How Much Does a Bathroom Exhaust Fan Cost?

Common Range: $160 – $680, Installed

National Average: $320, Installed

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Updated: January 11, 2023, by: Steve Hansen

Installed Cost of Bathroom Exhaust Fans

You can expect to pay an electrician or handyman around $320 to supply and install a no frills bathroom fan, replacing an existing unit. If you prefer to buy the vent fan yourself, expect to pay between $90-$210 for the installation only. If this is a new installation, expect to pay between $420 – $680 for the installer to run the vent duct and install a vent cap on the exterior. Note: It would be best to first consult an electrician to assure you have the proper wiring and capacity in place, or you may add costs for wiring. Expect

The average price for pro installation will include the fan, electrical connectors, removal of the old fan if you have one, as well as cleanup and disposal of the old unit. If this is for a new installation, they’ll also cut the hole in your ceiling, run the vent duct to an outside wall, eave or roof area.

Average Costs

Average Do It Yourself cost
Average Contractor Installed Cost
$160 – $680
Typical Cost Average
$320, Installed

new bathroom exhaust vent fan installed

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Overview of Bathroom Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans in the bathroom are just about a requirement in any home, even if you have a window in the room. They work to vent the steam out of the area during showers and baths, and of course when using the toilet. There are several options for exhaust fans such as air volume (cfm), lighting, and heat lamps that can provide warmth for those times you step out of the shower and want to avoid the cold air. HGTV has a great guide to help you choose the features that matter.

In this Costimate, you’ll learn about the cost of replacing a bathroom exhaust fan. Whether you are replacing an existing fan or adding a new one to a bathroom that never had one to begin with. We’ll help you understand the comparison options when buying a new bathroom fan, as well as whether or not this is a project you want to do yourself, or hire an electrician or handyman to handle the replacement for you.

You’ll also see the actual costs to install a bathroom fan by homeowners like yourself who have done the project already, and comparison costs from leading home improvement websites, specializing in bathroom exhaust fan installation.

bathroom exhaust fan above shower

Exhaust Fan Cost Factors

There are many options when it comes to choosing the right fan for your bathroom and all of them affect the purchase price. The features below can also have an affect on installation cost as it relates to venting, electrical requirements and the space available in your ceiling to install the unit.

  • Replacement or New Install – It’s going to cost you less to replace an existing vent fan. If this is for a new bathroom exhaust fan, it cost more to run the vent ducting, electrical if needed, as well as a vent cover where it exits the home.
  • Airflow CFM – Bathrooom fans that move more air with larger motors simply cost more.
  • Lighting Options – Simple fans with a single light are most common, however you can have multiple lights, or even a heat lamp in your ceiling exhaust fan.
  • Noise Level – Measured in “Sones”, this is basically how loud or quiet the unit will be when running. Lower is better! (and a bit more costly)
  • Integrated Heat – Many have an integrated heating coil built in, to provide spot warmth for when you step out of the shower.
  • Appearance – Utility or style? Simple bathroom fans are utility and have a grill that covers the fan blades. More stylish ones can blend into your ceiling and look like a basic light fixture, but cost a bit more.
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Cost of Fan and Installation Supplies

  • The cost of an exhaust fan with standard features and ventilation, is around $70-$110.
  • Quieter units with more features, multiple lighting and heat options, cost between $90 – $300.
  • On the very high end, you can spend upwards of $450.

If you already have a fan installed in your bathroom ceiling, you may be able to get with little to very few installation supplies, depending primarily on the replacement exhaust fan you purchase. For new exhaust fan installations, you are likely to need many or all of the following supplies needed.

  • $20-$30 | New wall switch. (It only makes sense to replace this with the new fan)
  • $35 – $75 | Electrical wire needed to run power to fan.
  • $40 – $250 | New circuit breaker in panel box.
  • $20 – $45 | Vent kit with exterior louvered grill, vent duct, clamps, etc.
  • $15 – $30 | Misc. electrical supplies, wire nuts, screws and fasteners, 2×4 wood for framing brackets, etc.

installation of electrical light switch

Permits, Inspection, and Installation Costs

Since you are working on the electrical wiring of your home, many cities and towns require that you have it inspected after the job is done. This is where having a licensed electrician install your ventilation fan comes in handy. As a homeowner, you can also do the work yourself and get it inspected, but if you mess something up in your wiring or circuit panel, be prepared to go without power until you get a licensed electrician to repair your work.

Permits and Inspection

  • $75 – $150 | Electrical Inspection after installation. (May or may not be required by local laws)

Installation Cost and Time

If you decide to hire out this project, you’ll need an electrician or a handyman. An Electrician may charge a flat rate for the entire project, or an hourly rate, plus the cost of supplies. If hourly, they may also have a slightly higher “first-hour” rate to account the travel time and business overhead. Most electricians will gladly install a fan you purchased yourself, as long as it is correct for your project. Common Electrician rates are:

  • $35 – $60 per-hour | Apprentice hourly
  • $45 – $90 per-hour | Journeyman electrician

Completed Installation Time

  • 2-4 hours | Simple installation or replacement of existing exhaust fan, with similar unit.
  • 8-12 hours | Fan installations that require new electric wiring, separate breaker services, or installing a fan for first time in older home. Time may be split between an apprentice.
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We’ve found the HVAC projects listed below to be commonly related to having a central air conditioner installed, or other HVAC repairs closely related to this type.

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DIY or Hire a Pro

Bathroom vent fan installation is another project I have done both ways, hiring it out and doing it myself. During a recent bathroom remodel, the plumber installed the fan while he was working in the attic on a vent pipe stack through the roof. An electrician was already working on the wiring for new lighting fixtures above the vanity and pulled service to a double light switch that controlled the light on the fan with one switch and the fan with the other.

The other bathroom fan I replaced was in a common bathroom that already had a small fan in place. It was actually a pretty quick and easy replacement with a unit that was the same size, and went in easily.

For simple replacements, I chose to DIY. On new or difficult installations though, I’d use a Pro again.

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For the DIY’ers – Lowes Home Improvement stores has a very good how-to video, if you think this is something you want to take on yourself.

Reviewed and Edited by Steve Hansen of Costimates

steve hansen of costimates-sm Steve Hansen is the Lead Editor of Costimates. (Learn more) An avid home improvement professional with more than 35 years experience in both DIY projects and working as a construction foreman in residential new home building, upfits, repairs and remodeling.

"Like most homeowners, I became frustrated with the lack of quality information available on specific home improvement repairs and renovations. In 2015, Costimates was formed to help homeowners learn as much as possible about various projects and their costs so they could make better financial decisions."