Apr 22, 2019

A bathroom fan is a crucial component of your restroom, especially if you’ve got a shower or bath. Your fan gets rid of the excess moisture produced when the hot water is running. That moisture can cause some serious damage to your paint and enable the growth of mold and mildew. It’s also pretty tough to put on makeup or use a hair dryer when you’re sweaty from the humidity!

International building code requires some kind of ventilation in a bathroom. While you can technically get away with just a window, a bathroom fan is a much more convenient and effective option. If you’re wondering how to replace a bathroom fan, you’re in luck. Replacing a fan is much easier than installing one, because you don’t have to worry about ductwork and venting. Here’s how it’s done.

How to Replace a Bathroom Fan

Safety is always a concern, especially when you’re working with electricity in the bathroom. Before you replace a bathroom fan, turn off the power to that part of the house. There are several types of exhaust fans for bathrooms. The kind you choose will depend on the placement of the fan. If you are installing a fan with a light, you may have to take a few additional steps. Always follow manufacturer’s directions when installing a bathroom fan.


Safety Goggles


Oscillating Saw

Drywall Saw

Drywall Screws


  1. Put on your safety goggles; lots of debris can fall from the ceiling!
  2. Remove the current bathroom fan by taking off the grill cover and disconnecting the motor from the housing. You may need to use a screwdriver to remove it.
  3. Take out the housing. You may be able to gain access through your attic. If not, use an oscillating saw to cut through any brackets. Watch out for wiring!
  4. Disconnect any wiring and ductwork connections so you can fully remove the old bathroom fan.
  5. Measure the dimensions of your new fan. Ideally, you can replace your bathroom fan with a new one that’s the same size, so you don’t have to enlarge the opening. If the new fan is larger, carefully cut away the drywall with a drywall saw to accommodate the larger size.
  6. Use drywall screws to mount the housing to your ceiling joists. This is easiest to do if you have attic access.
  7. Wire the fan according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. Attach the duct to the exhaust port on the fan. Depending on the manufacturer and local code regulations, you may need to allow for a gap between the fan and insulation.
  9. Attach the face plate to the fan in the bathroom. Turn power back on to make sure you’ve followed the steps properly


If you aren’t sure about taking on a project that involves cutting into your ceiling and working with electricity, don’t just forge ahead. The cost to repair a botched DIY project is significantly higher than it would have been to hire a professional, who already knows how to replace a bathroom fan. Electricity is no joke, and little mistakes can have deadly consequences.

At Newcomb and Company, we know how to replace a bathroom fan. We’ve got all of your HVAC and plumbing needs covered, from the biggest overhauls to the smallest projects. If you’re replacing a bathroom fan, give us a call and put our knowledge and experience to work for you.

Need help? Call now.