Upgrading Your Vent Fan for Energy Efficiency

In order to improve the efficiency of your bathroom vent fan, you have to upgrade it. Lack of maintenance will cause a vent fan to perform poorly over time. The parts of a vent fan will deteriorate and wear out with time, so you need to check your fan regularly. You can remove the worn out parts, namely the motor or fan and install new parts. There are upgrade kits for vent fans provided by such companies as Broan, Nautilus and Nutone. If your vent is very old, manufactured in the early 1980s, you can opt for a universal upgrade kit that can be used for all vent-fan sizes. These consist of two motor mounts, fan, brand-new motor and grille. A compact wrench is also supplied for tightening the nuts on the mountings. It is recommended to hire an HVAC professional or plumbing technician to replace the fan and motor. You may think it’s a big job, but upgrading your fan and motor as well as cleaning the grille will improve the performance of your vent fan. Improved performance means increased energy efficiency, and so you will save power in the process and cut your electricity bills. Here are things to consider when upgrading your vent fan:

Effects of Poor Ventilation

An average household produces about 12 to 55 liters per day of moisture. This is moisture from bathing, cooking, washing and other duties. Without an efficient vent fan, this moisture will get trapped inside the house and it will cause problems such as mold and moisture damage. A poor vent fan may also cause the build-up of carbon-monoxide inside the house. Carbon-monoxide is a dangerous compound that may cause suffocation.


Some people think vent-fan upgrades are costly, but in most cases you only need to pay a small amount of money for replacing one or two parts. Clean the vent fan regularly and you will not have circulation problems. You simply need to follow good practices for home vent air circulation. Get a ventilation manual and keep it for reference.

Controlled Systems

Good air circulation can be achieved through regulated ventilation. There are systems that do not require manual control and these can create optimum conditions in your house so that you can breathe easily.

Buy New Fans

New fans work better than old fans. They also do not make noise, so you will enjoy a quiet environment.

Vent Outlets

The vent outlets should be directed away from the house, bathroom, attic or exterior walls.

Install Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier can detect the humidity (moisture levels or dampness) inside a bathroom and the vent fan will be automatically turned on when the humidity is high.


When upgrading your vent fan, consider a fan with variable settings and timer. These fans are inexpensive and are a good investment if you don’t have money. These fans can be set to run for a specific period during the day. You can also set them to run during seasons when the external and internal temperatures are similar.

Install Door Vents

When the bathroom fan is being used as a home exhaust, you should put a vent on the bathroom door to allow air to circulate into the whole house.

Heat Recovery Ventilator

The HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) is a good upgrade that improves the energy efficiency of the ventilation. This ventilator will warm up the incoming air using the exhaust air heat. Install an HRV to complement your regular vent fan.