DIY Network

How to Replace an Exhaust Fan

Home inspector Tim Hockenberry gives step-by-step instructions showing how to replace an old exhaust fan and install a new one.

More in Electrical

  • Time

    30 Minutes

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Choose a Fan

When choosing a new exhaust fan, measure the room and match the fan size by rating in cubic feet per minute. Select the appropriate-sized fan, and begin installation.

For better results, choose a fan rated for a larger room, and remember to consider the fan's sound level; fans are also rated by how noisy they are.

select appropriate sized exhaust fan for room

Step 2: Turn Off the Power

Turn off the power at the electrical panel. Remove the nails holding the existing fan in place

Step 3: Disconnect the Vent Pipe and Wires

Disconnect the vent pipe from the old exhaust fan in the attic.

Disconnect the wires on the old exhaust fan from the main electrical feed. The new fan will be connected to that same feed.

Always follow manufacturer's installation instructions.

disconnect vent pipe from old exhaust fan

Step 4: Run the Cables Into the Fan

After removing the old fan, run the electrical cable into the new housing, making sure to match up each wire: white with white, black with black, green with ground, etc. Twist the wires together and secure with wire nuts. Secure the cables in the fan housing and set in place into the ceiling from above.

Step 5: Mount the Housing and Finish Installation

Mount the housing to the framing in the attic using screws.

Reattach the vent pipe in the attic; then snap the fan motor in place from below.

Plug in the fan and replace the new vent cover. Turn the power back on and test the fan.

mount housing and finish installation