Having an attic fan and adequate ventilation is essential for our home, to keep it healthy and comfortable. After all, much like our lungs, our houses have to breathe and ensure the fresh air comes in, dirty air goes out. Having efficient home ventilation is now ever so important.
Read my blog on Best Attic Stairs.
It guarantees that our homes’ indoor air is spotless and completely free from contaminants. That’s why I felt the need to dive into some of the most frequently asked questions revolving home ventilation.
Today I’ll shed light on the following topics:
- How ventilation works?
- Benefits of attic ventilation
- Best attic ventilation options including performance factors, pros and cons
- Recommended amount of ventilation and how to calculate the ideal amount for home
- How attic ventilation fan works and different types of them
- Attic ventilation fans pros and cons
- Attic ventilation fans pros and cons
- My professional verdict on Attic ventilation fans
- Some bonus tips on attic ventilation fans
So, let’s dive right in, shall we?
Basics of Ventilation
In simple terms, ventilation provides the ability to expel odors and moisture from our homes and filter out all the dirt, mold, and debris present in the air that can be dangerous.
Ventilation is crucial for those family members suffering from allergies or respiratory illnesses. It works through the process of moving air around. It is changed or replaced in different spaces, improving the quality of the household’s indoor air.
How Much Ventilation Do I Need for My Home?
Well, that’s a tricky question! It requires some math as we now have to get to the more technical side of topic. It’s crucial to carefully calculate the required amount of ventilation for your home because excess ventilation wastes heat, and too little is unhealthy.
It’s hard to balance it out, and that applies both for new and older households. The standard method to calculate how many roof vents you need is calculated by their net free area (NFA). This is the amount of space a vent has available for air to flow in or out.
The total NFA of the roof vents must be split half/half, between intake and exhaust. For example, let’s say your attic space is 1,200 sq ft. You will then need to half that, giving 600 sq ft. for both intake and exhaust.
They must both be balanced to be effective in the hot summer and prevent ice damming in the cold seasons.
Here’s my handpicked 20 Most Creative Compact Attic Office Ideas for Home office for aesthetic homeowners.
Benefits of Ventilating Attic
Some notable benefits of attic ventilation includes:
Saves on Energy Costs
Increases Your Roof’s Lifespan
Prevents Mold & Ice Damming
Best attic ventilation options
Following are the best attic ventilation option including their pros and cons:
- Better visual appeal that blends in
- Prevents premature ageing in roof areas caused by uneven temperatures
- Extremely reliable and requires minimal effort to maintain
- Cost efficient as no power is needed to run it
- The initial cost of these vents is usually high
- The installation can be tricky and, if done incorrectly, can seriously damage your roof
- They run the risk of leaking water during heavy rains
- Mostly work better in colder climates than warmer temperatures
- Relatively easy to install
- Help reduce your cooling costs
- Incredibly effective and reliable in cold climate
- Relatively low maintenance cost
- Mostly meant for air intake, so if not paired off correctly with another exhaust vent, they won’t cool your roof efficiently
- Can end up collecting moist air, which causes damage to your roof over time
- You can completely control the amount of fresh air channeled
- Runs automatically
- Can be electronically or solar-powered
- Power vents can be pricey to buy and also expensive to install
- Since they have mechanical moving parts, can be prone to failure
Read My blog on How to choose the right attic windows.
Understanding Attic Fans
An attic ventilation fan’s main use is to pull out hot air from your attic to help reduce high levels of present heat and humidity. This then keeps the hot air from making its way through the rest of the house and raising the living space temperature.
By doing this, it also reduces the amount of work your AC has to do. You can either mount them on your gables or on your roofs. They can also be either turned on and off manually or automatically by a thermostat.
You should also keep in mind that your attic must be well sealed and insulated from the rest of the house for it to work efficiently.
How do Attic Ventilation Fans Really Work?
They serve a long-term purpose by removing the attic’s hot and moist air and leaving your living space below the attic floor alone. The fan then circulates the air within the room, pulling in fresh air from the vents and pushing the present hot air outside.
They are especially useful during hot seasons. This is because you can reduce the attic’s temperature, extending your roofs shingles and sheathing life.
Meanwhile, during cold months, they can prevent ice damming by cooling the attic and balancing the temp between the attic and the outside. This prevents the snow from melting on your roof and then refreezing on the edges.
It’s time to understand the different types of attic vent fans available in the market.
Solar Attic Fan
- Improve the comfort of your home cost efficiently
- Convenient and energy efficient
- Prevent moisture-related damage from damaging the roof
- Reduce your carbon footprint
- Unlike conventional electric fans, solar fans don’t pull in carbon monoxide and dangerous fumes as they move air gently, keeping your attic pressure at a safe level
- Can be expensive to buy and install.
- Require direct sunlight to operate
Electric Attic Fan
- Cheaper to buy compared to a solar fan
- More powerful compared to a solar fan
- Very consistent
- Great option for humid climate
- Mostly controlled with a thermostat, so they only power up if the temperature peaks above a certain level
- All-year-round ventilation
- Isn’t an eco-friendly option
- Can be costly
Turbine/Wind-Powered Attic Fan
- Eco-friendly green option
- Rarely break down
- Low cost to purchase and maintain
- Saves money on electricity
- Lack consistency and reliability
- Lifespan can be reduced when exposed to frequent storms or attic moisture
Read my blog on Everything you need to know about Your attic.
Key Factors Affecting the Performance of Attic Ventilation Fans
Like any other appliances attic fan performance gets affected by factors like weather, use, built quality, mode of operation etc. Below are the major performance factors of attic vent fans:
Check these 20 Unique Attic Stairs Ideas to Spruce Up Your Home.
Attic Ventilation Fans Pros And Cons
There’s always some advantages and disadvantages of everything. In order to enjoy the benefits of a product we must adjust ourselves with the drawbacks of it. It helps if we know the drawbacks before making our decision. Let’s start with the cons of attic ventilation fans:
Cons of Attic Ventilation Fans
Pros of Attic Ventilation Fans
Check out these 20 Best Attic Bedroom Ideas for More Comfy Nights.
How Do I Inspect Attic Ventilation Fans?
Having problem with raccoons? Read my guide on How to get a Raccoon Out of the Attic.
Difference Between Attic Fan and Whole House Fan
A whole house fan is installed between the living space and ceiling. It helps to cool your house by removing the hot air, escaping through the attic, allowing fresh air to circulate from the windows.
Whole house fans work better during mornings and late evenings when the outside air is cool and relaxed.
Image: Whole House Fan, Credit: Wikipedia
On the other hand, an attic fan works by carrying air through the attic, while removing the heat outside through the vents and pulling in fresh outside air.
Attic fans are more effective during the rest of the day when temperatures are hotter.
Image: Whole House Fan, Credit: Wikipedia
A whole house fan offers you more because while the attic fan only removes the hot air from the attic, whole-house fans generally keep both the building and the entire house cool.
Whole-house fans can be a bit difficult to install than the attic. You will need a professional to do this for proper wiring. However, they are simple to use, as long as they are properly installed. Additionally, they don’t need much maintenance.
Regarding price, attic fans can cost approximately $300 – $ 600, with most people spending $550, including labor. This makes them a cheaper option than whole-house fans as these can cost you from $1000 up to $1500.
Bees in attic can be troublesome. Here’s what you shouldn’t do when you have bees in attic.
Final Verdict on Attic Ventilation Fan
Yes, you very much would do well to have an attic fan as they can make a huge difference! The fact remains that they expel super-hot air from the attic and suck in cooler outdoor air instead.
It’s no different than having hot air trapped in your car on a hot summer day. When you enter it, to cool the car faster, you roll down your windows to get it all out. After this, the air conditioner can once more effectively cool the vehicle. It works the same way for attics.
Summers seem to keep getting hotter and hotter, with typical attics reaching up to 120-150 degrees during these heatwaves.
Attic fans can significantly reduce the temperature, which translates into a lower temperature for the entire home. Your AC may last longer, as it doesn’t need to be active as much.
In turn, this saves on energy consumption and cuts your electric bill by a fair amount. Also, as stated before, attic fans have shown to help extend the roof’s life as well. So, even if you feel that the energy-saving costs aren’t that high, it will definitely cut your home roof repair costs significantly.
Getting on the attic is crucial. Follow my guide and get the best attic access stair.
Year after year, more than half of the country has been experiencing extreme heat conditions during the summers, resulting in more air-conditioner usage.
There is a resounding debate on whether this is making the problem worse, with governments having to regulate the usage of HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons). If you didn’t know, these are the chemical compounds present in AC’s, which also contribute to global warming.
It’s said that air-conditioning releases about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide each year! And this doesn’t even cover the amount of energy consumption AC’s use up.
This brings us to the question: In the pursuit of a cleaner and greener world, do you think we should limit our use of air conditioners by adopting attic fans instead?
What’s your thoughts on the attic ventilation fans pros and cons?
Save this post in your “Attic Remodeling Ideas” board of Pinterest and let your followers get benefitted from it.
- How to Pick the Best Attic ladder
- How to choose the right attic windows
- How to install an Attic Ladder
- Everything you need to know about Your attic
- My 10 Most Effective Ways of Keeping an Attic Cool
- What are The Different Types of Attic Ladders
- Best DIY Attic Insulation Guide – How To Insulate An Attic
- 20 Clever Best Attic Shelves Ideas For Compact Attic
- How To Keep Attic Warm In Winter In 6 Efficient Steps