What to do when you can’t install a ceiling fan.

There are times when it’s just not possible to install a ceiling mounted exhaust fan.  Maybe you have a downstairs bathroom with no ceiling space, only the floor above.

Maybe you have a flat roof with only a few inches clearance between the ceiling and the roofing material and you don’t want to risk cutting a hole for a vent.  Cutting holes in flat roofs can cause water leak problems so it’s best avoided if possible.

Wall and window exhaust fans can be installed in places where it is not possible to install a ceiling fan.

The wall or window exhaust fan option can overcome the problems of no roof space, but there are other potential difficulties.

Obviously the fan will need to be installed in an outside wall.  Most rooms have only one outside wall, so you need to find a suitable location on that wall.

Any window will have to be a suitable size to take the fan with enough glass left around that fan after the hole is cut.  You must have a fixed pane of glass.  You can’t fit a fan to an opening window.

There are also safety regulations that restrict the type of glass that can be installed in bathrooms.

Even if you have a suitably sized and located window you cannot just cut a hole and fit a fan.  Usually, the entire window pane will need to be replaced with Grade A Safety Glass, unless it is more than 2 metres off the floor.

There are substantial costs involved in supplying and fitting a sheet of safety glass with a pre-cut hole to suit a window fan.  Installing an exhaust fan in a window is likely to be the most expensive of all your options.

The wall and window exhaust fans are considerably more expensive than a standard ceiling mounted exhaust fan.  In fact they can cost up to 10 times more.

There can also be difficulties with installing wall fans, depending on the construction of the wall and the location of wiring or plumbing pipes inside the wall, and downpipes or other attachments on the outside of the wall.

Double brick walls take the most time and effort for installation and it can be difficult to achieve a neat finish at the outside vent on a weatherboard wall.

There are various types and sizes of fans available and there will be two main options to consider. The first option is switching.  Some fans will have a remote switch on the wall, just like a light switch.  Other fans will have a pull cord switch on the fan itself.

Depending on where the fan will be located you may need to consider which type of switching will be most suitable.  If it will be difficult to install switch wires from the fan position to the desired switch position then a pull switch should be considered.

If the fan will be mounted out of easy reach then a wall switch will be required.

The second option is to do with shutters.  Some fans have no shutters, and they allow drafts to blow through the open fan duct.  We recommend that you only purchase a fan with shutters.

Some fans have automatic shutters that will open only after the fan is switched on and others have shutters that are operated by the pull cord for the switch.  Generally speaking the more expensive fans have more reliable and robust shutter systems.

Ceiling fans are always cheaper and easier to install.  Click here to see our article about ceiling mounted exhaust fans.

Even though window and wall exhaust fans are more expensive, they can sometimes the only alternative for adequate ventilation of ventilate bathrooms and kitchens.

For free advice and quotes on all ceiling and wall fan installations phone

Mance Electrical Launceston on 6331 4711

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