In about three hours, replace your noisy fan with a quiet, high-capacity unit that will keep your bathroom fresh and healthful.
A vent fan works hard to remove moisture, odor, and mold spores. Eventually, it just plain wears out. The signs? Your mirror is foggy. Mold creeps into your shower stall. The fan roars like a coffee grinder. It's definitely time for a change. New fans are quieter and more effective than ever -- and they are relatively easy to install. To choose a fan with the right cubic feet per minute (cfm) capacity for your bathroom, measure the floor area and multiply by 1.1 for an 8-foot ceiling, 1.25 for a 9-foot ceiling, or 1.5 for a cathedral ceiling. For example, an 8×10-foot bath with an 8-foot ceiling needs a fan rated for 88 cfm or more (80×1.1=88). Buy as quiet a fan as you can afford: The lower the sone number, a measurement of sound volume, the better. A refrigerator produces about 1 sone; ambient office noise is about 3. New fans tend to be larger than old units, which means you'll have to cut a larger hole for your replacement fan. You might also need to add an adaptor to make the transition from the 4-inch vent pipe outlet of the new unit to the 3-inch pipe from your old fan.
Before you start, prep by clearing out the bathroom and laying a drop cloth. Set up a stepladder or stool so you can easily reach the fan.
Most old fans have a 3-inch vent pipe, and new fans have a 4-inch vent pipe. Using duct tape on both ends, attach the vent pipe adapter to the new vent pipe of the fan.