Attic ventilation fans can be great at energy efficiency and saving the power bill up to 30%. Proper ventilation can prevent ice dam, mold infection and increase the overall quality of our household life. On the other hand, power attic fans can create negative pressure in the house and may cause leak to your roof.
- Attic Ventilation Fans Are Great At Energy-Efficiency
- Attic Ventilation Fans Help To Protect Asphalt Roofing
- Attic Ventilation Fans May Create A Leak In Your Roof
- Attic Ventilation Fans Enables You To Live In A More Relaxed House
- Attic Ventilation Fans Can Prevent Mold And Mildew Growth
- Attic Ventilation Fans Can Prevent Ice Damming
- Attic Ventilation Fans Can Help You Take Advantage Of The Sun’s Energy
- Attic Ventilation Fans May Expose You To Carbon Monoxide Intoxication
- Attic Ventilation Fans May Create A Leak In Your Roof
- Attic Ventilation Fans May Increase The Energy Usage Of Your House
- Attic Ventilation Fans May Not Operate Optimally
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. It guarantees that our homes’ indoor air is spotless and completely free from contaminants.
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
Do you know you can save more on power bill by getting the best insulated attic ladder?
Now let’s dive into some of the most frequently asked questions revolving home ventilation.
- Best attic ventilation options including performance factors, pros and cons
- How ventilation works?
- Benefits of attic ventilation
- 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
- My professional verdict on Attic ventilation fans
- Some bonus tips on attic ventilation fans
Best attic ventilation options
Following are the best attic ventilation option including their pros and cons:
Ridge vents are placed along the roof’s top edge, where the faces meet and usually provide a way for stale air to leave the attic. They are difficult to spot unless you know what you’re looking for, which gives them an aesthetic advantage over other options, hence their popularity.
Pros of Ridge Vents
- 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
Cons of Ridge Vents
- 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
Soffit vents are installed under your roof’s eaves to keep your attic cool by drawing in fresh outside air. This allows hot and humid air to escape out of your other vents.
Pros of Soffit Vents
- Relatively easy to install
- Help reduce your cooling costs
- Incredibly effective and reliable in cold climate
- Relatively low maintenance cost
Cons of Soffit Vents
- 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
One option you can consider is power attic vents, also known as PAV’s. These vents are powered either electrically or solar. Can be intake or exhaust vents. Most powered vents are controlled by thermostats.
Pros of Power Vents
- You can completely control the amount of fresh air channeled
- Runs automatically
- Can be electronically or solar-powered
Cons of Power Vents
- Power vents can be pricey to buy and also expensive to install
- Since they have mechanical moving parts, can be prone to failure
Understanding Attic Ventilation 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
If you have an upstairs room that gets uncomfortably hot in summer, consider buying a solar attic fan. These fans are fueled by sunlight and replace the hot air from your attic with the much cooler air.
This means that your HVAC system doesn’t have to work hard to cool your living area. In turn, conveniently reduces your energy usage and electricity bills. However, while they perform well during sunny days, their performance may decline if there isn’t any sunlight.
They won’t work at all when it’s clouded over. Despite this, though, they are still useful to have, especially if you live in hot and humid areas.
Pros of Solar Attic Fans
- 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
Cons of Solar Attic Fans
- Can be expensive to buy and install.
- Require direct sunlight to operate
Electric Attic Fan
Electric fans are extremely powerful. Many of these fans use a thermostat that automatically switches them on or off, depending on the attic temperature.
This allows for better energy management, but their running costs are still more than the other options. It’s even worse during hot seasons when you have it on for most of the day.
Also, installing these fans involves wiring, so you have to hire an electrician, which raises your home-improvement budget a bit higher.
Pros of Electric Attic Fans
- 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
Cons of Electric Attic Fans
- Isn’t an eco-friendly option
- Can be costly
Turbine/Wind-Powered Attic Fan
Much like the solar alternative, this one also relies on green energy and is the right choice for reducing their electricity costs. They are typically installed along or close to your roof’s peak.
The wind rotates the fan, sucking out the air through the turbine and replacing it with the cooler outside air. Turbine fans are powered solely by the wind, so if it isn’t blowing, the turbine doesn’t function.
Pros of Turbine/Wind-Powered Attic Fans
- Eco-friendly green option
- Rarely break down
- Low cost to purchase and maintain
- Saves money on electricity
Cons of Turbine/Wind-Powered Attic Fans
- Lack consistency and reliability
- Lifespan can be reduced when exposed to frequent storms or attic moisture
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.
Benefits of Ventilating Attic
Some notable benefits of attic ventilation includes:
Saves on Energy Costs
Increases Your Roof’s Lifespan
Prevents Mold & Ice Damming
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:
How Do I Inspect Attic Ventilation Fans?
Difference Between Attic Fans and Whole House Fans
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.
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.
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.
Final Verdict on Attic Ventilation Fans Pros & Cons
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.
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?
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