This article covers the basics on installing an exhaust fan in your bathroom. It discusses placement of the fan and lighted vs unlighted fans.
Every bathroom needs a good exhaust fan. The purpose of this fan is to help rid the bathroom of excess moisture and other unpleasant vapors associated with bathrooms. These fans are rated on their ability to move air from your bathroom and vent it into your attic. Sometimes they will be vented all of the way through the roof, but this is generally not necessary.
You need to know the size of your bathroom. If you know the approximate square footage of the room, the people at the home center that you use should be able to direct you to the fan that is the correct size for your bathroom. Once you have identified the right size fan, you need to decide if you need a fan with a light or not. If you are planning to install the fan where a light fixture currently resides, you probably want a fan with a light.
If the fan is installed where a light fixture is, you will be able to just remove the light fixture and connect the wires to the new fan and use the old switch to run both the fan and the light. If you are going to install a fan without a light in a new location, you need to make the choice about whether to use one switch for the light and the fan or use two switches. Read the directions that come with the fan to see if the amp load will allow the fan to be put on the same circuit with other fixtures. Most of the time this is not a problem. It is always simpler to put everything on one switch, but some people like the choice of whether to run both the fan and light or just one at a time.
Where the fan is located on the ceiling is not too important, but most are positioned near the center of the room. It is a good idea to locate your power source for the fan and see what position will work best for routing the power to it. You will also need to be able to secure the fan casing to something a little more solid above the ceiling. However, this is not too tough because most ceiling fans do not weigh much and are not difficult to anchor.
There should be mounting instructions that come with your new fan. These instructions should guide you regarding how much power and the best way to secure and vent your fixture. If necessary, remove the old light fixture from the ceiling after turning off the power to the unit. Trace the outline of the hole needed to install the fan on the ceiling. Once you are sure that you have it drawn correctly in the proper place, cut out the hole with a keyhole or other convenient saw.
Attach the wires to the appropriate connections on the fan and secure the case in the ceiling. To vent the fan, PVC pipe will do, but you may elect to use some other form of vent pipe. The real key is to get the vent above any attic insulation.
Once the fan is in place, test it to make sure that both the fan and light works. When this is completed, put the decorative cover in place to hide any rough edges from the cut out in the ceiling. This should complete your job. One last note, remember that in most locations, the switch must be on the ground and not the hot wire.
Published in: Do-It-Yourself