Attic Fans – A Good Way to Help Cool Your Home

Attic fans work in tandem with open soffit vents to lower the temperatures in the attic. They work on the premise of bringing air in from the soffit vents and dispersing that same air out through the attic fan mounted in the roof. The unit is mounted in the roof decking, at about the same area as a roof vent. Under normal conditions, only one fan is needed per attic area. The motor is powered by electricity or solar power and is controlled by a thermostat. It is designed to operate at a temperature set normally about 110-115 degrees; much like setting a thermostat for the furnace or air conditioning. Installation is best left to those who have good construction and electricity skills. If you don’t have the skills or feel uncomfortable on roofs or around electricity, hire a qualified contractor to install the attic fan to the best standards.

The key to maintaining good attic circulation is to ensure there aren’t any open roof or ridge vents. If there are open vents in the roof, they will not allow proper ventilation of the attic as the it will only draw air from the roof vents or the top third of the attic space. It will not draw air from the soffit vents as is the desired effect. Cover the vents from inside the attic. Covering the vents will ensure exterior air enters from the soffit vents and out the fan.

If you decide to aide ventilation of the attic by installing an attic fan, choose wisely. There are many questions that need to be answered in selecting the proper attic fan:
• What is the square footage of the attic? Purchase the correct size fan. Going small won’t move the amount of air to ventilate the attic.
• Is there electric service in the attic? If not, this will add costs to your project.
• Solar powered vs. electric power? Be aware, solar powered attic fans are not yet as powerful as the ones powered by electricity. Nor can it move as much air. They will improve as they become more popular.
• Present ventilation in the attic, is it doing the job required? If so, why change?!
• Is the attic insulated? If not, it should be.

If you want to increase attic ventilation, this is one of the means in which it can be done. Do your homework and choose wisely. Attic fans installed to the best standards and right size can help keep the attic cooler. Increasing attic ventilation correctly can save money.