Attic Fans Are Not the Same Thing as Whole House Fans

When the weather outdoors is uncomfortable and hot, homeowners typically go indoors to seek shelter so they can relax and enjoy the cooler air. However, operating your air conditioner non-stop to keep your home cool can cost you an arm and a leg each month. An attic fan and a whole house fan could offer help with these expenses under the right climates and right conditions.

While both a whole house fan and attic fan helps to ventilate, each has their own distinct purposes. So, what is the difference between them?

Differences Between Attic Fans and Whole House Fans

Here's a look at the differences between the two.

Attic Fans

Attic fans are designed for cooling just your home's attic. They:

  • Lower humidity and heat
  • Regulate the attic's heat levels
  • Improve home performance
  • Exhaust hot attic air through vents while replacing the air with fairly cooler air from the outdoors
  • Reduce strain on your AC unit
  • Mitigate moisture build-up and scorching heat, placing less stress on your roof materials
  • Are installed through your roof or on the gable vent

Since an attic fan lowers the heat in your attic, it ultimately helps decrease the heat in your entire home.  Not to mention, attic fans help lengthen the lifespan of your other home components like your air conditioner, since you're not using them as much. They're also simple to install.

Whole House Fans

A whole house fan can substantially decrease or even eliminate your need for air conditioning air. Whole house fans consume less energy than AC units too. You use a whole house fan when the outdoor temperatures drop which takes advantage of the outdoor cooler air to cool and ventilate your home from the heat during the day.

Whole house fans are designed for cooling your living space at night when the outdoor temperatures are lower than the temperature indoors. A whole house fan:

  • Provides efficient natural cooling instead of recycled indoor air
  • Regulates the heat levels throughout your home and in your attic
  • Precools the air in your home overnight, reducing your need to run the AC during the day
  • Lowers indoor temperatures and refreshes the air
  • Mitigates moisture build-up and scorching heat while placing less stress on your roof materials
  • Improves home performance
  • Can be mounted to the ceiling above louvers, forcing air drawn into your attic through vents in the roof, eaves or gables
  • Can decrease airborne irritants and hazards (i.e. carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, pet odors, radon, cooking, etc.)
  • Is available in energy saving models and Quiet Cool models

While an attic fan helps to keep hot attic heat from getting into your living spaces below, a whole house fan draws in the fresh, cooler evening air through your open windows and forces out the stale, warm, contaminated air from your home. This is what makes attic fans and whole-house fans different.