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How to Replace a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

bathroom exhaust fan

A bathroom exhaust fan is a must-have when it comes to keeping your mobile home fresh and free of excess moisture. It doesn’t just get rid of bad smells but also lowers humidity, stopping mold and mildew from forming. If you’ve noticed your fan isn’t clearing steam fast or making loud noises, it might be time for a replacement. Don’t worry, though! With a bit of know-how, you can easily replace the exhaust fan in your mobile home bathroom.


Why Do I Need a Bathroom Exhaust Fan?

After hot showers, baths, and other activities, moisture can build up on your bathroom walls, windows, and cabinets. If not ventilated properly, this moisture can cause problems like mold growth, peeling paint, damaged wallpaper, and warped walls and cabinets.

But don’t worry! You can prevent these problems by installing a bathroom exhaust fan that’s the right size for your bathroom. The fan will remove the damp air and draw out unpleasant odors.


How Do Bathroom Exhaust Fans Work?

Bathroom exhaust fans work by drawing in air from the bathroom and expelling it outside through a duct. As the air is forced out, it carries moisture, odors, and pollutants, effectively ventilating the space. 

Most exhaust fans have a motor and fan blades housed in a vented cover installed on the ceiling or wall. When turned on, the fan creates negative pressure, drawing air out of the room and venting it through a duct to the outside. This continuous airflow helps prevent moisture buildup and keeps the air fresh and clean.


What Size Bathroom Exhaust Fan Do I Need?

Choosing the right bathroom exhaust fan is crucial, and it all starts with finding the correct size for your space. How well a fan works depends on its ability to move air, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The bigger your bathroom, the higher the CFM rating you’ll need. Aim for at least 1 CFM per square foot of bathroom space.


Determining the Power of the Exhaust Fan

To find the right fan size, start by determining the area of your bathroom. Measure your bathroom’s length, width, and height, and then multiply these values to get your bathroom size. 

Once you know your bathroom size, you can calculate the minimum CFM rating your fan needs using this formula:

Bathroom Size x 0.13 = Minimum CFM Rating

If you want to skip the math, or if measuring your ceiling is tricky, check the fan’s packaging. It should tell you the maximum square footage the fan can ventilate. If you know roughly how big your bathroom is, you can pick a fan based on the maximum square footage the packaging recommends.


Things to Consider

Before making a purchase at your favorite mobile home retailer, consider these key factors:


Fan Location

As showers or baths are the main source of heat and humidity in a bathroom, installing the vent fan directly over them would be the best choice, right? But actually, that could be a problem. See, as it pulls air into itself, it exposes the vent fan directly to water, which can cause damage to the unit. Plus, this positioning can also make it harder for the vent fan to pull fresh air into the bathroom.

Ideally, place a bathroom fan in the ceiling at least 1 foot from the shower, between the shower and the door. This way, the fan can still capture the steam from the shower, but it’s not directly in the line of fire. It also gives the fan a better chance to pull in fresh air from the rest of the house, keeping your bathroom fresh and comfortable.


Noise Level

Consider the noise level of the exhaust fan, especially if you’re sensitive to sound or if your bathroom is located near bedrooms or living areas. The industry has a way to measure this noise—it’s called sones. The lower the sone rating, the quieter the fan. For reference, one sone is about as loud as a quiet refrigerator. So, a quiet bathroom fan will be rated at around 1 1/2 sones or less.


Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient fans with an ENERGY STAR label are a great choice. They’re not only energy efficient but also quiet, often having low sone ratings. An ENERGY STAR-certified fan uses about 60 percent less energy than standard bathroom fans.


Mounting Options

Bathroom fans are available in three models: ceiling mounts, wall mounts, or both. While the ceiling installation style is the most common for mobile homes, choose the mount type that works best with your bathroom’s layout and your home’s ducts. 


How to Replace a Mobile Home Exhaust Fan

installing exhaust fan

Replacing a bathroom exhaust fan in your mobile home is pretty simple, as long as you pay attention to safety rules and follow the instructions from the manufacturer. Here’s a step-by-step guide:


1. Turn Off the Electricity

Before you start, make sure to cover your work area to make cleaning up easier later. Then, turn off the electricity in the bathroom by locating the circuit breaker panel box. In a mobile home, you can usually find it on an interior wall near where your home connects to the outdoor power supply. If you’re not sure how to turn off the power in your home, it’s best to contact an electrician. 


2. Remove the Fan Cover

After turning off the electricity, it’s essential to make sure there’s no power. Always be cautious when working with electricity. To remove the fan’s cover, grasp it and pull it downwards. You might need a stepladder or chair to reach the ceiling comfortably.

If your fan is above your shower, place a towel on the floor to stabilize the ladder or chair.


3. Remove the Motor

With the cover off, unscrew the fan motor housing and unplug the motor. Take note of the screw arrangement for easier reassembly later. Once done, you should be able to pull out the motor assembly.


4. Disconnect the Wiring

Open the electrical junction and separate the wires from each other.


5. Remove the Ceiling Fan Box

Unscrew and push the box up into the ceiling space. Disconnect the vent pipe and unscrew the wires from the back of the box. You can now remove the box through the ceiling hole.


6. Prepare the New Fan

Take out the new fan and motor housing from its box. Look for a half-inch hole on the top or side of the new ceiling fan box. Next, put in a new connector or bushing sleeve through this hole. Then, attach the new vent flapper to the ceiling fan box.


7. Electrical Wiring

Slide the house wiring through the connector or sleeve and wire the new fan according to the manufacturer’s instructions and local codes. Secure the wiring with wire nuts and replace the junction box cover.


8. Install the Fan Box into the Ceiling

Push the new fan box into the ceiling hole, attach the vent pipe, and secure it with aluminum foil-backed tape. Use drywall screws to secure the box into the wall.

Tip: If the new fan doesn’t fit the hole, there are a few ways to fix it. If the hole is too small, mark the excess drywall and cut it to make the fan fit better. On the other hand, you must patch the ceiling if the hole is too big. To do this, you can attach a wooden bar above the hole and install a small extension to cover and make the hole smaller.


9. Plug in the New Fan

Make sure that the fan unit is free of debris and that the fan spins freely. Then, plug the new fan into the ceiling box unit and place the motor housing into it, securing it with a screw. 


10. Run the Fan

Test your newly installed fan by running it for twenty minutes after every shower for optimal performance.


Breathe Easy With a Mobile Home Exhaust Fan

bathroom exhaust fans

Choosing and installing the right bathroom exhaust fan for your mobile home is essential for maintaining a healthy and comfortable living environment. By considering factors such as fan size, location, noise level, energy efficiency, and installation, you can ensure adequate ventilation and enjoy the benefits of cleaner air and reduced humidity in your bathroom. 

Feel free to consult a professional if you need clarification on the installation process. With the right exhaust fan from Mobile Home Parts Store, you can breathe easy knowing your mobile home is well-ventilated and odor-free.

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