Homeowner's Guide to Ceiling Mounted Ventilation Fans

Posted on 16th September 2022

Ceiling mounted ventilation fans, also known as ceiling mounted exhaust fans, are ventilation fans that are installed directly onto the false ceiling. The grille on the ceiling is a part of the ventilation motor unit. Air is sucked directly into the motor from the room instead of through a duct like an inline ventilation fan.

This type of ventilation fan has smaller motors than other types of ventilation fans. They are commonly found in small enclosed spaces without a window for natural ventilation such as internal bathrooms and storerooms. These fans should not be used in a large room as it will not be effective.

What is it used for?

Ceiling mounted ventilation fans are installed in small rooms to replenish the air inside so that it does not become stale. It is also used to reduce the humidity in rooms with high moisture such as bathrooms so that mould does not start to form.

The purpose of a ceiling mounted ventilation fan is the same as other ventilation fans. The difference is in how it is installed and its ventilation capacity.

We explain how ceiling mounted ventilation fans are installed and how suitable it is for different areas in this article based on the products' specifications and our experience installing these fans over the last seven years. If you instead want to learn about the purpose of ventilation fans in general, check out the following article:

Read: What is a ventilation fan and how does it work?

Suitable replacement for inline ventilation fans

We have been to many private properties with an inline ventilation fan installed in the bathroom by the developer. This in itself is not an issue. But because these fans were installed before they put in the false ceiling, they have become hidden behind plumbing pipes and support structures that we cannot reach past to access the inline ventilation fan.

This is the case even in bathrooms with access panels we can open to reach into the false ceiling. And because we cannot reach them, when they reach the end of their service life, they are difficult and expensive to replace.

We sometimes have to tear down entire parts of the false ceiling in order to replace an inline fan. During this process, the paint on the ceiling will be damaged, and the structures that hold the ceiling up must be removed. Reinstating the ceiling after we replace an inline fan takes a lot of time and adds a lot to the total cost.

To make it easier and cheaper to restore ventilation when an inline fan stops working, we recommend that you install a ceiling mounted ventilation fan for reasons we will explain later on this page.

What types are there?


Ducted ceiling ventilation fans force air inside the room to flow through a series of ducts and out of a property. You can find these in small enclosed rooms which do not have a window for natural ventilation. Bathrooms and storerooms are common places where these are installed.


Ductless ceiling fans force air upwards and into the area above the false ceiling. You can find these in rooms where there is an area with natural or mechanical ventilation above the false ceiling. Landed properties with ventilated attics or small single-storey structures are common places where these are installed.

What are its benefits?

Easy maintenance

Ceiling mounted ventilation fans are easy to maintain. The fan is mounted directly above the false ceiling and is accessible with a small ladder or even a stool. All of its components can be accessed without having to cut into and remove the false ceiling. It takes only a few minutes to remove the grille and clean the air inlets.

Easy installation

Ceiling mounted ventilation fans are placed above the false ceiling instead of mounted to the concrete above the false ceiling. We find that this makes it easier to install, because they are not blocked by pipes and other structures sharing the area above the false ceiling.

Comparing ceiling mounted to inline fan

The main alternative to a ceiling mounted ventilation fan is an inline ventilation fan, which is connected with air ducts on two ends instead of one end. In this section, we will explore the largest pros and cons of installing a ceiling mounted system instead of an inline system.

Pro: Dedicated use

Ceiling mounted ventilation fans extracts air only from the area it is installed. On the other hand, an inline ventilation fan may extract air from multiple areas through a series of ventilation ducts. Having a fan motor dedicated to extracting air from one room allows you accurately to control the volume and strength of air extraction.

These fans can also be added to a system with inline fan to increase the ventilation strength.

Pro: Lower cost

As mentioned earlier on this page, it is easier to install a ceiling mounted exhaust fan compared to its alternatives. A ceiling mounted exhaust fan also costs slightly less to purchase. With the savings in both installation and part cost, you get an overall cheaper system that is can be just as effective.

Con: Noisier

Ceiling mounted fans are slightly noisier than an inline fan, because the motor is right above the ceiling board instead of closer to the ceiling or in a separate room altogether. However, while it is noisier, a high quality fan would incorporate noise dampening into the unit and the resulting noise level is still close to that of a quiet motor noise.

Con: Less Power

Ceiling mounted ventilation fans are available with lower motor strength than inline fans. If you need to ventilate a larger room, most ceiling mounted fans may not provide enough ventilation to keep the room well ventilated. When you have to install a more expensive ceiling mounted ventilation fan to meet the ventilation requirements of a room, it may end up costing just as much as an inline fan without the benefits of an inline fan.


If you want to learn more about the benefits of an inline fan, read the following article. We have written an article like this one but for inline ventilation fans.

Read: Homeowner's Guide to Inline Mounted Ventilation Fans

How much does it cost?

If you have an existing duct in place and have a small room such as a bathroom, you should expect to pay anywhere between $450 to $650 for a ceiling mounted ventilation fan. The price depends on the model of fan installed. Mould removal, painting, and duct work are a few things that can add to the price of a bathroom exhaust fan. We cover them in depth on this article:

Read: How much does bathroom exhaust fan cost?

How is it installed?

It is installed above your false ceiling then connected to a series of ducts that leads outside. It takes about a skilled installer about an hour to install this ventilation fan, but depending on onsite complexities it can take up to two to three hours.

  1. The existing ventilation fan is isolated or removed
  2. The ceiling board is cut to fit
  3. The ventilation fan is installed above
  4. It is connected to electricity
  5. The louvre is installed

You can contact us to install a ceiling mounted ventilation fan and learn more about our services at the following page.

What's next?

I hope this article has helped answer a few questions that you had about ceiling mounted ventilation fans. If you have more questions you want answers to or want to have us install your ceiling mounted ventilation fans, reach out to us! We are happy to help you with the process.

Call us at 9070 6060 if you are ready to speak to someone or get more information about our ventilation fan installation services.