If you’ve ever gone up to the attic during summer, then you know just how stifling the atmosphere can be. During this season, the attic temperatures increase significantly and can reach up to 160 degrees. The problem is that once heat gets trapped in the attic, it will cause irreparable damage to your roof. Thankfully, you can prevent this from happening by investing in the best attic fan. This piece of equipment helps in exhausting hot air; thus, equalizing the temperature indoors. Protect your home by getting yourself a quality attic fan.
What’s the Best Attic Fan?
A decent attic fan is capable of moving dozens of cubic feet worth of air in a short amount of time. It means the fan can provide a complete air change multiple times in an hour. An air change refers to when the air within a particular space gets replaced with a new stream of air. The best attic fans will not only keep the air in your attic cool but also prevent moisture build up.
1. Cool Attic CX1500UPS Ventilator Fan
Who said you have to spend a fortune purchasing a quality fan for your attic? The Cool Attic fan has some of the best features and for such a decent price. With a CFM rating of 1300, this attic fan facilitates air exchange at a very fast rate. It’s also easy to install. You can mount the fan in the gable of your home or behind the current louvers. And the good thing is that you don’t have to do any modifications on your roofline so it can accommodate the fan.
Cool Attic Fan is constructed using galvanized steel. It also has an automatic thermostat, which adds to its energy efficiency. The thermostat ensures that the attic fan only runs when necessary. Furthermore, this 14-inch fan is capable of cooling an area of up to 1850 square feet. To achieve this, the fan is fitted with a 115-volt motor.
2. Ventamatic CX2500UPS Cool Attic Ventilator Fan
The Ventematic Attic Ventilator costs slightly more than our top pick. However, it also offers a higher CFM rating of 1650. Equipped with a 2.1 Amp thermally protected motor, this fan will help to equalize the temperatures both inside and outside the attic.
Like the Cool Attic fan, this one is also easy to mount in the gable of your home. The fan, which is about 25 inches in diameter, boasts an intake of 625-square inch. And since it’s also constructed from galvanized steel, it will work for many years to come. With Ventematic attic fan, you have guarantee that your home won’t suffer from any weather-induced deterioration.
3. QuietCool AFG SMT-3.0 Smart Attic Gable Fan
For the tech-savvy homeowners, the QuietCool SMT-3.0 is the perfect attic fan to buy. It’s designed by QuietCool, a company that has made a name for itself in the making of quiet and energy-efficient home equipment.
Their AFG smart attic fan boasts an AC/DC brushless motor, which is popularly referred to as ECM. What makes this motor stand out is the fact that it offers ultra-high efficiency as well as a high CFM. In fact, the California Energy Commission’s Appliance Efficiency Database highlights the AFG ES-1500 as one of the most energy efficient.
Other than the motor, this attic fan has other handy features up its sleeve. These include built-in thermostat control, a humidistat and easy assembly. This attic ventilator is plug and play so there’s no need to hire a technician to perform the installation.
4. Broan 353 Gable Attic Ventilator
If your primary concern when getting an attic fan is the noise level, the Broan 353 gabble is an exhaust fan quiet model. The 14-inch diameter metal blade propeller is well positioned to provide maximum airflow and to keep its noise levels low. The motor has an amperage of 3.4 and can ventilate an area of about 1630 square feet.
Broan attic fan boasts a 22 gage galvanized steel housing with ribs, to provide maximum strength for prolonged use. Plus, it comes with mounting brackets to ease its installation. Like most attic fans, this one also has an inbuilt thermostat.
5. Rand Solar Powered Attic Fan
For homeowners looking for ways to save on energy costs, this solar-powered attic fan will come in handy. Rand runs on solar energy, so you don’t have to be concerned about gas or electricity expenses. Whenever the sun shines on the solar panel, Rand fan starts spinning.
This roof attic fan is capable of ventilating an area of about 700 square feet. Unfortunately, it has a very low CFM rating of 435 cubic feet per minute. On the upside, it comes in larger sizes of 30W or 40W rooftop fans, which are suitable for larger spaces.
Another perk of investing in the Rand solar-powered attic fan is its easy installation. Since it does not utilize electricity, it eliminates the hassle of performing additional wiring. All you need to do is mount it on the roof, and it will start running automatically.
What Is An Attic Fan?
Also referred to as a power attic ventilator, this is a uniquely designed fan that helps to exhaust hot air from the attic. For optimal functioning, these fans have to be attached to the roof of your home.
Attic fans work by pulling the cooler air the from inlet vents.
What Is the Purpose of an Attic Fan?
The primary function that an attic fan serves is to ventilate your attic. It means preventing hot air and moisture from circulating around your home’s attic. As mentioned earlier, the way an attic fan works is by replacing the stagnant air around the attic with breezy, even-temperature air from the atmosphere. Attic fans also help in drying out the moisture that may have built up in your attic as a result of condensation and evaporation processes. By performing these two functions, attic fans protect your roof, and subsequently, boost the overall integrity of your home.
How do Attic Fans Work?
Attic fans work in three main steps:
- Creating a breeze through any open windows and doors. As long as the fans are of the right size, they will blow out all the air present in your home in a span of three minutes.
- The next step involves blowing the hot air out from inside your home.
- Blowing out any out any hot air that may be trapped inside the attic.
By performing these three steps, attic fans bring a cooling effect to your home within a very short time. If you complement these attic fans with thermostats and humidistats, you will have a top-notch system that keeps your home cool.
Different Types of Attic Fans
The best and easiest way of cooling your attic is through attic fans. Once you have these fans installed, you’ll be able to make maximum use of the attic space without worrying about a stifling or stuffy environment. Beyond the benefit of ventilating the attic, these fans also minimize heat levels within your home. This translates to less energy used to cool your home, and subsequently, lower utility bills. How effectively an attic fan works will rely on its type. There are three main types of attic fans:
Type 1—Solar Attic Fan
As its name suggests, this is the kind of fan that is powered through solar energy. Relying on the solar energy saves you from gas and electricity expenses. The fact that you won’t be relying on electricity helps to lower your energy bills. Solar attic fans work best when there is sufficient sunlight. However, their efficiency declines when there’s little sunlight. Plus, they won’t function in the absence of sunlight. But despite these setbacks, solar-powered attic fans really function well even with reduced sunshine. And they cost much less than electric ones.
Type 2—Electrical Attic Fans
These types of attic fans are powered using electricity. One thing that makes electric attic fans stand out is their capability to move lots of air within a very short period. A majority of these fans also come equipped with thermostats, which automatically switch them on or off depending on the temperature. This thermostat makes an electric attic fan one of the most energy-efficient appliances in a home.
Nonetheless, these fans still cost more to run because of the electricity usage expenses. The highest energy costs you’ll incur is during summer since the fans will be in use for prolonged periods of time. Another caveat is that installing an electric fan is not a simple do-it-yourself kind of project. It involves sophisticated processes such as wiring, which calls for a professional electrician.
Type 3—Wind-Powered Fan
If you don’t fancy using an electric attic fan, this is another type of fan that also relies on natural energy. Unfortunately, since a wind-powered fan also depends on Mother Nature, it’s susceptible to inconsistency and unreliability if the conditions are not right. If the wind speed is good, the attic fans will exhaust most of the air. But if the wind speed is slow, then so will the attic fan.
Benefits of Attic Fans
When the summer heat is beating down on your roof, keeping your house can be rather difficult. It is why air conditioners were invented- to help in lowering the temperature as well as reducing humidity levels. Unfortunately, air conditioners often have to work harder to keep your home cool. If your electricity bills keep rising because of the air conditioner, you should consider installing an attic fan. In addition to ventilating the attic, this fan helps in reducing the load on your air conditioner. Attic fans provide this and more benefits as highlighted below.
Decreased Temperatures in Living Areas
If the temperature outdoors is at 80 degrees, the temperature in your attic could go as high as 150 degrees. Although vents do provide some degree of passive cooling, attic fans are the best way of reducing the high temperatures in your attic.
In fact, an attic fan that is left running during the hottest part of a day, helps to reduce the attic temperature by up to 50 degrees. It means the temperature in your attic will be about 10 degrees lower than the one in other parts of your home.
Lower Air Conditioning Expenses
By keeping your home cool, an attic fan reduces the load on your air conditioner. A measly 10-degree decrease in temperature can help you cut back on cooling expenses by a whopping 30%. And the good thing is that operating attic fans does not cost much, especially if they have built-in thermostats. These thermostats ensure that the attic fans only run when it’s necessary.
Considering that your ac won’t have to work as hard if you have an attic fan, this also makes it less susceptible to excessive wear and tear. This will save you from having to repair it or replace the entire system within a short period.
Extended Roof Life
If you live in an area that experiences high levels of humidity, this could cause significant damage to your roof. Usually, the moisture within your home ascends and accumulates in your attic. With time, this moisture leads to growth of mold and mildew. But if you have an attic fan installed, it will prevent such moisture from accumulating in the attic where it could damage the roof.
What You Need to Consider When Purchasing an Attic Fan
If you’ve decided to invest in an attic fan, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind:
Square and cubic footage
Fans, whether meant for the attic or office, operate within a specified size of space. An attic fan can only function optimally if it’s operating in a specific range. It means that you shouldn’t install a fan to work in an area that is too big for its use. A majority of attic fans work well within 800 cubic feet of space. So before you rush to buy an attic fan, first measure the size of the room that you want the fan to cool. Ideally, you should find both the square and cubic footage. To find the square footage, determine the depth of the attic and multiple it by its width. Now to compute the cubic footage, multiply the result you get by 0.7. Measuring the size of the room is crucial to getting an appropriately-sized attic fan.
Do-It-Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor
Once you’ve found the right-sized attic fan, the next thing you should account for is its installation. If you want the attic fan to function well, you need to ensure that it’s installed in the right manner. Mounting your attic fan on the roof is a risky venture, so you should consider getting an extra pair of hands. Also, an electric attic fan requires a bit of wiring during its installation. It means that if you don’t have an experience in this field, you’ll need to hire a professional contractor.
Put simply, CFM or cubic feet per minute is the unit of measurement used to determine the ability of a fan to move air. The bigger the area that needs to be cooled, the higher the CFM rating of the attic fan should be. Another factor that affects the CFM rating is the climatic condition of the area where the fan will be used. If the area is too humid, then this will need a high CFM rating.
Level of Noise
Another aspect you should keep in mind is the vibration noise level. Sure, an attic ventilator serves an important function of cooling your home. However, some models tend to be too noisy, which can be a problem if you work from home or have a toddler who needs to sleep from time to time. But this will also depend on the fan’s placement. If you’re purchasing a fan that will be installed in a sleeping quarters, ensure it has a low noise level. The best attic fan is one that functions well without disrupting other activities.
Vents are another factor to be considered. Since attic fans are designed differently, they will work with different kinds of vents. While some attic fans work well with any type of vent, some models can only work with specific kinds of vents. So before making your purchase, ensure it’s compatible with the attic fan air vent in your home.
Types of Attic Fans
Different types of attic fans rely on different sources of energy. The two main ones are attic fan solar and electricity-powered ones. If you’re looking to purchase an attic fan, you should first choose between these two options by weighing the pros and cons of each option.
Attic fans also come in different shapes. Some are dome-shaped while others are circular. The dome-shaped ones are made of waterproof materials, which makes them suitable for roof installations. In contrast, circular fans are often installed inside the area of gable vents.
Attic fans are one of the best investments that you can ever make. These ventilation systems are essential for keeping your home cool, especially during summer seasons. An attic fan helps to draw out any heat that has accumulated in the attic; hence creating a buffer between your home and the outside air. However, these fans come in different designs. Some are powered using electricity while others rely on sunlight or wind. You will need to evaluate the benefits and disadvantages of each before deciding which one to go for.
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