Bathroom Fan Ratings

Scope

Intermittent supply and exhaust fans rated at ≤ 3 sones by manufacturer, unless rated flow ≥ 400 CFM
Intermittent supply and exhaust fans rated at ≤ 3 sones by manufacturer, unless rated flow ≥ 400 CFM

ENERGY STAR Certified Homes (Version 3.0, Revision 08) requires that bathroom exhaust fans used as part of a whole-house mechanical ventilation system be ENERGY STAR qualified products.

  • ENERGY STAR exempts fans that have a rated flow of ≥ 500 CFM.

See the Compliance Tab for related codes and standards requirements, and criteria to meet national programs such as DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home program, ENERGY STAR Certified Homes, and Indoor airPLUS.

Description

To meet ASHRAE 62.2 ventilation requirements, the HVAC designer may specify that an exhaust fan should be set for continuous or intermittent, timed operation. In homes where the bathroom exhaust fan is used as part of a whole-house mechanical ventilation system, the bathroom fan to be installed should be a model that is ENERGY STAR qualified.

ENERGY STAR qualified ventilation fans must meet specifications ensuring higher energy efficiency with less noise. These models feature high-performance motors and improved blade design, providing better performance and longer life.

Fans exempted from this requirement include fans with a rated flow rate equal to or greater than 500 CFM, HVAC air handlers, and remote-mounted fans. To be considered for this exemption, a remote-mounted fan must be mounted outside the habitable spaces and bathrooms and hallways and there must be at least 4 feet of ductwork between the fan and intake grille.

For more on continuously operating exhaust fans and ASHRAE 62.2 requirements, see Intermittent Supply/Exhaust Fan Ratings and Continuous Supply/Exhaust Fan Ratings.

How to Select ENERGY STAR-Qualified Bathroom Fans

  1. When specifying and purchasing bathroom fans that will be part of the home’s whole house mechanical ventilation strategy, select fans that are ENERGY STAR qualifying.
  2. To identify ENERGY STAR qualifying exhaust fans:

The ENERGY STAR logo on the manufacturer’s label indicates this is an ENERGY STAR qualifying exhaust fan

Figure 1 - The manufacturer’s label found on the inside of this exhaust fan housing includes an ENERGY STAR label at the lower right, indicating that this fan is an ENERGY STAR qualifying model. 

Ensuring Success

In homes where the bathroom exhaust fan is used as part of a whole-house mechanical ventilation system, the HERS rater should inspect to ensure that the fan is ENERGY STAR qualified.

To meet the requirements of the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program, all bathroom exhaust fans installed in the home must be ENERGY STAR qualified.

Climate

No climate specific information applies.

Training

Right and Wrong Images

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Presentations

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Videos

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CAD Images

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Compliance

The Compliance tab contains both program and code information. Code language is excerpted and summarized below. For exact code language, refer to the applicable code, which may require purchase from the publisher. While we continually update our database, links may have changed since posting. Please contact our webmaster if you find broken links.

ENERGY STAR Certified Homes

ENERGY STAR Certified Homes (Version 3/3.1, Revision 08), Rater Field Checklist

7. Whole-House Mechanical Ventilation System

7.6 Bathroom fans are ENERGY STAR certified if used as part of the whole-house system44 

Footnotes:

(44) Bathroom fans with a rated flow rate ≥ 500 CFM are exempted from the requirement to be ENERGY STAR certified.

ENERGY STAR Revision 08 requirements are required for homes permitted starting 07/01/2016.

DOE Zero Energy Ready Home

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home Program specifies as a mandatory requirement that all bathroom ventilation fans are ENERGY STAR qualified (See DOE Zero Energy Ready Home National Program Requirements, Exhibit 1, Item 5.)

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2

Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The standard applies to spaces intended for human occupancy in single-family homes and multifamily homes that are three stories or less, including manufactured and modular homes. The standard provides minimum acceptable requirements for mechanical and natural ventilation in these spaces.

More Info.

Access to some references may require purchase from the publisher. While we continually update our database, links may have changed since posting. Please contact our webmaster if you find broken links.

Case Studies

None Available

References and Resources*

  1. Author(s): ASHRAE
    Organization(s): ASHRAE
    Publication Date: January, 2013
    Standard defining the roles of and minimum requirements for mechanical and natural ventilation systems and the building envelope intended to provide acceptable indoor air quality in low-rise residential buildings.
  2. Author(s): DOE
    Organization(s): DOE
    Publication Date: April, 2017

    Standard requirements for DOE's Zero Energy Ready Home national program certification.

  3. Author(s): EPA
    Organization(s): EPA
    Publication Date: December, 2015

    Document outlining the program requirements for ENERGY STAR Certified Homes, Version 3 (Rev. 08).

  4. Author(s): DOE, EPA
    Organization(s): DOE, EPA
    Publication Date: January, 2013
    Information sheet about the benefits of purchasing and installing ENERGY STAR rated fans and ventilation products.

Contributors to this Guide

The following authors and organizations contributed to the content in this Guide.

Last Updated: 03/14/2016

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