Bathroom Extractor Fans

Bathroom Extractor Fans

Bathroom Extractor Fans are Crucial in Controlling the Wet Bathroom Environment 

Bathroom Extractor Fans are essential for dealing with the wet environment in the bathroom. You need to take extra care to ensure there’s no build-up of mould or other nasty things. Our range of bathroom extractor fans will do all the work for you, making sure that all that excess moisture is sucked from the room for good. There’s a huge range available, depending on your needs and tastes, from motion detector fans to extra condensation control. We stock all the main brands, Xpelair, Manrose, Vent-axia and Greenwood.

Bathroom Extractor Fans Explained

Extractor fans are key for removing excess moisture or bad odours from your bathroom. They assist in slowing the growth of mould and mildew down to keep your bathroom cleaner and fresher for longer.


A study held by Xpelair, a reputable extractor fan manufacturer, shows that 48% of adults in the UK are kept awake by a loud and annoying fan. If you’re in the market for a new extractor or maybe you just want to increase your knowledge then this is the guide for you. It’ll cover types of fan, where they can be installed and aesthetics so get stuck in and learn something new today.



Types of Bathroom Extractor Fans available

Firstly we will cover the different types of bathroom extractor fans that are available.


The most common types of bathroom extractor are either Axial, Centrifugal or Inline. Axial extractors connect directly to external walls whereas Centrifugal are primarily designed for internal walls with longer runs of ducting.


Axial fans, as mentioned above, are usually sited within external walls so the need to move the removed air long distances isn’t required. For this reason they require less power and should only be ducted for a maximum of 2 or 3 metres.


Centrifugal fans are similar in design to Axial fans but the internals are quite different. As they need the ability to move the extracted air further they feature an alternate style of impeller. This is designed to assist in pushing the removed air along the lengthy ducting from an internal room to the outside. The disadvantage of Centrifugal fans is that more power generates higher noise levels.


Inline fans are usually fitted in the ceiling and can be used for extra-long ducting distances of up to 40 metres. They aren’t quiet like an Axial fan but due to the discreet nature of installation they aren’t heard as easily.




Installing, Operating and IP Ratings for a Bathroom Extractor Fan

1. All electrical work must be carried out by a fully qualified electrician.

2. The fan must be fitted in the correct zone depending on its IP (ingress protection) rating.

3. There are multiple ways of activating the fan so choose the type which best suits your needs.


IP Ratings are used to determine the location of electrical appliances in bathrooms. They define how well sealed the appliance is against water, dirt and other small objects. The first number of an IP rating advises on the level of protection from moving parts and the second number advises on protection from moisture.


For more information please use our IP Ratings chart below:



First Number (intrusion protection) will offer protection from the following:


1. No real protection offered

2. Hands and solid objects with a diameter of 50mm or more.

3. Objects not larger than 12mm in diameter and 80mm in length like a finger.

4. Entry by wires or tools with a diameter of 2.5mm or larger.

5. Solid objects greater than 1mm.

6. Dust.

7. Entirely dust tight.



Second Number (moisture protection) will offer protection from the following:


1. No safeguard.

2. Condensation build up.

3. Droplets of water which has been deflected by up to 15 degrees.

4. Spray up to 60 degrees.

5. Sprays of water from any direction.

6. Jets of water from any direction.

7. Powerful jets and waves of water.

8. Brief immersion in water.

9. Continued immersion in water under pressure.



Now you know more about IP ratings you can better understand the zones where fans can be installed. You must have them fitted in the correct zone otherwise it will breach building regulations.


Zone 0 is interior the bath tub (this is a no go for any extractor fan obviously!).


Zone 1 is outside the bath tub to a height of 2250mm.


Zone 2 extends from Zone 1 in all directions for 600mm.


Zone 3 or the Outside Zone is anything outside of Zone 2.



Please see the diagram below for more information:


Bathroom Electrical Zone Diagram


Zone 0 is for items which are fitted inside the bath or shower such as lighting for whirlpool baths. Anything installed here must be SELV (a maximum of 12 volts) and a minimum of IPX7. IPX7 means the item is protected against being immersed in water.


Zone 1 and Zone 2 must conform to Building Regulation BS7671 meaning you can only install a low voltage extractor fan with a transformer to reduce the voltage. The transformer is usually supplied with the fan and would need to be sited outside of Zone 2. In these zones the fan would need an IP45 rating or better.


Zone 3 (including Outside Zones) allows installation of any type of IP rated bathroom extractor fan as it is a safe enough distance from the sources of water in your bathroom.



Bathroom Extractor Fan Activation

There are a number of options for turning your extractor on from remote operation to infrared sensors. Below is breakdown on the options that are available to you:


Basic and Timer units use your lighting circuit. They activate when your light is switched on and with the Timer unit you can have them overrun for a set amount of time after the light has been turned off. Ideal for very steamy or small bathrooms.


Humidistat units activate when humidity levels in the room reach a certain level. These will run continuously until a lower humidity level is achieved.


Pull Cords are available for operation without the light being on. These are usually the same as the Basic units but allow you to use them separately whenever you need to.


Lastly there are the Infrared sensor units which operate simply when a person walks into the room.



Bathroom Extractor Fan Sizes

Extractor fans for use in domestic properties are usually available in either 100 or 150mm (4 or 6 inch). The smaller 100mm is most commonly used in bathrooms due to the room size and you won’t need to think about upgrading to the bigger size unless installation is taking place in a much larger room.



Bathroom Extractor Fan Noise Levels

The noise levels listed against products can be slightly misleading as it will sometimes depend on the size of the room that it’s installed in. To give you an idea we’ve put together the handy Decibel Level Chart below:


Extractor Fan Decibel Scale



Bathroom Extractor Fan Styles and Designs

When looking to purchase a new extractor fan most consumers look at the technical specifications to decide on their purchase but one thing that’s often forgotten is its design. They are normally fitted at just above head height and will be seen day in and day out so they shouldn’t just be functional but attractive too.


As technology progresses and the need for extractors increases the bigger brands are designing and making fans that blend seamlessly with your bathroom décor. See below for a few examples and click the image to see our full range:


Discreet Extractor Fans




Xpelair Website


Manrose Website


Vent-Axia Website


Greenwood Website



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