If you’re looking to ensure that your attic stays well ventilated, a solar attic fan is an excellent solution. Not only do they adequately remove hot air from the attic space and allow it to fill up with cool air, but they also run without the use of electricity, saving you money on your utility bill. It’s an efficient, effective, and environmentally friendly option.

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

It’s clear to see why a solar attic fan would be a good investment. But before you can upgrade your attic’s ventilation system, you need to decide which solar attic fan is the one for you. No two solar attic fans are the same, and your choice will need to consider the layout of your home amongst other considerations.

Our best solar attic fans reviews will help you figure out which will be best for you. We’ll discuss what makes each one unique and the factors to consider when choosing a solar attic fan

Attics and More is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Top 10 Best Solar Attic Fans Reviews

1. Remington

Best Solar Attic Fan - Remington

Product Details:

  • Roof-Mounted
  • Available at Different Power Levels
  • 20 to 40 Watts
  • 1,280 to 2,340 CFM
  • Lifetime Warranty

Remington Solar Attic Fans are some of the best solar attic fans for keeping your attic cool. These roof-mounted solar fans come equipped with a thermostat and humidistat for precise temperature regulation. Based on this data, it can increase or decrease the fan speed automatically.

Remington Fans also have an adapter to switch back and forth from solar to electric power easily. The censor is automatic, so your fan will switch back to running on solar power as soon as it detects sunlight.

Check out our detailed Remington Solar Attic Fan Review for more information.

2. Solaro

Best Solar Attic Fan - Solaro

Product Details:

  • Available in Multiple Types
  • 20 Watts
  • Brushless DC Motor
  • Polymer Blade
  • 24 inch Base
  • 900 CFM
  • 25-Year Warranty

The Solaro Aire is easily one of the best solar attic fans on the market today. With a reputation for superior quality and high efficiency, every Solaro Aire solar fan is USA-made using only the best materials.

The Solaro Aire is available in several types. You can get the roof-mounted Embedded model, with the solar panel embedded in the device itself, or the more traditional gable-mounted and portable versions. They even offer a Tilt model, which stands the solar panel up on an angle for maximum sun exposure.

Each of their fans comes with a 25-year warranty, so you can always feel secure with your Solaro purchase. If you’re interested, contact us for a quote for materials and installation. We are a licensed distributor of all Solaro products.

3. Yellowblue

Best Solar Attic Fan - Yellowblue

Product Details:

  • Available in Multiple Types
  • 20 Watts
  • Brushless DC Motor
  • 900 CFM
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Yellowblue Solar Fans are a strong competitor, about neck and neck with Solaro for the best solar attic fans. Designed by aerodynamic engineering experts and made from only the best materials, these solar fans are sure to improve the ventilation quality of any space.

Yellowblue fans are available in several types. They have the standard gable-mounted, roof-mounted, and portable models, of course. But there’s also a model designed for roofs in snowy areas with “S” tiles, as well as a model where the fan and solar panel come separately. Their tilted model sits atop a 360-degree rotating platform to optimize exposure to sunlight.

Plus, all Yellowblue fans come with a limited lifetime warranty. What better way to make you feel comfortable with your purchase? If you’re interested, contact us for a quote for materials and installation. We are a licensed distributor of all Yellowblue products.

4. US Sunlight

Best Solar Attic Fan - US Sunlight

Product Details:

  • Roof-Mounted
  • Galvanized Steel
  • 25 Watts
  • Ventilates up to 2,600 Cubic Feet

The US Sunlight solar fan is another decent option. This roof-mounted model features a tilted solar panel to maximize sun exposure. It can ventilate a large area, which is undoubtedly a plus.

However, there are some drawbacks. US Sunlight solar fans only work for shingled roofs, so if your roof is slate, flat, or tile, this one isn’t for you. It also doesn’t have the hybrid electric capabilities of some of its competitors. But if you have a shingled roof, it’s not bad for the price.

Check out our detailed US Sunlight Solar Attic Fan Review for more information.

5. Broan

Best Solar Attic Fan - Broan

Product Details:

  • Roof-Mounted
  • Plastic
  • 28 Watts
  • 537 CFM
  • 6-Year Warranty

The Broan-NuTone 345SOWW Surface Mount Attic Solar Fan is a good choice if you’re looking for something affordable. The basic materials keep the cost low, so you can get the ventilation system you need at the price you want.

Unfortunately, this model has a pretty low CFM compared to its competitors, so it won’t be as efficient. It also doesn’t come with a thermostat, humidistat, or any hybrid electric capabilities. For a small space, however, it should be an adequate solution in a pinch.

6. Air Vent

Product Details:

  • Roof or Gable-Mounted
  • 10 to 25 Watts
  • 800 to 1820 CFM
  • 20-Year Limited Warranty

Air Vent, Inc. also has some respectable solar attic fans available on their website. They have both roof-mounted and gable-mounted fans, and the roof-mounted ones have an option for the panel and the fan to come separately.

Depending on the size of your attic, you may decide whether the 10-Watt or the 25-Watt is appropriate for you. Either way, the product has a 20-year limited warranty, so you’re covered if anything goes wrong.

These solar fans can only work with shingled roofs and do not have hybrid electric capabilities.

7. Natural Light

Best Solar Attic Fan - Natural Light

Product Details:

  • Roof-Mounted
  • 32 Watts
  • 1560 CFM
  • 25-Year Warranty

Natural Light is another brand dedicated to providing customers with quality solar attic fans. The Natural Light Energy SAF32B Solar Attic Fan is a good option for a roof-mounted solar-powered fan with basic capabilities.

The tilted solar panel is for ideal sun exposure, and the apparatus runs very quietly. The CFM is nothing to scoff at either, as it could easily keep a 2200 square foot room cool.

The drawbacks of this model would be that it only fits on shingled roofs, and it doesn’t have an electric adapter.

8. Master Flow

Best Solar Attic Fan - Master Flow

Product Details:

  • Roof-Mounted
  • 15 Watts
  • 500 CFM
  • Galvanized Steel
  • 5-Year Limited Warranty

The Master Flow Solar Powered Roof Mount Attic Fan is one of the best solar attic fans for keeping a small attic space cool. It’s proven to improve attic ventilation and save energy.

However, at 15 Watts and 500 CFM, it’s a lot less powerful than most of the other fans on this list. This model would not be advisable for large attics. But with its tilted solar panel, proven efficiency, and 5-year warranty, it would serve a more modest attic well.

9. iLIVING

Best Solar Attic Fan - iLiving

Product Details:

  • Roof-Mounted
  • 20 Watts
  • 1750 CFM
  • Hybrid and Thermostat Options
  • 15-Year Warranty

iLIVING HYBRID Ready Smart Thermostat Solar Roof Attic Exhaust Fan is a great option to consider. This smart solar Attic fan is your best choice for cooling off your home if you need a thermostat.

Equipped with a powerful 20W adjustable polycrystalline solar panel, this fan is IP68 water proof. Built with a brushless motor, it provides up to 2000 sq. ft. of capacity cooling. The only big cons with this fan is that it can be a little noisy. There also are some reported issues with the shutters not closing properly.

10. Kennedy

Best Solar Attic Fan - Kennedy

Product Details:

  • Roof-Mounted
  • 16 to 65 Watts
  • 1,184 to 2,105 CFM
  • Lifetime Warranty

The Roof-Mounted Solar Attic Fan from Kennedy Skylights is another solar fan with plenty of customization options. The solar panel is available in 16, 32, 35, 48, or 65-Watt versions, so you can find the perfect one to suit your needs.

This solar fan is compatible with various roof types, and it even has an aluminum screen to keep rodents from damaging the device. If you want, you can add on features like a thermal snap switch or remote solar panel. Plus, Kennedy Skylights protects your purchase with a lifetime warranty.

These customization options and the generous warranty make this one of the best solar attic fans around.

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Solar Attic Fans

Now that you’ve seen how the top 10 best solar attic fans compare, it’s time to consider which one is the right match for your home. The layout and construction of your home will determine what kind of solar attic fan would be ideal. In this section, we’ll discuss the three different kinds of solar attic fans.

Gable-Mounted

If your house has a gable vent, a gable-mounted solar attic fan could be the right choice for you. It allows for easy installation. You just have to attach the unit to your gable and plug it in! It is much more convenient than installing a roof-mounted solar attic fan.

Unfortunately, because of the placement, gable-mounted designs are not as efficient as roof-mounted fans, so there is a trade-off. It’s crucial to get the placement just right to maximize the unit’s exposure to the sun. The gable mounting makes this a bit tricky, but it’s by no means impossible.

If your home is suited to it, a gable-mounted solar attic fan might be just what you need to improve your attic’s ventilation.

Roof-Mounted

Roof-mounted solar attic fans are efficient and powerful, but they also require a much more complex installation process. For it to work correctly, you’ll need to create a vent hole in the roof, install the fan, and seal the opening. This procedure can take quite a bit of time.

Due to the complexity, most roof-mounted fan users hire a professional for the installation. It makes the costs associated with a roof-mounted solar attic fan a bit more expensive than the other varieties, but the fan makes up for this with its efficiency.

Despite the hassle, roof-mounted models are among the best solar attic fans, as they tend to work much better than other varieties.

Roof-mounted solar attic fans get the most exposure to sunlight, making them the most efficient models. The long-term savings associated with this may also offset the upfront installation cost.

Portable

Portable solar fans are an excellent option for those looking for versatility. The fan and the solar panel come as two separate pieces connected with wires. They don’t require any strenuous installation process to set up, and you can put them almost anywhere!

While these work great for ventilating attics, this versatility and ease of installation make them perfect for smaller spaces like sheds and RVs. You can also take them with you on the go to keep you cool when camping.

These features are great, but the caveat is that portable solar fans aren’t as powerful as their gable-mounted or roof-mounted counterparts. They still work well, but they compromise ventilation quality for versatility.

Other Factors to Consider

Besides the fan type, you’ll also want to consider other factors that affect the performance of the solar attic fan.

Make sure that the fan you purchase is powerful enough to ventilate your attic. To do this, check out the fan’s venting capacity and compare it with the size of the space. The venting capacity is the cubic feet per minute (or CFM) of air moved by the fan. The fan’s CFM will need to be 70% or more of your attic’s size in cubic feet.

You’ll also want to make sure the fan has a high wattage, as this indicates that it can produce more electricity. If your desired solar fan doesn’t have a high enough venting capacity or wattage, you might need multiple fans to ventilate your attic.

Also, if you’re particularly interested in any special features, such as a humidistat or thermostat, make sure that these come with the model you are purchasing before you buy it.

What Are the Best Solar Attic Fans?

Although there are plenty of good options to choose from, the Solaro Aire and the Yellowblue Solar Fan are two of the best solar attic fans. Both are USA-made, and Solaro products come with a 25-year warranty, while Yellowblue fans come with a limited lifetime warranty. You really can’t go wrong with either one.

Ready to improve your attic’s ventilation by installing one of these brilliant fans? Get a free attic inspection and solar attic fan quote.

You have all this additional storage space above your home. Make sure you can access it with ease! Whether you’re purchasing replacement attic stairs or buying an attic ladder for newly created attic access, you want to find the one that’s best for your home.

Finding which attic access ladder is the best will depend on what you’re looking for. Do you need the pull-down attic stairs that are the easiest to use? Does your attic staircase need to be the sturdiest for frequent access? Or do you just need simple?

Whatever you need, we have the 7 best pull-down attic stairs for you to check out. We know that one of these will be a great fit for your home. And, we have all the information you need to decide which attic ladder it will be!

Attics and More is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Z6 Metal Retractable Folding Step Ladder for Loft Attic

Best Attic Stairs - Metal Retractable Ladder

Beautiful attic stairs with a unique folding method, this item is lightweight and easy to use. It’s hard to go wrong with this metal retractable ladder!

This item by Z6 is probably one of the most comfortable to use pull-down attic stairs. With the handrails, large step depth, and lightweight design, you’ll be looking for a reason to go to your storage space!

The attic access ladder is customizable to fit your ceiling’s height. So if you have a ceiling that runs on the short or tall side of average, this attic staircase can fit like a glove. It’s suitable for holes 4.59 × 2.62 feet and has a height of 9.84 feet with a hinge of 5-11 feet.

Pros:

  • The titanium-magnesium alloy material makes it both durable and lightweight
  • Handrails and step depth make for a safer climb
  • Customizable sizing

Cons:

  • Pricier than some other attic stairs
  • Can be difficult to install, so have an installation partner handy!

Verdict:

While this may be one of the top picks, the old saying is true: you get what you pay for. So it makes sense that this is one of the priciest stairs to your storage you can buy.

LWW Aluminum Ladder for Loft

Best Attic Stairs - LWW Ladder

Why invest in attic stairs that mostly sit unused between spring-cleaning and winter holidays? This is not your only option! You can instead invest in a great ladder that can be used for any job in addition to functioning as an attic access ladder.

The LWW ladder is a straight ladder with many heights available to choose from. Get the LWW ladder anywhere from 6.5 feet to 13.45 feet! And, any height easily compacts for portability and storage between uses.

No installation is required since it’s a straight ladder that leans. However, it can still bear up to 331 pounds, which makes it great for moving storage items.

Pros:

  • A ladder that can be used anywhere, not just as attic stairs
  • The easiest installation for an attic ladder
  • A sturdy yet lightweight straight ladder
  • Six height options available between 6.5 feet to 13.45 feet

Cons:

  • As an attic access ladder, will not always be easily accessible if it is being used elsewhere.

Verdict:

Perfect for people who rarely use pull-down attic stairs and could use another portable ladder. As it is portable, it is not always ready as an attic stair. That means retrieving the ladder could be an extra step. If you frequently visit your storage, you may want a more traditional attic staircase.

Louisville Ladder AA2210 Elite For Attic

Best Attic Stairs - Louisville Ladder AA2210

The Louisville Ladder AA2210 is a popular choice of attics stairs. The pull-down attic stairs are an affordable choice when compared to some more top-of-the-line products, but it still includes great features.

A simple pull-down attic stairs design, the steps are about 3.25 inches deep, making it a safe climb for anyone. It also features an opening that is larger than many other attic staircase options. With such a large opening, you can easily move just about anything up to storage!

The only downside is that the low price is reflected in the materials. The wood for the opening is not the strongest or sturdiest of the options available.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Large opening
  • Comfortably large, slip-resistant steps
  • Folds easily and quietly

Cons:

  • Wooden materials are cheaper than high-end products, and they may be a bit less sturdy than more expensive ladders.

Verdict:

If you plan on using your stairs often, you may want something a little sturdier. But for a few times a year, it’s an excellent choice!

Louisville Attic Wooden Ladder

Best Attic Stairs - Louisville Wood Ladder

Have extra tall ceilings, but don’t want to spend an extra-large fortune trying to reach them? Then the Louisville Ladder L224P pull-down attic stairs could be a perfect choice.

In line with the Louisville brand, this also provides a larger ceiling opening. So when using the attic stairs, you can transport bulkier items upstairs easily. The attic access ladder also reaches ceilings of up to 10 feet. However, it also comes in a smaller size (7-8.75 feet) if you want this product, but you lack the extra height.

Pros:

  • A wooden ladder that makes for less noise and clanging than metal
  • Choose the size that best fits your home with multiple options
  • Extra tall length available for ceilings of up to 10 feet

Cons:

  • This Louisville product only holds up to 250 lbs. This could be a problem when carrying heavier items up the attic staircase.

Verdict:

With extra-wide steps and slip-resistant cross treads, you can use the attic access ladder with confidence while enjoying the affordable price tag.

FAKRO LST 860432 Insulated Steel Scissor Attic Ladder

Best Attic Stairs - FAKRO LST 860432

Extremely compact, sturdy, and safe, this may just be one of the all-time top picks for attic stairs.

The FAKRO LST 860432 is an adjustable attic access ladder that ranges from 7 feet, 2 inches to 9 feet, 6 inches. Made to handle up to 300 pounds and includes a 2-year warranty, these pull-down attic stairs can last a long time.

These stairs have some of the best Amazon ratings. Users highlight how easy it is to install and use this attic staircase. Extremely compact and lightweight, it is easy to pull down whenever you need it. And it’s just as easy to return to its original position.

Moreover, the handrails provide a modern look, but it’s not just about aesthetics! They also make it safe and stable for users when ascending or descending the attic staircase.

Pros:

  • Handrails for safe use
  • Compact design, perfect for small spaces
  • A well-insulated door means attic air stays out of the living spaces

Cons:

  • Expensive stairs, but well worth the price for the design and materials

Verdict:

These are on the expensive side, so not the right choice for those who need bare-bones stairs. It is, however, the perfect choice for anyone who struggles with bulkier, heavier attic stairs and wants something easy and compact.

FAKRO LMS 66866 Insulated Steel Attic Ladder

Best Attic Stairs - FAKRO LMS 66866

These stairs were meant to last forever! Made of tough steel, you will feel extra safe using these stairs to go up to your storage and back down again.

The stair is made entirely of steel, but the opening is made of wood. With multiple sizes to choose from, you can easily find the size that will fit your existing ceiling access hole.

This is another well-insulated staircase from FAKRO. So if the other FAKRO design wasn’t right for you, this may be the right choice!

The door is designed to be perfectly balanced, so there are no surprises when you go to open your stairs. The steps also feature no-slip grips. Safety is key.

Pros:

  • Some of the best insulation for attic access stairs.
  • More affordable stairs, especially when compared to other FAKRO products
  • These stairs will last for many years to come!

Cons:

  • While the steel makes for durable and safe climbing, it also makes for heavier stairs.

Verdict:

While the steel makes for durable stairs and a safe climb, they are not lightweight. This is just about as strong as stairs get. Perfect for those who are looking for simple, reliable, and will last for many years to come.

Werner Ladder for Attic AA1510 AA1510B 

Best Attic Stairs - Werner Ladder

Last, but certainly not least, we have the Werner ladder. The design is one of the most compact. Anyone looking to install and use these stairs in smaller spaces will love this option!

For one of the more affordable options, these attic stairs come with many thoughtful features that make using them a better experience. Featuring a handrail at the top of the pull-down attic stairs for safer use, you can look forward to going up to your storage space. It also includes a plastic assist pole which makes opening and closing easier.

The ladder also extends for ceilings from 7 feet to 9 feet, 10 inches. So you don’t need to worry about getting the right size unless you have abnormally short or tall ceilings.

Pros:

  • The all-aluminum material makes for a lightweight ladder
  • Non-marring feet protect your floors
  • Compact stairs and opening means it’s perfect for tight spaces like closets
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Users report that instructions can be hard to follow. Be prepared to spend a little more time installing to get it right.

Verdict:

Simple, affordable, and easy to use, we think this is a great option for anyone looking for an attic staircase.

Attic Ladder Installation

If you’re fairly handy, and have all of the tools, installing an attic ladder can be a relatively easy DIY project. But in some cases, it can require a lot of time, especially if you don’t have an existing ladder, or if an attic access needs to be constructed.

Get help installing an attic ladder with pros on Home Advisor.

For these types of situations, we recommend contacting a qualified home improvement contractor. To find a local professional near you, we recommend using Home Advisor. To get help installing your new attic ladder, visit their website and enter in a few pieces of information about your project. From there, Home Advisor will use their ProFinder Technology and send you up to four pre-screened, local home improvement pros. This will help you get your project done faster and for the best possible price.

Conclusion

Your attic holds so many of your precious belongings. Make sure you don’t dread going up to retrieve your own items! Having the right attic staircase could make you enjoy going up to your storage space.

You must have durable, reliable stairs for accessing your attic. We think all of these products are great in their own way.

But as each home is different, finding the right staircase will depend on your space, budget, and preferences. Before you purchase, make sure you measure out your space (ceiling height, hatch dimensions), pick the material you want, and decide the style you want.

No matter which of these you choose, we think you’ll love your new ladder! Buy your new attic ladder on Amazon and see what a difference it can make.

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 complete waste of money.

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

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

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

In this article, we’re going to 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 for yourself “Do attic fans make a difference?”

What Are Attic Fans?

What Are Attic Fans?

Before we tell you all about these fans, let’s talk about what they actually 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 at the top of your house.

The fan takes the hot and humid air that sits 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 will require their own installation which varies widely depending on the type of attic fan, labor, and other associated work required.

So you may be wondering why you should bother installing these fans if it’s not required. What people love about these fans is the pressure they take off of your HVAC system. By keeping the top of your house cooler in the summer and your insulation dry in the winter, it can reduce your need for an AC or heating to go into overdrive.

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

How Do Attic Fans Work?

How Do Attic Fans Work?

There are many big claims about fans for the top of your home. 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 true 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 that means the fans push hot, humid air out in the summer. As attics reach 150-160 degrees, much hotter than it even is outside, this can warm your house overall. You can even take your own 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 find yourself constantly increasing the amount of presses you put on your air conditioner.

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

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.

This could lead to excessive moisture and possibly some damage to 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 talk about what they don’t do.

Many people may get caught up in the promises of a fan for the top of the house. Maybe you’ve been told that an attic’s fan is going to cool your home in the hottest months, so much that you can turn off your air conditioner.

But do attic fans really cool down a house? This is probably not the case.

An attic’s fan cools and ventilates the space, bringing attics to outside temperatures instead of allowing them to warm to extreme temperatures. Therefore, your air conditioning will not need to work as hard. However, an attic fan will not cool an entire house.

Now, what about the cost? Because attic fans take away some of the work that your air conditioning would be doing, you will spend less on running your air conditioning.

However, running an electric fan in attics could mean the cost just goes towards the attics rather than the air conditioner.

So are attic fans good or bad? Well, there is thankfully an alternative to choosing between no attic fan or paying for an electric attic fan.

How Solar Attic Fans Are Different

How Solar Attic Fans Are Different

Solar attic fans work just like electric fans and have all the same benefits. The difference is that after you pay to install them, you never pay for them again. They run on solar energy. So the only thing powering your attic fan is the sun rather than your electric bill.

This means that with a solar fan in your attic, you can take the pressure of your air conditioning without paying for it in your attic. Unlike electric attic fans, this can actually end up saving 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 that you would want your electric unit to do. It will push out hot air in the summer. In extremely warm climates it has been scientifically proved to cool the attic by an average of 20 degrees. 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 12 months of the year without costing you a dime after installation.

Read our review on the best solar attic fans.


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?

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

To give you the best idea of whether they would be a good fit for your home, we’ve laid out the pros and cons. Knowing the benefits as well as the 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 that is 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 just is never as cool as your first story, 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 just under your roof and 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 depleting your attic’s insulation. An attic fan removes hot, humid air from the attic, taking pressure off of 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, you can forget it’s there and simply 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 just see that money in your electric bill for the fans.
  • Poor installation can lead to roof leaks, which can result in more expensive issues.
  • For maximum financial benefit and comfort, you’ll need to make sure that your attic is properly air sealed and insulated.
  • Won’t cool your entire house. These fans serve to 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.

Conclusion — Do Attic Fans Really Work?

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

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

Do they really 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 air sealed properly.

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

So do attic fans really work? Yes! But 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 simply looking to add ventilation to help with comfort and to protect your roof, just installing an attic fan will definitely help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do attic fans make a difference?

Attic fans can make a difference in a number of ways. In the summer, a properly installed attic fan can remove excessive heat build up, providing cooling to 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 also alleviating the work that your air conditioning system needs to put forth. 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?

Attic fans can help your house feel cooler on hot days. With that being said, they are not going to cool your entire house. To maximize the cooling benefit of an attic fan, make sure 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.

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 and installation. There is also a fundamental misunderstanding of the benefits that they provide. This has led to debate on their overall effectiveness. In general, a high-quality attic fan can provide ongoing active ventilation to protect your, support insulation systems, and help provide 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 not want it to run all 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 as long as there is sunlight to keep it running. This is a great solution to getting the most benefit from a fan without having to worry about operating costs.

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.

Get a free attic inspection and quote to ventilate 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.

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.

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?

Insulation

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 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.