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Recommendations for installing bathroom exhaust fan (old house does not have one)

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  • Nov 30th, 2015 10:53 pm
Deal Addict
Mar 28, 2011
1451 posts

Recommendations for installing bathroom exhaust fan (old house does not have one)

Hey all

Is anyone like me in an old house without a bathroom exhaust fan?
There is a window but you can't keep opening it up during winter to let the humidity out after a shower.
I saw online some exhaust fans you can install as part of the window but that doesnt seem safe for Canadian winters, and probably a big source of air leak too.

I keep reading it will cost me a roofer, HVAC person, and electrician to do this and is considered a small job.
Roofer to cut/flash the hole and install the vent in the roof, HVAC person to run the ducting (really?) and electrician to fish the power line to the existing light switch and replace with a 2 gang switch box.

Any alternatives, or recommended companies to go with to do this install? Homestars has too many companies and I'm not sure which to contact (dont think I want to BCC all of them)

Obviously I will supply my own fan (probably go with panasonic as I kept reading its great), but will need the contractor(s) to supply the labour/rest of material.

10 replies
Deal Fanatic
Nov 18, 2005
5077 posts
Yes, it's 3 trades and a $1000 job to do it the Mike Holmes way. Some HVAC guys are ESA licensed so you would save some cash if you can find them. Gone are the legal days where a handyman could get an electrical permit and do everthing at once for under $500
Sr. Member
Aug 13, 2011
729 posts
Scarborough southwes…
If your house is that old, likely it's very dry in winter too?
Why not just open the bathroom door and run the house fan for 20 minutes?
Spread that humidity to the rest of the house.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 13, 2004
13092 posts
If your house is that old (Like ours) I would leave it and wait until you renovate the bathroom. Other then that its going to be a bit expensive to just install the fan if you dont know people that can do it.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 15, 2015
9156 posts
Vent through the outside wall if possible and save cutting the roof.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 10, 2015
2020 posts
Elgin, ON
I also have an old house, with no vent in the bathroom. If I plan to take a long shower, I crack the window. A little crack makes a big difference. I run a space heater to keep the air temperature up.
Deal Addict
Mar 3, 2009
1609 posts
Ottawa, ON
Is there an existing ceiling light in the bathroom? If there is, you can get a combo light / fan. This way you won't need to worry about the electrical part, but you will still need the vent and ductwork done.
Deal Addict
Mar 23, 2006
1135 posts
how old is your house ? There are some old houses (100 year ones) where I have seen a round vent hole in the ceiling of the 2nd floor washroom (over the toilet). It is tied in with the main stack, I guess the exhaust naturally goes up the vent as heat rises.

Anyhow, if it ain't broke I say leave it. My 2 cents.

If you that are worried about humidity from the shower I would rather just put a dehumidifier inside the bathroom.
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2006
4478 posts
Burlington, Ontario
I did the exact same thing this summer in my old house. Took me about 2 hours.
There were 2 light circuits in my bathroom, vanity and ceiling light. I cut out the ceiling light, mounted a fan there, drilled a hole through the roof, cut out the shingles on the roof and put a vent. It's not that difficult and you will find several dozen YouTube videos on how to do it.

Total materials was about $200, most of which was the fan.
Audio - Video - Data - Security - This is what I do
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2008
1568 posts
when you do go for it, buy the panasonic...its the best....and only a few bucks more than a crappy air king.


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