Think about how you will use your room. Is it important that there is still enough sound to know it’s turned on? Or should it be inaudible? Homeowners often mention that they prefer to have a sound level that allows for privacy while the room in in use, particularly a powder room or bathrooms that are in close proximity to gathering areas.
The industry standard for measuring the amount of sound a fan makes when it’s in use is called sones. The lower the sone rating, the quieter the fan will be. Sone levels in the range of 1.0 to 1.5 are considered just right quiet – enough sound to know the ventilation fan is turned on. Sound levels of less than .3 sones are inaudible to the human ear.
For any room, choose your preferred level of quiet
- Greater than 2.0 sones, privacy mode, masking level sound
- Between 1.5 and 2.0 sones, white noise
- Between 1.0 and 1.5 sones, just right quiet, enough to know it’s turned on
- Between 0.3 and 1.0 sones, whisper quiet
- Less than 0.3 sone, inaudible
Many people believe that in order to maximize comfort, an inaudible fan is the best choice. Often, however, they realize that their fan has been running for prolonged periods of time because they weren’t aware the fan was on. In this instance, a humidity sensing fan would complement the inaudible sound, since it automatically turns on and off with humidity changes.