Common Questions Answered About Installing an Attic Fan

What is an attic fan?
Attic fans help remove heat from your house, keeping it cool. However, how effective they are and what they do can vary widely, depending on the type of attic fan. So when we use the term “attic fan”,  we usually mean one of two things: either a whole-house fan or an attic exhaust fan. A whole-house fan cycles cooler outside air into your home and hotter inside air out, while an attic exhaust fan brings cooler outside air into the attic to keep it from overheating, keeping the rooms directly below the attic slightly cooler.

How much does it cost to install an attic fan?
The price of an attic fan can vary greatly, somewhere between $100 and $1,000, depending on what type of attic fan you are looking to purchase. For example, passive attic fans use no electricity and only cost about $100, while a dual-powered fan, which can use solar power and electricity, can cost you up to one grand.

How long does installation take?
In most cases, where additional exhaust vents don’t have to be installed, installation only takes a few hours. Whole-house fans usually take longer, especially if wire upgrades need to be installed; however, it can all still be done in a day.

What type of fan should I get?
If you have an open floor plan home, and you want a cheaper,  greener, and more energy-efficient way to cool your house, without running the air conditioning 24/7 to keep the upstairs cool, then a whole-house fan is the way to go. Whole-house fans are the most natural, cost-effective way to cool your home, and they do best in houses with open floors and high ceilings.

On the other hand, if you have either a ranch house or a two-story home with a narrow staircase, and only want to cut down on your air conditioning bill while still cooling down the upstairs, an attic exhaust fan is probably best for you.

Should I hire a professional to install my attic fan?
You should always hire a licensed electrician for any of your electrical projects unless you have previous electrical experience. An electrician can usually help you with your unanswered questions, and let you know what options may be right for your home.

Should I choose solar or electric?
Solar attic fans, or PV fans, are solar-powered fans that cool your house by exhausting hot air trapped inside your home and pulling in cooler outside air. Solar attic fans are usually more expensive to install than electric fans but do not require any additional costs after installation, as they use the sun’s energy to run rather than the electricity you pay for. However, PV fans are most effective during sunny days and power down at night. Electric fans on the other hand can run at any time but can cost more in the long run.

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