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How to Install an Exhaust Fan

Updated: Jun. 30, 2017

Install a quieter 60 cfm fan without tearing open the ceiling.

FH11JUN_BATFAN_04-2Family Handyman
Upgrade your bath fan and reduce noise without tearing open the ceiling. Simply replace the fan and motor in your existing unit with a new 60 cfm blower. We show you how.

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Step 1: Remove the old fan blower

Photo 1: Remove the cover

Grab the edge of the cover and pull down. Squeeze the springs to release them from the slots and remove the cover.

Photo 2: Take out the old fan

Make sure the wall switch for the fan is turned off. Either remove the screw that holds the fan in place or push out on the metal fan housing to release the tab holding the fan. Then simply pull the fan down and unplug it.

If your bath fan is noisy or just doesn’t seem to move enough air, there’s an easy fix that doesn’t require any new wiring, venting or ceiling patching. Nutone’s No. 690NT Bath Fan Upgrade Kit ($30 to $40 at home centers or online) fits several models of Nutone, Broan and Nautilus fans. You’ll find the model number of your fan stamped on the metal plate that the fan motor is attached to. To see if your fan can be upgraded, go to and type “690NT” into the search box. The Web page lists model numbers and shows photos of the compatible fans.

Step 2: Install the new blower

Photo 3: Attach the new fan to the plate

Match one of the new mounting plates to the style of your old plate, and attach the new fan to the plate with the screws provided.

Photo 4: Mount the new fan

Install the new fan, either hooking the tabs or reinstalling the screw. Plug in the fan and install the new cover.

Photos 3 and 4 show how to install the replacement parts. The kit comes with complete instructions, the new fan and an attractive white grille.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Bath fan upgrade kit