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Install & Replace

How to Install a Roof Exhaust Fan

A gable fan is easier to install, but a roof fan is more efficient at pulling hot air out the top of a roof. Once you figure how to bring power to the attic, the wiring is easy. However, cutting the roofing and installing the fan so that it will not leak can be tricky. Hire a roofer if you have wood shakes, tiles or any other type of roofing other than asphalt shingles. If the roof already has a non-fan vent, you may be able to remove it and install the roof fan in the same hole.



Reciprocating Saw

Wire Strippers

Safety Glasses






Roof Fan


Roofing Nails

Roofing Cement

Wire Nuts

Electrical Tape


Step 1: Drill a Locator Hole

Near the peak of the roof, but allowing enough room so the fan will not touch the ridge framing, drill a hole in the middle of the space between two joists.

Step 2: Cut the Hole & the Roofing

Follow the manufacturer's directions for cutting a hole through the roof and for cutting back shingles from around the hole. You also will need to carefully pry out some hidden nails that would get in the way of the fan's flange.


Step 3: Install the Fan

This must be done correctly, or the roof will leak. The fan slips under the shingles around the top half of the hole, and rests on top of the bottom-half shingles. Slip the fan in place, attach with roofing nails, and apply roofing cement as directed.


Step 4: Wire the Thermostat

Attach the fan's thermostat to a nearby joist. Shut off power to the circuit. Run power to the thermostat; you may choose to switch this power. Wire the grounds, the whites, and the black wires, fold the wires into the thermostat box, and replace the cover. Adjust the thermostat, restore power and test.


This is not a difficult project but it does require you climbing up on the roof, get inside the attic where you may or may not have floor boards and some electrical work. If you do not feel up to the task, or this is beyond comfort level, please seek a licensed Roofing and/or Electrical Contractor, and follow all local building codes. 

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Posted 2015-03-05T22:15:31+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI Angelo_HD_CHI