The hot summer sun beating down on your roof for endless hours during the summer can make it difficult to keep your house cool. Sure, you’ve got an air conditioner humming along, doing its best to fight heat and humidity, but you might consider lightening the load of your air conditioner with an attic fan.
The Energy Star website has home improvement information that will help you learn about the differences between natural attic ventilation and mechanical attic fan ventilation. Armed with all the facts, you’ll be ready to proceed with the attic ventilation system that fits your needs.
There are a variety of household benefits of attic fans. Once you see how effective the cooling process is for the comfort level of your home, the next step is installing your attic fan.
1. Lower Living Area Temperatures
Even moderate summer temperatures in the 80s can push the temperature in your attic up to above 150 degrees Fahrenheit if you don’t have an attic fan. Although vents can create some passive cooling that may help somewhat, for the most effective cooling, you need a fan to make a positive airflow throughout your attic.
With an attic fan operating during the hottest parts of summer days, your attic can be up to 50 degrees cooler – probably between 5 and 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. This translates to a 10-degree reduction in your living area temperatures.
2. Extend Roof Life
Moisture is another problem in many attics for several reasons. Your household activities – showering and cooking, for example – create moisture that rises and stops in the attic. If you allow this moist air to sit in the attic for an extended period, it will eventually create mold in the insulation and even in the wood structure of the attic. This moisture can be especially damaging during the winter when cold turns it to ice or frost. The expansion of ice and frost can damage your roof.
An attic fan attacks moisture and moves it out of the attic before it can create damage to insulation, wood structure and roofing materials.
3.Reduce Air Conditioning Expenses
Because attic fans reduce upstairs temperatures in your home, this can have a direct result in reducing air conditioner expenses. A 10-degree reduction in living areas may reduce cooling expenses by up to 30 percent.
Attic fans with a thermostat have a built-in design that allows you to set the operating temperature. For example, if you set the attic fan to operate whenever the attic temperature is above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the attic fan will run to prevent the attic from heating up to excessively high temperatures. As long as you have adequate insulation in place along the attic floor and proper sealing to prevent an air exchange between the attic and the rest of the house, you should notice that your air conditioner does not have to work as hard or as long. This reduction in air conditioning can reduce your air conditioning cost as well as extend the life of your air conditioner.
Another option in attic fans that can further decrease your cooling costs is to install a solar-powered attic fan that does not operate by electricity. By utilizing the strong power of the sun to operate the attic fan, it runs without any expense.
If you have basic or moderate construction skills, you can probably install your own attic fan in your roof. There are a variety of designs, with many installing directly into features already present in your attic such as gables.