Best Garage Exhaust Fan for Ventilation, According to Reviewers

Our garage in Canada is pretty well-insulated but the insulation doesn’t really do much for the stale air inside. 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. During the summer months that was getting harder and harder to do, as the air can get really stifling. In the winter, when the door is kept closed to keep the cold out, some of the dust and fumes produced by my amateur tinkering makes the air seem unhealthy. 

One way I learned to tackle this problem is by installing a garage fan. A garage fan can make a huge difference in the safety and comfort of and that’s why I installed the best garage exhaust fan for ventilation on the market in the US and Canada.

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. Ventilation fans for garages were also an important factor I considered when choosing the best garage exhaust fan. 

With all of my extensive research bouncing around in my head, I compiled this list of the best garage exhaust fans to help you make an informed decision. 

Best Garage Exhaust Fan for Ventilation Comparison

BEST PRICE

  • Great for garage ventilation
  • Improves air quality
  • Eliminates odors
  • 1620 RPM Fan

Best Value

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

ALSO GREAT

  • 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.

Pros: 

  • Features a 1/20 Horsepower ball bearing motor
  • Garage fan that has a very sturdy design
  • Can be used for multiple exhaust/ventilation applications
  • Quiet operation
  • Least expensive fan on our list

Cons:

  • Edges are very sharp, exercise caution

Trial Results

Before installing this in the wall I used a metal file to smooth the edges so that I wouldn’t cut myself while trying to get it in there. It only took a few minutes but was well worth it. Once I had it installed and running I was surprised by how quiet it was and how much air it it moves. There is a noticeable difference in the lack of hot, stagnant air during the summer that would accumulate near the ceiling. It also helped push out any fumes while I was working and with the window in the back open, created a great airflow throughout my garage. 

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. 

Pros:

  • Exterior shutters close automatically when not in use
  • Very easy to install and operate
  • Comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty

Cons:

  • The Louvre mechanism is thin and dampers are sometimes hard to open/close

Trial Results

It was very easy to install this fan and we had no issues with the shutters, vibration, or noise. The most obvious impact was on our electric bill, as we did not have to run our AC as long or as hard once we installed this. It provided excellent air flow and during the summer, kept the garage cool and comfortable and we hardly had to turn on the AC. This fan paid for itself within a few months just on electric savings alone.

After trying out the iPower garage exhaust fan which ended up being 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 Panasonic model garage fan. Even though it operates at a maximum of 290 CFM, it still made a positive difference in the quality of air in my garage. Great for garage ventilation, 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.

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. 

Pros:

  • Works really well for dehumidifying the air and preventing mold and mildew growth in a garage
  • Great option for garage ventilation fans
  • Sturdy, steel frame
  • Comes with a 3-year limited manufacturer warranty

Cons:

  • Does not include mounting hardware

Trial Results

While this fan was rated for less airflow than the others on our list, it did perform pretty well. It was easy to install, aside from having to purchase the mounting hardware separately, and worked well once all was said and done. It did not create nearly as much airflow as the other two (not surprisingly), and seemed a bit louder than I would have liked. While a good fan, the other two entries on our list would be better suited for garage ventilation. 

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 for optimal garage ventilation
  4. Great option for garage ceiling exhaust fan

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 a garage ceiling 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.

Do these work as a ventilation fan for the garage?

Garage ventilation fans are great for reducing the presence of unwanted substances and important ventilation purposes, choosing the right one is critical in ensuring that it meets performance needs. Exhaust garage ventilation fans do just that, provide optimal ventilation for garages and ensure a safer and more comfortable garage. These fans for garages are a great choice for those looking to get proper ventilation.

What size garage exhaust fan will I need for my garage?

Garage exhaust fans play an important role in every industrial and commercial setting. When deciding on the size garage exhaust fan for your garage, there are some important factors to consider: The fan model and placement- these will help determine how large or big your fan needs to be. The sound level the exhaust fan creates can also be a factor. You can also use an exhaust fan sizing chart that provides an easy way to determine the size you need.

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!

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