5 Steps to Installing an Attic Gable Fan

The corner of an old attic with windows on the near wall.
  • 3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Electrical wires
Electrical caps
Saws for wood or brick
Plywood or cardboard and duct tape

Installing an attic gable fan is something any home improvement fan should be able to do in a matter of hours. In that time, you can improve the circulation of air in your attic for decades. Heat in your attic is one of the reasons why your home gets so hot in the summer, and installing an attic fan can make your house much cooler in the warm part of the year.

Step 1 - Choose a Fan

Choosing the right attic gable fan is important, so find the model which best suits your purposes. Some versions have a temperature control switch and others run on electricity and can be controlled with a manual switch. Some fans are considerably more expensive than others, so the cost of your fan will depend entirely upon the size of fan you require and how much you are prepared to spend.

Step 2 - Measure

The next step in installing an attic gable fan is measuring the fan and working out where it will fit inside the gable end of the roof. Consider where the louver of the fan will go and then begin to mark out an area where the fan will fit into the gable.

Don't install it too high, as this may interfere with beams supporting the roof. Instead, position the fan so it is in the center of the wall. You should place it near a power source if you are not using a self-powering fan. This will also require measurements for leads, wires, etc. Make sure you have all of this planned out before you make a cut into your gable wall.

Step 3 - Make the Hole

attic fan with wiring

The next stage is to make a suitable hole for your fan. The hole should be slightly larger than the area of the fan, so there is space to caulk. Remove any drywall, brickwork, or stucco. Once you have cut a complete hole through to the outside, you can start positioning the fan.

Step 4 - Fit the Fan

The hole you have cut will be slightly larger than the fan, so screw it in tightly in order to hold it in position. Caulk around the entire fan to make sure it is secure in the hole and to keep out any moisture. Block off the fan ring using plywood or cardboard in order to ensure that the ring circulates properly. If you are using cardboard, duct tape the edges to the wall. You will also need to block off any vent openings near to the fan.

Step 5 - Finish Up

Once the fan is completely fitted into the hole, cut the bricks removed earlier to ensure that the fan is held tightly in place. You may also consider installing a series of slats between the gable end and the fan, rather than replacing the bricks. Make sure the fan can turn properly in the hole and then connect it to the power. Try your fan for a full hour before you shut it off. If that goes off without a hitch, your fan should be ready to spring into action the next time your attic gets too hot.