Installing a Gable Vent Fan: 3 Tips

A gable vent jutting out from a roof with blue sky behind.

If you want to install a gable vent fan in your attic, following some basic tips will help you avoid mistakes. Fitting a fan to an existing gable vent will add more cool air without requiring another hole, or replacing the vent entirely. Make sure that you have a whole day free to do this task, though, as complications can add hours to a project.

1. Make the Vent Larger

Before you can fit the gable vent fan, you have to make sure that your gable vent is the right size and shape for the fan. Gable vents can be easily enlarged if you want a better size. Mark out the location of the vent by placing nails at each corner. From the outside, you can then cut through the wall by following the line of nails.

2. Make the Vent Smaller

Prepare the vent for the fan by using some 2x4s to secure the vent to the stud wall. Nail these boards to the studs, placing them firmly across the top and bottom of the vent.

3. Find a Power Source

If there’s an electrical connection close to the vent, connect the fan to the electrical breaker circuit and begin using it. If there’s no convenient existing power, it’s easy to run a cable to a small solar panel on the roof. The fan will run whenever the sun’s out, and it won’t cost you a penny.