A properly working bathroom fan exhaust fan will draw out humidity, odors, and other pollutants, thereby improving indoor air quality. Upgrade your fan to ensure your bathroom stays clean and mold-free.
Bathroom fans are an appliance afterthought but are vital to limiting humidity. Excess humidity and water vapor can lead to mold, mildew, and can crack and peel paint and wallpaper. If you suspect your exhaust fan is not effective, you can replace it yourself.
Before tackling this job you’ll need to buy a new fan that is large enough to ventilate your bathroom. Use this calculator or the formula (bathroom length x width x height x .13 = minimum CFM rating) to figure out your bathroom fan’s ideal CFM (cubic feet per minute). Always round up when buying a fan. Then look at the sones rating, which determines how much sound it makes, and choose a fan with a sones rating of 1.5 or less (lower the number = more quiet).
A quality fan with a low sones rating can be found for $100-$150. Some are even available with a built-in light.
To install the fan you’ll need to turn off your breakers to hook up the electrical, and get comfortable accessing the crawlspace to finish the ductwork. If your new fan is larger than the one you are replacing you will also need to trim the drywall to create a larger opening. The video above goes into great detail on how to complete this DIY project.