What is an Attic Fan?

A whole house fan is a fan that exhausts air from the home, into the attic, and out the attic vents. An attic fan, on the other hand, is a fan that exhausts only attic air out of the attic vents. There are many types of attic fans such as; attic gable fans, roof mount attic fans, and solar attic fans.

With energy costs higher than ever, many homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their bills while still keeping the whole house cool. Choosing a more energy-efficient air conditioner is one solution but for many homes, an even better solution is an attic exhaust fan.

Whole house fans and attic fans are often misconceived as the same type of fan and while they may share some similarities, they have entirely different purposes. This is a very common misconception. Back in the 1970s, people would call the old-fashioned “helicopter” whole-house fans, an attic fan. This caught on and is still very common on the East Coast of the United States.

The EPA states that the relative humidity in the home and attic “should be kept below 60 percent — ideally between 30 percent and 50 percent, if possible.”

Benefits of an Attic Fan

Attic ventilation is crucial to homeowners because attics can be like an oven on top of your home, just heating your living space from above. When mid-summer comes around, attics can reach temperatures of over 160 degrees Fahrenheit! In a two-story home, this heat can make the top floor unbearable! Installing an attic fan helps to lower those outrageous temperatures in the attic, thus helping the home stay cooler. For this reason, an attic fan alone can help homeowners feel more comfortable.

If living more comfortably is not enough to attract you to an attic fan, perhaps saving money on your electric bill while preserving your most expensive home appliance will. All homeowners dread running their HVAC(Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system also known as the air conditioner. Families often fight over the thermostat, weighing the pros & cons before reluctantly turning their HVAC system on, knowing their electric bill is steadily rising.

An attic fan’s ability to cool a portion of the house that the A/C can’t equate to a home that is cooler usual. When that is the case, a homeowner is much less likely to use their A/C as their home is not reheating like it normally does. The A/C then gets far less work than it usually does which could save money on upsetting repairs further down the road.

Other A/C related anguish includes homeowners being frustrated by the apparent delay period for their HVAC system. For the first few minutes, homeowners can hear their HVAC system running but the home does not feel any cooler. The reason for this is the ductwork for the air conditioner is surrounded by extreme attic temperatures. These temperatures obviously heat up the ductwork so when the system is first turned on, it begins at a deficit. The ductwork must first cool down before homeowners feel any noticeable difference in the living space. This is where the attic fan comes in! As we said before, attic fans greatly reduce the temperature in the attic which means your ductwork will also stay cool! This translates to your HVAC system reaching the set temperature much quicker, allowing it to run more efficiently, thus creating a more comfortable living environment, all while extending the life of your most expensive home appliance!