A Guide to Basement Exhaust Fan Installation

Megha Tiwari Oct 9, 2018
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If you have a basement, getting rid of foul odor and weird smells might be an age-old problem that you would be fighting day-in and day-out. The best and most effective solution to this problem would be to install an exhaust fan in the area of question. Here are basic instructions on the same.
To maintain proper ventilation and ensure free flow of fresh air in the basement is easy. For this, certain things like flooring, ventilation, and waterproofing in the basement should be taken care of.
Though a basement has very few windows which are comparatively smaller in size for air to pass through, it can still be made odor-free by ensuring proper ventilation.
Exhaust fans circulate air and keep the room free of musty odor and chemical fumes. Learn how to install one by yourself, start by gathering the required material.

Material Required

  • Exhaust fan and vent
  • Protective goggles
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Caulking gun
  • Carpenter's square and level
  • Latex caulk
  • Fiberglass insulation
  • Screwdriver and screw

Necessary Steps to Follow

Buy the fan and vent system from a hardware store. To confirm the size of the fan that will be suitable for your basement, follow this equation, fan size = square footage * 1.1 and make sure that the CFM or cubic feet per minute rating is either higher or of the same number.
CFM measures the amount of air that the fan will be producing. The volume of passing air will be greater if the CFM is higher.

Identify the Location

The best location for the fan is near the furnace. It should be installed at a reasonable height from the ground. With the help of a carpenter's square, level, and pencil, draw a square where you want to fit vent on the wall. Before going out to check the location and to identify the direction of the flow of air from the basement, drill a hole for reference.

Install the Fan

After you have decided a suitable location, start drilling holes along with the lines of the square drawn on the wall. Make sure that you wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from the dust that will emit during the drilling process.
With the help of a saw, cut along the holes to get a large space where you can fit in the fan. Now adjust the fan in the space and mount the fan on the wall using your screwdriver and the screw.

Install the Exhaust Vent

For installing the exhaust vent, go out and look for the reference holes on the outside wall of the fan. Follow the instructions given along with the vent and install it accordingly. Seal the vent from outside with a caulking gun and latex caulk. To stop the insects, vermin, and cold wind from entering into the basement, seal it with fiberglass insulation.

Connect to Electricity

For this, switch off the main source of power that is the circuit box and bring the wires from the fan to the switch board. Using insulation tape, secure all the wires. Now switch on the main power source and check if the fan is functioning in a proper manner.
An exhaust fan is a must for places that have gas water heaters or gas furnaces and require circulation of air for freshness as well as safety. As it has to be connected to the electric source, so special care has to be taken while installing it. You may alternatively use dehumidifiers to get rid of the humidity and bad odors.