Which attic fan is best?

Your attic can get brutally hot in the summer, but if you don’t use it or have any reason to go up there, you might not think it’s a problem. However, properly ventilating your attic can help regulate the temperature of your home, drive down cooling costs and even extend the life of your roof. 

Finding the right fan for your home depends on the climate where you live, your budget and the square footage of your home, but the best is the Cool Attic Whole House Attic Fan

What to know before you buy an attic fan

Whole house fans vs. venting fans 

When purchasing an attic fan, you have two main choices:

  • A whole house fan pulls hot air from the entire house and into the attic. Despite how it sounds, this will also lower the temperature of the attic air. Since whole house fans circulate the air from outside through the windows of the house, they can cut down on your need for an air conditioner, but you still might need other cooling mechanisms, such as a ceiling fan.
  • A venting fan pulls air from the attic and sends it outside. Even though it’s only removing the hot attic air, it does work to lower the temperature of the entire house.  

Cubic feet per minute 

Attic fans are measured in terms of the amount of air they can move in a minute, known as cubic feet per minute. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a fan that has a CFM that is about 70% of the square footage of your attic. So, if your attic is 1,000 square feet, you want an attic fan rated at 700 CFM. 

Bigger is not always better when it comes to attic fans. Purchase a fan that is too powerful and it can remove cool air from your house. It can also create negative pressure that leads to structural issues with the roof. 

What to look for in an attic fan 

Controls

Some attic fans have timers or manual dials you can physically turn on, but there are others that you don’t have to worry about turning on and off. Those are controlled in the summer by a thermostat that turns them on when the air temperature reaches a certain level, and in the winter by a humidistat that turns them on when the humidity reaches a certain level. 

Solar attic fans 

The benefit of a solar-powered attic fan is that it runs without added electricity, or you having to turn it on. These tend to me more expensive, but in the long run they can reduce your energy bills, and they make almost no noise. On the downside, they aren’t always as powerful, and they won’t work as well at night or when it’s cloudy. 

How much can you expect to spend on an attic fan?

Pricing can range from $50-$400 depending on the fan’s quality, size and features. If you’re looking to spend under $100, it will be relatively small and may not come with any high-end features.

Attic fan FAQ

Can I install an attic fan myself?

A.  Possibly. Most are not complicated to install, but it depends on handy you are and how easily you can get access to your attic or roof. It also depends on the type of fan you buy. Installing solar attic fans can be simple, but bigger whole-house fans can be more involved. When in doubt, or if there is a potential safety issue, seek the help of a professional. 

Should I run my attic fan during the winter?

A.  Yes, because it can decrease the amount of moisture that builds up during the cold months, which will help reduce mold and mildew in your home. The fan can also release heat in the upper portion of the home, which reduces the production of ice dams on your roof. 

What’s the best attic fan to buy?

Top attic fan

Cool Attic Whole House Attic Fan

Cool Attic Whole House Attic Fan

What you need to know: This is ideal for large homes up to 3,000 square feet, and can reduce cooling costs all summer long.

What you’ll love: By pulling fresh air into the house and releasing warmer air out though the attic exhaust fans, you can remove stale and unhealthy air. Don’t worry about noise or vibrations — it comes with a re-engineered bracing system, so it can function at its highest level in total silence.

What you should consider: It’s not as effective in homes smaller than 2,000 square feet. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top attic fan for the money

iLiving Wall Mounted Exhaust Fan

iLiving Wall Mounted Exhaust Fan

What you need to know: This multi-purpose fan is ideal for cooling any space, including homes, garages and sheds.

What you’ll love: It may be small, but it’s powerful, as the 10-inch fan with 120 volts and .55 amps can cool up to 820 cubic feet in just one minute. The high-quality materials and weather-resistant shutters can withstand whatever Mother Nature can throw at them and keep you cool for many years to come. 

What you should consider: Installing it might be complicated for someone without mechanical experience.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

Remington Solar Attic Fan With Thermostat

Remington Solar Attic Fan With Thermostat 

What you need to know: You can reduce your energy bill and stay cool with this solar roof vent fan.

What you’ll love: Powered by the sun, this fan contains a life-extending brushless motor, which provides quiet cooling. It comes with both a humidistat and thermostat to measure and adjust temperature based on the needs of your attic. It can move 1,280 cubic feet of air for spaces up to 1,800 square feet. 

What you should consider: The hybrid adapter to run the fan at night is sold separately.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

 

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Ryan Dempsey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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