How to Remove a Whole House Fan System

What You'll Need
Socket wrench
Wire Nuts
Electrical tape
Pry bar
Needle nose pliers
Piece of drywall or wood to match ceiling opening (if not replacing old fan)
Drywall tape
Drywall or wood screws
Putty knife
Painting tools
Circuit tester or multi-meter

If you want to replace the old whole house fan in your home with a new one, you'll have to first be able to properly remove the old fan. Removing a whole house fan is not difficult, and you can usually complete the removal and a couple of hours. Use this step-by-step guide to help you properly remove the old whole house fan from your ceiling.

Step 1: Shut Off the Power

Turn off the breaker at your breaker box that provides current to the whole house fan. Make sure it is off by using the switch for the fan to make sure you are not able to power it on or off.

Step 2: Remove the Shutter Assembly

First, remove the screws from the shutter assembly or louver assembly of your whole house fan. Most shutter assemblies on whole House fans will have between 4 and 12 screws that will need to be removed before you can remove the shutter.

Step 3: Disconnect the Fan Wiring

Remove the wire nuts or electrical tape that connects the wiring from your whole house fan to the wires leading from the circuit breaker box. Before touching the bare, exposed ends of the wiring, use your circuit tester or multi-meter to ensure that the power is indeed off. After you have disconnected the wiring leads from the whole house fan, insulate the exposed wiring ends with wire nuts or electrical tape.

Step 4: Remove the Whole House Fan

Depending upon the type and weight of your installed whole house fan, there may or may not be bolts, nails or screws securing the fan to headers or box joists. If there are fasteners attaching the whole house fan to headers or joists, use your socket wrench, screwdriver or pry bar to remove them before removing the fan. Also, if sponge rubber was used to support the frame, remove that as well at this time.

Step 5: Check the Frame Opening

If you are replacing your whole house fan, and the new fan is the same size as the old one, you may not need to remove or adjust the wooden frame used to support the fan. However, if the current frame opening does not match the size of your new whole house fan, you will need to remove the lumber used in the frame as well.

Step 6: Install New Fan or Close the Opening

If you are installing a new whole house fan, you can now proceed with following the manufacturer's instructions for the new fan installation. If you're simply removing the old fan, and will not be replacing it, use drywall or other appropriate material to cover the hole left by the removal of the whole house fan, and finish and paint as needed.