Bathrooms are the rooms typically most in need of an extractor fan. Your shower, bath and taps all add up to create excessive moisture which lingers in the air – and if the room isn’t properly ventilated, this excess of moisture can condensate and cause damp.
An extractor fan is the perfect fix for this problem as it removes the moisture and vents it outside, balancing the humidity of the room and preventing any damp from settling and causing mildew or mould formations.
In this article, we’ll be covering:
- How much it costs to install or replace an extractor fan
- What affects the cost of installing or replacing an extractor fan
- How to save money on a new extractor fan
- What’s involved in installing or replacing an extractor fan
- How to find and hire a tradesperson
If you’re worried about the ventilation in one or all of your bathrooms, keep reading to find out how to make it as habitable – and damp free! – as possible.
How Much Does It Cost to Install or Replace an Extractor Fan?
With all the different types of extractor fans, it’s hard to know which one to choose. The key considerations when choosing a fan are air movement rating, operational noise and switching capabilities.
|TYPE OF FAN||COST|
|Wall Fan||£20 to £50 each|
|Ceiling Fan||£30 to £55 each|
|Window Fan||£40 to £70 each|
|Axial Fan||£20 to £80 each|
|Centrifugal Fan||£40 to £90 each|
Wall fans come in at between £20 to £50 each, while ceiling fans are slightly more at £30 to £55. Window fans are between £40 to £70, and axial fans are £20 to £80.
Finally, for a centrifugal fan, you’ll be looking at between £40 to £90 each, depending on the size and specification you opt for.
For most jobs, between two to eight hours depending on the choice of fan, position and ducting will be necessary for labour, coming in at between £30 to £55 for an electrician.
Centrifugal fans are the most sophisticated option, being the most efficient of our selection, thus commanding a higher price point. If you have a severe moisture problem in your bathroom, it’s worth investing in this model.
However, for more conventional bathrooms that just need a little help with ventilation, you can opt for a cheaper wall or ceiling fan option. These are the most standard options and commonly found in new builds, with the warm, wet air being pulled out via the ducting.
Are you ready to have an extractor fan fitted? HouseholdQuotes can help you find the right extractor fan installer.
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What Affects the Cost of Installing or Replacing an Extractor Fan?
Although extractor fans can be quite affordable, some elements can add to your final estimate to keep an eye out for.
Choice of Fan
There are a few different varieties of extractor fan to choose from:
- Wall fan
- Ceiling fan
- Window fan
- Axial fan
- Centrifugal fan
A wall or ceiling fan is the most standard option, being fitted into the areas of your bathroom and drawing humid air out of the area.
Window fans are as described: mounted into the window to propel the humid air out of your bathroom completely.
An axial fan extracts the bathroom air and draws it through the impeller, which then works to remove the fluid by rotating the blades.
Centrifugal fans are by far the most efficient type of extractor fans, as they can produce a high level of pressure which draws the humid air out of a bathroom quickly.
Depending on the size of your bathroom, whether or not it has window access and the amount of humidity expected to be built up after use, the extractor fan you choose to have installed is entirely bespoke to your circumstances – but most varieties have more cost-effective and more luxury options.
Size of Fan
Extractor fan outputs are measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), which relates to the mass of air they can sweep from a room.
The ratio is said to be one CFM per square foot of bathroom space – although the minimum fan size is usually 50 CFM, so if your bathroom is smaller than this as per the ratio, it’ll still be the size you need to choose.
The higher the CFM rating, the quicker a fan will shift air. More powerful fans can remove moisture faster and, as a result, it won’t need to run for so long, yet larger rooms will hold more moisture so they demand a more powerful extractor fan.
In most cases, it’s better to be overzealous with the size of the fan to ensure your bathroom stays as damp-free as possible, so this is a good area not to cut corners on as you’ll just end up jeopardising your bathroom and needing a refit much quicker.
Ease of Access
As with all home renovations, how easily accessible an area is will affect the price you pay. Straight-forward replacements are far easier than getting into a tight space or having to cut into the ceiling, wall or window to fit something brand new.
You can’t change the formation of your bathroom, but it’s something to bear in mind when scoping out traders for your work.
How Can I Save Money on a New Extractor Fan?
Comparing quotes is a great way to potentially reduce the cost of a new extractor fan. HouseholdQuotes can help you get quotes from multiple extractor fan fitters near you, so that you can find someone that suits your budget.
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Replacing an extractor fan is a relatively straightforward job that can be done by yourself, as long as if you have some knowledge of disassembly and the correct tools.
The existing wiring and ducting will need to be in good condition. If not, you’ll need to repair these before commencing. Also, check the dimensions of your new fan line up with the existing holes.
If you’re unsure about anything during this process, there’s no harm in having someone take a second look for you to make sure everything is in place as it should be.
What’s Involved in Installing or Replacing an Extractor Fan?
If you’re fitting an extractor for the first time, it’s a longer process than just simply replacing the old for new.
An electrical supply will need to be located and tapped in to and wiring needs to run for fan activation.
The wall/ceiling needs to be cut to accommodate the fan and exhaust and ducting needs to be routed between the fan and exit point. An exhaust grill will also need to be fitted to the outside wall
All wiring will need to be covered and possibly plastered over.
Whilst it’s still suitable for DIY you must obey building regulations for electrical installations. Also, consider legal requirements to have work signed off upon completion.
If you employ a professional electrician for fitting a bathroom extractor fan you should expect to pay between £250-£450 depending on your location. They’ll provide you with the required completion certificate, but you will still need to decorate over finished plastering yourself.
When considering how to instal an extractor fan for the first time, follow these tips and extractor fan regulations:
Instal your extractor fan close to the primary source of odour or moisture, but keep it out of arms reach/spray distance of the bath and shower.
Air must be vented outside. Simply exhausting the air into the loft would be detrimental to the roof and electrical circuits present.You, or an electrician, will need to use the shortest, straightest ducting route you can to promote airflow.
Insulate any ducts travelling along an unheated loft space to combat condensation.
Vertical ducts must use a condensation trap to mitigate moisture build-up.
Is an Extractor Fan the Best Choice for My Home?
Let’s take a look at the key advantages and disadvantages of extractor fans in your home.
|Reduces your room’s moisture level||Poor fitting can lead to moisture problems and leaks|
|Improves the air quality in your room||Some extractor fans can only be mounted in windows|
|Reduces the risk of mould or mildew forming||Can be hard to install in period properties|
|Stable investment as you won’t have to touch up the room as much with damp-related problems||Some extractor fans can be unsightly|
|Can help in hot weather to draw out hot air|
First and foremost, the best accolade the extractor fan holds is its ability to reduce the moisture in a room and therefore stop the spread of mildew and mould. They can also improve the overall air quality, making it less humid and more habitable for you to be in, further helping your health.
They can actually benefit you in warm weather as they can draw out the hot air and push it outside. Finally, they’re a solid investment as you will have less aesthetic maintenance to carry out on your bathroom due to the reduced risk of mould forming.
Looking at the disadvantages, extractor fans can sometimes be unsightly and can cause some problems if not fitted properly and actually lead to an increase in moisture in your bathroom.
Similarly, some types are only suitable for window mounting, which can be an issue if you have a windowless bathroom, and you may run into trouble getting one installed in a period property with any restrictive guidelines on developments.
How Do I Find and Hire a Tradesperson?
Finding the right extractor fan fitter can be challenging. At HouseholdQuotes, we can connect you to extractor fan fitters in your area.
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Seeking recommendations from family, friends, and neighbours is a great place to start as this will weed out any rogue traders, as well as save time searching yourself.
Ensuring the Professional is the Right Fit
A written quote should be the number one thing written on your list of necessities – without it, traders can go back on what they verbally agreed, and you have little to no proof of conversations.
It’s best to get quotes and proposals written up to ensure this situation is avoided, to save you time, money and energy in the long run. And if a trader refuses to give you one, decline to work with them.
Finding out their experience, and reading relevant references are all part of the process – much like a job application – to make sure they’re a good fit for what you want and need. As well as this, asking to see photographs or videos of their previous work can be a great way to visually ascertain if they’re a good match for you, as the proof is always in the work.
Finally, ensuring your trader has relevant insurance before starting work is an essential step to make sure it’s a safe environment for everyone while the work is being taken out.
If you want to replace your bathroom extractor fan, or want one fitted into a poorly ventilated space, here are our top tips to make sure it’s a smooth process:
- Work out what size of fan you need and the relevant output to make sure what you have fitted will be sufficient for the space
- Where possible, open a window after using the bathroom to improve the flow of air
- Make sure to properly maintain your extractor fan with annual cleaning
- Use HouseholdQuotes to find local extractor fan fitters and potentially save money on your extractor fan installation
Frequently Asked Questions
Should a Bathroom Have an Extractor Fan?
If the bathroom does not have a window you certainly need an extractor fan! If you do then it’s still wise to install an extractor fan to boost the room’s ability to dry out quickly.
You should consider replacing your existing extractor fan if it is old, noisy or ineffective. Extractor fan fitting is simple if you are only replacing an existing unit and it can provide great results!
Always remember to crack a window or door open after using the bathroom. This enables the fan to draw fresh air and operate far more efficiently.
Can I Replace a Bathroom Extractor Fan Myself?
Yes – as long as you know what you’re doing! We’ve listed a guide earlier in the article which will help you understand the steps along the way.
Do You Need an Electrician to Fit a Bathroom Extractor Fan?
Owing to the humidity of the room and the presence of electricity, it’s advised you have an electrician to fit the extractor fan. You will usually have to make the area neat again after the work has been done with decorating, though.
How Do I Know What Size Bathroom Extractor Fan I Need?
For an average-sized bathroom, 80 CFM is considered the minimum you should be looking at.
For an exact calculation, first, measure the volume of your room (length x width x height). Multiply this figure by an air change rate (15-20 times per hour is recommended). The result is the cubic metres of air per hour that needs to be displaced. See how this measures up to your fan’s CFM.
Smaller fans can be noisier since they have to work harder than larger ones. Quiet running models are available for a little extra cost or you could install them further into the loft to help reduce noise further.
The switching mechanism also needs to be considered. You may want your extractor fan to switch on with your lights, run on a separate timer or even a humidistat.
Go for a quality fan instead of the cheapest option. Consider the daily use and the years of life you are expecting it to provide. As for extractor fan prices, look to spend around £50.
Where Is the Best Place to Put an Extractor Fan In a Bathroom?
There are three most common setups:
- The ceiling, through roof eaves, out an external wall vent
- A wall, ducting to the external vent
- A glass window
Of these three, the first two are the most common and easiest to install.
First, you need to carefully consider how you might position your fan in relation to the proposed exhaust location. Remember, you’re going to need to wire the fan into the exhaust and run ducting through an external wall.
So, if the loft is directly above your bathroom it makes sense to go with a ceiling-mounted extractor fan, run the ducting through the loft and tap into the existing electrical wiring.
If your bathroom is on the ground floor or you live within an apartment the solution may not always be so simple. You may even need to lift the flooring to find the electrical wiring to tap into.
If you’re unsure, having a professional view the bathroom will help to give you a solid guide of what’s suggested and most effective for your space.
How Do I Clean a Bathroom Extractor Fan?
Once your fan is up you will still need to tend to it periodically and keep it operating efficiently. Consider twice per year as a minimum.
Dust will build up and negatively impact the fan’s performance. If your dust covers can be unscrewed or pulled off then you can use a small paintbrush or toothbrush and dust off the fan blades and vent slots.
Whilst you are cleaning you should also look for damage or breaches. Check the fan blades, ducting and exhaust vent.
With proper care, your extractor fan will continue to protect your bathroom from dampness for years to come. If you need any help with the wiring or suspect something is amiss, seek guidance from local trusted tradesmen.
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