Installing bathroom exhaust fans the easy way

Now, lets move on to bathroom exhaust fans and the more complex bathroom fan light heater units for ventilation. These fans can be put in as part of the finish work, but as usual, the venting should have been done along with the HVAC before the insulation and sheetrock was put up. If you want a bathroom fan light heater unit, then you’ll need to plan ahead in wiring before the walls go on.

Most bathroom exhaust fans are important for more than the most obvious reason, they also pull moisture out of the air and deliver it outside.

bathroom fan
This helps prevent mold from growing in humid places. They are a snap to install if you use dryer vent.

When installing the dryer vent, you’ll need to be careful not to twist or kink it. There is usually one exhaust vent on the roof or the side of the house in medium sized houses.

installing bathroom vents

You’ll first need to cut a hole in the roof the size of the vent flange.

The vent cover will completely cover the hole and the flange will stick into the hole and connect to the dryer vent. Connect the dryer vent with a hose clamp as in the pictures below.

connecting bathroom vent

bathroom exhaust

Depending on your local codes, you can either vent to the roof or the side of the house. This is an inside view of side venting.

bathroom venting
There are many different types of outside vents that look good. Side venting needs to have nice vent covers, because they are visible to everyone.

Connect the other end of the dryer vent to the fan outlet using another hose clamp. The wiring should have been run with the electrical so it’s just a matter of connecting the hot and neutral wires.

Some fans are a fan, heater, and a light. In this case you will have three sets of wires to keep straight and run to a switch or switches as we’ve covered in the electrical section. Remember that all bathroom outlet switches need to be GFCI’s.

bathroom wiring

Bathroom fan light heater units are a little trickier, but not too difficult. You will need to use 12-3 romex from the switch to the unit. The switch will have three buttons to control each component.

top of page

Next, bathroom cabinets

Back to bathrooms main page

Over 4 million visitors to this site since it was born!

My newsletter keeps you up to date on home construction and design ideas.

home construction

I just wanted to say that I love your website. My husband and I followed your instructions on building our own home. Most of the work we did ourselves, but not all. We saved $90,000 in labor costs and now have a beautiful home that we own.

--Sue and Les Carrigan, Draper, Utah

I built my own home doing all my own labor. My house costs me around $70,000 for materials. It took me 8 months to build and is about 2,000 square feet. I didn't think I could do it, but your house web site encouraged me. I used all the info you had.

Thank you,

Benny Luis Lopez,

Gainsville, Florida

I can't thank you enough for your free information web site about home building. I was looking for Electrical wiring diagrams when I found your site. It was very helpful.

Steve Lundquist,

Little Rock, Arkansas

My wife and I lost our home to foreclosure but we kept a plot of land to start over. We are halfway through the construction of our house. Your website gave us hope to start over and build a house with low payments. We are in our late 60's but we find it rewarding to put so much effort into a project that will reward us for years to come.

Name respectfully withheld