating to iron or steel to help prevent corrosion and rust. Because of this, galvanized steel is more durable and tends to have a longer lifespan because it doesn’t corrode as easily. The zinc coating actually works by rusting more quickly than the steel underneath, protecting the material below.
Some commercial exhaust fans will also list their RPM, or rotations per minute. This unit refers to the number of rotations that the exhaust fan makes per minute, and while it can be a useful measurement for comparing fans, CFM is generally a better judge of how effective a fan is. For example, a fan may have a high RPM without an impressive CFM if the fan itself is not very effective, and likewise a relatively low RPM may have a respectable CFM if the fan functions well.
Benefits of Using Commercial Exhaust Fans
Many commercial and industrial areas benefit from having a commercial exhaust fan (or several!). Exhaust fans are an investment in your business or home, so it’s important to understand all the positive effects that they have on the space.
Exhaust fans work by taking the air in a space and pushing it to the exterior instead of circulating stale air over and over again within the same space. For areas that tend to have unpleasant odors like public restrooms, warehouses, and garages, exhaust fans can be a lifesaver and help keep the space fresher.
Exhaust fans help lower the humidity inside a space because they take the humid air, heavy with water, and push it outside, which is especially helpful in humid climates by the coast or in spaces where water boils (like commercial kitchens).
Even in spaces that don’t have harsh smells or high humidity, like conference rooms or office buildings, exhaust fans prevent the air from becoming stagnant and stale by continuously pushing the old air outside. In high traffic areas, this can help everything stay fresh as well as removing potential pollutants in the air.
Precautions of Using Commercial Exhaust Fans
Before purchasing your new commercial exhaust fan, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to ensure that your commercial exhaust fan is both effective and safe.
Not For Use Over Tub or Shower
While bathroom exhaust fans can be extremely useful in both public and private restrooms because they get rid of smell and humidity, you should not install a commercial exhaust fan directly over the tub or shower unless it is specifically rated to be placed there. If it is not rated to be installed directly over a bath tub or shower, then you will still want to install it fairly close to the tub or the shower because these areas produce so much moisture that can lead to mold and mildew buildup.
How Much CFM Do You Need?
It can be difficult to figure out what size commercial exhaust fan you need for your space: Someone who needs an exhaust fan for their DIY greenhouse needs a different CFM than someone installing a commercial bathroom exhaust fan. Luckily, there is an easy rule that acts as a rough guide, which is at least one CFM per square foot being ventilated. So, a 1,000-square-foot conference room should have an exhaust fan that operates at least 1,000 CFM, or several smaller fans spaced out that add up to 1,000 CFM.
Our top pick for the best commercial exhaust fan review is the Broan-Nutone 2.9 Sones High-Power Commercial Exhaust Fan! With its steel housing, this commercial exhaust fan is built to last and is the perfect size for office rooms, public bathrooms, or other moderately sized spaces.
We hope this guide helps you understand some technical terms that are used when you begin to research commercial exhaust fans. Now that you are more informed, we hope that you will be able to make a decision regarding the best commercial exhaust fan for your needs with confidence.