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My Upstairs Is Warm – Do I Need An Attic Fan?

Yes, in most cases you could benefit from an attic fan. Attic fans pull the hot air out of the attic and ultimately lower the temperature inside. Typical attics will reach 120-150 degrees during the summer. An attic fan can help lower that temperature by up to 50 degrees, which translates into up to a 5 degree lower temperature inside your home. Not only will it feel cooler inside, your AC will last longer as it will not need to cycle as much. In addition, attic fans have shown to help extend the life of the roof as well. 

While most homes benefit greatly from use of an attic fan, Cape Cod and Bungalow style homes are not impacted that much and it is not recommended they have an attic fan. Instead, mini-split air conditioning units are perfect for these types of homes.

Do Attic Fans Really Work?

Yes, absolutely attic fans really work and can make a huge difference! Attic fans expel super hot air from the attic and suck in cooler outdoor air instead. 

Think of it like your car on a hot summer day. The air inside has been trapped and has gradually gotten hotter all day. When you get in, to more quickly cool your air, you roll down your windows to get it out fast as you drive away! The hot air has been evacuated so the air conditioner can more effectively cool the car. 

Similarly, a house that has heated up all day will have a layer of air in the attic that is 120 - 150 degrees, or in some cases even hotter. To effectively cool your home you need to get rid of that layer and let your air conditioner do its work. In combination with the proper insulation, an attic fan can get rid of the heat and get your home cool quickly! 

A Haas & Sons certified electrician can install an attic fan in your home that will increase your comfort, lower your utility bills and lengthen the useful life of your roofing materials. Since attic heat can account for up to 20% of your average cooling bill, an attic fan is well worth the price. The fan comes with a humidistat as well as a thermostat, which will automatically trigger the start and stop of the device without your involvement. You just get to sit back and enjoy the cool air! 

As hot air is expelled through the vents on the high part of the roof, cool air is pulled through the soffit openings. Our highly trained technician will not only install the attic fan, they will also check out your vents to make sure they are functioning and clear of debris.

How many attics fans do I need?

Most homes require only 1 attic fan. However, homes with larger roofs may need 2 - 3 attic fans for them to work effectively. Also, split-level homes often have separated roof areas, so to get the maximum benefit, we would install an attic fan for each separation. 

Our go-to attic fan for traditional homes are rated for up to 2,800 square feet and require at least 720 square feet of fresh air intake so that a vacuum effect is not created.

What is the best attic fan?

Our preferred fan is the GAF Master Flow series. Over the years we have tried several other brands and have found the GAF Master Flow to hold up the best. This type of fan can be purchased at your local Home Depot. Lowes Home Improvement carries Air Vent, which we have also found to be a good quality product. Air Vent offers limited lifetime warranties on their premium fans.

Where are attic fans installed?

Attic fans are usually installed on the roof. Roof-mounted attic fans are typically installed on the rear of the home and centered on the attic, which enables it to pull air evenly through the structure.

Another common location is on the gable vent. Gable attic fans are mounted on the gable vents themselves so that they can pull the air from one side of the attic and exhaust on the other side.

How much does it cost to have an attic fan installed?

Attic fans typically cost between $80 - $200, with labor running between $400 - $800. In Maryland you can expect to pay around $800 total with the materials and labor, though labor will vary depending on how difficult it is to install. A master switch must be installed to shut off the attic fan for servicing or in an emergency.

How long do attic fans last?

You can expect your attic fan to last between 10 - 15 years before needing its motor replaced. At Haas & Sons, we provide a 1-year labor warranty with our installations so that if there is a manufacturer's defect, we can replace it at no cost to you. The GAF Master Flow attic fans we install all come with a limited 10-year manufacturer warranty so if your motor happens to go out on year 5, there would only be the cost of labor to replace.

Longer Life For Your Roof

Did you know that reducing the temperature in the attic can actually extend the life of your roof? During the summer, any local roofer in Maryland knows your shingles bear high temperatures on the outside while withstanding hot air underneath. Over time, this constant exposure can cause asphalt shingles to curl at the edges, split or become brittle. An attic fan system can change that. 

An attic fan or whole house fan can increase your comfort, save on electric bills and extend the life of your roof. What’s not to like? Newer models also run more quietly than the house-shaking versions in some older houses. Consult with a professional on the proper fans to use and best practices for installation so you can really bring on the cool!

Whole-House Fans: Cooling For Less

A whole-house fan typically generates about 10% to 15% of the power that a central air conditioner does. When evenings are cool, it’s simple to lower the temperature of your dwelling with a whole-house fan — sometimes in less than an hour - as well as lowering your electricity bills. 

It’s efficient and cheap to operate. However, make sure your system has dampers, which prevents material from the attic – insulation for instance—from being sucked into the house along with the cooler air. The dampers also add a layer of fire protection as well. Windows must be open for the whole-house fan to work most effectively.

Installation of an attic fan system makes sense both financially and for comfort. If you are looking to slash your electric bills further, you might consider using a whole house fan system to cool your house at night. Your certified Maryland technician will advise you based on your location and summer temperatures if this makes sense.

Attic fans can be a cost-effective way of keeping cool during the hot summer months, all while lowering your electric bill and prolonging the life of your AC and roof. On average our clients see a 4-degree temperature drop on their second floor after we have installed an attic fan. The professional licensed contractors at Haas & Sons can have your attic fan installed quickly the right way. Call us today to set up your appointment and keep cool for the summer!

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