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The 5 Best Garage Exhaust Fans
If you’re struggling with a garage, workshop, or shed that is hot, humid, and uncomfortable, you may benefit from having the best garage exhaust fan for your space. Garage exhaust fans help remove heat, excess moisture, airborne allergens, and other particles from the air to improve air quality and comfort. Keep reading for our garage exhaust fan reviews and ratings.
In This Article
There are many different designs and sizes to choose from based on the size of your space and what budget you have for ventilation. To help you on your search for the best garage exhaust fan, we found the top five best exhaust fans, so you can narrow down the features that you need.
The iLiving 10-inch Wall Mounted Exhaust Vent Fan w/ Automatic Shutter is the best garage exhaust fan because it can ventilate spaces up to 900 sq feet and circulates 600 cu ft of air per minute, and the motor is permanently lubricated to work smoothly for its lifespan.
The iLiving 10-inch Wall Mounted Exhaust Vent Fan w/ Automatic Shutter is our first contender for the best garage exhaust fan because it is designed to do reduce pricey cooling bills, has a variable speed option when pair with the speed controller (though this is sold separately). This is a good potential option for garages as well as attics, sheds, and other semi-outdoor spaces because the whole unit is corrosion-resistant, and the motor is fully enclosed to protect it from the elements.
This model is small but powerful with a fan that rotates 1580 times per minute and circulates 600 cu ft of air per minute with its 1/25 HP motor. The motor is permanently lubricated to ensure that it will run smoothly and quietly for the lifespan of the unit.
- Shutter fan comes in eight different size options between 10 in and 36 in
- Galvanized steel frame to protect inner housing from the elements
- Permanently-lubricated motor
- Speed controller sold separately
The iLiving 20-inch Wall Mounted Exhaust Fan w/ Automatic Shutter is the best garage exhaust fan because it can handle large spaces with its 1/4 HP motor and can ventilate 3368 cu ft of air per minute of operation.
This larger unit from iLiving has all the benefits of the previous smaller unit, but is more powerful and is capable of handling larger spaces. The 20″ exhaust fan also has adjustable speed functionality that can be controlled remotely (with the iLiving remote sold separately). The motor is fully enclosed and permanently lubricated, and this unit comes with weather-resistant shutters made from high-grade aluminum that are built to withstand heat and moisture to protect the fan from corroding and improve its longevity.
This 20″ fan has a 1/4 HP motor that spins the blades at 1074 rotations per minute, which ventilates 3368 cu ft per minute in operation. The entire unit is motion balanced for quiet operation so that you can reduce cooling costs and allergens in the air without giving up the auditory comfort of your garage or shed.
- UL listed
- Great option for larger garages with its more powerful motor
- Motor is permanently lubricated
- Multi-speed functionality sold separately
The Broan-Nutone 6-inch Through-the-Wall Ventilation Fan is the best garage exhaust fan because it is HVI-Certified and plugs in a standard outlet for intuitive use, and it is very affordable for how efficient it is.
The Broan-Nutone 6-inch Through-the-Wall Ventilation Fan is designed to be easy to install and goes through the wall itself. It can fit walls between 4.5″ and 9.5″ thick with its adjustable housings, and the “twist-lock” design of the motor is fashioned to be easily assembled. This smaller unit is a great option for smaller garages, work shops, sheds, laundry rooms, and attics, and is very affordable as a result of its smaller size.
This unit’s 6″ fan has a rotation per minute of 2600, or a CFM of 70, which is quite impressive for such a small fan. The inside-facing grille both covers the hole made in the wall during installation and is completely paintable, so that you can customize the visible part of this unit however you like.
- Easy standard plug-in design
- Fairly loud compared to other exhaust fans at 6 sones
The Professional Grade Products 8-inch Metal Shutter Exhaust Fan is the best garage exhaust fan because it is very affordable for the CFM it offers and comes in six different fan sizes.
The Professional Grade Products 8-inch Metal Shutter Exhaust Fan is a box-style exhaust fan that comes in six different sizes ranging between 6 and 20 inches. Its design is simple but effective, easily installed through the wall of a garage, shed, or workshop. It comes with a standard power cord to plug into whatever outlet you have handy, and it is painted specially for corrosion resistance, since half of the unit is exposed to the elements.
This model functions with a low power motor (meaning lower power needs and little change in the electric bill) and the 8″ unit has an impressive CFM of 261. While it may not be the best garage exhaust fan for extremely large garages and sheds, it could be a wonderful affordable option for smaller spaces.
- 60 Day Manufacturer’s Guarantee
- Very affordable for the CFM offered
- Comes in six different sizes
- Open design may not be the most aesthetic or practical option for some spaces
The Professional Grade Products 10-inch Shutter Exhaust Fan is the best garage exhaust fan because its durable aluminum shudders resist corrosion and protect the interior from the elements.
Last but certainly not least, we have the Professional Grade Products 10-inch Shutter Exhaust Fan, which has painted shutters and moisture-resistant plastic built to resist corrosion and normal wear and tear. The 10″ model from this line produces 671 CFM at only 40 watts, so it has a very low energy demand and shouldn’t spike your electricity bill despite being a slightly larger unit.
This size of fan is ideal for small rooms and buildings with indoor/outdoor use that need some additional help with cooling and moisture removal. The unit ships fully assembled and plugs in with a standard power cable, so there is no additional assembly required on your part, and it is easy to install and get going.
- 60-Day Manufacturer Return Guarantee
- Easily plugged in with standard outlet
- Power cable is included
- Open design may have problems in rainy climates with rain entering the building
Features to Consider for the Best Garage Exhaust Fan
When narrowing down the options to find the best garage exhaust fan, there are a few features to keep in mind to ensure that you choose the best option for your needs. Here are a few of the features to look out for.
Rotations per Minute (RPM)
The rotation per minute, or RPM, is fairly intuitive; this is a measurement of how many times the fan makes a complete rotation per minute. However, it would be a mistake to assume that a higher RPM is automatically a better fan. Often, smaller fans will have a higher RPM because it takes less energy to move smaller blades, but they still don’t circulate as much air as fans with larger blades, even if they have a higher RPM. Ultimately, it comes down to the efficiency of the fan and the amount of space you have available to install an exhaust fan, as well as your budget.
Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)
The cubic feet per minute, or CFM, is generally a better unit by which to compare different fans because it is a closer measure of efficiency. CFM is one of the most common ways to measure airflow, which is ultimately the goal of a ventilation fan. This measurement is also easily compared to the size of the room you would like to ventilate in square feet.
For example, a room with an air volume of 1000 cu ft would need a fan with a fan of 1000 CFM in order to replace all the air each minute. That said, the ventilation needs will vary quite a lot depending on the room’s uses. For example, a high-humidity workshop with lots of particles flying in the air would need better ventilation than a garage used for storage where the goal is more temperature and mildew control.
Many units will list the horsepower of the motor, which is a measurement of power that once was actually based on the strength of a single horse before becoming standardized. One horsepower is equal to 745.7 watts or 550 foot-pounds per second. While the horsepower can be nice to know, the power of the motor isn’t as important when looking for the best garage exhaust fan as how efficiently the fan can circulate air.
Many fans will advertise being UL listed, so it is a good idea to know what exactly that entails. Underwriter Laboratories, or UL, is an independent not-for-profit safety organization that tests industrial products to safety and health standards. If you purchase a product that is UL Listed, you can be sure that it has met the standards required for its level.
Benefits of Using Garage Exhaust Fans
There are many benefits to researching and finding the best garage exhaust fan for your space, whether you’re looking into the models from our garage exhaust fan reviews or others. Here are a few benefits you can look forward to after getting your new exhaust fan installed.
Remove Excess Heat
One of the principal uses of using an exhaust fan is that they remove heat from inside the building and push it outside, helping cool the space without installing an expensive air conditioning unit. Finding the best garage exhaust fan for your space can help cool the space without significantly raising electricity bills. You can also look specifically at the efficiently and power needs of the different units and compare what possible electricity costs of different units will be relative to their effectiveness.
Remove Excess Heat and Moisture
On top of removing heat from the space, exhaust fans actually remove excess moisture and dampness in the air, too. Especially in humid environments, this can help prevent the buildup of potentially dangerous mold and mildew, which thrives in damp environments. Removing the excess moisture also makes breathing in the space more comfortable by removing that heavy humidity.
Precautions of Using Garage Exhaust Fans
There are some things to keep in mind when narrowing down options for a new garage exhaust fan. Here are a few things to look out for.
Some open units that don’t have shutters or a fully enclosed casing are more affordable, but also run the risk of exposing the interior of the buildings to the elements. For example, heavy rain outside could easily get inside the building between the fan blades. It may be a good idea to avoid this model of fan if the interior isn’t built for weather.
For wall-mounted exhaust fans, the units go through the walls themselves. While this is fairly intuitive, you want to be careful not to get a wall mounted unit that can’t be installed in the thickness of wall you have available. Always check the thickness of the wall to the thickness of the wall that the fan is built for. If you can’t use a wall-mounted exhaust fan, you may want to try looking into normal garage fans or garage ceiling fans instead.
We’ve chosen the iLiving 10-inch Wall Mounted Exhaust Vent Fan w/ Automatic Shutter as the best garage exhaust fan because it can handle ventilating spaces of up to 900 square feet at a reasonable price and energy demand. It also has the option of additional speed control if you purchase the speed remote to go with it, meaning you can change the power needs depending on the needs of the space for that day.
Which do you think is the best? No matter which unit you choose, whether it’s from our garage exhaust fan reviews or one that you found on your own, we hope that we were helpful in highlighting the different options and features available so that you can find the best garage exhaust fan.