Best Garage Exhaust Fan for Ventilation

Our garage in Canada is pretty well-insulated but the insulation doesn’t really do much for the stale air inside it. And while I don’t do a lot of heavy-duty work in my garage, I do like to spend time in it tinkering and doing light auto maintenance work. Sometimes I just like hanging out in it too. But that was getting harder and harder to do in the summer when the air gets really stifling. And in the winter when the door is always closed to keep the cold out, some of the dust and fumes produced by my amateur tinkering made the air unhealthy. That’s why I use the best garage exhaust fan for ventilation on the market in the US and Canada.

I came to the conclusion that I needed at least one garage exhaust fan. Through a course of trial and error, I was able to find out which ones worked the best and which ones should remain on the shelf at the hardware store. So here is our list of the best garage exhaust fans. 

Best Garage Exhaust Fan for Ventilation Comparison


  • Great for garage ventilation
  • Improve air quality
  • Eliminate odor
  • Great Price


  • Great for garage ventilation
  • Improve air quality
  • Reduce mold, odor, toxins, etc.
  • Cooling


  • Great for garage ventilation
  • Improve air quality
  • Cooling
  • Ceiling mounted

Best Garage Exhaust Fan Reviews

So right off the bat, this garage exhaust fan was smaller than the MaxxAir 14 inch exhaust fan but it actually turned out to be more powerful. While it has a lot of similar features as the MaxxAir like automatic shutter closing and opening and an enclosed motor, it has a maximum air flow capacity of 1600 CFM. So it was plenty powerful in my 2-car garage – it even created a nice little breeze in it when operating at full capacity.

There are other key differences as well. Instead of galvanized steel, the iPower 12 Inch Shutter Exhaust Fan features an aluminum frame. And as the name implies, the fan blades are a bit smaller at 12 inches. But one of the coolest things about this garage exhaust fan is that it can be hooked up to a thermostat for efficient and autonomous operation. Can be purchased in Canada as well. 

  • Features a 1/20 Horsepower ball bearing motor
  • Very sturdy design
  • Can be used for multiple exhaust/ventilation applications
  • Can be purchased in Canada as well

Now this particular product made my list for a number of reasons but 2 of the most important were that it was A) easy to install and B) very convenient to operate. First of all, the screw holes in the frame were pre-drilled (believe it or not, I actually came across garage exhaust fans during my testing that didn’t have this simple feature). Secondly, the exterior shutters open up automatically when the device powers on – ingenious.

But other than the ease of use and installation, this was a great exhaust fan. It is rated to run at 1400 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute which is a measurement of how much air a fan can circulate), features a galvanized steel frame, an enclosed motor to shield it from the elements and 14 inch fan blades. All you have to do is push a button to turn it on and your garage is good to go. 

  • Exterior shutters close automatically when not in use
  • Very easy to install and operate
  • Comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty
  • Can be purchased in Canada as well

After trying out the iPower garage exhaust fan that was a little overpowered for my needs, I went in the exact opposite direction. I wanted to see how a less powerful exhaust fan would work in my garage. And I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with this little Panasonic model. Even though it operates at a maximum of 290 CFM, it still made a positive difference in the quality of air in my garage. It was also the easiest to install. It fit perfectly in one of the 6 inch vents and was easy to hook up to a normal 120 volt outlet.

And this exhaust fan was designed to operate quietly and efficiently. It is EnergyStar certified and drew less power over the course of a week than the other two entries on our list.

  • Works really well for dehumidifying the air and preventing mold and mildew growth in a garage
  • Sturdy, steel frame
  • Comes with a 3-year limited manufacturer warranty
  • Can be purchased in Canada as well
Garage Exhaust FanVentilationInstallationValue for Money
iPower Garage Exhaust Fan GoodEasyGreat
Maxx Air Garage Exhaust FanGreatEasyGood
Panasonic Garage Exhaust FanAverageEasyGood

What to Look for in a Garage Exhaust Fan?

My quest for better garage ventilation led me to a few conclusions about these types of devices. I came to figure that there were certain features that were downright essential if you are not a professional handyman. Furthermore, if you really want to make a difference in ventilation and air quality in your garage, insist on features like:

  1. CFM rating of at least 200
  2. Easy installation (installation kit or pre-drilled frame holes at least)
  3. Multi-stage fan motors

Frequently Asked Questions

Will an exhaust fan cool a garage?

In my garage, the air gets humid and thick in the summer. When I used an exhaust fan, it moved out all that humid air and made the garage feel cooler and more comfortable.

How many CFM do I need for my garage?

The professionals recommend that you should have at least 100 CFM if you want to properly ventilate your average-sized garage.

How can I cool down my garage with no windows?

Insulation may be your best friend if you are trying to keep your garage cool in the summer but installing insulation can be time-consuming and expensive. Regular fans really just move warm air around so the best way to go would be to install a garage exhaust fan. They are easy to install and provide cooler air and ventilation.

Final Words

You may be wondering which one I ended up choosing as my permanent garage exhaust fan. In the end, I went with the MaxxAir 14”. It was the perfect balance of ventilation power and ease of use. The other ones were either a little too overpowered or underpowered. But depending on the size and shape of your garage, the Panasonic or iPower exhaust fans might actually work perfectly for you. In any case, you can’t really lose with any of the best garage exhaust fans on our list so try them out for yourself!

Related posts: 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.