Types of Bathroom Extractor Fans

The different types of bathroom extractor fans to help you choose the best one.

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Ventilation is an essential part of our everyday lives. We need to breathe fresh air every moment, and our homes must have the privilege of fresh and safe air that is free from contaminants. Therefore, not having an efficient ventilation system is out of the question. However, having the most efficient extractor fans requires a careful analysis of your home and its ventilation requirements.

Extractor fans are an essential part of any bathroom, as they help to remove excess moisture and improve air quality. However, with so many types of extractor fans available, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your needs.

In this article, we will explore the different types of bathroom extractor fans, their features, and their benefits. Whether you are looking for a basic model or a more advanced option, we’ve got you covered. So let’s dive in and find the perfect extractor fan for your bathroom.

What are the different types of bathroom extractor fans?

For the sake of consumers’ convenience, fans are divided into three major types of bathroom extractor fans depending on their airflow mechanisms;

  • Axial fans
  • Centrifugal fans
  • Mixed Flow fans

Axial Bathroom Extractor Fans

Axial fans are called so because they extract the air and flow in an axis parallel to its shaft rotating the blades. The pressure difference allows a flow of air through the fan. Most of the commonly used domestic wall fans are constructed on an axial impeller.

Axial fans work best for toilets, bathrooms, and small rooms where it is sufficient to install the fan on the wall or in a window. Axial fans are great on performance and volume levels, regardless of their small profile. The best thing is that they are inconspicuous, discreet, and silent.

Domestic axial fan impellers come in four-inch and six-inch sizes for different-sized rooms. However, axial fans made for commercial setups are usually eight to twelve-inch in impeller size. Axial fans are designed for mains (240v) or low voltage (12v).

You may choose from the various switching options such as timer, pull cord, occupancy sensor, or humidistat, depending on your requirements.

Related: Best Bathroom Extractor Fan with Pull Cord

The extracting capacity of axial fans depends on the quality of the fan materials and construction procedures.

For example, if you have invested in a cheap axial fan, you will just get 70m3 / hour or less extraction rate. On the other hand, a premium quality axial fan ensures about 90 – 95 m3 / hour extraction.

An example of an Axial Fan is the Airflow iCON 15.

Airflow iCON 15 Axial Fan

Centrifugal Bathroom Extractor Fans

As the name implies, centrifugal fans make use of centrifugal force to expel the air. They extract air at a right angle in correspondence with the fan’s intake, which creates deflection. In this way, they spin the air outwards. The impeller’s rotation causes the air to circulate perpendicularly, which then moves toward the opening of the fan casing.

The centrifugal force creates a greater amount of pressure so that the air is easily expelled along the longer ducts. Some heavy-duty centrifugal fans even allow a duct run up to 50 metres. A wall-mounted centrifugal fan resembles a conventional axial fan. And as the impeller is concealed behind the front grill and casing, it is trickier to identify a centrifugal fan.

However, there is a lot of difference between axial and centrifugal fans regarding their price.
Centrifugal fans are a lot more expensive than axial ones. They are also larger, but newer sleek models are now available in the market with the innovation in fan-making technologies.
Centrifugal fans are suitable for rooms that do not share a wall directly with the exterior of the building.

The room lacks a window in such a case, and there is no means of natural ventilation. Such rooms are far apart from the exterior and require a long duct to connect them to the outdoor environment.

An example of a Centrifugal Fan is the Manrose CF100T.

Manrose CF100T Centrifugal Fan

Mixed Flow Bathroom Extractor Fans

Mixed flow fans are an innovation that combines selected features from both axial and centrifugal fans. The high volume flow aspect of the axial fans is combined with the pressure delivery system of the centrifugal fans to deliver a strong performance.

The mixed flow fans are gaining popularity for use in bathrooms and kitchens. It is because they can produce high airflow as required for kitchens. They work well with small and medium-sized duct runs, so they have great utility for small utility rooms and toilets.

Related: Utility Room Extractor Fans

An example of a Mixed Flow Fan is the Manrose MF100T.

Manrose MF100T Mixed Flow Fan

What type of bathroom extractor fan should be installed and where?

You will find a variety of fans that seem perfect and are in compliance with Building Regulation laws.

According to these regulations, each wet room in your house must have a minimum flow rate. Here the term ‘wet rooms’ includes; kitchens, toilets, bathrooms, and utility rooms.

In simple words, wet rooms are the places in your house where you use an ample amount of water.

But things are not getting simple when it comes to installing the right fan for its job! That’s why we are here to help. This is a comprehensive guide to help you choose the most appropriate fan for each wet room to keep away humidity and its resultant contamination.

Why is it crucial to maintain minimum airflow rates in each wet room?

Before we dig deeper into the topic, it is essential to understand each wet room’s suggested minimum airflow rate.

Insufficient airflow will eventually give rise to unwanted moisture accumulation or condensation.

A moist environment is a great host for mould if left unnoticed. It becomes clear that if the installed fan can maintain the desired airflow rate, the excessive moisture will not accumulate. It ensures that all the wet rooms in your house will remain mould-free.

How to Choose the Best Type of Extractor Fan for Your Needs?

There is no hard and fast rule regarding where to place an extractor fan. There are a number of factors that you need to consider before buying and installing extractor fans in your house. 

If the bathroom, toilet, or any other room shares a wall with the house’s exterior, installing a fan directly in the wall or window is possible. In this case, axial fans with axial impellers are the most convenient. 

On the other hand, kitchens and other large utility rooms will require powerful centrifugal fans. And essentially, if the kitchen or utility room has no exterior wall, it will require long ducts to reach the exterior portion of the building. 

However, some people will prefer using mixed-flow fans to enjoy the merits of both axial and centrifugal fans. These fans are versatile and efficient and fit the needs of every homeowner.

Different Types of Extractor Fans