How much does it cost to replace an exhaust fan?

Knowing the cost before getting an estimate can equal big savings

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Exhaust fans can be essential in preventing mold and mildew growth in your bathroom by removing excess moisture from the air. They also help prevent wood rot, structural damage, peeling paint and loosened tiles. However, unexpected breakdowns of your exhaust fan can lead to costly expenses and leave your bathroom humid. Here are the average replacement and labor costs and a few ways to save money.

Key insights

The cost of replacing an exhaust fan depends on the type and brand of the fan.

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The average cost to replace a bathroom exhaust fan is $385.

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Exhaust fan replacement can cost anywhere between $240 to $551.

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Exhaust fan replacement costs

Exhaust fans are rated by how much air they can move, which is measured by cubic feet per minute (CFM). Typically, you’ll need a fan that moves one CFM of air per square foot of your bathroom. The cost of replacing your exhaust fan greatly depends on the size of the unit you'll need for your bathroom.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for an exhaust fan replacement depending on the CFM grade:

Exhaust fan replacement costs by type

In addition to the CFM rating, exhaust fan replacement costs depend on the type of fan, as well. For example, fans with a higher CFM rating and more features like heaters, lights and timers are typically more expensive than basic models. An average exhaust fan replacement usually costs around $385 but can run anywhere between $240 to $551.

Here are the average costs of replacing exhaust fans depending on the type:

Additional exhaust fan costs

If you're replacing your exhaust fan or installing a new system, you may need a professional. Labor costs typically range from $200 to $800, depending on whether electrical work, ductwork, venting and potentially even roofing are required for the fan installation.

Additionally, you might need an HVAC or roofing permit to install a new system. HVAC permits can cost anywhere from $250 to $400, and roofing permits range from $70 to $250.

Can you DIY an exhaust fan replacement?

If you are thinking about replacing your exhaust fan, you could potentially do it yourself. Typical replacements usually take 30 minutes to an hour, and you typically only need a key saw, a flat-head or Phillips screwdriver, brackets and spackle for roof repair.  However, some installments require more detailed work, like electrical, ductwork, venting and roofing, so it might be worth calling a contractor.

When should an exhaust fan be replaced?

Most exhaust fans last up to 10 years, but kitchen and attic fans can last around 12 years. Before your exhaust fan breaks down completely, there will be some signs that it needs to be repaired or replaced.

One big sign is when the room starts to feel stuffy or has an odor. This could be caused by your fan working slower because of electrical or HVAC problems. Also, if you hear a strange noise coming from your system or you see mold, mildew or wood rot, it might be time for a replacement.

Does your home warranty cover exhaust fan repair or replacement?

Many home warranty companies offer coverage on repairs and replacements for exhaust fans in their systems plan or as an add-on. However, some plans only include kitchen exhaust fans, while others only cover attic or bathroom fans.

Also, some home warranties only offer protection for newer fans, certain types and certain repairs. You may not be covered if you have an older or professional-grade exhaust fan. So, double-checking your policy may be a good idea.

Quick and easy. Find a home warranty partner now.


    How long do exhaust fans in your home last?

    Exhaust fans have a lifespan of up to ten years with proper maintenance.

    Do I need to have my exhaust fans serviced regularly?

    Regular maintenance like cleaning, air filter changes and occasional oiling should be done on your exhaust fans at least once a year.

    Do exhaust fans have a warranty?

    Yes, built-in and portable exhaust fans typically come with a manufacturer's warranty. Many home warranties also offer coverage for exhaust fans in their base plan or as an add-on.

    Bottom line

    Breakdowns on your exhaust fan can leave your room feeling stuffy and lead to mold and mildew. Replacing an exhaust fan yourself can be easy enough to do. However, if electrical work and ductwork aren’t part of your skill set, calling a professional may be the way to go. You can expect to pay $200 to $800 for labor, but getting a home warranty that covers exhaust fans could save you a lot of money if you're looking for a more budget-friendly option.

    Article sources
    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. Harrison Electric, “5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan.” Accessed April 16, 2024.
    2. Home Ventilating Institute, “Care and Maintenance of Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan.” Accessed April 16, 2024.
    3. Angi, “How Much Does It Cost to Install a Bathroom Fan?” Accessed April 16, 2024.
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