How to improve light quality from a bathroom exhaust fan?




Last Updated February 29, 2016 01:09 AM

I have an interior bathroom with no windows. In the ceiling is a NuTone 763RLN exhaust fan with light bulb fixture.

This unit was built in 2003, so the only light bulb specification provided is "100 watts (max) [incandescent]". However, the light emitted from a 100 watt incandescent bulb is very yellow for a bathroom with no windows. I would like to find a solution that produces a "neutral white" (~3500K) light that is at least as bright as a 100 watt incandescent (1200-1600 lumens).

My concern is, of course, that a CFL or LED bulb is going to die quickly in an enclosed fixture that vibrates.

How do I find a solution to this?

I have already replaced the plastic lens that came with the exhaust fan. The original, 13-year-old lens had yellowed. The new lens improves the light quality, but not enough. (I'm trying to avoid repainting the bathroom before putting the home on the market.)


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Mold and mildew in a bathroom is a common problem that can often be solved by installing a bathroom exhaust fan. By installing an exhaust fan in your bathroom, you will not only remove moist air, but also undesirable smells that are often present in the bathroom.

A small exhaust fan is often installed in the ceiling of the bathroom. If you already have a ceiling light fixture, consider installing an integrated light and fan in the space. This is often the best solution, because it does not require additional wiring.

There are many different kinds of exhaust fans with varying qualities. There are two main features to consider in choosing a fan; the amount of air the fan moves (measured in cubic feet per minute) and how loud the fan is. Consider carefully what type of fan to install, a fan that is too cheap may not move enough air, or be loud enough to be a nuisance.

You will need not only the fan, but a duct kit as well. The fan and the space should specify...

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Harbor Breeze bathroom fan in brushed nickel with light from Lowes.

Indoor air quality can be problematic at any time of year, but it is especially a concern during the winter months when all of the windows are sealed up tight…and nowhere is this more evident than in the bathroom. Stale air, humidity, mold, mildew and—to put it delicately—foul odors can wreak havoc with your indoor environment. The solution: install a bathroom exhaust fan.

Bathroom exhaust fans typically come in one of three styles: ceiling-mounted, wall-mounted or inline/remote. Ceiling-mounted fans are installed in the ceiling and vent into the attic or out through the roof. Wall-mounted fans are mounted on the external wall of the house and generally are used when there is no practical way to vent through the roof; for example, a first-floor bathroom. Inline fans, also known as remote fans, have a fan unit located in a remote location such as the attic; ductwork connects the fan to an opening in...

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A bathroom exhaust fan is an inexpensive upgrade that packs a value punch. The shoe-box-size fan clears obnoxious bathroom odors (priceless!) and removes moisture, which protects your home and health, and reduces maintenance costs.

And, it turns out, everyone wants one. Exhaust fans are the No. 1 feature homebuyers want in a bathroom, says a National Association of Home Builders report. Ninety percent ranked exhaust fan as No. 1, with linen closet second, and a separate tub and shower as third. Who knew?

Still, many homes don’t have a bathroom fan. Although the fans are required by building code in many places, older homes — pre-1960s — didn’t routinely install them. And homeowners today may be reluctant to retrofit bathrooms with an appliance that requires venting to snake through attics, joists, soffits, and ultimately punctures an exterior wall or roof.

We feel your fear, and we’re here to help. Below, we break down everything you need to know about...

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Frequently Asked Questions about Wiring a Bathroom Exhaust Fan and Light

Adding an Exhaust Fan to a Bathroom

I currently have a single pole switch in a bathroom that works a light fixture. The power source goes to the light first and then to the single pole switch so the white is actually the hot. This is the only wire to this box. I have added a bathroom exhaust fan and replaced the single gang box with a double gang box in order to add another single pole switch in the same box.

I would like to use the power from the original light switch to run the fan independently from the light. Both the light and the fan are running on romex with 2 wires plus the ground. I cannot seem to wire the box correctly to make both switches work independently. Can you tell me how to do this?

Dave's Answer:
Lets Begin By Focusing on the Power Source
You have identified that the power source which is at the existing light fixture which will be...

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Installing a bathroom fan is just the remedy you need for rooms that never seem to get dry.

While bathroom exhaust fan installation is not the easiest home improvement project, you may be surprised to learn that it is a bit easier than expected and can be accomplished entirely by DIY.

Moisture-laden air is the enemy of bathroom paint, fabrics such as towels and curtains, windows and doors. Expelling moisture–not to mention odors–makes for a far more pleasant bathroom experience for all.

Before You Begin

Two issues often concern homeowners taking on this project: power and venting to the outside. Most residential bathroom fans use AC 120V electrical lines. The instructions below offer tips for finding live electrical cables and running them to the correct location.

Venting means that after air from the bathroom is drawn into the exhaust fan; it is blown through a connected flexible duct and out of the house through a hole in the side of the...

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Top 10 Tips for Buying the Right Exhaust Fan for Your BathroomPresented to you by vintage bathroom accessories There are many factors you should consider when you plan to buy new bathroom exhaust fan for your new house or existing one. This guide will show you how to select bathroom exhaust fan in the right way. You will also be directed to a good place where you can get high quality bathroom exhaust fan Buy bathroom exhaust fan only from famous manufacturer. Branded products are guaranteed. If you buy from, this may refer to the number of positive reviews from persons who already bought that products. This is not only about the product but also customer service, spare parts, workmanship, and so on. Theexhaust fan is certified by authorized body such as Home Ventilation Institute (HVI). Choose proper exhaust fan size. This will depend on your bathroom space. Size means its capacity, which...
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You’ve lived in one house for an eternity? Very often used a bathroom? And possibly you can switch on the bathroom light and the vent at the same time with a flick of the switch?

Then you possibly know that there’s this problem with the said fan getting clogged with dust and what more. “But how do you clean it?!”. It is a good question.

And below you are going to read all the things you need to do this. Nonetheless – this can be a common problem, especially when you live in very dusty areas of our planet. Or just don’t like to clean.

How Сan This Happen?

Clogging any device, be it a ventilation fan or your PC’s cooler is very easy. And it’s even easier if you use the device very often. That is why without roper cleaning, air-cooled computers may have a decrease in their performance.

Same goes for vents – though your room isn’t a rig possible of doing high frequency calculations, it’s still something that can heat up pretty...

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Bathroom exhaust vent fans need to be cleaned regularly.

It’s very important to have an exhaust fan that’s vented to the outside in every bathroom in your home, and to run it whenever you shower or bathe and for 15-20 minutes afterward to remove excess moisture that can cause mold and mildew to form.

An average sized bathroom vent fan that’s used one hour a day will exhaust over 2,000,000 cubic feet of air a year, or the equivalent of the air inside 1,000 homes.

As air is drawn through the fan, dust builds up on the grille cover and the fan motor over time. Cleaning the cover and motor housing every six months to one year will remove most of the accumulated dust. Here’s how to clean your vent fan.

To clean a bathroom vent fan:

Turn the fan off at the switch or circuit breaker.

Press spring clips together to remove vent fan cover.

Remove the cover by pulling down until the cover is several inches from the ceiling. Press the spring loaded wire...
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A bathroom ceiling fan is an important piece of equipment when it comes to keeping your bathroom clean. The fan removes unpleasant bathroom odours, as well as moisture that can cause mould and mildew to grow inside the bathroom. Some bathroom ceiling fans have a built-in light, which can improve the lighting in your bathroom. When you install a bathroom ceiling fan, vent the fan outside your home and not to the attic, as you just wind up dumping the moisture there.

Things you need


3/8-inch spade bit

Measuring tape

Safety goggles



Framing square

Reciprocating saw

90-degree sheet metal duct elbow

Duct tape

Cable connector

1 1/2-inch stainless steel drywall screws

Flexible duct

Electrical cable



4-inch hole saw

Wall cap kit

12-inch long connector duct

Foam rubber gasket

Silicone adhesive


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Turn off the circuit breaker controlling the fan's power source. Keep the circuit breaker off for the remainder of this project. Follow all electrical safety rules and when in doubt, stop and call a licensed contractor.

1) Locating the exhaust fan's power supply: Compare the circuit breaker's amperage rating to the exhaust fan's electrical specifications. In many cases the existing bathroom circuit supplies enough power for an exhaust fan, or even a fan/light combination unit, without upgrading the circuit breaker and wire set. If so, use the wires feeding the existing light switch as the exhaust fan's power supply. If not, check the local building codes for permit and licensing requirements before proceeding.

2) Run the wire set from the switch box to the fan unit: The type of wire used depends on the amount of switches used to operate the unit. When installing a fan-only or a fan/light combination unit operating on one switch, run a 14-2 wire set. When using two...

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Just about everyone can recognize the fact that having the best bathroom exhaust fan is a good thing, since doing your business in a toilet without a fan on the bathroom can be rather unpleasant.

It’s not just about improving the scent and the quality of the bathroom air. The fan also airs out the humidity that breeds mold and mildew, and the reduced humidity eventually leads to reduced bathroom maintenance costs. Also, with the best bathroom fan, the mirrors are less likely to fog up.

The best locations to put your bathroom exhaust fan are near the areas that use lots of water. So it should be near the tub, shower, or toilet. Since the fan gets rid of toilet odors, you should have a small fan inside each separate toilet room or cubicle. Just turn on the fan when you come in and leave it on for about 20 to 30 minutes after you’ve used the shower or flushing toilet.

Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans - Comparison

Choosing Best...

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They say nothing is certain but death and taxes, but I’d like to add a third: repairs! In one week alone, three things broke down on us that had to be repaired. When you’re a do-it-your-selfer and a blogger, you have to look on the bright side and call that a good week: repairs alone can give you a ton of things to write about!

For the Home Improvement contest, I’m sharing a DIY on how to replace a bathroom fan. 'Hidden' repairs are ones that go unnoticed, but they can be the most important DIYs you'll do because they protect the investment in your home - and your health. A well running (and installed) bath exhaust fan will help prevent mold growth which can trigger asthma and allergies. If you notice moisture stains on your walls or ceilings, metal corrosion, visible mold, peeling paint or wall paper, cloudy windows and high levels of humidity, it's time to change that fan. Other than the tight and awkward quarters you have to work in, it's a fairly straightforward repair -...

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Q: What can I do to improve my bathroom exhaust fan? I’m sick and tired of the noisy thing. Besides being loud, it doesn’t even seem to do much to clear the air after a shower.

A: Not all bathroom fans are equal. While many manufacturers are locked in a race for the bottom when it comes to fan price and quality, quieter and more effective performance is definitely available for those willing to buy better fans. Panasonic makes some of the best household exhaust fans anywhere. They’re super-quiet, so you can still get excellent performance without a lot of noise. Regardless of the brand you choose, select a model that can move about 10 to 12 times the air volume of the bathroom each hour. The quietest exhaust fans on the market are rated at 1.0 sones or less of sound output, so you should look for this, too.

Eliminating Fuzz on Crawlspace Floor

Q: How can I get rid of the patches of white fuzzy stuff that’s forming on the sandy surface of my crawlspace...

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Insufficient Bathroom Ventilation

My master bathroom is about 15x10. It's in the internal portion of the house below the loft or attic space. My shower consists of one full glass door, a half-glass side with tile comprising the other half, and then two full tile sides. The problem I have is that ever since I've bought the house I've been instructed by the builder and others that I need to squeegie the glass and the floor of the shower after every use to prevent mold and mildew. I've done this ever since and nonetheless, still occassionally need to scrub the grout. I'm wondering if this constant squeeging is normal.

The bathroom has one exhaust-type fan in the middle of the ceiling. It looks like a square plastic vent with beveled slots (not the kind that air comes out of but more like a pyramid). I don't know if it's doing a whole lot and was wondering if there's any other options available to me. The exhaust has a separate switch for the bathroom that powers it...

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