How to Attach an Exhaust Fan How to Attach an Exhaust Fan

What You'll Need
New exhaust fan
Drywall or saber saw
Silicone caulk
Caulk gun
Sharpie marker
Masking tape

Exhaust fans can significantly reduce the mold and mildew which come from humidity by venting the air outside. The wiring of a fan is a relatively simple do-it-yourself project which can be completed in a short time.

Step 1 – Cutting the Hole

Before any work is done, disconnect the power to the room by removing the fuse or flipping the breaker. If removing an old fixture, be sure to use masking tape and a sharpie to label the wires. Either remove the old fixture or align the template with the new exhaust fan with the ceiling joist. Using a drywall saw, saber saw, or reciprocating saw, cut the hole in the ceiling. Cut an 1/8-inch additional room around the edge to allow for easier installation and wiring.

Step 2 – Mounting the Housing

Attach the ductwork to the exhaust fan. Fit the housing into the opening and begin securing the housing to the joist. Fasteners should be provided with the exhaust fan. Be sure to use a fastener in each hole in order to minimize rattling and noise when the fan is operating.

Step 3 – Wiring the Fan

Manufacturer's often include wiring diagrams with the purchase of an exhaust fan. In the instance that such a diagram is not included, remember to always attach the wires in the reverse order from which they were removed: live wire first, ground second.

Step 4 – Attaching the Fixture

Attach the fixture to the housing. Next, attach the grill to the fixture using the fasteners provided.

Step 5 – Finishing the Ductwork

If the exhaust fan has a light combined with it, screw in the light bulb and snap in the diffuser. Run the duct work making as few turns as possible to allow for open airflow and fewer clogs.


Step Six – Mounting the End Cap

Mark the location of the end cap with a sharpie and cut a hole with a reciprocating saw. Run a bead of silicone caulk around the edge of the cap and slide the end cap through the hole. Using galvanized screws attach the end cap to the wall. Connect the duct work to the end cap. Flip the breaker and test the system.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!