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How to Install an Exhaust Fan in a Wall

Scott Caron, master electrician for Ask This Old House, helps a homeowner put in an exhaust fan to rid her kitchen of smelly cooking odors.

In this video, Scott Caron, master electrician for Ask This Old House, helps a homeowner put in an exhaust fan to rid her kitchen of smelly cooking odors.

Steps to Installing an Exhaust in the Wall

  1. Use a stud finder to locate studs and find an empty bay to install the fan. Or drill a hole and use fish tape to find the structure.
  2. Using a pencil, trace an outline of the circular exhaust housing.
  3. Cut out plaster using a utility knife.
  4. Remove the lathe using a reciprocating saw and remove any insulation that may potentially block the exhaust.
  5. Outside, trace an outline of the dimensions of the square exhaust housing and remove the siding with the utility knife.
  6. Trace an outline of the circular exhaust within the square dimensions and remove the sheathing with the reciprocating saw.
  7. Screw the outer square exhaust housing to the structure using screws from the kit and a drill/driver.
  8. Locate an electrical source with constant power.
  9. Connect nonmetallic 14-2 sheathed electrical wire to the power source by splicing the wires together using pliers. Cover the connections with wire connectors.
  10. Place the circular housing in the hole, pull the wire through, and make the connections to the electrical box.
  11. Insert the fan into the housing and plug it into the electrical box.
  12. Insert the fan cover using the cap screw.

Tools