Choosing the Best Attic Fan for You

An unattached ventilation fan against a blank, white background.

Without an attic fan, the temperature in your attic can climb to a searing 150 degrees. By dispelling hot air from your attic, an attic fan can reduce the temperatures of your upper-level rooms by 10 degrees, extend the life of your roof shingles, and cut air-conditioning expenses by up to 30 percent. This is a quick rundown of the different types of attic fans, their most common features, and the external factors that can impact their performance.

Attic Fan Types

Attic fans are either electric or solar and come in two types:

Rooftop fan—a dome-shaped, waterproof fan installed on the roof with a base secured by shingles

Gable fan—a circular fan mounted to the inside of the gable vent.

Features of a Quality Attic Fan

A high-quality attic fan will likely have the following features: a thermostat that operates the fan automatically; durable, metal construction; a heavy screen to repel pests; and a permanently lubricated motor. In many instances, to avoid exacerbating a house fire, the thermostat will be set to turn the fan off if it detects temperatures indicative of a fire.

Factors of Attic Fan Savings

The efficiency of any attic fan you install will be affected by several factors external to the fan itself. These include the color of your roof, the degree of shade on your home, the quality and quantity of your insulation, and the efficiency of your cooling system.