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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Bathroom Fan?

Average range: $250 - $500
Low
$100
Average Cost
$350
High
$800
(Fan with new ducts for a master bathroom, installed)

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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Bathroom Fan?

Average range: $250 - $500
Low
$100
Average Cost
$350
High
$800
(Fan with new ducts for a master bathroom, installed)

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Bathrooms tend to be small humid spaces that can hold unpleasant smells for a long time. Having a bathroom fan circulates the room’s air, eliminating odors, contaminants, and humidity. The fan pulls air from the room and vents it outdoors. By running a fan, you keep the air in your bathroom cleaner and fresher, preventing mold and moisture damage.

There are many bathroom fan types and styles. The installation method and size vary by installation and bathroom. For this reason, there is a wide range of costs associated with this project. The national average cost range to install a bathroom fan is between $250 and $500, with most homeowners spending around $350 to install a new bathroom fan for a master bathroom with new ducts running to the exterior. The low-cost project is $100 for an installed direct replacement of an existing fan in a half bath with no new ducts. The high-cost project is $800 for a premium fan with heat installed in a master bathroom with new ducts running through hard-to-reach areas.

Bathroom Fan Costs

Bathroom fan installation prices
National average cost$350
Average range$250-$500
Minimum cost$100
Maximum cost$800
Updated: What's new?

Bathroom Fan Installation Cost by Project Range

Low
$100
Direct replacement of an existing fan with no new ducts, installed
Average Cost
$350
Fan with new ducts for a master bathroom, installed
High
$800
Premium fan with heat and new ducts, installed

Bathroom Fan Cost by Type

Most bathroom fans are installed on the room’s ceiling. This provides the most efficient venting and least invasive appearance. Many fans also combine lights, making their installation in the ceiling even more advantageous. However, there are many types of fans for other scenarios. Each has costs and attributes.


Bathroom Fan Cost by Type

Bathroom Fan Cost by Type


TypeAverage Costs (Material Only)
Ceiling-Mounted$16 - $200
Wall-Mounted$16 - $250
No-Cut$50 - $150
Room Access$50 - $150
Fan With a Light$50 - $175
Exterior$50 - $300
Inline$50 - $300
Fan With a Heater$75 - $240
Fan With a Light and Heater$75 - $275
Fan With Bluetooth$90 - $300


Ceiling-Mounted Exhaust Fan Price

The most common type of exhaust fan installation is in the ceiling. Fans installed on the ceiling are the least likely to get in the way of wall features like tile, towel bars, and mirrors. The humidity and steam from a shower rise, so an exhaust fan can efficiently pull the steam out. If your fan also has a light or heat, it is also more likely to be ceiling mounted. Ceiling-mounted fans cost between $16 and $200, depending on the features.

Wall-Mounted Exhaust Fan Price

Many bathroom fans can be mounted on the ceiling or wall. The vast majority of plain fans - with no lights or heat - allow for either installation. A wall-mounted fan can make sense in small bathrooms or if you have a tricky duct installation. If you have an attic bathroom with sloped walls or ceiling, a wall-mounted fan makes more sense. Prices range from $16 to $250, depending on the size and features.

No-Cut Exhaust Fans

If you have a fan already in your bathroom and want to replace it with a new fan, get a no-cut fan. These fans install in your wall or ceiling’s existing hole. This makes them very fast, easy to change out, and accessible for DIY homeowners who want to upgrade. If the fan has a light or heat, hire a qualified electrician for the installation. The fans cost between $50 and $150 on average.

Room Access Exhaust Fans

Another option for a replacement fan is a room access fan. While new installations require you to install the fan from above, a room access fan can replace the fan from inside. This is a faster and easier replacement that saves on labor fees, especially if the area above your bathroom is difficult to access. Room access fans may also be no cut or require some cutting to install. Expect to pay between $50 and $150.

Exhaust Fan with a Light

If you are installing your exhaust fan on the ceiling, you can opt to include a light. This illuminates your bathroom better. In some cases, you can purchase an exhaust fan with a light installed in a shower. This is a good idea for showers without doors because curtains can make the shower dark. A fan with a light removes steam and brightens the area at the same time. They cost between $50 and $175 on average.

Exterior Exhaust Fan Price

If your bathroom has an exterior wall that is easy to access, you can install an exterior exhaust fan. This fan vents directly out of the wall, rather than needing ducts running to your attic or between floors. This can make for a less expensive and invasive installation and is a good choice for some retrofits in bathrooms without fans. Because some of the noise that these fans emit is outdoors, they can be quieter than other fan types. Prices range from $50 to $300.

Inline Fan Price

Inline fans are not as common for bathrooms because they are for indoor gardens. If you have two or more bathrooms in an area and want to vent them together, an inline fan can help. These fans are located somewhere else, such as the attic, rather than in the bathroom. They are larger and noisier, but they can connect to more than one area at a time. They vent by pulling the air toward them at the end of the duct, rather than pushing it through the duct from the bathroom. They cost between $50 and $300, depending on the size.

Exhaust Fan with a Heater

If you find your bathroom chilly at times, invest in an exhaust fan with an infrared heater. These fans have one or more infrared lamps installed along with the fan. When turned on, they produce a lot of concentrated heat right below them. Many people like to install these fans just outside of the shower or above where you stand in front of the sink. Expect to pay between $75 and $240 on average.

Exhaust Fan with Lights and a Heater

If you have a bathroom that is both chilly and dark, install an exhaust fan with a heater and light source. These fans are usually larger and take up more space. However, they can operate in many ways, running the fan, light, or heater only or any combination of the three. This makes them one of the more versatile options. They cost between $75 and $275, depending on the size.

Exhaust Fan with Bluetooth

When creating a Smart bathroom, you may want to invest in an exhaust fan with Bluetooth. These fans include many features. They may have speakers for playing music. Some may connect to your Smart home device, allowing you to turn on the fan from anywhere. Others provide access via your smartphone. Prices range from $90 to $300 on average, depending on the features.


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Bathroom Exhaust Fan Price by CFM

Your fan’s size is directly related to your bathroom’s size. Your fan needs to move a certain amount of air per minute to be effective. The larger the room, the more air it must move.

Air measurement in fans is labeled as CFM or cubic feet per minute. Most fans that list their CFMs also list the recommended room size. The basic recommendation is about 1 CFM per square foot, with a minimum recommendation of 50 CFMs. The number of CFMs your fan needs increases if your bathroom fan is ducted a long distance or your ducts are old or make a lot of turns. You should also increase your total CFMs for each shower, toilet, bathtub, or jetted tub in the room by about 50 for each item in bathrooms larger than 100 sq.ft.

Below is a basic guideline of bathroom sizes, the number of CFMs you need, and the average cost ranges:

Bathroom Exhaust Fan Price by CFM

Bathroom Exhaust Fan Price by CFM


Bathroom SizeCFMsAverage Cost Range
5’ x 8’ (40 sq.ft.)50 - 60$16 - $75
7’ x 10’ (70 sq.ft.)70 - 80$25 - $100
10’ x 10’ (100 sq.ft.)100 - 150$35 - $300
12’ x 12’ (144 sq.ft.)150 - 250$100 - $300

Bathroom Fan Noise Level

All bathroom fans make noise. The sound that an exhaust fan produces is measured in “sones.” Sone levels in fans range from less than 1, about as quiet as a refrigerator humming, to 4, which can be louder than a typical office environment.

Quieter fans cost more than louder ones. Choose a noise level that you can tolerate for at least 15 minutes, which is about as long as a fan needs to run to extract moisture. Below are the average cost ranges for fans based on how loud they are:


Bathroom Fan Noise Level

Bathroom Fan Noise Level


Number of SonesAverage Cost Range (Material Only)
4 sones$16 - $20
3 sones$30 - $60
2 sones$40 - $90
1 sones$90 - $250
0.5 sones$200 - $300
0.3 sones$300 - $400


Cost to Install a Bathroom Fan

Most electricians charge $40-$100 per hour and can install a bathroom fan in 2-4 hours, for a total labor cost of $80-$400. In general, replacing an existing fan with a newer model is easier and less expensive because the wiring is in place.

Adding a new fan typically requires adding new wiring or reconfiguring the old wiring and ductwork. If wiring or ductwork needs to be changed or rearranged, the installation can take longer and be more expensive. Electricians typically change the wiring in 1-2 hours, for a total cost of $40-$200.

If you do not have vent access, you need to have ducts installed. Likewise, if your ducts are old or leaky, change them out for new ones. To install or change air ducts, plumbers typically charge $45-$200 per hour and can finish the process in 1-2 hours, for a total cost of $45-$400, plus material, which is around $50 - $100 for most homes.

A typical fan installation costs around $200 in labor and $150 in material costs for a total of $350. Choosing a higher-end fan or one with features or having a complex installation increases costs.

Cost to Install a Bathroom Exhaust Fan Through the Roof

If you have a bathroom in your attic, you can vent right through the roof. This means that you do not need ductwork but a fan that can direct-vent. These fans cost between $50 and $300 on average and take about 2 to 3 hours to install for $80 to $300. This makes the project’s cost between $130 and $600, depending on the fan’s size and installation complexity.

Cost to Vent a Bathroom Fan Through the Wall

Wall installations are less common than ceilings, but they are installed the same way. They use ducts to carry the air outdoors. If this is an interior wall, the ducts need to route outside. Installing the fan on an exterior wall directly costs less because you do not need ductwork.

Venting through a wall with ducts costs $200 in labor, with $150 for the fan and parts on average for a total of $350. Venting directly outside through a wall costs between $130 and $600, depending on the wall’s thickness, cut complexity, and fan size.

Cost to Vent a Bathroom Fan Outside

All bathroom fans need to vent outdoors. They can do this in a few ways. They can vent through a series of short or long ducts, depending on the placement. Or, they can also vent directly to the outdoors through a wall or the roof, depending on the bathroom location. The average cost to vent a bathroom fan outside through ducts is around $200 in labor, with $150 in materials for a total of $350. If you choose to direct vent, your cost range is higher because there are more variables. The wall’s thickness, wall type, and fan size determine a cost range of $130 to $600.


Professional installing a bathroom fan on the wall


Cost to Install Bathroom Exhaust Ducts

When installing a new exhaust fan or replacing your existing ducts, you need new ducts run outdoors. This is around $50 to $100 in materials, depending on how far it needs to run and the areas it runs through. Labor costs range from $45 to $400, depending on the project’s complexity and your plumber’s rate. This makes the cost to run the ducts between $95 and $500 on average.

Cost to Replace a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Replacing an existing fan with a new one is a fairly easy and low-cost project. If you choose a no-cut or a room-access fan, the labor takes less than 1 hour to complete, for a labor cost of $40 to $100. This makes the average cost of replacement around $150 to $250, depending on the fan’s type and style.


New bathroom exhaust fan installed on wall

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Bathroom Fan Energy Usage

Bathroom fans are not designed to run all the time. Most are meant to run for only about 15 minutes on average. Some may also have heaters or lights, which may be on for various periods. For this reason, most fans do not have a large impact on your energy usage.

Energy Star-rated fans use roughly 20% less energy than the minimum federal guidelines. These efficient fans use around 6 watts an hour. A very large fan with a light and heater uses about 60 watts an hour. These are not normally run for the entire hour, making your energy usage between 1.5 and 15 watts each time you turn it on.

If you want to save more energy, purchase fans on an automatic timer or with humidity sensors so that they turn on and off automatically.

Bathroom Fan Maintenance

Bathroom fans are fairly easy to maintain. Their biggest issue is that when the fan is running, it is not just pulling steam up into the vent but also pulling anything airborne, such as towel lint and dust. This means that the grate covering the fan can become clogged with dust and dirt. A microfiber towel or dust cloth rubbed or wiped over the surface periodically is the only maintenance needed. Otherwise, if your fan has a light, you only need to worry about changing the bulb when needed.

Visible dust means that steam will not get through easily. It is best to wipe down the fan regularly to avoid this.


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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Speed Control

Most exhaust fans have one speed. However, for some large bathrooms, you may want the option of additional speeds. This lets you turn it up as needed and save energy on less humid days. This speed control is available on higher-end models, with costs starting at around $150 to $200.

Humidity Sensor

Another way to make your fan more functional is to opt for one with a humidity sensor. Fans with a humidity sensor turn on when the designated humidity level is reached. A fan with a humidity sensor is usually available on higher-end models, such as those equipped with Bluetooth. These fans start at $300 on average.

Automatic Timers

If you want to turn on your fan and walk away, you can opt for a model with an automatic timer. An automatic timer fan shuts off after roughly 15 minutes - the length of time necessary to clear most rooms of humidity. These models are more costly and often come with other features like humidity sensors. They have costs starting at around $300 on average.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Most fan installations do not require a permit. However, if you have a larger bathroom remodel and a permit is pulled, your fan will be inspected to make sure that it is venting to the outdoors.
  • When upgrading your fan from a basic model to one with lights or heat, make sure your existing wiring can handle the added load.
  • Old fans can sometimes be disposed of at your local transfer station. This may have a small fee of $10 to $20, depending on the site.

FAQs

  • How many CFM do I need for my bathroom fan?

A standard 5’x8’ bathroom requires a fan of between 50 and 70 CFMs, while a larger bathroom requires more than 100 CFMs. Typically, you need a minimum of 1 CFM per square foot for bathrooms up to 100 sq.ft. Over that, add 50 for each water appliance. Every bathroom should have at least 10 to 20 CFMs more if you vent with ducts.

  • What size of exhaust fan do I need?

Your fan’s size should relate directly to your bathroom’s size. A standard-sized bathroom needs a fan that can handle 50-70 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of airflow.

  • Do bathroom fans need to be vented?

Ideally, yes, because the humidity pulled from the bathroom needs to go somewhere. Fans emptying into the attic space could lead to mold or mildew growth and do not meet updated building codes.

  • Do I have to vent my bathroom fan to the outside?

Yes. You can vent directly to the outdoors through a wall or a series of ducts, depending on the configuration.

  • Are toilet exhaust fans required in a bathroom?

Exhaust fans are required in all bathrooms according to most building codes. The only exception would be for small half bathrooms.

Cost to install a bathroom fan varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Updated:
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.
Exhaust bathroom fan installed in the wall
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Cost to install a bathroom fan varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.