Unlike traditional ceiling fans, which have exposed spinning blades and help keep spaces cool, the majority of bathroom ceiling fans have all of their working parts internalised and function as exhaust fans. This means that, in addition to circulating the air, the fans provide ventilation. The best bathroom ceiling fans are energy efficient -- per the standards of the Home Ventilating Institute and Energy Star -- and have high CFM, or cubic feet per minute, ratings. These ratings measure how quickly and in what quantities bathroom fans can replace air.
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Panasonic FV-11VQ3 WhisperCeiling
The Panasonic FV-11VQ3 WhisperCeiling ceiling-mounted fan is capable of covering 110 CFM. Taking into account HVI's recommendation that bathroom fans should complete at least eight complete air changes per hour, the 110 CFM WhisperCeiling can adequately ventilate bathroom spaces of 825 cubic feet. The Energy Star- and HVI-certified WhisperCeiling uses a 120-volt motor with thermal cut-off fuses for preventing overheating. The bathroom fan's housing consists of galvanised steel and is coated with waterproof paint. Other features of the WhisperCeiling include a built-in damper, which is a movable plate that helps prevent back draft, or air flowing in reverse through the fan, and permanently lubed motor components that operate at low temperatures, which help improve the lifespan of the fan.
Unlike the WhisperCeiling, the Fantech PBW110 is an exterior-mounting bathroom fan, which means you attach it to the outside of the ceiling, as opposed to recessing or building it directly in to the ceiling. Although older models of the Fantech PBW110 are capable of covering 110 CFM, newer models can cover 120 CFM, which means that the fan can adequately ventilate a bathroom of 900 cubic feet in size. The Energy Star- and HVI-approved fan has a galvanised steel housing with a finish coat consisting of baked powder. At the core of the Fantech PBW110 is a 120-volt motor, which includes thermal overload protection for preventing overheating and sealed -- as opposed to exposed -- ball bearings for preventing mechanical breakdowns. At an added cost, you can purchase the fan with a built-in light.
The Broan-NuTone 744FLNT is an HVI- and Energy Star-certified bathroom ceiling fan that is capable of covering 70 CFM. This means that the fan can adequately ventilate bathrooms that are 525 cubic feet and smaller. The Broan-NuTone 744FLNT features a 120-volt, permanently lubricated motor that spins a centrifugal fan. As a recessed bathroom fan, the Broan-NuTone's galvanised steel housing is completely hidden and its vent is flush with the ceiling. The fan comes standard with a 14-watt light fixture -- and bulb.
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