Garage Exhaust Fans can be very noisy, this is because they need to be powerful so that they can quickly suck poisonous exhaust fumes out of your garage.
If you have someone living above or next to your garage then it is important to keep garage noise to a minimum, so if you're looking for a quiet garage exhaust fan then we recommend one of these:
*Sones are a measure of perceived volume. As a rough guide, 2 sones is equivalent to what a fridge freezer may make.
**CFM is a measure of the Cubic Feet per Minute of air that a fan is able to move, read about how to calculate your CFM requirement here.
If you have a single car garage, even a very big one, then the Panasonic WhisperLine is without a doubt the best quiet garage exhaust fan you could get.
It can move 240 cubic feet of air per minute (much more than most single-car garages will hold) while making only 1.3 sones of sound (that's significantly quieter than a fridge).
It is available at three different CFM ranges:
One of the main reasons this exhaust fan manages to perform so well and move so much air so quietly is thanks to Panasonic's technology which makes it possible to move a lot of air using less energy.
As well as making your fan quieter this also means that it costs less to run and the motor lasts much longer than comparable models.
The Delta Breez Pro 300 exhaust fan is ideal for the biggest of single-car garages with 300 CFM (a typical single car garage doesn't need more than 224 CFM).
It operates at 2 sones, meaning it is about as noisy as your fridge freezer, which given the amount of power this fan can put out, is very quiet.
This fan is super energy efficient too, using one watt for each CFM used, this means that at full power it will draw about 41 watts. This is thanks to it's brushless DC motor which is designed to be low wearing so it can last with continuous use for up to 70,000 hours.
This fan is a great choice for anyone looking to reduce the amount of time it takes to do a full air exchange in your single car garage without having to buy an excessively noisy fan.
Due to the design of this fan, it is best suited to ceiling installation so ensure that your garage is suitable for a ceiling exhaust fan rather than a wall-mounted one before purchase.
This exhaust fan is sold as a bathroom exhaust fan but it will work absolutely fine in your garage providing you get a professional to install it.
The industrial looks of this exhaust fan hide a powerful performer which is surprisingly quiet.
Capable of operating at up to 630 CFM it is more than adequate for even a very big double garage.
We don't have the exact sone number for this product however users say that thanks to its quiet ball bearing engineering.
It has 3 variable speeds that it can operate at; low, medium and high. So if you find the high setting is too noisy then you can always turn it down to quieten it. In most cases, it would only need to be turned on high for a few minutes when car fumes are present in the garage.
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There are a few different features to garage exhaust fans that it is important to be aware of when looking for a quiet one, let's break them down:
The noise that exhaust fans make is measured in what is known as phons. 40 phons = 1 sone.
As a rough guide, it is usual for exhaust fans to range from 1-5 sones in volume. For reference, a typical fridge will make about 2 sones.
If you're looking for a quiet garage exhaust fan you clearly want something towards the lower end of the sone scale. Not all models will tell you their sone number so this isn't always easy.
The common problem with garage exhaust fans which have low sones is that this often indicates that they are not particularly powerful and therefore not very effective at expelling the air in your garage.
In order to ensure that you get a fan which is both quiet and capable of thoroughly removing exhaust fumes from your garage then the product you choose needs to have a good CFM rating.
CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute as is a measure of exactly that - i.e how many cubic feet of air the fan can expel in a minute.
The bigger your garage is the higher CFM rating you will need.
Use this calculator to work out what CFM you need.
To use it you need to know the length, width and height of your garage in feet and your desired frequency of air exchange (in minutes).
Typical air exchange frequencies for garages are around 7 minutes.
For the average-sized single car garage, a fan with a CFM of 224 will be sufficient to achieve 7-minute air exchange.
For the average-sized double car garage, a fan with a CFM of 515 will be sufficient to achieve 7-minute air exchange.
*Don't take our word for it though, measure your garage up to ensure you get the right fan.*
Up to ten minutes is acceptable, some fans can achieve complete air exchange in as little as 4 minutes however due to their power these tend to be much noisier models.
When choosing a fan bear in mind that the quietest option for your garage will usually be the fan which hits the minimum acceptable CFM.
The Design of your exhaust fan can have an impact on the amount of noise it creates.
If you can see the fan blades then chances are it will be slightly noisier than a fan which has a cover.
Over time fans collect dust and dirt on their blades and in their moving parts, this can cause them to make more noise (screeching sounds) when operating.
Regular fan maintenance is important if you want to keep fan noise to a minimum. We recommend you clean the fan blades and all accessible parts once a year to keep your fan working optimally and quietly.