Do you struggle to keep the upper levels of your home cool during the summer? If so, the problem may not be with the air conditioning unit, rather, it could be due to a lack of ventilation in your attic. If this is the case, it is time to consider installing an attic fan.
Why install an attic fan?
The sun beats down on your roof all day and heats your attic space to temperatures exceeding 150 degrees. The hot air in your attic can seep into the upper levels of your home and make it difficult to maintain a cool temperature. An attic fan can help to decrease the temperatures in the attic, which will reduce the temperatures in the upper levels of your home.
How does an attic fan work?
The attic fan is mounted just inside the gable vent in the attic. The gable vent is the vent located at one end of your house near the peak of the roof. The fan does not run constantly, rather it is connected to a thermostat that turns the fan on when the attic space reaches a certain temperature (usually around 90 degrees). At that point, the fan kicks on and pulls the hot air from the attic and releases it outside of the home.
As the fan pulls the hot air out of the attic, it pulls the cooler outside air in from the eaves and other vents in the attic. It can also pull some of the cooler air through any cracks or leaks in the attic floor.
The suction of the attic fan can help to circulate the interior air and draw the cooler air from the lower levels to the upper levels of the home.
Can an attic fan be installed without a professional?
Technically, yes. You could install the attic fan yourself, but remember, working with electrical elements is not the best idea if you don't have experience with it. Some of the larger attic fans require the use of a 220 volt connection, so the electrical work can be very dangerous, and if it's done wrong, it can cause a fire in your attic.
If the upper levels of your home are too warm, your first step should be to talk with an HVAC technician (such as one from Ice Age Mechanical). He or she will be able to assist you in determining the cause and make any necessary adjustments to your HVAC system and possibly install the attic fan for you.