Why Should You Install an Electric Attic Fan?
Attic fans improve ventilation in unfinished attic space that heats up too much in the summer. Attic fans are either electric or solar-electric powered fans that turn on when the sun is out. Install them in an unfinished attic, mounted on the roof as a roof-mounted fan or vertically as a gable vent fan. It’s controlled by a thermostat that turns it on when a certain temperature or humidity level is reached.
Electric Attic Fan Benefits:
Reduce the Premature Aging of Roofing Shingles
Your attic fan helps extend the life of your roof shingles by preventing overheating. Asphalt shingles age faster too hot attics.
Keep Your Home Cooler
In the summer, your attic fan helps keep your attic cooler and helps keep your home cooler. This could lower your air conditioning costs.
Reduce Humidity and Mold Growth
Your fan will keep the attic drier and reduce the chance of mold growing in your attic. Mold grows best in dark, moist spaces with wood.
Prevent Ice Dams from Forming on Your Roof
Without a fan, your poorly ventilated and insulated attic can leak warmer air to the roof in the winter, this can cause snow to melt and ice to form on the roof edge. Therefore creating a possible ice dam effect that with water damage to the roof sheathing and walls.
Attic Fan Possible Problems:
If you have a gas-powered furnace or water heater, they must vent properly to the outside before installing an attic fan. In some cases, an attic fan can cause a negative airflow pressure which could draw carbon monoxide into the house. To test for negative air pressure, crack open a window when the fan is running and see if air is being pulled into the house. By installing carbon monoxide detectors if you have gas appliances, a connected garage and/or a gas furnace, you can reduce this risk.
Paying for Electricity to Run the Fan
Your attic fan will use electricity to run unless it is powered by solar panels. The annual electricity cost to run it is negligible compared to running an air conditioner, however.
Maintaining Your Fan
Like all appliances, fans need maintenance because of dust that gathers. Check and clean it twice a year to keep it functioning properly.
Attic fans work best in an attic with proper insulation.
Check with an insulation specialist to make sure your insulation is good and there are no air leaks from the main house that can cause air-conditioned air to leak out. In addition, there should also be enough air in the attic pulled in from ridge, gable and soffit vents for the attic fan to work well and not pull air from the main house.