How to Properly Install a Bathroom Exhaust Fan


Foggy toilet mirrors aren’t simply annoying. The moisture steamy showers and heat baths launch into the air could cause severe issues if allowed to construct up within the dwelling. Installing a rest room exhaust fan will whisk away moisture, cut back the expansion of mould and mildew, and hold the air circulating for a brisker and extra nice toilet. This useful information will cowl the right way to correctly set up a rest room exhaust fan, together with the entire issues it is advisable to earlier than you get began, together with:

  • The instruments and supplies you’ll want
  • How to put in (or exchange) a rest room exhaust fan
  • Common toilet fan set up errors
  • How to inform when it’s time to exchange a rest room exhaust fan
  • Additional solutions to frequent questions on toilet exhaust followers

Things to know earlier than getting began

If your private home doesn’t have a fan, or if the prevailing fan is outdated and working poorly, chances are you’ll be excited about putting in a brand new one. Whether or not you must do it your self is dependent upon just a few issues, resembling your personal expertise and the scope of the work wanted for the venture.

Installing a rest room exhaust fan is complicated and requires a wide range of expertise, together with carpentry and electrical work. The group at This Old House charges this as a reasonable to difficult venture that can take between 6 and eight hours to finish.

In addition to your personal expertise and luxury degree with the work concerned in putting in a rest room fan, it’s also sensible to fastidiously consider your private home’s structural format, particularly if there isn’t any current fan. Planning the place the fan will likely be positioned within the toilet to the position of the outside vents is a vital step to take earlier than getting began.

How to put in a rest room exhaust fan

Before deciding whether or not to rent knowledgeable or do the work your self, it’s helpful to evaluate your entire course of of putting in a rest room exhaust fan and different vital concerns.

Understanding the assorted duties required is the place to begin. Depending on the age and building of the home, duties could embody carpentry, plastering and/or drywall restore, and electrical work. Here is an summary of the instruments, supplies and duties wanted to put in a rest room exhaust fan.

Tools you have to to put in a rest room exhaust fan:

  • Safety glasses and gloves
  • Drill with a gap noticed attachment
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wire strippers
  • Non-contact voltage tester
  • Caulking gun and caulk
  • Stud finder
  • Jigsaw or drywall noticed
  • Ladder


  • Bathroom exhaust fan
  • Ductwork and an exterior vent with a canopy
  • Flexible insulated duct
  • Duct tape

Broan-NuTone & Panasonic are the highest toilet exhaust fan suppliers.

Here’s a comparability of product specs:

Broan-NuTone Panasonic
Noise Level Generally barely louder, though higher-end fashions provide quiet operation. Known for quiet operation, with many fashions boasting low sone scores.
CFM Rating Wide vary of CFM scores to swimsuit completely different toilet sizes and air flow wants. Wide vary of CFM scores, however concentrate on larger CFM fashions for higher air flow.
Energy Efficiency Offers Energy Star licensed fashions, however effectivity varies throughout fashions. Strong concentrate on power effectivity, with many fashions exceeding Energy Star requirements.
Features Basic fashions concentrate on air flow, whereas higher-end fashions provide options like lights, humidity sensors, and timers. Offers a wider vary of options throughout all worth factors, together with movement sensors, nightlights, and built-in Bluetooth audio system.
Price Point Wider vary of worth factors, with budget-friendly and premium choices out there. Generally barely costlier than Broan-NuTone, however premium options contribute to the price.
Durability Reliable and long-lasting, with strong construct high quality. Known for sturdy building and high-quality parts.
Warranty Varies relying on mannequin, usually starting from 3 to five years. Generally longer warranties in comparison with Broan-NuTone, some fashions providing as much as 7 years.
Installation Relatively easy set up course of. Installation could also be barely extra complicated for fashions with superior options.
Customer Service Good customer support status, however some consumer experiences of issue reaching assist. Excellent customer support status, identified for immediate and useful assist.

How to interchange a rest room exhaust fan (or set up a brand new one) step-by-step

The set up a WC fan, whether or not you’re changing an outdated fan or beginning completely from scratch, could be damaged down into 4 key steps:

  • Selecting the placement for the fan and putting it, which entails selecting the perfect location within the toilet for the fan (or followers) in addition to step one of set up. (See Steps 1-4)
  • How to vent a rest room exhaust fan, together with making certain the air flow terminates outdoors. (See Steps 5 & 6)
  • Connecting the fan to electrical energy (Steps 7 & 8)
  • Sealing and insulating the fan (Steps 9 & 10.)

How to put the lavatory fan:

  1. Start by choosing the placement for the fan. The fan needs to be positioned between the bathe and bathroom to make sure environment friendly circulation of air and air flow of moisture. Ideally, the fan shouldn’t be immediately over an air register or window, as you need the fan to drag air by means of the room when it’s working.
  2. Mark the place you’ll reduce the ceiling. Marking the ceiling to create a information for your self will assist guarantee correct reducing. Use the fan housing as a template. Before you begin reducing, double-check the attic on the opposite aspect for joists, cables or wires which may be within the path of the noticed.
  3. Cut the opening. Put in your security glasses to guard your eyes from any falling particles and, utilizing both a jigsaw or a drywall noticed, reduce out your marked space.
  4. Place the fan. The subsequent step is to safe the fan to the ceiling joists or framing, utilizing screws to carry the fan in place. In the occasion the placement you selected doesn’t align with the closest joists, extra framing could also be wanted.

How to vent a rest room exhaust fan:

  1. Connect the fan to the duct. Attach a duct to the fan’s outlet, utilizing duct tape or clamps to safe it. The duct ought to vent outdoors, not into an attic or different area inside the dwelling. Some of the earliest exhaust followers had been initially vented into attics, nonetheless, at the moment’s constructing codes require exterior venting. If you’re changing an older fan, evaluating the venting to make sure the fan exhaust is venting outdoors is vital.

Note: Make certain the venting duct is as brief and straight as doable to maximise effectivity.

  1. Install the exterior vent. If the house doesn’t have already got one, you have to to put in a vent on the outside wall or roof on the finish of the duct line. Use caulking to completely seal across the exterior vent. At this level, it’s also sensible to put in a canopy on the exterior vent to forestall birds and different small animals from coming into and nesting inside the vent pipe.

How to attach a rest room air flow fan:

  1. Wire {the electrical} connections. The subsequent step is connecting the fan to the swap. Double-check that the ability is off throughout this step. Important: should you shouldn’t have electrical expertise, it’s sensible to rent an electrician for this work. Connect the fan’s wires to the home wiring. Usually, the colours of the wires are your guides, e.g. join black to black, white to white, and floor to floor. Secure the connections utilizing wire nuts, then insulate them with electrical tape. Place the wires contained in the fan housing and canopy with the fan grill.

Note: If the fan has a light-weight, heater or different options, extra wiring could also be required.

Bonus Tips:

  • Look for lavatory exhaust fan fashions with dimmable lights to supply higher management over toilet ambiance
  • Choose a heater wattage applicable to your toilet’s sq. footage
  1. Testing. Turn the ability again on and check the fan for correct operation.

How to seal and insulate a rest room fan:

  1. Sealing. Use caulk to seal the fan housing’s edges to forestall moisture from coming into the attic.
  2. Insulation (optionally available.) Insulate the realm across the fan housing within the attic to forestall condensation and power loss.

Remember, it is a basic information. Specific toilet exhaust fan fashions and toilet configurations, in addition to the age and building of the house, would possibly require completely different steps or different precautions. If at any level you’re feeling uncertain in regards to the course of, it’s best to seek the advice of with a rest room transforming skilled. Mistakes are frequent, and they are often pricey to repair.

Common toilet fan set up errors

Homeowners typically make a number of frequent errors when putting in toilet exhaust followers themselves, and these can cut back the fan’s effectivity and the general well being of the house. Here are a number of the key errors to keep away from:

  • Poor venting: One of the most typical errors is just not venting the exhaust fan to the surface. Venting into an attic, soffit, wall, or crawl area can result in moisture issues, mould progress, in addition to injury to the roof and different components of the construction.
  • Wrong fan measurement: Choosing a fan that’s too small for the scale of the lavatory can result in insufficient moisture removing. It is vital to pick a fan based mostly on the room’s sq. footage and the fan’s CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) score. (More on this under.)
  • Incorrect location: Installing the fan within the improper location can cut back its effectiveness. The fan needs to be positioned close to the bathe or bathtub for max moisture extraction.
  • Not excited about noise: Not contemplating the fan’s noise degree of the fan may end up in a disturbingly loud unit. A quieter fan is usually extra nice for normal use. Fan noise ranges are measured in sones. According to the Home Ventilating Institute, for quiet air flow, search for followers rated at 1.0 sones or fewer.
  • Inadequate sealing and insulation: Failing to correctly seal and insulate across the fan can result in air leaks, decreasing power effectivity and doubtlessly permitting moisture to enter the attic or partitions.
  • Ignoring electrical security: Handling electrical connections with out correct data or failing to make sure that the circuit can deal with the load could be harmful, and even end in a hearth. It is crucial to comply with electrical codes and, in case you are uncertain, rent knowledgeable electrician for this work.
  • Not putting in a timer or humidity sensor: Timers and humidity sensors are comparatively new options, and straightforward to miss if it has been years because you checked out new toilet followers. Fans with out timers or humidity-sensing switches depend on the consumer to show them on and off. They could not run lengthy sufficient to take away all of the moisture, or they will run too lengthy, losing power.
  • Ignoring native constructing codes: Not following native constructing codes and laws can result in security hazards and severe points on the subject of promoting the house.
  • Doing it your self whenever you shouldn’t have the abilities or expertise: Installing a rest room air flow fan entails reducing into the house’s construction, ventilating the fan to the surface, and appreciable electrical work. Attempting to put in the fan with out ample DIY expertise or data can result in poor set up, security hazards, and potential injury–all of that are doubtlessly pricey to rectify.

To guarantee a correct set up, it’s typically finest to seek the advice of with knowledgeable, particularly for complicated installations in older properties or when coping with electrical wiring.

How to inform when it’s time to exchange a rest room exhaust fan

Bathroom exhaust followers are designed to have lengthy lives of 10 years or extra with regular use and minimal upkeep. If your fan is older, or you’re uncertain of when it was put in, there are just a few methods to inform whether or not it must be changed.

Start by giving the fan a radical cleansing you probably have not finished so not too long ago. Cleaning a rest room fan may also help rectify a wide range of minor issues, resembling noisiness, sluggish beginning and failing to adequately ventilate the room and take away moisture.

Keep a watch on the moisture within the toilet. Bathroom vent followers are designed to drag moisture out of the lavatory and hold air circulating. If you discover dripping home windows, moisture accumulating on the partitions or excessively foggy mirrors that don’t clear rapidly, it might be time to interchange your fan.

A easy check you possibly can carry out is the “bathroom paper check.” Tear off two squares of bathroom tissue and switch in your fan. Hold the tissue squares as much as the fan cowl. A fan that’s working nicely will maintain the tissues to the quilt. If the fan is just not capable of maintain the paper up, it’s not working effectively.

How many CFM are wanted for a loo exhaust fan?

Fans are measured by their capability to maneuver air, which is measured in Cubic Feet per Minute or “CFM.”  Determining the right measurement fan for a loo relies upon upon the scale and format of the lavatory and the fixtures inside it.

The Home Ventilating Institute recommends that loo exhaust followers needs to be rated at 1 CFM per sq. foot of loo space as a fundamental rule. Square footage is simple to calculate–merely multiply the room size by its width. A powder room that’s 8 toes lengthy and 5 toes vast, for instance, would measure 40 sq. toes, and want a fan rated no less than 40 CFM.

However, for bigger bogs, the HVI recommends choosing a fan based mostly on the quantity and kind of fixtures utilizing the next pointers discovered on their web site:

Bath Fixture Recommended CFM
Toilet 50
Shower 50
Bathtub 50
Jetted tub 100

Here is an instance of the right way to calculate CFM wanted for a bigger toilet with a number of fixtures:

The toilet is 20’x12′. There is a bathtub (with out jets), a bathe enclosure and an enclosed bathroom. Note: enclosed bathroom rooms or water closets should have both an operable window or a fan for air flow.

In this instance, every tub fixture requires 50 CFM, for a complete of 150 CFM. There are two choices for correctly venting this toilet:

  1. Install three 50 CFM followers– one over the bathtub, one within the bathe, and one within the water closet. This technique could be very efficient and can present air flow the place and when it’s wanted.
  2. Install one 150 CFM fan. The air will then be pulled by means of your entire room and exhausted at a central location. This assumes the enclosed bathroom has a window.

The pointers from the HVI are a basic rule of thumb, and there are a number of extra components to think about when calculating the CFM score your toilet venture requires, resembling:

  • Ceiling peak: Rooms with very excessive or vaulted ceilings and require much more highly effective followers for correct air flow
  • Length of the ductwork: Long duct runs, or ducts with quite a few bends and elbows, which cut back the effectivity of the fan. This is why evaluating the format of the house is essential earlier than choosing a fan–if the lavatory has a protracted duct, a fan with the next CFM score will likely be wanted
  • High moisture output tub fixtures: Steam showers or giant showers with a number of heads produce extra moisture than atypical tub fixtures and should require followers with the next CFM score
  • Layout constraints: Sometimes the lavatory format or design would possibly stop a single fan from being efficient. For occasion, if there are partitions or distinct areas that aren’t simply reached by the airflow from one fan, extra followers may be preferable.
  • Performance and noise: In the instance above, a single giant fan is likely one of the choices. However, utilizing a number of followers with decrease CFM scores can typically be extra environment friendly and quieter than utilizing a single, bigger fan, and supplies the flexibleness of utilizing the added air flow solely when wanted.
  • Spot air flow: In some designs, it’s useful to have spot or localized air flow by putting a fan immediately above a shower fixture. For instance, a fan immediately above a bathe or tub can successfully take away moisture proper on the supply, whereas one other fan can deal with the remainder of the lavatory.
  • Local constructing codes: Depending upon the place you reside, native constructing codes can have particular necessities based mostly on toilet measurement or different components.

When deciding whether or not to make use of a number of followers, keep in mind that every will must be correctly vented to the surface to forestall moisture points in different components of the constructing. Additionally, the whole CFM of all followers ought to meet the air flow necessities for the scale and use of the lavatory. Always seek the advice of with knowledgeable or check with native constructing codes to make sure that your plan–together with the ductwork, exterior vents and wiring–is ample for the room and absolutely compliant.

Remember that it’s typically higher to err on the aspect of a barely larger CFM score than to have insufficient air flow.

Should I set up a rest room exhaust fan in an older dwelling?

Homes constructed within the 1950’s and earlier usually didn’t have toilet exhaust followers included of their unique design and building. Natural air flow by means of home windows and roof vents was extra generally relied upon, and the development strategies and supplies utilized in older properties typically allowed for extra pure air alternate. As constructing codes and practices developed, together with understanding of the position air flow performs in moisture and mould management, toilet exhaust followers turned extra in style. Today, some type of toilet air flow is now required by most native authorities for brand new building.

Retrofitting an older dwelling with an exhaust fan could be difficult. Installing ductwork, vents, and electrical connections in an current construction, particularly one not initially designed for such options, could be troublesome and dear. However, for homeowners of older properties, putting in a rest room exhaust fan could be a worthwhile improve, particularly as a part of a complete toilet rework. However, it is very important assess the structural and electrical implications of such an set up, and in lots of circumstances, consulting with knowledgeable is advisable.

Does putting in a rest room fan require a constructing allow?

Do not neglect to examine and see in case your native authorities requires a constructing allow. If the set up entails vital electrical work, structural adjustments, or modifications to your private home’s exterior, a allow is extra prone to be required. Simple replacements or minor installations won’t want a allow. Additionally, if your private home is a historic constructing, otherwise you stay in a regulated neighborhood resembling a condominium or owners affiliation, there could also be extra necessities or restrictions.

Unpermitted work could cause issues down the street. In some circumstances, in case you are discovered to have finished work and not using a required allow, chances are you’ll be fined or required to take away and re-do the set up. You can even unwittingly create an insurance coverage legal responsibility for your self, as work finished and not using a allow is probably not lined by dwelling insurance coverage within the occasion of associated injury. Finally, unpermitted work could cause complications years later when the home is offered.

Even if a allow is just not wanted, an inspection of the work may be a good suggestion for security causes, particularly for electrical connections.

An enormous job that’s well worth the effort

Installing a brand new toilet exhaust fan is a giant activity, however so is the payoff. Keeping the air circulating and moisture in examine makes the lavatory really feel brisker and cleaner, retains mould and mildew at bay, limits injury brought on by dampness and creates an setting all will take pleasure in.

With skilled steering and experience, your toilet transforming journey could be a breeze. At Re-Bath, we absolutely comprehend the intricacies of loo renovations and supply tailor-made options that mirror your way of life and preferences. Our trusted group of consultants be certain that your toilet makeover is easy and swift.


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