Attic fans will help you maintain your house cool during summer months. These systems remove hot air and create a cooler environment. In today’s post, we will explore attic fans in terms of features, costs, and more. Also, I have made a list of the best attic ventilators available out there. So, go ahead and check them out, inform yourself, and only then make a purchasing decision.
How to Choose the Best Attic Fan – Buying Guide and Tips
What Is an Attic Fan?
Attic fans work as air ventilators and have the purpose to regulate an attic’s heat level by dissipating hot air. There will be a thermostat to control the fan. In some cases, there’s a manual switch that you can use to turn on or off the ventilator. There are two types of attic fans: roof-mounted and gable-mounted.
People who’re into alternative and renewable energy sources choose to buy solar vents. These are more sustainable and environment-friendly. Moreover, they will help you lower your house’s energy consumption, hence lower the cost of your energy bills. On the other hand, for these products to work at their highest potential, you must live in a sunny area because without sunlight the fan won’t be efficient.
What Types of Attic Fans Are There?
a. Roof-Mounted Attic Fans
These fans placed on either flat or pitched roofs. Other places where these types of ventilators can be installed are lofts, barns, workshops, garages, and sheds. The main benefit of choosing a roof-mounted attic fan is its sturdiness. It can go through hurricanes and tornadoes without any risk of damage.
So, you won’t have to do any panel adjustments after a calamity. And, even if you are required to do that, the panels are easy to replace, not to mention that the owner won’t have to redo the entire unit.
b. Gable-Mounted Attic Fans
This attic fan model is installed behind a static gable vent that already exists on a building or house. You can mount the panel to one of the house’s exterior walls. Gable ventilators feature bigger sizes when compared to the aforementioned roof-mounted fans.
What’s important to know is, in case you opt for a solar attic fan, it’s best to go with one that’s placed on the roof in order to catch more sunlight. Also, installing a gable-mounted ventilator requires a lot of technical knowledge and skills, especially if the house isn’t equipped with a gable vent.
What Technical Aspects Should You Consider Before Purchasing an Attic Fan?
a. Try to Opt for an Adjustable Fan
One of the most important characteristics of attic ventilators is their adjustability. In certain cases, the panel isn’t adjustable which can negatively impact the product’s overall performance. This can happen especially if the roof is designed in such a way that it blocks a full sun exposure.
b. Aim for Low-Noise Attic Fans
Ideally, one should buy a ventilator with a low level of noise. For that to happen, the product must feature a higher number of blades. Fans that are equipped with several blades will work a lot quieter. Why is that? The answer is pretty simple. Being more blades allows every single blade to do less work which further leads to a smoother sound.
c. Pay Attention to the Fan’s Material
The ventilator’s construction material really matters because it shows its level of quality. Moreover, certain materials can increase the item’s efficiency. High-quality materials will prolong the life of the fan and it will make it last longer, even during storms or other unpredictable nature events. The majority of producers work with aircraft grade aluminum when creating the fan’s exterior hood. For this reason, the ventilator’s shell will go through different kinds of direct impact without being damaged.
Another important aspect is a protective screen against animals and all the manufacturers should provide this feature when they market their attic fans. Usually, these shields are made of stainless steel. Finally, the product’s blades should be manufactured with non-corrosive aluminum.
d. Choose a Fan that Has a Quiet Motor
Before purchasing a certain attic fan model, you should also check its motor specifications to make sure it works quietly and lasts for a long time. Having a clear idea about these kinds of issues has become essential. The size also matters when browsing the market for an attic ventilator because, if you have a larger space, you might need more than one single unit.
e. Think about the Fan’s Size
The size of the fan that you’re about to buy should match the size of the area where you want it to work. For instance, a good vent must recirculate approximately 10 volumes per hour.
So, what you must do is search for the appropriate vent size by first measuring your attic’s area in cubic feet. Here’s the formula that you must use to calculate the area of the space where you want to place the fan: length x height x breadth (in feet). Then, you must multiply the final result based on the fan’s 10 air changes. What you will achieve will be the whole volume measured in cubic feet.
Additional Things to Consider
a. Ease of Use
Ideally, you should purchase a fan that’s easy to install so that you can do it yourself. An easy to use item will save you money that otherwise you will have to spend to cover professional services. The best choice is a fan that comes with clear instructions.
For all these reasons and many more, I personally believe that a solar fan can be a great acquisition. It’s easy to insulate, there’s no wiring, and you will be able to mount it on your own. Still, plenty of other units are also manufactured in such a way that it’s quite easy to figure out everything without the help of an expert.
Besides other aspects such as price and adjustability, you must also feel comfortable using your new attic fan. Make sketches to see how good the product would fit in your attic. Take plenty of photos to find out the best place to mount the fan.
Ask your friends for their opinions, seek advice from salespeople, and browse through reviews and ratings online. The product you’re about to purchase is meant to cool down your house in order to make you and your family feel comfortable.
Not only will this ultimate device cool down your house during summer, but it will also heat it up in the winter. In other words, it will maintain a comfy and pleasant environment for your body all year round.
Most attic ventilators are quite affordable and their installation process isn’t that expensive either. Still, things such as materials, accessories, installation tools, and others might increase the total costs. Don’t forget about the support area where the attic fan will be installed which includes shingles, vents, gable mounts, and siding.
d. Wiring Options
Although many attic fans don’t necessarily require a professional to do or supervise the installation process, when it comes to wiring the fan, an electrician will certainly come in handy. It’s better and safer that way! The specialist will hard wire the ventilator into the home’s main supply.
Another option is to plug the item into a socket that already exists in your attic. Once again I must return to solar alternatives. If you’re concerned about the environment, you could power the fan with solar panels that you will place on the roof.
What Are the Main Benefits of Attic Vents?
- Lowered temperature – during summertime, the temperature in your attic can easily reach or exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Basic vents can achieve a certain level of passive cooling but a fan will definitely deliver a more effective air circulation all over the attic and all the time;
- Reduced expense – as this product lowers the temperature, it also creates a positive effect on your costs with the air conditioner. In fact, research has shown that a small reduction of the attic’s temperature by only 10 degrees can lower the bills’ cost by as much as 30%;
- Prolonged roof life – if you don’t use an attic fan, the entire area will attract moisture from temperature differences. This moisture will freeze during winter and then lead to mold which damages the attic. Using a fan can prevent that issue from happening so you won’t have to replace the insulation system.
Top 5 Best Attic Fans to Consider
1. 353 Attic Ventilator by Broan
The 353 Gable-mounted Attic Fan manufactured by Broan. It works quietly and it does a very good job when it comes to cooling your attic. The product’s steel blades function with precision which leads to lowered noise and better air movement. You can control the product with an adjustable thermostat. Due to its lubricated motor, you will be able to enjoy the cooling effects of the Broan fan for years.
- It’s very simple to install it;
- It works quietly and it has a high performance;
- The ventilation happens automatically and you can control the temperature or intensity by adjusting a built-in thermostat;
- The motor is permanently lubricated and thermally protected.
- Some people reported issues regarding the product’s durability;
- A few clients complained about problems such as vibrations and noise.
2. Gable Attic Ventilator 53315 by Air Vent
This unit is mounted horizontally and it can handle large areas as well as high heats due to its superior construction. Another good thing about the Gable 53315 Attic Ventilator is the fact that it doesn’t consume a lot of electricity.
The blade is precise and balanced so it quickly removes hot air from the attic. In fact, this fan is so powerful that it can cover an entire area of no less than 1500 square feet, so we can say it works for the entire house.
- It has a stainless steel construction which provides a longer product lifecycle;
- Can cover a huge area;
- It is mounted horizontally which leads to better attic ventilation;
- The fan is customizable and it comes with a bypassing thermostat.
- According to some people, it seems that both the blade and the bushing aren’t made of premium materials;
- In some cases, the fan might not work for the entire house.
3. Cool Attic 1650 CFM Gable Mount Vent by Ventamatic
This ventilation system is very effective and you can use it regardless of the type of house you own. Certain sellers even market multi-pack bundles, so keep an eye for those offers. The motor of this attic fan is thermally protected by galvanized steel.
Ventamatic comes with an automatic thermostat that’s also adjustable. Its blades measure 25 inches and they feature a balanced precision which leads to a minimized vibration.
- The fan is easy to install and has a large motor;
- It’s made of high-quality materials;
- The product comes with clear and straightforward instructions;
- With this ventilator, you won’t experience any vibrations;
- It’s a pretty affordable unit and it offers a good value for the money.
- Some say that Ventamatic doesn’t look that good and it has a poor construction;
- According to a few users, it seems that some units might have motor-related issues;
- It consumes a lot of electricity.
4. Solar Attic Fan by Natural Light
This is a great home cooling option that’s also environmentally friendly. It might even help you avoid consuming a lot of electricity on the air conditioner. Users can easily set up and this item. Moreover, the Natural Light attic ventilator will even prolong your roof shingles’ life. For this fan to work effectively, you will need plenty of sunshine so make sure you install it on a surface that receives enough sunlight.
- This fan will extend the life of your roof shingles while also cooling your house;
- It’s durable and has a long lifecycle;
- It’s easy to install;
- The ventilator features a nice and attractive design – it almost looks futuristic;
- The product comes with a great warranty;
- It works smoothly and it doesn’t make a lot of noise;
- Users can save both energy and money.
- A few clients have complained about the fact that once they received the package, they weren’t able to find any instructions or guidelines which can be quite annoying and confusing;
- It is an expensive attic fan.
5. Rooftop Attic Ventilator by Rand Solar
This product works great for covered patios, attics, and greenhouses. With it, you will be able to cut billing costs, especially during summer. The Rand Solar Fan has a pretty decent cooling capacity. It can be placed in an area of approximately 700 square feet. It doesn’t need wiring to perform so it’s convenient. Users can even customize it by adding an insulation pipe made from foam.
- The fan looks great and features an appealing design;
- Rand solar attic fans last longer due to their high-quality materials;
- The motor is highly efficient and it is also brushless. Also, it doesn’t make a lot of noise;
- It’s a small item with a compact shape which makes it easy to install in tight places.
- The product lacks an insect guard;
- It might not work that well in larger areas.
Best Attic Fans and How to Find Them – Let’s Recap
There are plenty of options nowadays when it comes to attic fans. Still, I did my best in offering you the best choices available on the market, based on their characteristics, effectiveness, functions, and features.
You don’t have to live in a hothouse anymore due to these products. An attic ventilator will replace the hot air with a cool one while also getting you rid of your frustrations. Besides your budget, you should also consider all the other factors that I’ve mentioned above before purchasing an attic fan such as types, materials, size, and more. Stay cool!