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Installing a Bathroom Fan

Air Movement is Paramount to a Healthy Bathroom Experience

Bathrooms tend to be small, confined spaces with little ventilation and big moisture problems. This can lead to several problems, all costing your wallet some serious weight. Installing a simple bathroom fan is an economical solution to these problems, and offers additional benefits as well. Continue reading to find out what these are as well as the costs associated with buying and installing bathroom fans, all brought to you by Home Improvement Educator.

Why Should I Install a Bathroom Fan?

Bathroom fans take care of several issues specific to bathrooms. They include:
  • Steam and Moisture Issues: If left unchecked, steam and moisture can cause paint to peel, sheetrock develops mold and mildew, and any wood in the bathroom (doors, windows, trim, etc.) to warp and swell.
  • Unpleasant Odors: Cigarette smoke and odors caused by human waste can make bathroom visits a scary endeavor. A sufficiently powerful fan can rid bathrooms of foul odors in seconds.
  • Fresh Air: In addition to exhausting moisture and foul odors, bathroom fans are capable of introducing fresh outside air into the home by reversing fan direction.

Installation Considerations

Bathroom fans can be exhausted in two ways - inside an interior wall and up through the roof, or horizontally in the ceiling directly outside the closest exterior wall. The direction that the contractor chooses depends on where the bathroom is located.
  • If the bathroom is located on the second floor (in a 2 story home) far from an exterior wall, labor costs will be cheaper to go into the attic and up through the roof. The effectiveness of drawing air from the outside with the fan in this case will be much more difficult, however.
  • Bathrooms located on the first floor (regardless of floor plan if a 2 or 3 story home) or on the second floor near an exterior wall will likely benefit from horizontal ventilation.
  • For homeowners concerned with noise, manufacturers offer ultra-quiet bathroom fan units that offer the same ventilation power without the operational noise. A heating unit which blows hot air into the bathroom is another option manufacturers offer.
  • Fans are also available as a fan/light combination which can take the place of an existing ceiling light in your bathroom.

Bathroom Fan Installation Costs

The following prices are based on national averages; expect costs to be slightly higher or lower depending on the state in which you reside.
  • Bathroom fans themselves cost anywhere from $30-$300. Ultra-quiet combination units with a light and/or heater will be on the more expensive end of the spectrum.
  • Installation, including electrical and duct work, can cost as little as $200-$300 for a bathroom near an exterior wall with a horizontal duct installation. Costs can rise close to $1,000 (including sheetrock repair) for installations in bathrooms far from exterior walls needing to go up through 2 floors and out through the roof.

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