Basically my question is, does "attic access required" mean that someone needs to physically go into the attic to install, or simply that the venting is through the top rather than out to a side? The roof above my bathroom is flat; there is a 4" duct and I can't imagine more than a few inches of space beyond that. Not sure what to buy and the model I'm replacing is discontinued so can't compare directly. Thanks!

  • 2
    "attic access required" usually means/wants a person. It is usually to make connections easier, elbows, pipes, vent. If you can stick a single section of pipe to the outside from the fan, then "attic access required" is not as needed. You do need the required holes(in roof, in wall) inline with the fan.
    – crip659
    Commented May 17 at 20:59
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    Some fans can replace an old one, from below, through the existing hole in the ceiling using existing ductwork. Maybe this means this one cannot be installed that way.
    – jay613
    Commented May 17 at 21:16
  • "the model I'm replacing is discontinued" - it has to be from like the 50s, otherwise there's a pretty good chance there is a non OEM replacement available somewhere (which can be made to work even if it doesn't quite fit right)
    – Mazura
    Commented May 18 at 17:41

2 Answers 2


For the panasonic fan I recently installed in my home, it means that the method of installation requires screws to be driven into a bracket on the top of the fan, on the attic side, after the fan is in position. I.e., very specifically I needed to be in the attic to install according to manufacturers instructions.

  • Frame challenge: a drill bit, some screws, and the joist that's next to it. The only time it's "required" is when it's the height of the cavity, and it discharges out the top....
    – Mazura
    Commented May 18 at 17:41

The sentence you read is on the packaging of the fan.

They are simply saying "it is much easier to install if you can be on the other side of the ceiling, i.e. up in the attic".

That's all it means, no big deal.

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