How to Install and Replace Attic Fan? A Quick Guide for Beginners

If you feel that installing an attic fan and later on replacing the existing attic fan is a hard task to perform, then this blog guide will help you a lot to learn some basic elements. Attic fan designs are divided into two main types such as those which are made out for roof installing and those which are mounted in a gable wall.

Roof fans are mounted on some plastic or the sheet-metal based which mainly serves as the flashing. You just need to cut a small opening in your roof which can be near the peak and install your fan over the area of the opening. As the hot air in the attic gets completely transferred into the ceiling below, it can eventually raise the temperature inside your living areas.

Now let’s discuss a quick guide on how you can install attic and replace fan easily and professionally:

Tools Required

  • Drill / Driver and Bits
  • Jigsaw
  • Hammer
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver


  • Roof Vent
  • Gable Vent Fan
  • Electrical Cable
  • Wire Connectors
  • Cable Clamps

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Step by Step Guide to Install Attic Fan

Step 1: Remove of the Vent

If in case the existing gable vent is quite smaller as compared to the diameter of your fan, then you need to, first of all, remove off the vent and then install either the larger vent or you can even choose automatic shutter as well. You can start by removing off the screws or the nails and lift it through its opening.

Step 2: Center Down Front Side of Automatic Shutter

Now centre upon the front side of the automatic shutter right through the vent hole! You have to make sure that the frame of the shutter is level as you can trace it by using a pencil. This will help you to get the final positioning of your mounting flange. To establishing the edges of your new opening, you have to measure in 5/8 in. on all sides.

If you feel that your wall has some lap siding, you have to first of all cut the siding all around the perimeter of your vent hood. Now just install 1 x 3 or 1 x 4 boards around the area of the hold which will work as the flat mounting surface to secure your vent flange.

Step 3: Cut Down your New Opening

Now once all the obstructions are completely clear, you have to cut down the new opening by using a saber saw. You have to follow the lines that are drawn as 5/8 in. within the shutter flange perimeter lines.

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Step 4: Lift up the New Shutter

In the next step, you have to lift the new shutter right inside the opening. Make sure you double-check the level and let it be fastened in one place with the help of 1-in. woodscrews. Now just seal the perimeter by using some acrylic caulk.

Step 5: Replacement of Blocking

At last, just nail your old blocking into one place that needs to be below the bottom area of the shutter. You can even replace any sort of blocking which you cut out at the time of opening enlargement. This blocking will initially help you to support the mounting panel of your fan.

Step 6: Installing Fan on Plywood Mounting Panel

Installing your fan on some plywood mounting panel is quite an excellent idea as it will enable the fan blades to stay away from the wall. Plus, it will also enable you to secure as well as center the whole assembly with little concern for the sake of underlying framing. You can initially cut down the small piece of any plywood so you can easily accommodate your attic framing which will be surrounded by a vent hole.

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Step 7: Cut Down Airway in Mounting Panel

Make the use of saber saw for cutting down the airway within the mounting panel. Bore away the hole inside the water area to start the cutting.

Step 8: Locate Mounting on Fan Bracket

Locate the mounting of the fan bracket on top of the plywood. Center down the fan over the main opening and screw off the bracket to the plywood! You have to orient the fan assembly in the vertical positioning so make sure you check the up and down markings over one set and later on mark the top of the plywood mounting panel accordingly.

Afterward, you need to carry the fan as well as the panel to get it assembled into the attic area. Positioning it behind the shutter would be a better idea. Using nails for gable framing is perfect.

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Step 9: Start Wiring the Attic Fan

When it comes to wiring the attic fan, it will be completely dependent on the local codes. It might even depend on whether you have look for any attic circuit with the maximum reserve capacity to handle the 3.2-amp fan motor.

If you are not able to look for plenty of reserve capacity within the nearby existing circuit, then it is required to make your way back to the service panel and create a new 15-amp circuit for your fan. It is extremely important to meet the prevailing electrical codes for the installation task.

After it, pick the nearest circuit box and take out a pull chain fixture. You have to disconnect the fixture and keep it aside for now.

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Step 10: Bore the Holes Inside Rafters

Later on, you have to bore the holes inside the rafters which is the area between the gable wall and open fixture box. You have to use a 5/8-in. bit and start drilling the center area of your board. Pull around 14-2 w/g cable right through the holes between the placements of two boxes. You have to staple the new cable inside the rafter within the measurement of 8 in. of your ceiling fixture box.

You have to follow the same previous step with the cable which is located near the thermostat box. Now let the cable be pulled out through the holes inside rafters and let it be stapled within 8 in. of ceiling box as well as thermostat box.

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Step 11: Attachment of Lead Wires to Finish Process

The finish the whole wiring process, you will make your way back to the open fixture box and attach 2 8-in. lead wires for the pull-chain fixture. Now you have to connect a black lead over the brass terminal screw and then locate the white wire to the silver terminal. Later on, join like-colored wires in the twist connectors and then mount the fixture on top of the box.

Last Word

Well by following these above mentioned 11 steps you can perform the whole process of installing the attic and replacing the fan with professional help. Hire an expert to let the whole installation process be carried out smoothly!

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