The 10 Best Inline Vent Fans
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in June of 2016. Engineered for mounting within, or directly connected to, ducting, these inline vent fans will provide reliable transfer of air in spaces where heat and humidity tend to build up. They're ideal for creating a comfortable environment in bathrooms, basements, and attics, and they're a great solution for air circulation in grow rooms for healthy plant development. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best inline vent fan on Amazon.
Apollo Horticulture A strong surface coating protects this small-but-mighty model from damage and corrosion as it works to create an environment that will enable your plant life to flourish. It has a built-in speed controller for keeping airflow at the optimal level, and it comes with mounting brackets. apollohorticulture.com
VENTS Quietline It should come as no surprise that this Quietline series focuses on low-noise fans. To achieve this, they’re designed with special airflow rectifiers on the exhaust spigot and rubber connectors around the motor to dampen sound. Depending on your needs, it offers four different modes of operation. ventilation-system.com
August 12, 2019:
We discovered that the Virtual Sun VS800F and Yescom Hydroponics were no longer available, so we took them off the list. We also removed the iPower Blower — a new version of this item is available, but its lifespan appears to be remarkably short, so we decided it does not warrant a place in these rankings.
Two of the three new additions to the list are available in multiple sizes, giving users plenty of variety to choose from. The Vtronic Flow has a clean, professional appearance, which is quite useful if it’s going to be installed in a visible location within a commercial greenhouse. Users are impressed with its quiet operation given its significant power. The Hurricane 745 is effective at both air circulation and odor removal, satisfying professionals using it for a variety of applications.
We dropped the Vivohome Black a few spots after finding some complaints regarding its noisy operation.
Quality Of Air Is Quality Of Life
Another factor you may have overlooked with outdoor plants is their exposure to wind; as gusts of air consistently jolt the plants, their stems strengthen over time.
Unless your job requires it, you probably haven’t given a ton of thought the importance of quality air circulation in your home, workplace, or any other buildings you visit on a regular basis. Of course, you could be one of the rare individuals who has studied ventilation systems extensively out of innate curiosity…but for most of you, we’ll assume that’s not the case.
Simply put, ventilating a building is a critical process because it replaces stale, foul air with fresh, clean air. By continuously maintaining air circulation, exhaust fans can significantly enhance the comfort level for the occupants of a room. They remove excess moisture, dispel smoke, and eradicate unpleasant smells, making the air more refreshing and breathable.
In residential homes, exhaust fans primarily benefit kitchens and bathrooms, as these rooms tend to build up extra moisture, develop odors, and require the most temperature regulation. Basements, laundry rooms, and garages are also common locations for installing fans.
Because they remove water vapor and steam from the air, exhaust fans reduce relative humidity levels and therefore diminish the risk of mold and mildew development. This is one of the reasons you flip the fan on before you hop in the shower every morning.
If you’re an indoor gardener, a quality ventilation system will be one of the most vital components of your grow room or tent. Think about it — outdoors, air circulates naturally, creating an environment conducive to plant growth that we take for granted. Indoors, you have to do your part to recreate that environment.
In your grow room, the variation of a few degrees in temperature can be the difference between success and failure. Grow lights emit heat, and exhaust fans help to regulate the temperature in the room. As mentioned above, they also control the humidity level, which is essential for maintaining ideal growing conditions and preventing pests and diseases from interfering with your greenery.
Another factor you may have overlooked with outdoor plants is their exposure to wind; as gusts of air consistently jolt the plants, their stems strengthen over time. A fan can have the same effect. Think of it as a workout routine for your flowers and herbs — if you take away their gym membership, they’ll grow weaker and unhealthier as time passes.
Using Existing Ductwork To Your Advantage
Now you know the premise behind ventilation: good air in, bad air out. Which brings us to inline vent fans, a highly versatile solution for achieving the proper level of airflow in your home or grow room.
The difference between an inline vent fan and a standard exhaust fan is fairly straightforward. When installing a standard exhaust fan, you typically mount it just above the ceiling, connecting it to a vent that dispels the air it pulls from the room directly out of an opening in the roof.
For example, whereas each room may require its own standard fan, a single inline vent fan can account for multiple rooms.
Inline vent fans work in a similar fashion, except that you mount them directly to an existing duct, which makes them easy to install — you have plenty of options since you’re not restricted to the ceiling — and offers myriad other benefits.
For example, whereas each room may require its own standard fan, a single inline vent fan can account for multiple rooms. Say a kitchen, a laundry room, and a bathroom lie in close proximity to one another in a home — by installing an inline fan into a duct that connects the three rooms, you’ll create a more efficient, cost-effective ventilation system than a standard fan would have allowed.
Inline vent fans are also ideal for evening out temperature discrepancies between rooms, as they can move air along a long supply duct, heating or cooling a room that is disproportionately hot or cold compared to other areas of the house. These fans come in single port and multi-port styles, and the latter can easily provide ventilation for several rooms in the building.
Digging Into The Details Of Air Transfer
While inline vent fans usually operate on less power than standard fans, they do come in a variety of sizes and strengths. These units are rated by the volume of air they exchange, specifically in terms of cubic feet per minute.
Most of you will be dismayed to learn this, but determining the CFM rating you’re going to need will require a little bit of math. Don’t worry, it’s nothing on par with calculus, or even long division for that matter — a fairly straightforward equation will get the job done.
These units are rated by the volume of air they exchange, specifically in terms of cubic feet per minute.
To calculate the CFM, you’ll need to know the total volume of the room and the exhaust efficiency. The first part is easy — simply measure out the dimensions of the room, then multiply the length by the width by the height.
The exhaust efficiency is a little trickier, as it depends on an array of factors, but a general rule of thumb is to multiply the total volume of the room by 1.25 for a reasonably accurate number. However, if your duct path is longer than normal, it’s probably safe to multiply the volume by up to two to make up for the efficiency drop as the air moves through the duct. Once you have this number, seek out a fan with a rating higher than that.
As most fan owners know, the process of pushing all that air can be a noisy undertaking. The most common unit for expressing sound level in the fan industry is the sone. A fan with a sone rating between 1.5 and four is fairly standard for a residential home, while you can expect to find fans with ratings up to 12 in larger establishments like restaurants and offices, and even higher ratings in commercial grow rooms and industrial settings.
Before you choose a fan, make sure you know exactly where you plan to install it. If you’re placing it into the ductwork directly connected to your kitchen, you may want to select a model with a relatively low sone rating so the noise doesn’t become irritating. If you plan to mount it in an attic or in a similar area that’s fairly removed from your living space, it’s probably safe to go with a somewhat louder model.
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