If you want a hassle-free bathroom experience, an exhaust fan could be just what’s needed to rid yourself of moisture and odors quickly and effortlessly. Unfortunately, however, this project won’t be easy since you will likely spend a considerable amount of time up on ladders or in attics working towards this goal.
Before beginning, make sure the power has been shut off at the breaker box.
Locate the Fan
Moisture in a bathroom can be an enormous issue, leading to paint cracking and even mold growth. One easy solution for combatting moisture problems in a bathroom is installing a toilet exhaust fan which removes moist air while protecting surfaces from damage caused by moisture build-up.
Start by selecting a location for your ceiling fan installation. As many exhaust fans double as light fixtures, you may wish to keep your current light in place if desired; however, since power from existing lighting circuits will be needed in order to power it, disconnecting this before beginning will be required even if existing fixture is off.
After switching off the circuit breaker in your bathroom, use a stud finder to locate a suitable ceiling joist where you want to install your fan. Make sure it won’t interfere with tub or shower use.
Once you have located the joists, mark their position with a pencil on the ceiling and trace a hole where you plan to install your new fan. This will ensure you cut a hole at exactly the correct location in order to properly fit it with its fan.
Your bathroom size will ultimately dictate which ventilation fan you choose for optimal moisture removal, with larger bathrooms needing higher CFM (cubic feet per minute) ratings to combat more moisture in the air. Other considerations, like sone rating (which measures how loud a fan is) also play into this decision.
When purchasing a fan, make sure that the vent hose connecting it to the roof runs in an orderly manner in order to prevent moisture from backdrafting into your bathroom and enable maximum efficiency from the fan. This will prevent backdrafting into your room and ensure maximum ventilation of air through its filter.
Once your ducting is secured in place, head up into your attic to install your exhaust fan and secure it to joists. Be sure to seal any gaps around its exterior with caulk in order to reduce leaks and further minimize sound transmission.
Cut a Hole in the Ceiling
Bathroom exhaust fans do more than keep moisture out of your home; they also reduce mold and mildew risk. But if your fan is old or worn out, cutting a hole in the ceiling to access it may be necessary to access it. Although this task may appear intimidating at first, cutting through is actually fairly easy: first step should be turning off power with your electrical breaker box then don a pair of protective gloves and safety goggles before taking apart its grille covering fan.
After tracing the dimensions of your new fan onto your ceiling, the next step should be removing the existing grille and creating a hole large enough for its housing unit to fit through. Many models include a template as a guide.
Rather than cutting into your ceiling yourself, if you feel uneasy cutting into it yourself, hiring a professional is highly recommended. Once the hole has been opened up, a bead of caulking should be applied around its perimeter before installing a fan unit. Some models come equipped with plastic gaskets for tight seal between drywall and fan housing unit; otherwise you may use joint compound to fill any gaps and then feather the joint compound until it blends seamlessly with surrounding wall surface.
Once your fan is set up, the next step should be installing ventilation ducting. If your home already features roof vents, attaching ventilation ducting is simple; otherwise you must go into your attic space and cut a hole through your ceiling for your vent – ensure it can fit through easily!
Once your ducting is in place, connect it to the exhaust port on the fan and secure it using foil tape. From here you can either hook up your light switch for control of both fan and light, or install a separate double switch in your electrical box for independent use of both elements.
Install the Fan
Prior to installing your new fan, the first step should be removing its old counterpart. To begin this process, begin by switching off power at the electrical panel for both rooms (or houses), making a note of it so no one else turns on your fan during your work. Next, use a ladder to gain access to the attic where any metal brackets holding the fan in place can be found – loosen any screws holding them onto ceiling joists so it can be pulled free; once freed up disconnect any exhaust duct connections if applicable.
Once the old fan has been taken apart, take measurements of its outlet using a tape measure. This will provide you with enough data to purchase flexible aluminum ducting that meets all necessary dimensions outlined by its manufacturer’s installation instructions for your specific fan purchase. This ducting can typically be found at your local hardware store and should come complete with installation instructions from its maker.
Before cutting a hole in the ceiling, double check that both your circuit breaker is still off and that there is no electricity running to your bathroom. Next, use a stud finder to locate where your exhaust fan should sit before using pencil to trace its outline before cutting out with either circular saw or handsaw – always wearing protective eye goggles and gloves when doing this task!
If you are replacing an existing light fixture during your bathroom remodel, installing the fan at the same time should not be difficult; simply wire it into an existing switch and connect it. However, for optimal control over both exhaust fan and light, double switches may be installed so as to allow independent control over each fan model purchased by following manufacturer installation instructions for each brand of fan you buy.
To wire your new fan, remove the cover of your electrical splice box in the attic and strip 5/8 inch of insulation from each black and white wire on your fan unit. Next, strip similar amounts from each end of a 12-2 electrical cable before connecting each end to black/white/ground on your fan and tighten to secure.
Connect the Wiring
Most bathrooms already have exhaust fans installed, so if it is operating well there may be no need for replacing it. But if it isn’t, installing a ductless model may be best as this type of vent fan doesn’t need any ductwork but filters and recirculates air back into the room; additionally this kind of fan tends to be quieter than ceiling mount units.
First, choose a fan with the appropriate operating capacity for your space. You can do this by reviewing manufacturer recommendations regarding square footage coverage and CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating as indicated on its box. Keeping these factors in mind is critical: selecting too small of a fan may fail to effectively remove moisture and odors from a room while too-large fans could adversely impact ductwork in your home, leading to pressure problems throughout the home.
If you’re replacing an existing fan in an existing home, use its switch wires to connect the new fan. First turn off power at the circuit breaker box before disconnecting all switch wires from it before returning back and activating its appropriate circuits for installation.
Before installing your new fan, it’s essential that you select an outdoor venting route for it. No crawlspace, attic or space between floors should be vented into; doing so increases the risk of water leakage and mold growth. Furthermore, seal all duct joints, seams and penetration points with high-grade mastic or spray foam for additional protection against water leakage and mold growth.
Once you’ve chosen a pipe route, install an exhaust fan by connecting its vent connector to the ductwork and its vent hood to the duct opening. Connect its control wires to either relay switches (for fans without lights) or standard light switches; for wall switch fans controlled via switched power sources (usually lightswitch; in case of replacement wiring harness, fan relay trigger wire) on either of their blue wires for activation.