I recently bought a cape style home with 2-bathrooms, one of which is
on the second floor. There is nothing to help ventilate that room. No
window, No exhaust fan. I want to install an exhaust fan, however
every 'how-to' book and every bit of advice that I have read about
exhaust fans assumes you have an attic. Any tips on how to accomplish
this task without having an attic.
I think there are a couple of fans on that link that might work.
There are some that might connect to a duct run between ceiling joists.
There are a couple that might work through an outside wall.
OP will have to investigate what works.
Does the bathroom have an outside wall? If so, many bath exhaust fans
can be wall mounted and vented to the outside through the wall.
Nutone and others make suitable models. A search for "wall mounted
exhaust fan" will show you some choices.
You will need to remove some or all of the bathroom ceiling to install ducts
and wiring. Your options for venting are out through the roof or venting
out the side perhaps through a soffit if possible. For roof venting you
will need to cut a hole through the roof to install a vent cap. This task
can vary according to the type of roof you have.
You may be able to run your wiring from an existing switch box in the room
if it contains a hot and neutral. Depending on the circumstances you may be
able to convert the existing switch box to a two gang box.
Without more details I cannot give more precise information. The first
thing that I would do is pick the general area that the fan should go into.
Make a small hole (1/4") and push a fishtape into it to see how deep the
cavity is. Then push the fishtape in all directions to see if there are any
Next open the existing switch box and determine if you have a hot and
neutral. Determine if you have room for additional wires or how you would
go about replacing the existing switch box with a bigger one. Push your
fishtape up along side the existing switchbox to determine if there are any
obstacles between the switchbox and the ceiling. Determine how you will get
the wiring from the switchbox to the fan. You may need to drill through
some ceiling joists and the top plate of the wall.
Next I would check the roof to see what is involved in installing a flanged
roof vent cap. Check the side of the house that is perpendicular to the
ceiling joist run and determine if it is feasible to install a vent cap and
duct to go out the side. If there is a soffit, consider how you might vent
Once I have all of these tasks figured out, I would proceed with removing
some of the ceiling. Next I would install the roof cap in such a way as to
facilitate the connection of duct from the future bath fan to the vent cap.
Install the wiring. Mount the fan. Make final duct and wiring connections.
I'm going to have to pass on this project for the time being. Other
things have come up. However, I might have to hire this project out.
Connecting to an exsisting duct of even installing a duct is going to
be difficult without access to the area above the bathroom. Its
starting to sound like I am going to have to remove the bathroom
I'm in the process of replacing my fan, and I have to say, if I wanted
to run a larger duct(currently it is only 3"), I would have to only
remove the ceiling along the inside of two joists(at worst). So it
isn't a total rip out, and if you are nice how you remove the piece,
you can put it back up, and with some compound and paint, it should
Just a guess, I'm not in the mood for removing mine, yet.
tom @ www.URLBee.com
Excuse me for butting in with a related question.
The Panasonic type fans are
low noise, but they all seem to have the squirle-cage fan and the duct
attached to the side.
I put one of these in where there was no fan before, so could easily
put the roof
vent hole far enough away to avoid sharp turns in the ducting. Worked
well, and I love
it. Now I'd like to replace an existing, blade-type fan that vents
straight up. I would like
to use the existing roof vent, but that would involve 3 right-angle
bends to get from the
side outlet on the Panasonic style fan. Is there a better way to do
example, are there good quality, quiet fans with a top exiting duct?
Check out www.fantech.net and look at their inline fans..intake on
bottom, outlet on top. Bonus is if you position it so there are at
least several feet of duct between grille and fan you will literally
not be able to hear it running unless it is dead silent in the room.
I think they are somewhat more expensive, around $125 plus duct for
the smaller units, a little more if you've got a big bathroom. They
have grilles with built in lights as well, if you want that, and you
can have multiple inlet grilles to a single fan if you have both a
shower and tub for example. There are other brands too, that might be
cheaper, but fantech makes a good product.
To me, in the long run an extra $50-75 was worth it for a high
quality, really quiet fan.
BTW, I've bought several from www.hvacquick.com and been pleased with
(insert usual no affiliation disclosure here for both fantech and
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