Update Your Bathroom With A New Ceiling Exhaust Fan

A simple way to freshen up your bathroom and make it a more pleasant place to be is to replace that old exhaust fan in the ceiling. Old fans tend to be noisy and less efficient. New models give you more options such as heat and humidity controls. If you replace your fan with one similar to what you have now, you can do the installation yourself. If you upgrade to one of the new models, you'll want an home improvement contractor like Latocha Builders & Renovations Inc to do the installation for you since there may be some drywall and electrical work that needs to be done.

Choosing a New Bathroom Fan

If you buy the same size fan that you currently have in your bathroom, installation will be easy, so take the measurements with you. You'll have a choice of options from simple to high-tech such as:

  • fan with a light only
  • fan with a heater only
  • fan with a light and heater
  • fan with programmable LEDs that change color and intensity
  • fan with a humidity sensor to switch the fan on and off automatically

If the model you choose has more features than your current fan, you'll also want an electrician to install it so they can do the wiring for any additional switches that are required.

A DIY Bathroom Fan Installation

If you're replacing an existing fan with a fan of the same size and features, this will be a quick DIY project.

The tools you'll need for this are:

  • screwdriver
  • dropcloth
  • utility light
  • twist wire connectors
  • ladder

Removing the Old Fan

  1. Cover the area under the fan with the dropcloth.
  2. Find the breaker switch for the bathroom and turn it off.
  3. Run the utility light into the bathroom where you'll be working.
  4. If the fan cover is screwed on, remove the screws.
  5. Pull the fan cover off.
  6. Remove the screws holding the motor.
  7. Slowly work the motor out of the housing.
  8. Disconnect the wires from the motor or cut them if they are soldered to the motor. Mark the wires as positive and negative.
  9. Remove the screws holding the housing to the ceiling joists.
  10. The vent duct comes in to the side of the housing. Slide the housing to one side to disconnect the vent then pull the housing down from the ceiling.

Installing the New Fan

  1. Remove the fan from the box and separate the motor from the housing.
  2. Note how the wires connect to the fan. There may be terminals on the fan motor onto which you can screw the wires. If you just have two bare wires running from the motor, you can connect them to the house wiring with the twist connectors.
  3. Slide the housing up into the ceiling and push it to one side.
  4. Reach up and guide the housing vent connector onto the vent ductwork.
  5. Secure the housing to the ceiling joists with the new screws.
  6. Lift the motor up into the housing.
  7. Match the positive and negative wires and attach them either to screw terminals or with the twist connectors.
  8. Secure the motor into the housing with the new screws.
  9. Turn the breaker on and try the fan switch.
  10. If there is any noise or vibration, look for material in the way of the fan, screws that aren't tightened, or metal in the ceiling vibrating against the housing. Foam insulation strips can be used to quiet metal-against-metal vibrations.
  11. Place the new cover onto the fan and secure with clips or screws.

Replacing an old, noisy bathroom fan is an easy way to improve the bathroom. It's sometimes forgotten as part of a bathroom remodeling project, so your existing fan could well be past time for it to retire.