With the recent advancement happening in bathrooms like tubs and Jacuzzis, there is an endless source of humidity in the area, making it essential for users to purchase a good bathroom exhaust fan to get rid of excessive moisture.
Another common problem with bathrooms today is that it never seems to get enough of the heat generated by the home’s central heating system. This, coupled with the fact that central heating needs a lot of time to heat up, always leaves the room very cold during winter.
Installing a bathroom heater is a good remedy for this condition. In a nutshell, a heater, alongside an exhaust fan, is necessary for a better overall bathroom experience.
It is a good thing that many manufacturers combine these two qualities, essentially making a bathroom extractor fan, which also has an inbuilt heater bath fan. A bath fan with heaters is the best bet against moisture problems. Such a solution to combat humidity and cold has encouraged me to write an in-depth review. Therefore, I’ve tested numerous exhaust fans with heaters and distinguished only 4 worth considering, in my opinion.
Out of countless assessments, my number one and most recommended exhaust fan with a heater is certainly Broan-Nutone QT9093WH Heater. What I appreciated the most was the high fan speed, so I didn’t have to wait a long time before the bathroom warmed up (FYI, my bathroom is 105sqft). The fan with the heater was a bit louder than I expected, but overall, at a decent noise level.
Without further ado, here is my extensive review of 4 bathroom exhaust fans with a heater. I hope it will help you make your purchasing decision easier.
What Is the Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan Heater?
For this review, I have chosen renowned brands as I trust their built quality and efficiency. At least with some of the brands, I’ve had experience using their products, and they’ve never let me down. Even after testing exhaust fans for this review, some devices left a good impression on me.
One thing I would like to point out is that there is no one-fits-all device. Each exhaust fan with a heater that I have reviewed comes with a flaw that may be a turning point for you. Thus, naming the best model would be a mistake.
Though one can arguably declare a particular model above the rest based on quality, it might just be an expensive waste of money depending on where used.
A high-class unit of 150CFM and 1sones, for example, though looking like the best, would be too expensive an addition for a 50sqft bathroom since a cheaper 90CFM and 1.5sones can get the job done easily.
Despite the best product being generally the one with the highest CFM and lowest sone rating, purchasing a unit peculiar to your bathroom needs is far better and more economical. It is essentially the best for you.
My Top Pick – Broan-Nutone QT9093WH Heater, Fan, and Light Combo for Bathroom
When I first unpacked the device, I immediately noticed how good the built quality was. It also had a manual with simple instructions that a non-electrician like me could understand. However, if you feel unsure about how to install a device, it is always best to call a professional to do it for you.
Although I found Broan-Nutone to be noisier than expected, I still enjoyed the warm air blowing at me when I stepped out of the shower cabin. Another feature I found useful is using light, fan, and ventilator independently. So, if I needed only light, I could only use it without turning on anything else.
- Fan speed of 110 CFM
- Effortless installation
- 3-in-1 heater, fan, and light
Other Notable Mentions
Broan-NuTone 100HL Directionally-Adjustable Bath Fan with Heater
Broan-NuTone 100HL is a slightly less powerful exhaust fan, featuring 100 CFM. Just like my top pick, I didn’t find it difficult to install. The design is attractive, but I personally prefer the QT9093 model, and it also suits my bathroom decor better.
The 100HLmodel also has a light, fan, and heater installed, and you can choose to use those simultaneously or separately. Although the exhaust fan doesn’t have a nightlight, it is possible to direct the heated air stream to whatever area you want.
Broan-NuTone 655 Bath Fan and Light with Heater
Out of the four, the Broan-NuTone 655 has the lowest CMF, so it doesn’t work well with my bathroom. However, if your bathroom is up to 65sqft, it should work just fine. As far as design goes, the shape is quite similar to the 100HL model.
One thing that I noticed is that being at 4 sones, the exhaust fan works loud. The exhaust fan can also be installed on the wall, but I recommend against it. When you get too close to it, the heat can burn you. So, better be safe and go with a ceiling installation.
Delta Electronics (Americas) Ltd. RAD80 Delta BreezRadiance Series 80 CFM Fan with Heater
Delta Electronics features 80 CFM, so again, it is better for medium-sized or smaller bathrooms. However, it is the quietest exhaust fan with a heater of all. So, if silence and peace are a priority for you, you’d better purchase this model.
One of the disadvantages that I want to point out is that the heated air can only be directed in either of two ways. Some may find this inconvenience a minor issue, but I like to direct the heated air right at me when it’s cold.
Top 4 Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Heater – My Full Reviews
1) Broan-Nutone QT9093WH Heater, Fan, and Light Combo for Bathroom
The fact that this device was designed to primarily be an exhaust fan, possessing two sets of lighting as well as a heater, make it an overall impressive device. The QT9093WH comes with two separate lighting systems, a 100-watt incandescent light, and a 7-watt night light, which eliminates the need for a separate purchase of an additional illuminating device. I have a ceiling lamp in my bathroom that I rarely use when the exhaust fan is on.
There is also a 1500watt heater built-in for quick spot heating instead of turning to the home’s central heating system. I’ve checked that the heater converts electricity to heat without waste; this efficiency is very much appreciated. After using it for quite some time, my electricity bills were not much higher than before. It was a good indicator for me that this model doesn’t consume as much energy as I expected.
Once I decided to test the QT9093 to the fullest and left it running for an hour or so. Seeing that the thermal overload protection is in place, too, I felt safe leaving it unattended.
The outer surface of the fan is designed with a white enamel grille which helps it fit without much fuss into the ceiling. Its white outer layer provides the fan with good looks, so blending it into decorations was a breeze. I didn’t try it, but the enamel is also designed to be paintable. This means that a new color can be easily smeared on it, blending into whatever taste and fashion sense you desire.
What I like the most about this model is its speed. With a speed of 110CFM, this product offers a good amount of airflow rate, easily making it a good fit for large-sized bathrooms like mine. It moves air very efficiently too, making a noticeable impact on the bathroom’s atmosphere in a short period of time.
This comes however at a cost, as it generates a noise of about 4.0 sones while working, which is certainly not the quietest around. It didn’t bother me when showering but for some, it can be a deal-breaker. To give you an idea, it may sound similar to a jet engine in small bathrooms of about 45-50sqft.
Easy Installation and Easy Use
Installation is pretty straightforward and can be done by almost anyone, except you just want to spend that few extra bucks on professional hire. Accessories for installation are included with the package on purchase. I was guided by the instruction and it didn’t take much time to assemble the exhaust fan.
As a man who struggles a little with technology, I learned quite quickly how to use this model. For easy use, it makes use of a 4-function switch, allowing you to control each function independently, instead of depending on a source. This means I could run lights, fan, or heater independent of the order or simultaneously as I needed.
What I Like:
- Comes with 100-watt incandescent light option (bulb purchased separately) and 1500-watt heater.
- Paintable adaptive design makes it fit easily into existing decoration.
- Straightforward installation
- Impressive fan speed of 110CFM, making it suitable for up to 105sqft bathrooms
- Automatic reset thermal protection against overheating
- HVI certified
- Come with a 7-watt night light
- A four-wall function device for independent function control
What I Dislike
- The only drawback for me was the noise. And as I mentioned earlier, it is not a big deal for me. At 4.0 sones, it runs a little too loud.
- I am sure this sturdy device will serve me years but paying $300 of hard-earned money was a bit pricey.
- 3-in-1 exhaust fan
- 110 CFM
- 4.0 sone sound level
|Dimensions||13.25″D x 18.13″W x 17.5″H|
|Air Flow Capacity (CFM)||110|
My Rating – 5/5
All in all, it is a great product for my large-sized bathroom. It is fast and warms up the area quickly. I can leave the nightlight on throughout the night and not worry about leaving the heater on before going to shower. The only drawback I found was the noise level, which can be disturbing in smaller bathrooms.
2) Broan-NuTone 100HL Directionally-Adjustable Bath Fan with Heater
Heater and Lighting
This exhaust fan also comes with an option for a single light that would have to be purchased separately. It is simply incandescent lighting of 100watt, without the option for a night light, as seen in the QT9093WH. In my opinion, it is not a major flaw, but I would love to see it added in future upgrades.
The device’s overall quality is also boosted by the presence of a 1500watt heater, which generates just enough for spot heating using electricity. The outlet is a 360degrees adjustable outlet for a precise allowing direction of heating and more flexibility for users. This means you don’t have to preheat your room but direct the heated air into the area you want to warm up faster. And I find it very handy!
At 100CFM, the blades of this fan spin at a very fast rate, making it highly capable of producing impressive performances in spaces up to 90sqft. With this exhaust fan, I had no mist and moisture, which are established friends of the bathroom environment. Its noise level also stands at 2.0sones, which is half as noisy as the QT9093WH model.
The 100HL model is likely to be your suitable exhaust fan with a heater that is significantly less noisy and highly flexible.
Easy to Install and Use
For easy use, there is an optional 4-function switch available for purchase, which, when installed, allows users to control the four functions of the device independently. It doesn’t come with the product package but is rather purchased separately. Installing this device isn’t much of a problem either, and from experience, it is pretty straightforward.
The design of this product is good, especially since it is directionally adjustable to fit whatever you might have in mind. Its looks are also very good for decorative purposes, and it shouldn’t be having any problems blending into your home, although the manufacturers didn’t tag it as paintable like the QT9093WH model.
I only had one general complaint about this product, which is how long the heating element lasts. Most of the purchased products so far have heating elements that last only for a few months before packing up. Therefore, be ready to make frequent replacements should you purchase the unit, or maybe luck might just shine on you, and you get a much more durable version that would last longer.
What I Like:
- Lighting and 1500watt heater function with 360-degree adjustable outlet
- Easy to install
- Multifunction wall switch for easy use (purchased separately)
- High fan speed of 100CFM gives high performance in bathrooms of up to 90sqft,
What I Dislike
- Poor heating element quality means it is not going to last long
- It is quite noisy at 2.0sones.
- 3-in-1 exhaust fan
- Air flow capacity of 100 CFM
- 2.0 sones
- 360-degree adjustable outlet
|Dimensions||10.25″D x 16″W x 5.87″H|
|Air Flow Capacity (CFM)||100|
My Rating – 4/5
The 100HL exhaust fan with a heater is a great purchase, but again, here we have some disadvantages. I do like the flexibility of the design, but a 3-switch unit is quite bulky. It is easy to assemble and install, so there shouldn’t be any issues.
The model is slightly less powerful than my top pick, and the heating element left me a bit concerned.
3) Broan-NuTone 655 Bath Fan and Light with Heater
After testing it a few times, I realized it wasn’t working efficiently for my bathroom. It removes the mist and moisture with no problem, but there wasn’t strong enough heating.
Taking the power of the model aside, the Broan-NuTone 655 is still able to put in decent performance when it comes to keeping the bathroom environment intact. With the speed of 70CFM, the fan rolls pretty well, and when used in the recommended 65sqft space, it does a very good job in removing moisture and consequentially preventing mold and mildew accumulation.
Good Design and Easy to Use
The surface of this unit is designed with epoxy material, which gives a solid presence for fitting into home decorations. The epoxy is also covered in electrically bonded white paint, which is both elegant and pleasing to the eyes, settling into existing colors effortlessly.
An option exists for users to purchase either a two or three-function switch for a better experience. The difference is quite basic, and either switch has two or three functions.
Light and Heater Inclusive
Additional qualities included in this unit are a lighting system and also a 1300watt heater. The fitting supports a 100watt bulb which is most certainly bright enough to lit up a bathroom, and though the 1300watt heater is lower than the 1500watt of the QT9093WH and 100HL, it is still a decent spot heating option rather than running the whole central heat system.
It took me a bit longer to warm up the room, but those with medium-sized bathrooms should be able to reach ideal temperatures in shorter times.
The biggest downside for me of many good exhaust fans is the noise. At 4.0sones, this unit is very noisy both in rating and sound produced during an actual performance. Except you couldn’t care less about sound, but rather focused on getting the job done, you are better off with something higher.
Another crucial problem I have found is the heater. The heater element gets burnt after a few months of use. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one with this issue. This report is very rampant among users, which shows a general flaw in using the cheap product during manufacture.
What I Like:
- Light and 1300watt heater combination makes it multipurpose
- Comes with options of two or three wall function controls
- Fair speed of 70CFM for bathrooms of up to 65sqft area
- Good looks with electrically bonded epoxy paint
What I Dislike
- Very noisy at 4.0sones
- More suited to medium-sized bathrooms
- Poor heater element means it gets often damaged
- 3-in-1 exhaust fan
- 4.0 sones
- 70 CFM
- 2 or 3-function switch available
|Dimensions||10.63″D x 16.75″W x 8″H|
|Air Flow Capacity (CFM)||70|
My Rating – 3.5/5
Overall, the Broan-NuTone 655 is great for small and medium-size bathrooms. It heats up well enough with 70 CFM, and its fan efficiently removes moisture and mist. The only issues that might stop you from purchasing are the noise level of 4.0 sones and the flawed heater element.
4) Delta Electronics (Americas) Ltd. RAD80 Delta BreezRadiance Series 80 CFM Fan with Heater
Heater and Light Inclusive
Just like all the other products I have reviewed in this article, the RAD80 possesses both light and heater features, coupled with primarily being an exhaust fan. This 3-in-1 device is also cheap to purchase, making it an enticing option for low-budget customers.
However, its speed and performance are also weighed lower than more expensive models. The heater is rated 1300watts, which produces a good amount of heat, while the light is produced by an included CFL light bulb.
It offered a better airflow capacity than the 655 model but was still insufficient for a large bathroom like mine. Having said that, I am sure if you have a smaller area, it will work just fine.
The most impressive quality of this unit, asides from its basic air exhaust, is how many safety measures are in place to keep users completely secured. This first is an auto-shutoff of the exhaust fan impeller as soon as it hits an obstruction.
This prevents the motor from staying energized without movement, which could cause overheating and eventual damage. Also built into the unit is a thermostat for temperature regulation, which prevents the heater from overheating and incurring damage, or worse, starting a fire.
So far, the Delta Electronics exhaust fan was the safest one of all, which is always the most important feature, in my opinion. I was really impressed with the safety measures in this unit.
Good Speed and Very Quiet Operation
The speed rating of the fan stands at 80CFM, which is very good, and with a noise level of just 1.5sones, it is pretty quiet too. The combination of these two features makes it suitable for medium-sized bathrooms while placing the market value at a more than fair price.
You may often see it advertised as super silent; however, I would say the heater is a bit louder than a fan, which is still pretty good.
Powered by DC brushless motors, you can expect a very long lifespan for this product due to the motor’s high reliability. Delta Electronics did a great job here. Its mounting fittings are also made of galvanized steel, which can resist corrosion since it would be frequently exposed to moisture.
In all, it is a very solid unit, and I would highly recommend it. The only disadvantage here is customer service. When I was dealing with one defect, customer service wasn’t much of a help. I also found it quite complicated to install. So, if you are like me, you will have to spend some money on hiring a professional.
What I Like:
- 1.5 sones means it’s very quiet while operating
- Galvanized steel construction means corrosion is not getting anywhere near anytime soon
- Auto shutoff fan impeller on obstruction for safe running only
- Built-in thermostat for temperature regulation and avoiding overheating
- Modest airflow rate of 80CFM makes it suitable for medium-sized bathrooms
- Cheap to purchase
What I Dislike
- Poor customer service and warranty claim system
- Poor handbook makes installation and wiring difficult
- 1.5 sones
- 80 CFM
- Greate safety measures
|Dimensions||16.81 x 10.63 x 7.01 inches|
|Air Flow Capacity (CFM)||80|
My Rating – 3.5/5
I think other testers with smaller bathrooms would give this device 4 out of 5. As for me, I had trouble warming up the area due to its size. Installation was also tiresome, and I wasn’t able to do it by myself. The other thing is customer service wasn’t as helpful as I would like them to be.
Putting these minuses aside, the exhaust fan with a heater is the quietest on the list and is suitable for medium-sized bathrooms. Its build is sturdy and will serve you for years to come.
5 Crucial Features to Consider in Choosing the Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan with a Heater
To select top exhaust fans with heaters, I have followed certain criteria, specifically:
- Speed and noise generated
- Room capacity
- Overheat protection
It helped to prioritize those brands and models that tick every point or at least most of them. Let me explain why these features matter:
- Speed and Noise Generated
The speed and noise generated are very paramount qualities to be considered when choosing an exhaust fan. The faster a fan’s rating in CFM, the more air it would be able to extract per minute, and the lesser its noise level in sones, the more silently it would operate.
The two extra functions considered for products in this review were the lighting and heater. They are two very useful qualities that would come in handy in a bathroom, and purchasing a device that gives light along with spot heating without neglecting the basic exhaust function would be a perfect match.
- Room Capacity
This is all about knowing a bathroom’s size and purchasing something sufficient. Installing a smaller rated product would largely lead to ineffectiveness, and although a fan with a larger rating would work really well, it would be a waste of that extra few bucks that would have gone to savings.
- Overheat Protection
With a heater inclusive, it is important to have some sort of protective system in place to prevent excessive heat that could cause damage or start a fire. Although this may happen, it is still better to go for a product that is more secure than not.
Exhaust fans do not come cheap, with even the lowest costing well over $50; therefore, it is only logical that one makes a protected investment, which is a product with a warranty. It is also necessary for the product’s manufacturer or dealer to have a history of good warranty claims by customers, as some dealers frustrate warranty claims till customers lose hope.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it bad to oversize a bathroom exhaust fan?
In essence, oversizing a bathroom exhaust fan is a good thing. Although it would do a very good job, even faster than anticipated, it would mean you are spending extra cash that should have been used for something else.
Doing this would be uneconomical, especially since getting the precise fit for your room would cost less both to purchase and run. However, it is not bad to oversize.
Can you use a flexible duct for the bathroom fan?
Flexible ducts are well used in many structures today, especially since they are cheaper than all rigid duct materials.
However, using one is pretty tricky, and without a proper installation, it could prove to be a totally bad idea. Here are a few tips I would like to share with you:
- Avoid kinks
Kinks are the greatest enemy of flexible ducts, and avoiding it in every way possible is one of the things to do. Knicks are basically irregular bends or tight curves, and they do poorly in allowing proper airflow through the duct.
- Seal ducts with mastic
Mastic helps protect the duct from an external environment, limiting the loss of moisture-filled air to be vented. Without mastic protection, the flexible vent would in no time start to allow moisture to permeate, causing moisture to build up in the process.
- Measure and cut duct to precise size
Although it might look contrary to the name, flexible ducts are not a fan of twists and turns. These sharp bends and twists are difficult for moist air to flow through and can also easily cause clogging, which would, in turn, damage the fan over time. As a result, cut the size precisely needed to avoid sagging that could cause unnecessary bends over time.
- Support the ducts
Depending on the length of the flexible duct, try to support it by laying on a platform or tying it with ropes. Ensure it doesn’t sag or the rope compress the inner core as that would cause constricted airflow.
How loud should your exhaust fan be?
We recommend you shouldn’t purchase any fan with a noise level higher than 4 sones. 4 sones are just about equivalent to the size of a television set, and I think it should be as noisy as it gets.
For extra sensitive ears, you would consider getting something with a sone level below 1, which is the near-complete silence category.
From 4 sones and below, it becomes merely a matter of tolerance; we recommend you purchase something that should be able to work unnoticeably in the background without irritating your ears.
Overall Pick from the Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Heater Reviews
After my comprehensive bathroom exhaust fan with heaters review, I recommend you going for the Broan-Nutone QT9093WH product as the best multipurpose exhaust fan for your bathroom.
This product fits the bill in every way, possessing both the speed for effective performance in large-sized bathrooms and also a decent noise level to match that. The two separate lighting system solves poor illumination, while a heater of 1500watts is sure to provide just enough to do well for spot heating.
Another good buy for users looking to get one of these is the Broan-NuTone 100HL. This product is just closely outclassed by the QT9093WH’s better speed. It, however, possesses something close to 100CFM, with little noise generated. Its variable direction prowess especially makes it a very flexible product for users.