Tips & Guides

Attic Fan 101: What is Attic Fan and How It Works

Did you know Attic fans are a smart choice not only for cooling your home but also for energy efficiency? You can save 15 percent of the energy bills you use for air conditioning. Maybe you don’t have any or shallow ideas about the attic fan, right? Don’t have to be worried! In this article, we are going to discuss each and everything you need to know about attic fan: What is attic fan, how attic fan works, what type of attic fan are available in the market and what are the main benefits of using attic fan. All in all, each and everything you need to know before thinking about getting an attic fan.

Why You Need Attic Fan?

If you’re not sure or unfamiliar with this handy house device, then it’s time you take a look at what you are missing. You know, many homeowners don’t use attic fan for cooling the attic because no one uses the space.

However, The heat and humidity in your attic can have a negative impact, and affect the temperature rise in the rest of your home particularly in summer. While in winter, they will have a positive effect of preventing damage like ice damming, causing moisture, which in turn can cause severe damage to pieces of equipment and appliances.

Logically, you will spend quite a substantial amount of money to run an air conditioner, which will only cool your house but not the hot attic. This means that your AC will have to do overwork since the temperature tends to be pretty high. Also, your utility bills will be very high as your air conditioner will consume good amount of power since the load is high due to an increase in room temperature.

The good news is the above problems can be solved if you install an attic fan in your house. It helps to reduce the room temperature very significantly. The good thing is the devices operate using a thermostat, therefore, can automatically turn on and off with the desired temperatures.

The recommendable temperature setting of the thermostat should be between 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

We have gathered beneficial information on this post to answer all that you’ve ever wanted to know or need to:

What’s an Attic Fan?

Powered attic ventilators or attic fans, just as they sound, are designed explicitly for placing or installing in the attics. The main work of an attic fan is to regulate the heat level of the attic by removing hot air out of the attic and pushing it outside, providing needed ventilation.

Attic fans come with different models; some can have manual switches while others use a thermostat to turn them on and off automatically. Also, you place it on the roof-top or gable-mounted.

Typically, these devices are used in summer, when the temperatures are high exceeding 49 degrees celsius. For optimal results, you need to add additional vents to draw in the cold air as they exhaust hot air.

Attic fans are powered differently; for instance, some use electricity, others are solar-powered(an excellent choice to keep your bill on tracks), and the whole house fan.

How Do Attic Fan Work?

Powered attic ventilators or attic fans, just as they sound, are designed explicitly for placing or installing in the attics.

Theory behind attic fans is they work on the principle of drawing hot air out of the attic and pushing it outside through the gable or roof levels. Cold air is drawn in from outside through the soffit vents or roof.

In simple terms, it replaces the hot air in the attic with fresh air from outside. Your attic gets to breathe with clean air, and so your house, plus, you reduce the load of your AC.

Attic passive vents are crucial for your home. Why? Fresh air is drawn from outside and enters through the soffit vents. The air then heats up and rises existing through the roof vents.

As air exhausts, it brings about a negative impact of pressure behind, by sucking in fresh air from down, into the soffits. The process continues.

You cannot compare attic fans with average ceiling fans, which cannot even work nearly as attic fans do. And if so, the price of a high-quality ceiling fan will cost you the same amount of an attic fan. Even though they could cost you the same price before installation, attic fans are way much cheaper, including the installation.

Attic fans are critical because they are designed to cool off the attic providing relief to the unbearable temperatures of your home. Note that they do not push air in the house but draw fresh air into the attic enabling your house to cool almost instantly.

You see, air conditioners do not reach the attic, and so, while you’re at your comfort zone with cold temperatures, your attic is scorching and working while opposing your air conditioner, and this, in turn, overworks it increasing your bill.

Types of Attic Fan Available In Marketplace

Power Attic Ventilator Fan

Powered attic ventilator fans designed to cool your attic by drawing the hot and humid air out of the attic, and bring in a flow of chilly air from outside. You place the fans on the gable walls of your attic.

Also, the devices have benefits like protecting your roof from damage, which might be brought about by the heat and humid moving around the attic, thus, damaging the insulations and frame materials. Plus, you get to save the energy you use for operating your air conditioner.

Attic fans are easy to install because of their location and size. You may require a professional to help with the installation, though not in all cases.

You’ll need a roofer if your fan has been installed on the roof to make sure it’s well-sealed. Also, you might need to add additional vents installation and some ventilation access, which might require only a professional to handle. I.e., You might require a professional Carpenter for cutting and drilling for proper fittings and electrician for the wiring for better results.

Charges vary depending on your work, or complexity of work and, therefore, you might need an electrician who will charge between $45 to $75 to per hour, and a carpenter with charges starting from $70 per hour.

Whole House Attic Fan

Whole House Attic Fan

The whole house fan is installed inside the attic between the living space and ceiling. It helps to cool your home temperatures and the attic by approximately 30 degrees. Whole house fans work on the principle of removing the hot and humid air out of the house; the warm air escapes through the attic and to the attic vents allowing the circulation of chilly air from the windows.

Whole house fans work best at night when the outside temperatures are cold. And, to operate these devices, you’ll need to open all your windows and turn on your fan. Chilly air is then drawn in and up to the attic where the hot air exhausts out from your home.

A typical fan can’t do both the work of an attic and the whole house fan, But, a whole house fan does both. They can cool your home in less than an hour.

Once the needed fresh air is enough, close the windows and turn off your fan. The windows should remain closed until the next day(evening) to prevent the chilly air from escaping.

A whole house uses 80 to 300 watts of energy that’s around 15% less energy compared to an air conditioner, which uses up to 3000watts of energy.

Note: The whole house fan has a significant role in preventing the heat piled up in the attic from spreading to the living room or the entire house at large.

Also, during winter, you need to seal the fan openings. Newer models have come with built-in motorized doors in that you don’t have to climb up to your attic for sealing.

There are many types of whole house fan, and actually, no need to worry about the noise as much quieter models are now available, you need to choose according to your needs and keep your bills on track.

Solar Attic Fan

Solar Attic Fan

Solar attic fans run on solar power. They exhaust the hot heated air out of the attic and replace it with cold air from outside. Typically, It will reduce the work your Air conditioner will have to do to cool your house.

According to research by Florida Solar Energy Center, “gable end models work just perfect as they move more air than roof-mounted.”

Installing solar fans is not tremendous only if you have excellent carpentry skills but, mind you, it might not be an easy job as you’ll need to drill holes, and you must be keen not to drill or cut just any part.

In addition to this, you need the experience to install flashing to keep moisture out. But be mindful of installing the flash, especially if you live in storm-prone environments or f in cold temperatures.

Solar fans work best if you use the space adjacent to your attic.

Price and Installation Cost Of Attic Fan

You might need to consider the following while installing an attic fan. It might cost you approximately $300 – $ 600, for purchase, and up to $550 when you include labor.

Attic fans are cheap compared to whole-house fans. Easy calculation: a 1500 square feet attic, would cost $70, with additional humidistat costing $15. Professional help labor of $40, then the total would be $125.

The location and size of attic fans make it easy to install. Professional help is needed though to make it easier if you’re a beginner

An electrician might charge $45 to $75 to per hour, while a carpenter from $70 per hour.

Bottom line

Attic fans are a perfect way of cooling your home. You now have a whole idea or a better understanding of what they are. They are energy efficient, also easy to install and cheap to purchase.

Always choose your attic fan according to your desires and enjoy the goodness brought about by them.

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