How Does an Attic Fan Work?

attic-fan-01Attic ventilation fans offer an energy-efficient way to cool down overly hot attics. Many homeowners use these devices during the spring and summer months in place of their central air conditioning. While they don’t offer the same cooling power as central AC, attic fans only use a fraction of the energy, making them a smart choice for energy-efficient consumers. In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at attic fans, revealing how they work and when you should use them.

Attic fans work on the principle of pushing out the attic’s hot air and replacing it with cool air from outside. There are several different types of attic ventilation systems, but most of them feature small vents (soffit and gable) which draw in cool air, along with a primary fan that pushes air outside. It’s a simple concept that’s highly effective at cooling down attics. However, most homeowners don’t realize the full potential of these systems.

Benefits of Using an Attic Fan:

  • Energy-efficient way to cool your home
  • Doesn’t use gas
  • Reduces the chance of ice damming on the roof
  • Reduces attic humidity levels — which in turn protects the attic from mold and mildew
  • Inexpensive and relatively easy to install
  • Great temporary home cooling alternative when your AC stops working

Common Mistakes Homeowners Make When Using Attic Fans

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when using an attic fan is covering the vents with insulation. The more insulation you can pack into your attic, the more energy-efficient your home will become. With that said, you must avoid covering these vents with insulation, as this prevents the cool air from coming into the attic. Whether your attic contains fiberglass or blown cellulose insulation, make sure it’s not blocking the¬†soffit and gable vents.

Another common mistake homeowners make is not opening their windows when using the attic fan. Attic fans create negative pressure to pull air outside. Leaving your windows closed restricts the system’s airflow; thus, reducing its overall effectiveness. If you’re going to use the attic fan, open some of the windows in your home. Doing so allows the fan to pull more cool air into the attic and your home.

Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of attic fans and how they work. Regardless of the time of year, using an attic fan will help control both the temperature and humidity of your attic.

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