How to Install an Exhaust Fan Cover

What You'll Need
Exhaust Fan Cover (Shutter or Vent Cap)
1x3 Wooden Boards
Saber Saw

An exhaust fan cover usually comes along with the exhaust fan itself. If not, it is necessary to purchase one at a home improvement store. An exhaust fan cover may depend on the type of exhaust fan being used. If the exhaust fan is installed on a roof and serves as an attic ventilation system, it comes with a ventilation cap that can be installed along with the fan by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Most exhaust fans usually lead air outside through the exterior wall and therefore require the cover to be installed on the exterior surface of the wall. Here is how.

Step 1 – Determine What Cover to Use

Determine whether the exhaust fan requires a shutter or a vent cap. An automatic shutter opens when the exhaust fan is turned on. Vent caps are designed differently. It can be simply a cap that covers the opening of the exhaust duct with holes wide enough to let air out, but small enough not to let large debris penetrate. It can also be a simple plastic cap with an elbow design that points downward, allowing the air to exit downwards on its opening while it protects the opening of the duct from the entry of rain and flying debris.

Step 2 – Preparation

Vent caps are easy to install. Simply install the ventilation duct and connect the vent cap to the end of the duct or pipe. However, shutters require a more tedious preparation. Determine where to install the shutters and mark them with a pencil. Use the shutter template as a guide. Use a saber saw to cut the opening. Afterwards, it may be necessary to install mounting boards. Measure the perimeter of the hole cut the necessary wooden boards to be installed. Nail the wooden boards to the perimeter of the hole.

For a vent cap, determine where it will be installed. Some vent caps simply install directly to the exhaust pipe of the fan while others need to be installed outside the walls. If the cap is to be installed on the exterior of the wall, mark the area where it will be installed by tracing the vent cap template. Use a saber hole to cut an opening.

Step 3 – Mount the Shutter and the Vent Cap

Set the shutter on the wooden boards and determine where the screws will be installed. Mark them with a pencil and set the shutter aside. Place a drill bit with the same diameter as the screws and drill the marks on the wooden blocks. Put the shutter back on the mounting board and screw it nice and tight. Turn on the exhaust fan to test if the shutter works.

For the vent cap, simply fit the cap on the hole then mark and pre-drill holes for the screws. Before tightening the screws to secure the cap, apply caulk on the sides the opening first. Screw the cap in place.