Dealing with smoke and unpleasant smell from kitchens and bathrooms can be challenging, especially if they linger all night or for days.
One of the convenient ways to keep these rooms fresh and improve air quality is by using a through the wall exhaust fan.
The best through the wall exhaust fan can pull smoke and smell of the room and vent directly outside. Most of these units have high CFM and can remove a lot of bad odor from your space within a few minutes.
In this article, we’ve reviewed some of the best wall mounted ventilation fans you can use either in your kitchen or bathroom.
What is a Through the Wall Exhaust Fan?
Through-the-wall exhaust fans are special ventilation devices that are installed by drilling through the wall of a building. They come with special piping and hood on the exterior side.
The motor component of through-the-wall exhaust fans is usually positioned on the inside of a building. As you would expect, this type of exhaust fan’s tubing or ducting component leads to the external vent.
Typically, through-the-wall exhaust fans can be used in different places, including kitchens, garages, bathrooms, etc. Just like any other type of exhaust fan, through-the-wall exhaust fans work by sucking out all the foul odors from your house.
Foul-smelling odors naturally accumulate in bathrooms, kitchens, and garages. Also, exhaust fans help improve indoor air quality by maintaining the temperature and humidity within ideal ranges. A through-the-wall exhaust fan ensures that the air inside your house smells nice by removing the bad smells.
Through-the-wall exhaust fans are ideal in places where it is impossible to install other types of exhaust fans. Ceiling exhaust fans, which expel hot, humid, and foul-smelling air through the roof, are perfect for houses or rooms with enough space on the roof.
Similarly, inline exhaust fans are ideal if you do not have enough space on your roof to install a typical roof exhaust fan. Inline exhaust fans are installed in-between the ducting lengths in the cavity of your ceiling.
If you do not have enough space to accommodate conventional ceiling exhaust fans or inline exhaust fans, through-the-wall exhaust fans may be the right answer.
Can a Bathroom Exhaust Fan be Mounted on the Wall?
Bathroom exhaust fans can be mounted either on the wall or the ceiling. Ceiling-mounted bathroom fans are more common than wall-mounted ones. This is because it is easier to install a bathroom fan on the ceiling than the wall.
The installation style suitable for every exhaust fan is often clearly marked. The choice of which installation type you would like for your bathroom depends on your preference and your house’s nature.
Your bathroom fan must come with an integrated duct adapter for you to mount it on the wall successfully. If you use ceiling installation, the adapters connect to the ductwork that is found in your home. The adapters’ diameter must match that of your house’s ductwork for the installation to be completed.
Wall-installed exhaust fans direct the humid and contaminated air from your bathroom to the outside. The process involves cutting through the wall to make an opening for the body of the fan.
It would help if you also connected the ductwork to ensure that the fan effectively channels the bad air outside of your house.
Benefits of Exhaust Fans
It is always a good idea to have exhaust fans in certain areas in your home, including the kitchen and the bathroom. Here are the significant benefits of installing an exhaust fan in any of these areas in your home.
- Removing odors. Foul odors are often found in the bathrooms and kitchens. The foul smells may arise from normal cooking processes in the kitchen. Stale air that is full of contaminants from dirty water and used soap causes bad smells in bathrooms. An exhaust fan helps to eliminate such bad odors by sucking the stale air from your bathroom. The exhaust fan then directs the foul-smelling air outside.
- Eliminating the foggy mirror syndrome. If you use hot water in your bathroom in the morning, you will end up with very foggy mirrors. This is because the steam from the hot water condenses on the mirrors. However, having an exhaust fan solves this problem because it sucks out excess moisture from the hot water.
- Improving the quality of indoor air. The air inside your bathroom may be full of different types of contaminants, including dust mites, spores from molds, and other chemical compounds. The chemical compounds that usually contaminate the air in bathrooms come from the strong chemicals used to clean different room sections. Breathing air that is full of such contaminants may cause additional health problems. This is common for people who have lung infections, asthma, or related complications. An exhaust fan removes air that has contaminants so that fresh air can flow into the bathroom.
- Keeping humidity levels low. The amount of moisture in the air is important because of several reasons. High humidity levels usually encourage the growth of molds. This is very common in bathrooms that have poor ventilation processes. Excessive mold growth in bathrooms causes wooden structures to rot over time.
- Additionally, it feels very comfortable to use a highly humid bathroom. Having an exhaust fan in place can prevent these and many other problems from occurring. The exhaust fan will suck out all the highly moist air and allow fresh air to flow into the bathroom.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Through the Wall Exhaust Fan
It would be best if you got the right device to enjoy all the benefits of having a through-the-wall exhaust fan in your bathroom. The following are a few things that you should consider when shopping for one.
The noise level of exhaust fans is expressed in units called sones. One sone is equivalent to the noise that is produced by a refrigerator in the kitchen.
Ideally, go for fans that have sones ratings of under 2. Fans that have high sones ratings of between 3 and 5 are slightly loud.
The noise that they produce is loud enough to distract you when you are in the bathroom. Avoid exhaust fans that have sones rating of over 5. Such fans are exceptionally noisy and irritating.
The fan’s size refers to the fan’s capacity to effectively move air out of your bathroom. Exhaust fan sizes are usually expressed in units called cubic feet per minute, CFM. An exhaust fan rated 52CFM can move 52 cubic meters of air out of your bathroom every minute.
Choose an exhaust fan that can effectively move air out of your bathroom. If you have a small bathroom, small fans with low CFM levels are ideal. Large fans with high CFM scores are designed for large bathrooms.
Remember to factor in the toilet when determining your bathroom’s size and the right kind of exhaust fan to use. You may revise the CFM rating upwards by 50 to ensure that you get the ideal fan for your entire bathroom.
Although exhaust fans’ average efficiency rating has been steadily improving over the years, it would be best to go for the currently most efficient brand.
Highly efficient brands of exhaust fans consume low wattage when operating. Thus, installing such exhaust fans in your bathroom will give you the additional benefit of paying less for power than when you have less efficient devices.
Exhaust fans come with different features, including built-in heaters, integrated lighting, and humidity sensors. Fans that have humidity sensors automatically start operating when the humidity levels exceed the set percentage. This happens immediately when a person uses the shower.
Fans with many additional features will offer you higher comfort levels than those with no other extra features. Consider shopping for fans with the features you need. This is because not all the features integrated into exhaust fans may be useful for your bathroom.
How to Install an Exhaust Fan in the Wall?
Installing a through-the-wall exhaust fan is a simple process if you have the right tools and understand the procedure well. The following is a simple step-by-step guide on how you can do this task.
What you need
You need the following items to complete this task: utility knife, reciprocating saw, stud finder, drill, pliers, and wire cutter.
- Trace the outline of the circular housing of your exhaust using a pencil. Cut all the plaster marked in the outline using your utility knife.
- When you reach the wall’s insulation, use the reciprocating saw to remove it so that it does not block your device.
- Use the utility knife to remove the siding on the outside. Do this after you have traced the square outline of your exhaust fan’s housing on the outside wall.
- Use the reciprocating saw to remove sheathing from the circular outline of the exhaust fan. Ensure that you have drawn the circular outline of the exhaust fan within the square outline.
- Using the screws that come with the kit and your driver, your exhaust fan’s square housing is put in place. This step of the process is straightforward.
- It is now time to connect your exhaust fan to a power source. You need to locate an electric source with constant power. Splice the ends of the sheathed wires using your pliers and then connect them to the electric source.
- Once you put the fan’s circular housing in place, pull the wire so that you can connect to the electrical box. You can then insert the fan into the housing and ensure that it is correctly plugged into the electrical box.
- After screwing the fan cover in place, test your device to ensure that it is working correctly.
Top 6 Best Through The Wall Exhaust Fan Reviews
1. iLiving – 16″ Wall Mounted Exhaust Fan
- CUT COOLING COSTS: Reduce expensive cooling bills at home. Ready to install, our wall-mounted automatic shutter vent fan is designed to help to keep your living space cooler and more comfortable year-round.
- MULTIPURPOSE: Perfect cooling and ventilation solution for any space at your home - including the attic, garage, shed, and more. Corrosion-resistant, the fully enclosed motor is thermally protected and permanently lubricated for easy maintenance.
- VARIABLE SPEED: Customize your comfort. iLiving Exhaust Fan has adjustable speed functionality when combined with the iLIVING ILG8SFSC speed controller (sold separately).
- WEATHER RESISTANT SHUTTERS: Constructed from durable, high-grade aluminum, these shutters can withstand moisture and heatlonger than other competitors’ products adding to the fan’s longevity.
- POWERFUL AND EFFICIENT: Small but mighty, you’ll enjoy the power and efficiency of iLiving’s Shutter Exhaust Fan. The 16-inch runs on standard 120 volts at 1/20 HP, 0.83 amps with 1580 rotations per minute, cooling and ventilating an area of 1200 cubic feet per minute!
The iLiving-16″ Wall Mounted Exhaust Fan has several features that make it ideal for greenhouses, attics, and even small workshops. Its high airflow capacity of 1200CFM means that it can effectively ventilate areas that measure up to 1200 square feet.
Moreover, it has been specially designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions. The inclusion of aluminum shutters provides maximum protection to the fan’s internal components, thus saving you money that you would have ended up using to repair it.
Its motor and other delicate parts have been adequately encased in a tough metallic housing and rust-resistant wire guards. Therefore, you can enjoy the services of this fan for a long without thinking about replacing it.
Although this multipurpose fan has excellent technical features that maximize its performance, it is not without drawbacks. One would expect that the fan comes with the speed controller. However, this is not the case; you have to buy the iLiving speed controller separately.
- The speed of the fan can be easily adjusted for optimal performance according to requirements
- 1200CFM means that the fan can effectively ventilate large areas such as attics and rooms
- The aluminum shutters enhance the durability and functionality of the fan
- A little noisy
- Doesn’t come with any of the electrical wiring components or mounting hardware
2. Broan-Nutone 512M Through-the-Wall Ventilation Fan
- VERSATILE FAN: Ventilation fan helps eliminate humidity, tobacco smoke, and cooking odors to keep your house smelling fresh
- EFFICIENT: Operates on 70 CFM and has a 6.0 Sone rating for efficient and effective operation every use
- EASY INSTALLATION: Motor is easy to assemble with "twist-lock" mechanism and features an adjustable housings to fit walls from 4.5" to 9.5" thick and 5.25" - 10" thick for your convenience
- DECORATIVE: Paintable polymeric grilles allow you to ensure the fan is cohesive with your existing decor
- FEATURES: Built-in damper minimizes backdrafts for energy efficiency and specially designed polymeric fan blade for optimal performance
The Broan-Nutone 512M is designed to eliminate humidity, tobacco smoke, and cooking odors from small rooms. It has several features that make it the perfect balance between design and functionality.
One of the key challenges of installing through the wall fans is choosing a fan that suits your wall’s width. Broan has solved this problem by creating an adjustable housing for this fan.
Whether the wall of your house measures 4.5 inches to 9.5 inches or 5.25 to 10 inches thick, this fan can fit in perfectly because its body can easily adjust during installation.
If you would like to carry out a spin-on installation on your exterior wall, there is no need to worry about how the fan will look against your external wall’s color.
This fan has polymeric grilles that can be easily painted to match your décor style. The grilles are made of a special polymer for maximum strength and easy painting.
- The Twist-Lock mechanism makes the installation process easy and quick
- It can fit three categories of wall thickness because of the adjustable housing feature
- The grilles of the fan can be easily painted to fit the décor of your building
- Unsuitable for use in large areas
3. iPower 12 Inch Shutter Exhaust Fan
- APPLICATIONS: This 12 inch shutter/exhaust fan with automatic Shutters can help replace your ac unit by cooling your garage, attic, greenhouse shop or chicken coop.
- INSTALLATION: Can easily be added to a window opening or opening in the wall along with a thermostat to optimize cooling.
- COOLIN AND GVENTILATION: This industrial grade shutter fan can solve all of your cooling and ventilation needs. Wattage (watts):65
- RUST PROOF ALUMINUM SHUTTERS: This shutter fan is made with corrosion resistant aluminium shutters and blades. This provides longevity to the fan and will prevent any rust from forming.
- 120 Volts, 60W, 0. 52A, 1620RPM, 940CFM
This is a small industrial-grade through the wall fan that can provide cooling in different places such as attic rooms and even small kitchen houses. Its design, installation procedures, and housing make it a very versatile through the wall fan for a wide variety of uses.
The aluminum shutters and blades of the fan are made of rust-proof aluminum. Besides, they are resistant to all weather conditions, including humidity and dust. Therefore, you will enjoy this fan’s services for years before thinking about repairing or replacing it.
The combination of aluminum shutters and a thermostat works perfectly to make this shutter a reliable companion for cooling small commercial residences like restaurants and even greenhouses.
Also, installing a fan is not a big deal. It comes with all the components that you may need to get fixed on your wall or even your building’s windows.
The major drawback of using this fan is that it is noisy when operating at maximum speed. However, this may not be a big issue if you do not intend to use the fan in your house.
- Highly durable because of the use of aluminum shutters to protect the components of the fan
- Suitable for providing ventilation in large spaces that measure up to 1600CFM
- High noise level when operating at maximum speed
4. Panasonic FV-08WQ1 WhisperWall 70 CFM Wall Mounted Fan
- Designed specifically for through-the-wall mounting to provide ventilation in rooms where a ceiling mounted fan is not possible
- Blower wheel is designed to draw air in both sides allowing more area for air to enter the wheel
- Continuous, trouble-free operation for many years due to high-quality components and permanently lubricated motors
- This Panasonic wall mounted ventilating fan uses a propeller fan driven by a capacitor motor. The motor is designed for extended service life with reduced energy consumption. It also incorporates a thermal-cutoff device for safety. The grille is easily detachable from the main unit .An exterior hood with a back-draft damper is included
- Rated 70 cubic feet per minute. Master Carton Dimensions (HxWxD) : 11.06 x 23.25 x 11.06 inches
- Duct diameter shall be 8-Inch
One of the most notable features of the Panasonic FV-08WQ1 is its durability. The fan has several features that make it last long enough to reduce your expenses on replacing or repairing it.
Its heavy-gauge zinc galvanized steel body has been painted to keep off the rust and survive within walls for years. The condenser motor has been carefully condensed to protect it against possible damage when the fun is deeply buried in the wall.
You will find this fan quite convenient and ideal for ventilating the air in places where it is impossible to use a ceiling fan. With a sones value of 1.1, the fan does not cause any sonic distraction in the room.
The Panasonic FV-08WQ1 has one main weakness: its low airflow capacity limits its usage in large rooms. You will not find this fan effective enough to be used in any room that measures over 70 square feet.
- It operates very silently because of the low sones rating of 1.1
- The 8-inch duct and mounting hardware make the installation process easy
- Highly durable because of its high-quality components
- It is unsuitable for use in large spaces because of the average CFM value of 70
5. Suncourt Thru Wall Fan Hardwired Variable Speed
- EQUALIZE TEMPERATURE - Used in conjunction with PTAC units, mini-splits, fireplaces, wood stoves, window air conditioning units and other HVAC systems
- QUIET OPERATION - The sound levels are 55dBA on high speed and 49dBA at low speed, this compares to the sound of a desktop computer fan
- VARIABLE SPEED - The ThruWall Pro has a variable speed dial that lets you control how powerful to make the airflow
- COMFORT - Balance temperature between rooms, with the rotatable grille you can direct airflow to your preference
- HARDWIRED - Requires direct installation into the homes electricity. The telescoping housing allows wall widths from: 4"-6.5" thick
Although the Suncourt Thru Wall Fan has all the basic features that you would expect to find in a standard through the wall fan, it has additional features that make it stand out from the pack.
One of them is the ability to change the direction of the flow of air of the fan. Imagine yourself using this fan in your small workshop with other standard HVAC systems.
It will be necessary to ensure that the temperature is balanced across your workshop space. This fan makes it easy to do so, thanks to the functionality that allows one to change the fan’s direction and flow of air.
Besides, you can control the speed according to the requirements of your surroundings. If your ventilation requirements are heavy, then you can switch the fan speed to its maximum and experience the power of its brushless DC motor and 70CFM.
When running at its maximum speed, the fan produces low noise that is as loud as that made by a standard desktop computer fan. This noise level, which ranges from 4.9 to 5.5 sones, cannot disrupt you at home.
- Enhanced user experience because of the functionality to change speed and direction of airflow
- Highly durable because of a well-designed metallic body and the use of polymeric grilles
- It cannot be used in large spaces that measure over 70 square feet
6. Tjernlund AS1 AireShare Room-To-Room Fan Ventilator
The Tjernlund AS1 is a sophisticated fan that you can use together with ductless heating and cooling system in your home to ensure even distribution of cool or warm air across all rooms.
The intake grille is quite effective in collecting warm air that accumulates around the roof in spaces. The supply diffuser is equally effective in distributing the cool or warm air around the room to create the right air condition in your home.
Amazingly, the fan is barely audible when operating. This particular model does not allow you to change the speed. However, its sones value is about 1.5, which means that its noise is as loud as an ordinary whisper.
The TiernludAS1 has a few drawbacks. The switch and the thermostat accessories are sold separately. However, it is easy to get a fairly good thermostat from the market and have it installed so that you can enjoy the full functionality of this fan.
- Designed to distribute warm and cool air across different rooms in a home
- Well-lubricated parts minimize the noise
- The speed of the fan cannot be altered according to your requirements
- The wall switch and thermostat are sold separately
Wall-mounted exhaust fans are great alternatives to range hoods and bathroom ceiling fans especially if you don’t want to vent through the ductwork. They also have high CFM and can remove a lot of bad odor from your room
With this list of the best through the wall exhaust fans, we hope you were able to find one that meets your needs.
If you have used any through the wall exhaust fans before and feel that it should be on the list, let’s know in the comment below and we’ll have a look at it.