84 Expert Rating

All households need an exhaust fan for ventilating the smoke, cooking smell, and humidity. The Broan 506 we are taking a look at is definitely not the best fan for kitchen use, or any room for that matter. Its price keeps it far away from that crown. However, it does have some pretty exciting features that you don’t normally see nowadays.

Related: If you want to keep your kid cool, we recommend the Bluboon Clip-On Fan review

Why We Like It – Broan 506

The Broan-Nutone 506 wall chain-operated ventilation fan is a decent enough exhaust fan despite its obscene price point. At least the pull chain works great, and overall it’s good when it comes to energy efficiency.

  • 430 CFM exhausting capability
  • Foam Insulated Door
  • HVI certified
  • Not at all suitable for a large room and is incredibly overpriced for what it is


The performance of the Broan 506 is nothing to write home about, unlike the Bionaire window fan. The Broan 506 can move 430 CFM air, which is decent, but barely covers a 240 sq. ft room. And that is not great at all. But then again, considering that this exhaust fan was released almost 14 years ago, it performs pretty well for its time. It just doesn’t hold up to the new modern exhaust fans. And it’s pretty impressive in terms of energy efficiency.

Related: If you love how this unit works, we believe you may also want to check the Broan 509 review


It might look durable in the pictures, but it’s actually pretty poorly made on the outside in reality, which is nothing like the Bionaire Thin window fan. The only good thing here is the foam-insulated door, which keeps humidity away from the main motor and the internal components. That way, it can last long if you take proper care of it.

Noise/Sound Level

A significant drawback of this exhaust fan is it’s extremely noisy, similar to the Dyson Air Multiplier. Now that can be a pro for some too, depending on their use case. For example, in the washroom, a loud fan might be more helpful. It really depends on you and on where you’re going to install it. Coming just under 40 decibels, the Hon Guan 6 Inches Exhaust Fan is the best in this regard.

Versatility/Modern Features

Besides coming with an HVI-certified efficient motor, this fan also has a pull chain for controls. And the grille length perfectly complements the wall décor of a kitchen or a bathroom. Unfortunately, it does not come with any included wall switch, so you’re going to have to wire it on your own if you want something like that. And in case you need a through-the-wall ventilation fan check out their own Broan-Nutone 512M.


Depending on your housing width, this exhaust fan is going to be adequate for most people. And it has a pretty nice design to blend in with your interior. But with its dated internal components and lackluster performance, the Broan 506 really does drive a hard bargain. Value-wise the iLiving 10-Inch Shutter Exhaust Fan is much better.

Broan 506 Wrap Up

If you really don’t have any other option, you can go for the Broan 506 exhaust fan. Their customer service is pretty good too, so you’re going to get good after-sales support. But there are better exhaust fans available out there at lower price points.

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