As the weather gets warmer, an even hotter topic always gets brought up: is an attic fan worth it? Some people swear by them, while others call them a waste of money.

But do attic fans make a difference? Should you get them in your home?

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We’re here to settle the debate once and for all. But the truth isn’t super cut and dry.

Your satisfaction with attic fans will depend on several factors, such as:

  • The climate you live in
  • The kind of attic fan you install
  • Your goal (energy savings vs. comfort vs. ventilation)
  • Air sealing

This article will tell you everything you need to know about attic fans and what kind of attic fan may work right for your home. That way, you can decide: “Do attic fans make a difference?”

What Are Attic Fans?

What Are Attic Fans?

Before we tell you about these fans, let’s talk about what they are.

Attic fans are perfectly named and give you a vivid picture of what they are: fans for attics. They are one of the more popular types of attic vents. When installed on the ceiling of your attic, they circulate the air in your attic.

The fan takes the hot and humid air in your attic, circulates it, and pushes it out of the house’s upper space. This way, hot, stale air under your roof isn’t sitting over your home. This is known as air exchange.

While a fan in a home’s attic works hand in hand with any roof or HVAC system, it is not a required component of an HVAC installation. They need separate installation, which varies widely depending on the type of attic fan, labor, and other required work.

You may wonder why you should bother installing these fans if it’s not required. What people love about these fans is the pressure they take off HVAC systems. Keeping hot and humid out of your attic before it radiates down into the living space is good for several reasons.

But do attic fans work? Let’s talk more about what they do and how they could help your home.

How Do Attic Fans Work?

How Do Attic Fans Work?

There are many big claims about attic fans. You’ll hear how they can cool your house in the summer and keep your home nice and dry during the darkest, snowiest winters.

But how accurate are these claims, and do attic fans really help? Let’s get into the specifics of how these fans work.

We mentioned the air exchange, which means the fans push hot, humid air out in the summer. As attics reach 150-160 degrees, much hotter than outside, this can warm your house overall. You can even take your attic’s temperature to see how hot yours is. Alternatively, you can schedule an attic inspection to get more detailed insights from thermal imaging tools.

The hotter an attic is, the warmer the home will be during the summer. This means you’ll constantly increase how frequently you use your air conditioning.

However, by expelling the hot air, an attic fan brings your attic closer to the outside temperature. Your air conditioner can work on cooling your house rather than working against the air coming from your attic.

These fans also have some benefits in the winter. Often during colder months, the warm air from your home meets the cold air just under your roof. Check out our detailed post for more information on when to use an attic fan.

This could lead to excessive moisture and damage your roof from mold or ice damming. The fan will circulate the air, which could prevent any of this excessive moisture and potential damage.

How Attic Fans Don’t Work

How Attic Fans Don't Work

Now that we’ve shown how these fans work let’s discuss what they don’t do.

Many people may get caught up in the promises of a fan, especially when it comes to energy savings. Maybe you’ve been told that an attic fan will cool your home in the hottest months, so much so that you can turn off your air conditioner.

But do attic fans cool down a house all on their own?


An attic fan cools and ventilates the attic, bringing the space closer to outside temperatures. This helps keep that hot air from passing into your primary living space. Because of this, you will feel more comfortable during the summer and likely not need to run your air conditioning as much. This can provide some energy savings relief.

However, running an electric fan in your attic means you still have to pay for the electricity so it can operate.

So, are attic fans good or bad? Will the costs to power the fan outweigh the benefit of energy savings? For electric-powered fans, possibly.
Fortunately, there are modern alternatives to get the benefits of active ventilation without paying for electricity.

How Solar Attic Fans Are Different

How Solar Attic Fans Are Different

Solar attic fans work like electric fans and have all the same benefits. The difference is that you only pay for them after you pay to install them. They run on solar energy. So the only thing powering your attic fan is the sun rather than your electrical system.

With a solar fan in your attic, you can take the pressure off your air conditioning without paying for it in your attic. Unlike electric attic fans, this saves you money every month, especially in the hottest weeks of summer.

If you’ve been promised lots of savings with an electric attic fan, it’s understandable that you would be skeptical. But a solar attic fan will do everything you want your electric unit to do. It will push out hot air in the summer. It has been scientifically proven to cool the attic by an average of 20 degrees in hot climates. And it will keep your attic dry in the winter, preventing future costly roofing and maintenance issues.

Solar works all year round, so you won’t need to worry about your electric bill going up because you’re powering your fan in the hottest months. Your fan will run for 12 months of the year without costing you a dime after installation.

Read our review on the best solar attic fans.

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The Pros and Cons of an Attic Fan

Pros and Cons of Attic Fans

Now you know everything there is to know about how attic fans work, and you may be getting a good idea of whether it may be right for your home. But are attic fans good or bad?

We’ve laid out the pros and cons to give you the best idea of whether they would be a good fit for your home. Knowing the benefits and disadvantages will help you decide if fans in your attic would work in your home.

The Benefits of an Attic Fan

  • Increase energy efficiency. By cooling down your attic, you can decrease your air conditioning. Your air conditioner is currently having to work against the sauna sitting on top of your living space. Give it a hand by cooling your home’s upper space to outdoor temperatures before your turn up the AC.
  • Cool down a second story in your home. If you often find the second story is never as cool as your first one, this could be due to heat radiating down from the attic into your living space. With proper air sealing techniques and sufficient insulation, an attic fan helps prevent that heat from entering your home, keeping your upstairs more cool and comfortable.
  • Decrease the possibility of damage to your roof. In colder months, the moist, warm air from your home interacts with the cold air under your roof, creating moisture and condensation that sits under your roof. Moisture is the enemy of a strong roof and could lead to expensive damage.
  • Supports your attic insulation. Excessive heat and humidity can lead to the depletion of your attic’s insulation. An attic fan removes hot, humid air from the attic, taking pressure off your insulation materials.
  • Solar fans are free to run. Get your power from the sun, and don’t pay after installation. The day after you install it, you can forget it’s there and reap the benefits.

The Disadvantages of an Attic Fan

  • Electric fans can be costly to operate, depending on what you pay for power. Any savings you get from reducing your use of your air conditioning, you may see that money in your electric bill for operating the fan.
  • Poor installation can lead to roof leaks, resulting in more expensive issues.
  • For maximum financial benefit and comfort, you’ll need to ensure that your attic is properly air sealed and insulated.
  • Won’t cool your entire house. These fans circulate air and push out hot air from your attic. While this helps to cool the top of the house and can reduce the hot air entering your home, it will not actively cool your house in the hottest months.

When Should You Use an Attic Fan?

When Should You Use an Attic Fan?

An attic fan can be a beneficial addition to your home.

In general, attic fans can be used all year round to remove heat and moisture from the attic. However, they’re used primarily in the summer to eliminate extra heat and cool the attic, which can help cool your home by preventing heat from radiating into the living area.

During summer, attics can get as hot as 150 degrees. Preferably, they should be at most 100 degrees to prevent damage and issues with cooling down the rest of your home, but ideally, you want your attic to be as close as possible to the outside temperature.

Knowing when to use an attic fan can help you keep your home cooler, extend the life of your roof, and save you money on your energy bills.

If your attic is not ventilated well, the heat can build up in your attic and cause damage to your roof. An attic fan can help circulate the air and keep the temperature down.

If the humidity is high, the air in your attic can become moist and cause mold and mildew to grow. Running an attic fan can help remove moisture from the air and prevent this from happening.

Remember, you want your attic temperature to be close to the outside air temperature. You should consider running a fan to remove excess heat and moisture if it is.

Conclusion — Do Attic Fans Really Work?

Now that you have all the information about attic fans, it’s time to decide: Do they really work?

Based on our industry experience, the answer is yes. Attic fans do work. They will help circulate air in your attic and ventilate the space, so it stays closer to the outside temperature. Attics can reach incredibly high temperatures in the hot summer months and gather excessive moisture in the winter. Attic fans will help fight these problems.

Do they deliver a ton of energy savings? That answer will ultimately depend on where you live, the type of fan you install, and whether or not your attic is air sealed.

For those who live in cold or temperate climates that never touch 80 degrees, an attic fan may not be worth the installation price (if you’re only concerned about energy savings). Passive roof vents may be sufficient, and if your goal is to obtain energy savings, consider air sealing or adding insulation.

There is also the debate over electric vs. solar fans. Electric fans do what they’re supposed to, but you need to factor in the average cost to power them. Many electric-powered attic fans also only come with a 1-3 year warranty on materials, so you’ll likely need to replace them at some point. Solar fans will work year-round without costing you any money and also come with more extended warranties.

So, do attic fans really work? Yes! But it ultimately depends on what your goals are. If you’re looking for significant energy savings, you’ll need to leverage a fan with other practices like adding insulation and air sealing the attic. If you’re looking to add ventilation to help improve comfort and protect your roof, just installing an attic fan will help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do attic fans make a difference?

Yes, attic fans can make a difference in several ways.

A properly installed attic fan can remove the excessive heat build-up in the summer, cooling an attic space. This helps reduce the pressure on your insulation systems, preventing unwanted heat transfer into your living space. This ultimately makes your home feel cooler while alleviating the work that your air conditioning system needs to do.

In the winter, attic fans can also make a big difference by removing heat and moisture that escapes from the home. This helps prevent things like mold growth and ice damming.

Do attic fans really cool down a house?

Yes, attic fans can help your house feel cooler on hot days. With that being said, they are not going to cool your entire home.

To maximize an attic fan’s cooling benefit, ensure you have enough insulation in your attic and air seal all of the cracks and gaps. Other cooling techniques such as running ceiling fans, switching light bulbs over to LED, installing energy-efficient windows, and using smart thermostats are also good ways to help keep your home cool.

Do attic fans help AC?

Yes, attic fans can help with air conditioning (AC) by reducing the burden on the AC system. By removing hot and humid air from the attic space, attic fans can help to keep the attic cooler, reducing the amount of work required from the AC system to cool the home. This, in turn, can result in lower energy bills and reduced wear and tear on the AC system, potentially extending its lifespan.

Do attic fans help prevent mold?

Yes, attic fans can help prevent mold growth by removing moisture from the attic space. Mold thrives in moist and humid environments, and by removing humidity, attic fans can reduce the risk of mold growth. However, it is important to note that attic fans are not a cure-all for mold prevention and that proper insulation, ventilation, and moisture control are also important factors in preventing mold growth in the home.

Are attic fans good or bad?

Attic fans are good at what they do: removing unwanted heat and moisture from an attic.

They have earned a bad reputation because of poor quality products, installation, and education. There also needs to be a fundamental understanding of their benefits. Generally, a high-quality attic fan can provide ongoing active ventilation to protect your roof, support insulation systems, and help give some cooling benefits in certain climates.

Should an attic fan run all the time?

Running an attic fan all the time, in theory, is a good idea. You want your attic to be close to the outside temperature. However, if you have a powered attic fan, you may want it to run only some of the time because of the electric costs. In this case, setting a timer or thermostat might be worth consideration. Alternatively, a solar-powered attic fan can provide constant air flow if there is sunlight to keep it running. This is an excellent solution to getting the most benefit from a fan without worrying about operating costs.

Energy efficiency has become a hot topic, especially with rising utility costs and extreme weather conditions across the country.

Aside from the environmental impact of using a ton of electricity, there’s also a lot to be said about how much conserving energy can save you on your electricity bills.

Central air conditioning is one of the biggest household contributors to high energy costs. If you live in an especially hot climate, you’re likely paying hundreds just to keep your house cool, especially in the summertime.

Luckily, there are alternative ways to cool your home for a lower price. Is an attic fan one of them?

Here, we look at the facts and answer the question: do attic fans use a lot of electricity?

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How much power does an electric attic fan use on average?

On average, an attic fan uses less than 300 watts of electricity.

If it were to run constantly, it would use up to about 180 kWh per month, but attic fans typically run intermittently to equalize inside and outside temperatures.

Unfortunately, this cost can add up over time. Though operating an electric attic fan has an average cost of $2-$3 per month, adding a humidistat that measures the amount of moisture in the attic can add another $90-$150.

Should attic fans run all the time?

No, attic fans do not need to run all the time. During the summer months or in hot climates, you may notice that your attic fan is running more often to disperse the warm air buildup in your attic. In general, you will notice the most benefits from running your attic fan during the day.

Should I turn off my attic fan in the winter?

No, you shouldn’t turn your attic fan off in the winter. Attic ventilation is a crucial element in every homeowner’s maintenance plan. Because attic fans are controlled by a thermostat, you can set them to your ideal attic temperature. Proper attic ventilation allows air to circulate while preventing moisture buildup. Reducing moisture can work to prevent ice dams or ice build-up on the eaves of sloped roofs.

What temperature should I set my attic fan?

Attic fans should be set to a temperature that feels most comfortable for you and your living spaces, but manufacturers typically recommend setting it between 90 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. In general, it’s a good idea to set your fan to a higher temperature than the ambient temperature outside to avoid it burning out.

Attic fans vs other household appliances

When you compare the electric attic fan’s energy usage to the around 350-7500 watts that most of your other electric household items use, it seems pretty efficient.

The average refrigerator 1.4kWh of electricity per day or 41kWh per month.

A space heater uses a significant amount of electrical energy, about 1,500 watts.

A microwave uses about 1,200 watts per hour, though you probably don’t run your microwave for hours at a time.

Is it cheaper to run an attic fan or air conditioning?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the cost of running an attic fan or air conditioning will vary depending on the size of your home, the climate, and other factors. However, in general, it is often cheaper to run an attic fan than air conditioning. Opting for a solar-powered attic fan can reduce your energy bills even more. You can compare average costs in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s comprehensive report.

Does an attic fan use less electricity than AC?

The answer is a resounding yes. A central air conditioning system can use upwards of 3,500 watts per hour when in cooling mode. Even when your AC is on fan-only mode, it still uses 750 watts per hour, more than twice the electricity of the average attic fan.

One of the primary reasons people use attic fans is to keep their homes cooler during the hot summer months to reduce the strain on their HVAC systems.

By adding an attic fan to the equation, your central air conditioning system has to do less work, which means less electricity is used. Essentially, you get more bang for your buck when using an attic fan.

A solar-powered alternative to the electric attic fan

If you’re looking for a way to get the cooling benefits of an attic fan without incurring additional energy costs, the answer is clear: solar power. Solar-powered attic fans don’t even require you to install solar panels. Nearly all solar-powered attic fans have panels built-in, so installation is a breeze.

There are plenty of solar-powered attic fans out there that double down on energy savings, allowing you to save on AC electricity while using the sun to power the fan itself.


Attic fans don’t use much electricity compared to other household items. By adding an attic fan to your home, you could save a lot of money on your energy bills, improve the comfort of your living spaces, reduce your attic temperature, mitigate ice damming throughout the winter, and minimize the strain on your HVAC system.

Mold is one of the most damaging substances to homes and businesses alike. It can cause respiratory problems, allergies, asthma attacks, headaches, heart disease, and other conditions. Mold infestations typically occur when moisture levels are high in an area for a long period of time. This article will discuss the Best Mold Removal Products that you can use to get rid of mold in your home.

Are you looking for a way to fight against the growth of mold in your home?

Mold removal products are available to help homeowners fight against the growth and effects of mold within their homes. Homeowners should use these products as soon as they notice any signs of an infestation or invasion, such as water damage or musty odors. These products can be used on all surfaces affected by mold, including drywall, wood paneling, carpeting, and tile grout. They’re also safe for people with allergies and asthma.

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You don’t have to live with the discomfort that comes from living in a house filled with toxic spores! With many mold removal solutions at your disposal, you can get rid of those nasty molds once and for all.

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5 Best Mold Removal Products

RMR-86 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover Spray

RMR-86 Mold Remover

One of the best mold removal products is RMR-86 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover Spray. This product works instantly to remove mold, mildew stains, dirt, grime & more!

Get rid of stubborn mold and mildew stains: this instant spray cleaner removes the stains left behind from black mold, urine smell in carpeting (yes it can happen!), as well as other unpleasant odors. Keep your home free of musty damp smells that are usually caused by these pesky organisms!

The fast-acting formula targets deeply embedded dirt quickly so you don’t have to scrub too hard at removing them–simply give it a few minutes before wiping off any excess moisture with paper towels or cloths; then simply rinse away completely under warm running water afterward for an all-around cleanliness boost without tedious work on hand sanitizer soap dishes/dishcloths etc.

For Best Results: Use RMR-86 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover Spray on any nonporous surfaces including glass tile metal plastic porcelain chrome ceramic fiberglass acrylic concrete bricks & stucco. Best to test an inconspicuous area first before using on fabric or upholstery.

Read our full RMR-86 Mold Remover Review

Tilex Mold & Mildew Remover 16 Fl Oz

Best Mold Removal Products - Tilex

What’s the only way to get rid of mold and mildew? With Clorox Regular Mold & Mildew Formula bleach, that’s what! This powerful cleaner delivers a clean by killing 99%+ household molds. Plus it eliminates stains before your eyes so you can have spotless surfaces all around for years without scrubbing- just one quick application is enough (and no gloves required!).

The best part about this product: It contains no harsh chemicals like baking soda or sodium hypochlorite which can irritate the skin in some cases–so there will be fewer hassles during the cleanup time too!

Concrobium Mold Control Household Cleaners

Best Mold Removal Products - Concrobium

This Mold Control Jug from Concrobium will keep your home free of pesky, musty odors thanks to an EPA-registered formula that crushes the little green monsters as they crawl across surfaces like tile or stone!

Just apply this cleaning solution using this method:

  • spray away with a garden mist bottle if time allows because these mists penetrate deeply into cracks/crevices where water tends to accumulate before drying out again later on during sunshine hours
  • use cloths over large areas such as walls but don’t scrub anything since our cleaners come without harsh chemicals which could damage paint or other household surfaces
  • spray it directly into your drain to get rid of foul odors at the source.

You can use Concrobium Mold Control Household Cleaners anywhere in the home without worrying about damaging sensitive materials like wood fabrics/carpet fibers tile grout & more—just remember that if you see some mold starting to grow back again after a few days, you should reapply the cleaner to take care of it. It’s that easy!

With Controbium’s Mold Control kit, homeowners can enjoy peace of mind knowing they have everything needed for mold control in one convenient package.

Professional Disinfecting Mildew, Virus & Mold Killer – Cleans & Deodorizes, Lemon Scent

Best Mold Removal Products - Lemocide

Looking for a commercial-grade disinfectant that can kill mold, mildew, and viruses? This highly concentrated liquid has the power to provide effective cleaning as well. It utilizes phosphate-free formula so you don’t have to worry about having an eco-friendly product on hand!

Use it in hard surfaces such as granite countertops or stainless steel appliances without worrying about stains from makeup removers because this stuff gets rid of bacteria with ease – it’ll even deodorize areas where keeping fresh smells is difficult like your refrigerator door handle by giving off just enough lemon scent every day while working away at killing all those nasty microbes lurking around waiting (and reproducing) inside them.

This product has an effective cleaning formula against bacteria as well viruses such that it can be used in hospital settings or your home! It also leaves behind no residue so you never have to worry about damage from harsh cleansers like bleach which is why we recommend our Lemon Scented Cleaner when dealing with tough messes on porcelain toilets but not necessarily other bathroom fixtures

The lemon scent provides both hygiene benefits (ease respiration) by masking unpleasant odors, as well as being an effective air freshener.

Mold Armor Cleaner

Best Mold Removal Products - Mold Armor

The Mold Armor E-Z House Wash cleans exterior surfaces with no scrubbing. It effectively removes stains caused by dirt, mold, and mildew that are too tough for other wash products to handle on their own! The formula is 2X stronger than other hose ends to kill these stubborn messes; plus it delivers just enough sprayers power to reach those hard-toilet places you wouldn’t even think about climbing up a ladder or bucket to get at himself without worrying about falling off the side of scaffolding while trying so very badly not fall, victim, themselves.

Mold Armor Cleaner can also kill algae and moss! This means homeowners don’t have to strip off these organic growths before reapplying their favorite color of paint (if they want to). Best of all, this cleaner is non-toxic and biodegradable

To use Mold Armor Cleaner on your lawn or garden, simply spray it directly onto the leaves; it’ll kill any mold spores that may be growing on them within hours! Be sure not to apply too much water pressure while doing this because it could damage your plants – just a fine mist is all you need to get the job done.


If you are looking for a 100% safe and effective way to remove mold from your home or office, the products listed in this article may be of use. They have been tested by professionals who specialize in mold removal.

Remember that it is always best to contact an expert before using any product yourself because there might be something on the surface that could damage your property further, which would void the warranty. Do not hesitate to call us today if you need help identifying what type of mold infestation you have so we can provide solutions tailored specifically for it!

Every summer feels like it’s hotter than the last. Homeowners are constantly trying to find a balance between keeping their house cool while saving money on energy bills.

What many don’t realize is that one of the most prominent sources of stifling indoor heat is the attic. Hot air often collects in the uppermost area and transfers much of that heat to the bottom floors.

How do you combat this recurring problem? How do you remove hot air from your attic?

Those are the questions we’re going to answer today. In this article, we’ll go over just how hot air congregates in your attic, and outline ways to not only get rid of it but keep it out of your home for good.

Remove Hot Air From Your Attic With a Solar Fan

Remington Solar Attic Fan (20 Watt)

Based on our installation experience and customer data, Remington Solar Attic fans provide the best bang for your buck. Use our promo code SOLAR10 to save on your order. Limited lifetime guarantee. Qualifies for 30% Federal Tax Credit.

Those are the questions we’re going to answer today. In this article, we’ll go over just how hot air congregates in your attic, and outline ways to not only get rid of it but keep it out of your home for good.

Why do attics get so hot?

The laws of thermodynamics dictate that heat naturally rises. That means your attic is the last stop for hot or warm air in your house. Not only that, your attic rests right under your roof. On hot summer days, the heat is going to radiate through the shingles and collect in your attic, creating hot air.

The biggest reason why hot air fills up in your attic is due to poor ventilation. It doesn’t matter if your house is old, new, newly renovated, or has remained untouched for a decade – chances are your attic ventilation needs some work.

Get a FREE solar powered attic fan quote (installation costs included).

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One way to know if this might be the case is by going to your attic or rooftops and checking the size of your vents. Because vents are specifically for exhaust, they need to be appropriately sized relative to your attic. That is if you have a large attic, a couple of vents 6 inches wide probably aren’t going to do the trick.

Exhaust vents, however, don’t tell the entire story. Soffit vents, or intake vents that are placed underneath your roof, are responsible for pushing hot air out of your home while simultaneously bringing in cool air. While many homeowners aren’t even aware of its existence, they need proper maintenance to keep hot air out of your attic.

A lack of proper insulation and poor air sealing also contributes to why attics get so hot. Many assume that too much insulation means hot air will remain trapped in their attics. It’s important to note that attic insulation is an integral part of keeping your attic temperatures stable. If you don’t have proper insulation, you’ll have a hard time keeping your attic heat from seeping into the rest of your home.

Different methods for removing hot air from your attic

Removing hot air from your attic involves two different methods. One is a more active approach where you install electric ventilators and fans to remove hot air once it reaches a certain temperature. Another more passive approach involves installing vents and other openings that allow warm air to naturally escape.

Passive ventilation

Installing more vents and exhausts in your attic and roof is a good way of allowing hot air to circulate in and out of your attic naturally. While most housing code specifies the minimal amount of vent opening depending on your attic’s square footage, it’s never a bad idea to add more. Increasing the number of soffit vents and roof exhaust will allow hot air to pass through the attic without costing you any money from having to power a fan.

Active ventilation

If you do choose to install an active attic ventilation system like a solar attic fan to exhaust hot air, make sure you have enough incoming vents to accommodate the extra airflow. By pushing stuffy air out, you let cooler and fresher outside air in and improve the overall ventilation in your attic.

How to remove hot air from your attic

Regardless of which method you choose, it’s important to know exactly what you’re doing when installing ventilation equipment in your attic. Here, we’ll outline what you’ll need for both passive and active ventilation installation, and how to install them.

Note: the below methods should be complete by a professional. Looking to cool your home? Get a free attic inspection and quote to properly ventilate your attic.

Add passive ventilation

When installing new vents in your attic and roof, you’re going to need a few important things before you start.

First, you need either your exhaust vent or soffit vent, as well as a ventilation baffle. Make sure you have a chalk reel or something to mark your roof with. You’ll also need a circular saw and reciprocating saw, as well as a sheathing knife. Some roof cement, a cordless drill, and a thin pry bar are also needed.

Install an exhaust vent

To install an exhaust vent, you first need to mark the vent location from inside your attic using nails. Then go to your roof, find the location that you marked with the nails, and measure your vent opening.

Cut out an appropriate opening in your roof shingle about ½ inch wider than the vent itself. Then, cut a hole in your roof sheathing with a jigsaw or reciprocating saw.

Remove any obstructions that might prevent the vent from sliding into place. Place the vent squarely into place and nail the lower edge with roofing nails.

Apply the roof cement where the shingles meet the vent and you’re done.

Install a soffit vent

Start by making two parallel lines down the center of the soffit using chalk, each one about 2 inches apart from the other. Cut a hole inside the soffit and measure the thickness of the panel.

Set your circular saw to that thickness and cut down the two parallel lines. Use your pry bar to connect the two parallel cuts and remove the soffit strip.

Then, set your strip vent down on a flat wood surface and screw holes through the flanges. Raise the vent up to the soffit and center it over the cutout slot. Use your cordless drill to secure the vent to the soffit using metal screws.

You’re not done yet though. Go back into the attic and remove any insulation above where the new soffit vents are. This will make sure nothing is blocking the vents and air can properly go through.

Finally, staple your ventilation baffle to the plywood sheathing in each rafter bay. This will ensure the airway remains open for your new soffit vent.

Add an attic fan

When installing a power vent, make sure all the factory-installed bolts are tightened and either mount it as close to the center of the house or near the roof ridge.

Measure the distance from the ridge and the edge of the roof to where you want your vent to go.

Bonus Tip: If you’re looking to add an attic fan to your home, consider going solar.

Transfer these dimensions to the attic’s interior. Measure an equal distance between the rafters at the selected location and mark the point. Drill a nail hole through the roof on the mark.

Cut out the circle template on the box and place it on the roof using the drilled hole as the center. Trace around the template and cut through the shingles and decking with a jigsaw.

Remove the vent’s dome.

Center the fan over the hole, making sure the upside of the base flange is pointed toward the ridge under the shingles.

Use caulk or roofing mastic to seal between the roof and fan. With a utility knife, cut the shingles at the top of the fan to accept the fan’s throat.

Best Solar Powered Attic Fans

Best Solar Attic Fans

Check out our list of the best solar powered attic fans.

How to keep an attic cool

Homeowners can certainly reduce the amount of hot air in their attic by installing ventilation systems. They can also take certain steps to prevent hot air from entering their attic, as well as keeping any heat out of their homes as much as possible.

Proper air sealing

Identifying areas where air might be escaping into it can prevent unwanted warmth from entering your attic. Plumbing pipes and small openings for wires can be sealed with small pieces of fiberglass insulation or through expanding foam. You can also plug leaky areas with caulk.

For more information on air sealing the attic, including typical costs, check out our guide: Is Air Sealing the Attic Worth It?


While some claim that insulation exacerbates heat gain in attics, as we mentioned before, it’s an effective mechanism to keep warm air out of the rest of your home while regulating the temperature inside the attic.

However, certain types of insulation, such as reflective insulation, are effective at keeping heat out of your home altogether. Reflective insulation does what its name suggests – it reflects incoming heat from the sun that’s radiating through your roof back where it came from.

By installing reflective insulation around your attic ceilings and walls, you effectively block much of the hot air coming into your attic. This is extremely effective during the summer, and if coupled with proper ventilation, can keep your attic exponentially cooler.

Get the hot air out of your attic today

A hot and stuffy attic is an often overlooked yet crucial factor when it comes to home energy efficiency. By keeping your attic’s ventilation flowing properly and taking preventative measures, you can keep hot air out of your attic. Leverage this article to find the best solution for your home, revamp your attic, and shave some money off of your energy bills today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get hot air out of my attic?

The best way to get hot air out of your attic is to add attic ventilation. If you already have existing passive attic vents installed on your roof, then you should consider installing a powered exhaust vent, preferably solar.

Does a hot attic make a house hot?

There are many things that can contribute to making your house hot. A hot attic can definitely be one of the culprits. Hot air that sits in an attic can radiate down into cooler living environments if there is not enough insulation, or if the attic is not properly air sealed.

What is the ideal attic temperature?

Ideally, you want to keep your attic temperature within 10-20 degrees of the outside temperature. If the attic gets too hot in the winter, it can cause issues like mold and ice damming. In the summer, an excessively hot attic can cause high utility bills and can damage your roof.

Is a hot attic dangerous?

In the summer, attics can reach temperatures of 140 degrees and higher. This type of heat build-up can be dangerous because it can damage your roof and any items you have stored in the attic. Excessive heat can also be dangerous if you have things electrical wiring running through your attic.

Hot attics don’t have to be an inevitability. Without proper ventilation, attic temperatures can reach up to 150 degrees during the hottest days of the year. These temperatures can soar even higher in hot climates. There are two possible avenues for reducing the hot air trapped in your attic: whole house fans and attic fans. Choosing the right one can make your home’s living spaces more comfortable.

Whole house and attic fans perform similar functions, mainly improving ventilation. Before deciding between the two, it’s best to understand their pros and cons of attic fans and whole house fans. Read on to learn about many of the important factors that may influence your decision.

What Are Whole House Fans?

what are whole house fans

A whole house fan is a cooling system used to eliminate or reduce the need for artificial cool air, which can reduce the strain on your air conditioning system. Many homeowners appreciate this device because it produces about one-third as much electricity as a standard air-conditioning unit. Reducing your electricity can result in lower energy bills and cooler airflow throughout your home. You can turn on this machine when the temperatures outside drop to use the cool air to ventilate your property.

Here are some things to remember about whole house fans:

  • You mount them between your living space and attic.
  • It’s best to use them in the evening and early morning — or any time the temperature is much lower outside
  • These instruments pull warm indoor air toward the attic and push hot air out of your home.
  • When you open windows in your living spaces, they draw cool air from outside.
  • As they cool your living spaces, they drive heat buildup out of your entire home.

What Are Attic Fans?

what are attic fans

Attic fans draw hot air out of your loft and push it outside. They work well with your heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.

Unlike whole house fans, it’s best to use attic fans during the hottest times of the day to reduce heat buildup. Doing so helps you ventilate your attic space only.

Below are some features of attic fans:

  • You mount them between your attic and outside space.
  • It’s best to run attic fans when it’s hot outside.
  • These mechanisms actively remove hot hair from the attic.
  • They create negative pressure in your loft and pull outside air through the roof.
  • These instruments minimize the heat buildup in your attic and keep temperatures as comfortable as possible.

What is the difference between a whole house fan and an attic fan?

In a nutshell, below are some of the factors that differentiate whole house fans from attic fans.

Keep reading to delve deeper into the mentioned components.

Major Differences

One of the most obvious differences between whole house fans and attic fans is the areas they serve. While a whole house fan pulls out air from the entire house, an attic fan only works its magic in the attic.

Depending on your whole house fan’s capacity and home size, your electrically powered machine can change the air up to six times per hour. Your attic vents open and close in sync with the fan’s movements.

It’s essential to allow one square foot of opening for every 750 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of fan capacity for whole house fans to perform optimally. You can use various vent types, including dormer, eave, or ridge to stimulate attic venting.

On the other hand, attic fans or attic ventilators dispel hot air from the attic based on the signal from your thermostat. You also need air intake. There are two usual attic fan types:

  • Gable attic fans: You can mount this fan type on your existing gable. As soon as temperatures drop, they push warm attic air out of the gable.
  • Roof attic fans: As the name suggests, you can find a roof attic fan partially inside the attic and partially toward the roof. It should not be closer than two feet to your roof’s ridgeline.



Winner: Attic Fans

Whole house fans end up in your attic, but you have to connect them to your ceiling through a vent. In most cases, they span 36 to 40 inches. This length should be long enough to cover ceiling joists.

Attic fans are always less visually obtrusive than whole house fans because you don’t need to connect them to your living space. However, if you put an attic fan behind an existing gable vent, you can almost see it from the outside. Gable attic fans are not as noticeable as whole house fans because they can fit behind a gable’s opening vent.

The Installation Process

whole-house-vs-attic-fan_the installation process

Winner: Attic Fans

If your attic has live electric power, the most challenging part of installing whole house fans is going through walls to attach the damper box to ceiling joists. Naturally, big fans are more complicated to install. However, you can use 20-inch vent tubes to suspend your fan with ranger straps.

On the flip side, attic fans are easier to install than whole house fans. You can install one quickly as long as you have a power source in the attic. However, keep in mind that this process becomes more difficult if you have powered roof vents because you need to make a hole in the roof.

Cooling Capabilities

whole-house-vs-attic-fan_cooling capabilities

Winner: Whole House Fans

As long as the temperature outdoors is lower than inside your home, whole house fans will work to your advantage. During such times, you can use these machines instead of energy-hungry air-conditioning units.

In most cases, whole house fans are better at cooling your home than attic fans because they move cool air throughout the house. Attic fans are not the same as standard room fans, but you can feel the temperature difference when you turn them on.

Attic fans may cool your home, but you might not need them if you have a well-insulated property. Attic fans are designed to produce to circulate fresh air throughout your home, reducing humidity and increasing energy efficiency.

However, if your attic has poor insulation, attic fans can help you cool down the living areas. These appliances drop home temperatures by reducing the heat in the attic and never move air around the house as whole house fans do.

One bonus benefit of using attic fans is preventing mold and mildew growth in your home.

Ease of Operation

whole-house-vs-attic-fan_ease of operation

Winner: Attic Fans

Whole house fans require you to manually turn them on and off. You’ll also have to open screen doors before you can open the fans.

However, there are ways to make the process more convenient for users. For instance, you can install a pull cord from the ceiling or a wall switch. One major drawback is that these machines only work when the air outside is colder than the air in your house.

For attic fans, you won’t have any trouble operating them as long as you install them properly. It’s also best to have easy access to a switch. However, these appliances can turn on and off automatically. If the temperature inside your attic shoots up, the mechanism will send the fan a signal to turn on.

Noise Levels

whole-house-vs-attic-fan_noise levels

Winner: Whole House Fans

Older whole house fan models are known for their noise, especially after many months of use. The moment your fan blades get weak, they knock around the machine as they turn. Loud sounds are signs that you might need to replace your fans.

However, whole house fans have evolved into quiet indoor tools. You can find some on the market with lower sound levels than 42 decibels — just like a quiet library.

On the other hand, attic fans are mechanical devices that can be noisy. They may be several feet away from the gable but they can still reach high sound levels. If you find that they make too much noise for you, you can check out soundproofing options.

What is better an attic fan or whole house fan?

Winner: Tie

Attic fans tend to look better and they are easier to install and operate. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for any home, so the best home improvement project will be customized to your home’s needs. Also, remember that these products are not mutually exclusive. If you need whole house and attic fans to make your home more comfortable, you can install both of them on your property.

If you need to keep your whole house cool during the hotter days of the year, it’s best to go with whole house fans. And if you want to add ventilation to your attic, choose attic fans. Now that you understand their similarities and differences better, you can determine which product is the best fit for your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a whole house fan expensive?

Whole house fans can be expensive when you factor in the cost of installation and ongoing operation, but it is a worthwhile home improvement investment if you’re struggling to circulate cooler air or improve your central air conditioning’s efficiency. Whole attic fans can range from $500 to $2,000 depending on the size of the fan, brand, type, and ease of installation. According to HomeServe, the average fan can cost anywhere from $200 to $400, but the installation can cost an additional $600 to $1,200. Whole house fan installation is roughly $3,000 to $5,000 less compared to central air conditioning costs.

Can a whole house fan be used as an attic fan?

Whole house fans are designed to run in the evening and after sunset to circulate cooler air throughout your home, while attic fans are designed to turn on during hot days. Whole house fans work to cool your entire living space whereas attic fans primarily cool your attic. However, insulation and other forms of ventilation can improve the comfort of your home as well.

Are attic fans important in cold climates?

Attic fans are important in cold climates, despite their reputation for cooling your home in the warmer months. Well-insulated and well-ventilated attics prevent heat build up, which can reduce ice damming.

Additional Attic Fan Resources